ACT in Action
Most powerful at last night’s Board meeting were the voices and stories of high school students from throughout the District. Every single student in attendance demanded the Board acknowledge their negative and traumatic experiences with police officers on campus and reject the contract in order to find alternatives to policing. As Stephanie López Hernández, high school student at Luther Burbank and member of Brown Issues states, “Nearly all the research about police on campus shows that it undermines safety and harms students, but the Board could have simply listened to the voices of Black and Brown students here in their own District. We live it every single day. Voting to extend this contract is a betrayal of the trust Board members have tried to build with our communities. They were more concerned with temporary inconveniencing school administrators than the lifetime of trauma and criminalization that’s triggered when there are cops on campus. We need more counselors, more teachers, more support; not more cops.“
The Sacramento City Unified School District's board approved a new safety plan for the upcoming school year, which includes a reduction in the number of school resource officers for the district and takes the SROs off campus.
The $1.4 million proposal, called Reimagine School Safety, aims to increase training, specifically in the area of implicit bias, provide greater mental health support and reduce the number of school resource officers to perhaps three.
As massive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids across the country were expected on Sunday, fear ran high across Northern California.
The supposed raids were said to target some 2,000 undocumented families who've gotten final deportation orders.
Sacramento was not one of the communities being targeted in this operation, neither was Stockton or Modesto, but that doesn't mean the news Wasn't frightening for a lot of people. Activists across these communities said for the immigrant communities they work with, the fear was very real.
"Everyday it's hard," Antonio Campos, a Sacramento Area Congregations Together Board Member said.
From Sacramento to Stockton, the fear in the region has reached a new high.
Local advocates are preparing to support those living in the country illegally if Immigration and Customs Enforcement takes action in Sacramento.
Sacramento is not on the list of cities supposedly being targeted in the ICE raids, but advocates want to be prepared just in case. So, they spent Sunday giving advice to people who have entered the country without legal permission.
At Sunday morning services across Sacramento, sermons shift focus from lessons on the Bible— to lessons on churchgoers’ rights.
“We are one community and we need to protect each other,” said Antonio Campos.
Campos and other activists with Sacramento ACT, are giving presentations on how those who entered the country without authorization can respond should ICE come to their door.
Diana Campos, organizer for Sacramento Area Congregations Together, stood before the congregation of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Sunday as nationwide ICE raids were expected to begin.
“If ICE comes to your door, simply don’t open it,” she said in Spanish. “You have the right to remain silent.”
Inattentive children laughed and asked to be picked up as parents hushed them and made note of the hotline number Campos provided: “Is everyone ready? 916-245-6773.”
As ICE raids near in 10 major cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, immigrant communities and immigrant-rights organizations have mobilized against what they say are the government’s strategies of fear-mongering and obfuscation.
Representatives of Sac ACT will travel to congregations across Sacramento to inform immigrants, undocumented and documented alike, of their rights, channeling community-wide fear and anxiety into well-informed action.
“People are hungry for the information,” Campos said. “People want to get connected to resources.”
Sacramento immigrant families are bracing for a series of nationwide raids the Trump administration is expected to launch Sunday, which activists warned could include the Sacramento area.
Ever since President Trump announced a plan to deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants in a June 17 tweet, many immigrant families in Sacramento have been living in fear.
“Since then, we have received hundreds of calls,” said Gladys Puente, program coordinator for the city of Sacramento’s Families United Education and Legal Network, or FUEL. “This has instilled a lot of fear in families.”
FUEL officials have received information that San Francisco and Northern California may be a target of raids, Puente said. Los Angeles is also on a list of 10 potential U.S. cities where raids may take place, and Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote on Twitter this week that “(r)umors of mass ICE raids in major cities this weekend is stirring up anxiety within our immigrant communities. My message to each of you: Regardless of your immigration status, be prepared. It’s critical that you know your rights.”
There was an uptick in immigration enforcement in Northern California starting July 7, mostly in the Bay Area, said Hamid Yazdan Panah of the Northern California Rapid Response and Immigrant Defense Network.
We also know what does not work: continuing to criminalize people experiencing homelessness. We cannot “arrest our way out” of this crisis. We must address our affordable housing crisis and organize our community to meet the housing needs for all Sacramentans.
We must reduce the human misery we see every day in Sacramento and expand shelter capacity in every possible way.
Lynne Herron, pastor at New Creation Church, which is a supporter of the Partnership’s efforts, says some landlords evict tenants who complain about living conditions, then bring in tenants who pay more without complaint.
"Communities that are affected by this unsafe and unaffordable housing are currently plagued by problems of disinvestment, crime, violence, lack of jobs, business closing, high health risks, inequality and, more importantly, a lack of concern and care for the community," Herron said at a news conference outside Sacramento City Hall on Tuesday.
[Gabby] Trejo told the room about a moment she saw people come together in her experience at Sacramento ACT, a multifaith advocacy organization. To bridge the divide in a closed-door meeting between black and Latino workers, everyone was instructed to say all the things that they say about each other’s communities behind closed doors. To everyone’s surprise, they held the exact same stereotypes and hurled similar insults at each other.
Trejo was afraid the people participating would get “so nasty” with one another that they would no longer want to talk, but this exercise made them realize there are preconceptions about race and cultures that overlap.
“It was this moment of bridge and belonging and recognizing that systems are created intentionally to divide us and separate us and take us away from the human that we share, the human aspect,” Trejo said. “What is it going to take for all of us to really be counted as true human beings that are treated with respect and dignity no matter what?”