NORTH BAY ORGANIZING PROJECT/
UU CONVERSATION AND ACTION NETWORK 2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT
The UU Conversation and Action Network (UUCAN) acts as our liaison to the UUCSR’s community organizing partner, North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP) http://northbayop.org. NBOP is a local branch of Gamaliel http://www.gamaliel.org. NBOP includes more than 20 local organizations including churches, synagogues, unions, advocacy groups, and student groups.
Following several rounds of circle conversations at every member organization, the Issues Assembly filled the sanctuary at the UUCSR for a vote on the issues to receive focus for the coming year. While Education, Transportation, and Voter Engagement were reaffirmed as areas for work, Housing was chosen as a new area. Sonoma County’s low vacancy rate has fostered homelessness and unfair practices by landlords.
Through the spring and summer, NBOP members, through meetings with elected officials, attending meetings of local, elected boards and councils, and community outreach built relationships that would help accomplish specific goals.
Housing worked to see rent control adopted and for landlords to be held accountable for attempting to displace tenants through unreasonable rent increases. A tenants’ rally in July brought these issues to City Hall in Santa Rosa. Smaller groups met with council members throughout the summer. Efforts on behalf of a county living wage of $15 were also supported.
The Education Task Force monitored implementation of Restorative Discipline in Santa Rosa schools and looked at how to expand the programs.
The Integrated Voter Engagement team organized the “Make Your Neighborhood Count” campaign. They held several community events and knocked on doors in Roseland to encourage people to vote in the June 2015 Election. The team learned a lot about the issues that matter to the Roseland community and will continue voter engagement efforts leading up to the 2016 election.
Transportation Riders United (TRU) completed the survey begun last year and worked hard to get county wide free bus passes for students and veterans.
Student organizations, such as the Latino Student Congress, and the Black Student Union, were encouraged in their efforts to support formation of Ethnic Studies programs.
The annual fundraising dance and party, Noche Sabrosa, raised over $20,000 for NBOP.
As autumn arrives, UUCAN continues to meet monthly, on the second Thursday of each month, from 2-3:30 PM, at the UUCSR. Please join us October 8, 2-3:30 PM,if you would like to learn more, or contact members of the UUCAN group.
Sunday, October 25, BIG! PEOPLES’S ASSEMBLY!, 3-5 PM, AT UUCSR
Meet people from our partner organizations and learn even more!
2014-2015 UUCAN members
Sibyl Day- Leadership Council and NBOP Vice President
Carol Kraemer – Leadership Council member
Deborah Mason – Integrated Voter Engagement
Sara Jones – Housing
Linda Lambert – Education
Rose St. John
North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP)
The North Bay Organizing Project is the interfaith/non- partisan political power organization that UUCSR is helping to build here in Sonoma County with the many other member groups you see listed below.
On March 8th the North Bay Organizing Project held an Issues Assembly to help focus our activism for the coming year. It was an upbeat and exciting affair. A “threshing” process, based on the interest and energy among the leadership of NBOP, had distilled the possible issue areas to four, from which the gathered body was to pick three. The issues that emerged were housing, education, transportation and income disparity. On the day of the Issues Assembly March 8th the income disparity group withdrew their request to be a formal task force of NBOP. Because NBOP addresses only three areas of focus at a time, this did take away the meaning of the vote we conducted that day, since the remaining three automatically won. Nevertheless, there was great enthusiasm around pursuing winnable issues in the arenas of housing, education and transportation in the county, and many new volunteer leaders stepped forward.
Task forces have already begun to gather, to do research, and to determine how to effectively tackle the challenges in these areas. If you are ready to make your voice heard, to engage with public officials, and to shape local policies and practices, NBOP is ready for you. You can find times of task force meetings and learn more at http://northbayop.org, or talk to a member of UUCAN.
UUCAN is the UU Conversation and Action Network. We are the group within the congregation that interfaces with the North Bay Organizing Project, and facilitates internal organizing efforts such as house meetings. We are always eager for more members. We meet once a month, or more as needed, on Tuesday afternoons. Talk to Deborah Mason, Carol Kraemer, Sibyl Day or Rev. Chris Bell to learn more.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Rosa
Community Church of Sebastopol
Congregation Shomrei Torah
St. Vincent’s Catholic Church of Petaluma
First Congregational Church UCC of Santa Rosa
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Petaluma
Christ Church United Methodist
Centro Laboral de Graton
Landpaths’ Bayer Farm
Sonoma County Conservation Action Living Wage Coalition
MEChA – SSU and SRJC
Community Baptist Church of Santa Rosa
Redwood Forest Friends Meeting
North Bay Labor Council