Clinica Sierra Vista will host an open enrollment event for 2016-2017 health insurance coverage in partnership with Covered California Statewide Tour on Nov. 16 from 10:00  to 11:30 a.m. at the East Bakersfield Community Health Center located at 815 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. in Bakersfield.

Certified enrollment counselors will be at the event to provide assistance with the application. Open enrollment for the 2016-2017 year will end next year on January 31.

For more information call Ana Velasquez at (661) 328-4245 or Pritika Ram at (661) 635-3050.


We are proud to share this video which features BHC-SK partners and highlights how a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was instrumental in bringing $2 million dollars for sidewalks in Lamont.

“The assessment helped ensure that the concerns of rural communities were incorporated into the county’s final plan, and residents worked with the county to ensure that recommendations translated into action,” recounts in the video, Veronica Garibay with Leadership Counsel.

The HIA was completed with support from the Health Impact Project and The California Endowment. Click here for more information.


Early this month the Kern Education Justice Collaborative held a press conference minutes before the Kern High School District board of trustees monthly meeting to urge the trustees to stop pursuing dangerous policies like arming teachers.

“I want them to focus on us and our education,” Aldo Avilas-Rojas told KERO 23.
The school district recently passed a policy allowing non-employee concealed carry weapon permit holders to carry guns to school with permission from the district’s superintendent. The board is now considering enacting a proposal that would allow the Superintendent to approve teachers, and other staff who hold CCW permits, to carry firearms on high school campuses.
After the press conference, members of the group addressed the trustees during the public comment portion of the meeting. The item was not voted on because it was not on the agenda that day.
The Kern Education Justice Collaborative was founded in 2013 to address the disparity in suspension rates between minority and non-minority students in KHSD. KEJC is comprised of The Dolores Huerta Foundation, Faith in Action Kern County, California Rural Legal Assistance, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Children First, the National Brotherhood Alliance and Building Healthy Communities-South Kern.
Last week, the Kern County Planning Department launched the county’s General Plan Update effort, a process that is expected to take two years to complete. General plans help determine how a county will grow and how land will be used, but there will be a new wrinkle this time around.
A new law passed by the California Legislature will make general plans different from the past-and more environmentally friendly.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1000 on Sept. 24, establishing new requirements for counties to incorporate environmental justice in their general plan. The aim is to help ensure environmental equity for disadvantaged communities. Kern will be the first California county to implement an environmental justice element in the land-use portion of the county’s plan.
During the kick-off, county officials agreed to dedicate its second hearing solely to discuss the general plan. The series of hearings are scheduled over the first six months of 2017. They also said they will look into holding several workshops in remote areas so that rural communities will have an opportunity to weigh in.
The current general plan was adopted in June of 2004, and the plans usually are in place for 15-25 years.
The State of California requires counties to include seven mandatory elements in their general plan including land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise and a safety element.
Several members of Building Healthy Communities, South Kern’s Environment Action Team, asked the planning commissioners to consider providing reports early enough for residents to review the reports before they provide comments during public hearings.
Building Healthy Communities South Kern’s Environment Action Team is working with residents to help ensure that the plan includes investment in parks, affordable housing and addresses infrastructure needs.
To learn more about this effort please call the Center of Race Poverty and Environment at (661) 720-9140 or Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability at (661) 843-7677.

Please mark your calendars for a training led by the National Compadres Network (NCN) with support from Building Healthy Communities South Kern on the network’s transformative healing informed philosophy and framework.

The framework called La Cultura Cura recognizes the importance of cultural values, traditions, and indigenous practices on the path to healthy development, restoration, and lifelong well-being. This health and wellbeing framework focuses on building on the natural opportunity factors and on what is healthy within an individual, family, community or culture.

The training will be held Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the David Head Center, 10300 San Diego Street in Lamont. For more information or to RSVP please email Angel Munoz at by Oct. 28.



On October 19, Equality California and other community groups will hold a community meeting in Bakersfield for uninsured lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals interested in learning about where to get healthcare in Kern County.

Please join the meeting if you are interested in learning about where to find basic medical care, how can transgender people in Kern increase access to transition related services, and find out how you can work to create a safe and inclusive environment for your LGBT student.

The meeting will be held at 902 18th St. in Bakersfield from 6 to 8 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP by e-mailing Justin Florez, Light snacks and beverages will be served.


The County of Kern is in the process of updating its General Plan, and this is our chance to help create a healthy Kern County. The plan determines how a county will grow and how land will be used. It’s an opportunity for residents to share ideas about how we can improve our communities and ensure that rural communities are included in the plan.

The County will be holding a community meeting October 13 at 7 p.m. at the Kern County Board of Supervisor Chambers, 1115 Truxtun Ave in Bakersfield. Please join our Environment Action Team and help ensure that the plan includes investment in parks, affordable housing and addresses infrastructure needs.

To learn more about this effort please call the Center of Race Poverty and Environment at (661) 720-9140 or Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability at (661) 843-7677.


Nearly 25 percent of California schools, almost all in low-income communities, do not provide free and fresh drinking water to students at meal times every day, despite state and federal laws that require it. Water consumption is critical to good health and a vital component for successful learning and physical development. If water access or quality are concerns at your school, #Agua4All may be able to help.

For more information about how to access state funds to install water bottle filling stations in your school, and assistance with water treatment where necessary, please fill out a brief survey: here.


Locally produced anti-violence music video aimed at putting a stop to violence and preventing youth from joining gangs has gone viral.

The video was produced by Danny Morrison, a local radio personality and owner of New Life Residential and Training Center and features local artist.

“I’m sick of seeing young people drop out of school,” says Morrison. “I’m sick of seeing young people kill one another.”

Morrison launched the video at his #howlong Healing Summit held on Sept. 15 at the Fox Theatre.

“So to combat the multiple issues that are infecting our community, I came up with an idea. What if I brought together the hottest artists in our town, recreated a classic anti-violence video from 1989 and launched a campaign for the next generation,” states Morrison.

Click here to watch the video on Youtube.

Our partners over at Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability are looking to hire two full time staff members to be based in their Bakersfield office.

The organization is seeking a full time Policy Advocate and full time Staff Attorney. Click on the links to learn more about the positions.

Positions available until filled. Resume and cover letters can be sent to