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ADVOCACY

West Valley Community Services believes that in order to create a world that supports the self-sufficiency and self-determination of our clients, we need to be engaged in supporting meaningful legislative change in our communities.

 

Below, we have outlined a set of policy positions that express our core values as they apply to current issues facing our clients and community.  The purpose of these statements is to lay the foundation for Advocacy Actions that we can take during the year as opportunities arise. Scroll to the bottom to learn how to TAKE ACTION on these policy areas.  

If you have any questions, please contact:

Assistant Manager of Public Policy, Cassandra Magana, at cassandram@wvcommunityservices.org or call (408) 471-6122

Community Organizer, Jocelyn Arenas, at jocelyna@wvcommunityservices.org or call (408) 877-0196

Housing Policy

Policies

Housing Policy:

We believe that everyone should have the equal right to safe and affordable housing. We believe that having a permanent and stable home is the first step to establishing self-sufficiency. We support:

  • City, state and federal policies that encourage development of affordable housing.

  • Active participation in below-market rental programs.

Social Justice Policy:

We believe nonprofit organizations have a responsibility and opportunity to work with our institutions, government, and communities to fight systemic racism and inequities.  We see diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical in ensuring the well-being of our clients, our staff, and the communities we serve.  We support:

  • Movements that promote changes in systems and institutions that perpetuate racism and other inequities. 

  • Public and private-sector policies that do not discriminate against members of our community on the basis of characteristics including, but not limited to, race, gender, sexual identity, nationality, documentation status, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, veteran status, age, and physical ability.

  • Collaboration with other organizations and cross-sector allies to build the capacity of communities of color and organizations led by these communities to achieve an equitable and thriving community together.

Food Policy: 

We believe that adequate and healthy food is essential to self-sufficiency.  We support:

  • Permanent and unrestricted access to sufficient quality, quantity and choice of food that meets the dietary and cultural needs of our clients.

  • Legislation that protects and strengthens federal nutrition programs toward ending food insecurity.

  • Reduction of food waste

  • City, state and federal policies that encourage development of affordable housing.

  • Active participation in below-market rental programs.

  • Opposition to spending cuts for food assistance programs such as food stamps, CalFresh, free and reduced school lunch programs.

  • Defend current access to quality and affordable healthcare including strengthening and protecting Medi-Cal, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Healthcare Policy:

We believe that everyone should have access to comprehensive, quality and affordable healthcare coverage.  We support initiatives that:

  • Defend current access to quality and affordable healthcare including strengthening and protecting Medi-Cal, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program

Economic Policy:

We believe that economic opportunity is a positive driving force in our society.  We support efforts to increase economic security for those who struggle to provide the basic necessities for themselves and their families.  We support:

  • Public benefits for those in need.

  • Opposition to Payday Lending.

  • Education and assistance in seeking employment.

  • Living Wage laws.

Immigration Policy:

We believe that immigrants and refugees are integral to every aspect of our society.  We support policies that:

  • Reflect our nation’s founding principles of welcoming those seeking refuge and a better life.

  • Promote cohesion and inclusion.

  • Instill hope and show compassion.

Transportation Policy:

We believe that affordable, accessible, efficient and age-friendly public transportation benefits everyone in our community, especially those with low income.  We support:

  • Expanding public transportation options

  • Public investment in mass transit systems

Nonprofit Organizations Policy:

We believe that Nonprofit Organizations have a highly valuable role in our community and deserve public support at all levels of government in order to provide needed services that cannot effectively be provided directly by government agencies.  We support:

  • Federal and state legislation that funds public services provided by local Non-Profit organizations

  • County and city contracts that provide funding that allows us to pay competitive wages to our staff

Take Action!

There are many ways that you can take action on any of the above policy areas! 

Here are a few of them:

  • Speak at your local city or county meetings for public comments

  • Send letters of support for bills to your elected officials 

  • Attend community meetings and make your voice heard


Click HERE or the button below for legislative advice on getting your voice heard!

Advocacy Tool Kits

Lived Experience Advisory Committee

Our Lived Experience Advisory committee (LEAC) serves as the voice and advocacy group for West Valley Community Services. The LEAC uses their lived experience to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others by influencing policy decisions and putting the power in the hands of we, the people. 

We all have lived experience, whether with food insecurity, housing insecurity, homelessness, disabilities, discrimination, incarceration, or so much more. This committee, which is made up of West Valley Community Services clients and staff, as well as other community members, works to advocate for change. We are advocating for more affordable housing, to advance social justice, and to make sure everybody has a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Interested In Getting Involved?

Please contact

Assistant Manager of Public Policy, Cassandra Magana, at cassandram@wvcommunityservices.org or call (408) 471-6122

Community Organizer, Jocelyn Arenas, at jocelyna@wvcommunityservices.org or call (408) 877-0196

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