The County of Santa Barbara will consider applying for a grant to create a Farmworker Resource Center during the Board of Supervisors Hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 29. We hope you will call in to support the item.
Our friends at CAUSE have compiled background information and details on how to testify, which we pasted below. The board is meeting in Santa Barbara. Although remote testimony is available in Santa Maria, it is advisable to testify via Zoom since there is construction going on in the county building.
Here are the details from CAUSE:
As many of you might know, a few years ago, organizations like CAUSE and MICOP rallied behind having the counties of Ventura and Santa Barbara to have a Farmworker Resource Center, a place where farm workers could go to receive assistance in navigating public agencies, receive information on wage and hour laws, health and safety laws, resolve workplace disputes and pursue other legal rights. Though it was a victorious campaign in Ventura, and led to the one of the first farmworker resource centers in the state, SBC was not in the financial place for this resource to be developed.
Through state lobbying, the State Department of Community Services and Development is now offering a grant that will cover 3/4 of the costs for a Farmworker Resource Center, with the local county covering 1/4 of the costs. Our partner throughout the pandemic, SBC Public Health, is ready to apply, and the only hurdle is getting the Board of Supervisors to authorize the application.
Our farmworker community in Santa Barbara County needs this resource. Organizations like CAUSE and MICOP have taken on the role of connecting and guiding farmworkers to agencies and resources, but the County needs to step up and provide more support to the community that funds it!
Call to Action: If you are available tomorrow between 9:30 and 11am, please call in to make public comments, urging the County Board of Supervisors to authorize the Public Health Department to apply for a grant award for a County Farmworker Resource Center.
The meeting will be held in SB, but the Santa Maria Board Hearing Room will be available for in person comments. You can also sign up to give comments over Zoom by registering here. The Farmworker Resource Center is item D1.
Talking points are available by CAUSE to help craft your public comment. Attached is the agenda for tomorrow's meeting, as well as the staff presentation with more background. Don't hesitate in contacting me if you need any support with your comment!
You are all amazing allies to the farmworker community, and I hope many of you are able to make public comments in support of Public Health to lead this project.
Zulema Aleman (she/ella)
Associate Organizing Director
Santa Barbara County
SBCAN Executive Director