SDOP News

How We Chose Faith Not Fear in 2017

November 22, 2017

Standing Together at the Faith Not Fear Summit

What we did:
At our first-ever Faith Not Fear Summit in April, more than 700 of us pledged to disrupt hateful patterns of systemic injustices that tear our families apart. But, as Bishop Terrell Fletcher said, change doesn’t happen just because we fill up churches on a Wednesday night.

Results:
People of different religions, races and heritages committed to Faith Not Fear action teams to protect equal rights for all children of God. The rest of this year, we called on you to hold true to your pledge and stand up for all people in San Diego County. And you did. 

Protecting our Brothers and Sisters Who Are Undocumented

What we did:
Earlier this year, SDOP worked with the ACLU, Employee Rights Center and SEIU 221 to build a broad coalition of more that 40 organizations to develop and operate a regional system to protect the Immigrant community and support families facing inhumane deportations. Since February, churches across the county have recruited and trained leaders to witness, confirm and report ICE raids, arrests or checkpoints.

Results:
In North County, church teams at Mission Luis Rey, St Mary Star of the Sea, St Thomas More, St.Leo/St.James and Saint Patrick’s have shared the rapid response plan with more than 300 church members. In the San Diego region, we have signed up over 200 volunteers that want to be rapid responders or dispatchers. 

To help with training and volunteer coordination, SDOP hired Katia Ortiz for the San Diego region and Amadaleticia Sanchez for North County. The Rapid Response hotline is expected to launch to the community in the beginning of December.  

Standing in Solidarity with Dreamers

What we did:
When 800,000 of our brothers and sisters fell into limbo with the termination of DACA, thousands of us joined a Defend DACA rally that same day. Faith leaders and Dreamers recipients later shared prayers and testimony at a moving Walk With Dreamers event. 

Results:
Our free workshops helped eligible DACA recipients apply for renewed protected status before the October deadline.

Celebrating Legislation to Defend Families from Deportation 

What we did:
After nine years of advocating for improved legislation to protect immigrant families, the California State Assembly passed SB 54 this fall. 250 of us gathered at Christ the King Catholic Church to urge County Sheriff Bill Gore and San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman to implement the new California Values Act in a way that protects families who are undocumented in our region.

Results:
Because you showed up, we’re celebrating three major victories:

  • San Diego County law enforcement will implement SB 54 locally.
  • Chief Zimmerman and Sheriff Gore assured us that local police will not enforce federal immigration laws.
  • Every sheriff will publicly report to the Attorney General for every transfer from county jails to immigration authorities, and this information will be accessible by the public. That means we have better tools to hold our law enforcement accountable.

Protecting Our Right to Affordable Housing

What we did:
A development proposed in Rancho Peñasquitos threatens to tear down the last affordable housing in the area, displacing more than 300 residents. In response, hundreds of people of faith from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church led public services and town halls to ensure all residents have an affordable place to live.

Results:
This fall, more than 300 of us gathered at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church to ask Council Members David Alvarez, Georgette Gomez and Myrtle Cole to commit to policies that address our homelessness and affordable housing crisis across San Diego.

Rejecting Racism and Hate with Interfaith Unity

What we did:
In response to violent racism in Charlottesville, our interfaith leaders spoke at a press conference defending our values of unity, diversity and love. 

Results:
The following week, when white supremacists threatened to deface Chicano Park, dozens of the same leaders showed to keep the peace and defend these sacred grounds. The gathering was completely peaceful, and a handful of protestors left shortly after arriving.

Urging San Diego County to Prioritize Working Families

What we did:
For the first time in San Diego County’s history, community members were invited to participate in contract negotiations with county workers from SEIU 221. Our leaders Newt Ferris, Debora Samuels and Alicia Alvarez attended negotiation meetings and advocated for extended hours for enrollment in county buildings.

Results:
As a result of these negotiations, the county committed to extend weekend hours so working families can access and apply for benefits at county offices. The implementation plan will take place in the next few months. 

Additional update:
The Invest in San Diego Families coalition is currently reviewing P100, a county verification program that looks at all CalWorks applications and does in home visits to determine if the applicant may be committing fraud. San Diego County is the only county in the entire country that does these mandatory home visits to every CalWorks applicant. Currently, the county is spending over a million dollars on P100, but is actually only saving around $300,000 in actual fraud prevention. 

Holding Our New District Attorney Accountable

What we did:
Our leaders from the 4th District/2nd Jurisdiction LOC met with new District Attorney, Summer Stephan, in October.

Results:
More than 40 leaders asked Stephan to declare her vision for the county and how she plans to shift the County from punishment to rehabilitation.

Demanding a Transparent Selection For Our Next Police Chief

What we did:
We deserve a fair and transparent selection process for our next police chief, with full input from our communities. Leaders were present in Southeast San Diego, City Heights, Hillcrest and San Ysidro forums, where we demanded an open and transparent police search process with no secret selection panel. 

Results:
Currently, Mayor Faulconer has hired a consultant firm who is working through an undisclosed panel that will be reviewing applications and interviewing candidates. SDOP leaders from COHI, St. Stephen’s, 4th District/2ndJurisdiction, Christ the King, and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart came out to their communities to speak on their concerns and priorities for the next police chief.