My grandma emigrated from Mexico to California during the 70s. She worked as a farmworker throughout the Central Valley. Via anecdotes, I know she made a lot of sacrifices for her family in order to provide for her loved ones. She also joined the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) where she met and worked along side of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.
Event organizers and demonstrators braved the cold and rain last Thursday to stand outside the Merced County Administration Building, where they shared powerful testimony regarding the impact current sentencing laws have on local communities and families.
“Today, we as the faith community are doing what Congress has so far failed to do -- protect our families,” said Irene Armendariz, chair with Faith in the Valley. “As the holidays draw near, our hearts are drawn to those who are kept apart and live in fear.”
Messages promoting better access to health care, educational opportunities and minority representation among local government bodies also made an appearance but the key issue for many leaders was an end to the criminalization and incarceration of minority communities.