Sanctuary City Comment – Crissy Gallardo
Merced Organizing Project
Beginning Appx @ the 1:26:28 mark
Note from TheGardeningSnail. This is my attempt at a word for word transcription. If you find I have made any glaring errors in transcription, please let me know so I can correct them.
I don’t have the pleasure of living here in Livingston, but I do organize in and work with several congregations in this city. I just wanted to reiterate what Flor and Adriana have shared with you all. You know, we have been coming to City Council meetings since the beginning of this year. We’ve been patiently working and we met with Councilman Aguilar.
We’ve also partnered with the City to ensure that undocumented residents, and allies, as well, understood their rights: understood what they could and couldn’t do when talking to Law Enforcement. We even had a (?) hosted the forum here, with an attorney from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, to educate folks on their rights and how to act with Law Enforcement
Something else that we did during that gathering with community members is that we educated them on Rapid Response: So who to call, what U.S. citizens to call, what to do if raids are taking place, and I clearly remember Mr. Odie and both council members McCabe and Aguilar being present to talk about Sanctuary.
And something else I really want to lift up is that our community members know what Sanctuary means to us. And any Resolution that is, our City is thinking about voting on should be a Resolution that clearly states that we want our Local Law Enforcement to prioritize public safety where our local money and energy and resources are going for local issues: not to be collaborating with Federal Ice Agents.
I just presented at the Merced County Realtors Group and they, themselves, wanted to learn more about Sanctuary and what it meant. They were surprised, pleasantly surprised, to know that Livingston was already moving in that direction.
And something that we heard there, from a very very small group, was that they wanted to understand more about the complexity of Sanctuary and what it meant for folks that might break any law. And something that we utilize for folks to understand more that Sanctuary does not mean housing criminals, that Sanctuary merely means Local Law Enforcement continuing to do its job and ensuring that families are not separated, was that we look at the Values Act: the California Values Act, which is Statewide policy, which has passed the Senate, which is going to ensure that Local Law Enforcement institutions and also agencies like courts are not providing people’s immigration status to ICE Agents.
And if you do your research, and look into that legislation, for violent felonies, it will mean that Law Enforcement will communicate with ICE. But these are for violent felonies. This isn’t for folks are coming (my dad’s undocumented) this isn’t if Law Enforcement is coming to ask about my dad who has no prior criminal history.
So again, I want to encourage our City to really create a Resolution that our community is going to be really feeling safe with: where we talk about ending that collaboration. And I just want to lift up that we really want our City leaders here in Livingston to make this happen for our community.
And I do want to invite all of you, because we are supporting the Value’s Act, so, not only are we here in Livingston, we’re also supporting State Wide Legislation, and this Thursday, which is 4/20, at 5:30pm at the Italian Americans Lodge in Merced City, our Assembly Member will be joining us.
Now that the Values Act has passed the Senate, its moving on the Assembly for a vote and our Assembly member will be coming out to the community along with our County Supervisor Daren McDaniel for Atwater and other school board members from our High Schools to learn about the priorities of our families: one of them being the Values Act.
So I’ll go ahead and hand out some fliers that we have. It’s this Thursday, at 5:30. Hopefully all of you can come out and really hear from community members across the County of the importance of not just waiting for the State to do something but for the City to come and be part of this too.
Additional Note from TheGardeningSnail: SB-54 Law enforcement: sharing data AKA The California Values Act has been amended 6 times since the beginning of 2017 and the date this page was posted. Clicking on the previous link will take you to the California Legislative Information page about this bill.