In the Press
"Since May 2017, True North leaders and staff have partnered with the Northern California chapter of the ACLU to build a Rapid Response Network to respond to heightened fears of ICE raids on the North Coast. So far, more than 50 local leaders comprise the Response Team, and have been trained to respond if unforeseen ICE activity is reported and verified in Humboldt County.
Lost Coast Outpost 01/22/2018
"When Claudia Portillo, 30, mother of four, left her north Arcata home three weeks ago, she was confident that her appointment at the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services office in San Francisco would go well. But Portillo didn’t come back, and what was supposed to be a yearly check-in became a fight to bring her home. Jenny Ventura, sister of Portillo and a leader within the True North Organizing Network, knows all too well that the current immigration system can be difficult to navigate for many undocumented people. “My sister had an appointment at the regional center on Tuesday, Nov. 14,” Ventura said. “She was very confident that she would just turn in her paperwork for her annual check-in. I was even going to go with her.”'
"Cuando Claudia Portillo, de 30 años y madre de cuatro hijos, dejó su hogar en el norte de Arcata hace tres semanas, confiaba en que su cita en la oficina del Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos en San Francisco iría bien. Pero Portillo no regresó, y lo que se suponía ser un registración anual se convirtió a una pelea para llevarla a casa. Jenny Ventura, hermana de Portillo y un líder dentro de True North Organizing Network, sabe muy bien que el sistema de inmigración puede ser difícil de navegar para muchas personas indocumentadas. “Mi hermana tuvo una cita en el centro regional el martes 14 de noviembre,” dijo Ventura. “Ella estaba muy segura de que solo entregaría su documentación para su registro anual. Incluso iba a ir con ella.”'
El leñador 12/08/2017
Vigil for McKinleyville Woman Detained by ICE to Be Held Tonight; ‘Deportation Defense’ Online Fundraiser Launched
"32-year-old Claudia Portillo remains in a Bay Area detention center now two weeks after she was taken into custody by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. In response various local community organizing groups have planned a #No1StandsAlone vigil in Arcata for Tuesday night. Additionally a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise funds for potential future legal costs Claudia’s family — which includes her fiancee and four children, all U.S. citizens who live her in Humboldt — may endure."
Lost Coast Outpost 11/28/2017
"Mike Thornton, a True North organizer researching local homelessness, asked legislators in the room for their suggestions regarding such issues. “It is going to have to be a combined effort,” Inscore said, noting meetings are ongoing to solve these problems. He said the city is working to be competitive in receiving money from the state’s No Place Like Home initiative."
Del Norte Triplicate 10/28/2017
"Cynthia Barcelo, immigration rights leader for True North Organizing Network, pointed out the parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, neighbors and best friends of Del Norte students who don’t qualify for DACA fear they may be taken away from their families. The fear that they will be taken away from their families make some undocumented immigrants physically and mentally ill, she said. “We worry that DACA immigrants will be supported at the expense of undocumented immigrants who are just as worthy as any human being of dignity and respect,” Barcelo said. “On behalf of the members of my community who feel frightened and are hiding in the shadows, I plead that you take a similar stand for them as well. They need elected leaders like you to stand with them.”
Felice Pace, a member of the Klamath Local Organizing Committee, which is affiliated with True North, noted many undocumented workers in Del Norte County do jobs that are difficult and dangerous and are poorly paid. “It is not that Americans don’t want to do those jobs,” he said. “It’s just that we’re not willing to work that hard for that little amount of money. I would hope that knowing those realities, that you would support all of the people that are part of our community and happen to be undocumented.”'
Del Norte Triplicate 09/30/2017
"Every pew in the small white United Methodist Church at the corner of Del Norte and F streets was filled on Monday evening, with people standing in the back aisles and sitting on plastic chairs in the overflow room. Many fanned themselves with programs. Spanish speakers wore headsets provided by the Humboldt Area Foundation, listening as an interpreter translated presentations by a variety of speakers, the culmination of many conversations between people in the immigrant community and leaders in the True North Organizing Network about how to best protect and serve undocumented people in the community.
North Coast Journal 09/16/2017
"During a community meeting on Aug. 24, Alejandro Dominguez, of Crescent City, spoke to a group that included the Humboldt Area Foundation, KHSU, True North and HSU President Lisa Rossbacher. Through a Spanish interpreter, Dominguez shared the necessity of bringing Radio Bilingüe further north. “We want to be involved with the whole community,” Dominguez said. “But we don’t know how. It’s important for us to be informed locally.” Beyond feeling included in the larger community, Dominguez spoke on the importance of sharing opportunities, improving public safety and disseminating information. “We want to know about food availability, ” Dominguez said. “We want to know where we can seek medical attention. We want to know about forums at city halls. We want to know if we’re in danger because of a forest fire.”'
El leñador 09/05/2017
"A local community organizing network has weighed in on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia with a plea to the community to “refuse to allow neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other avowed racists to spread messages of hate.”
True North Organizing Network condemned the use of violence by those participating in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on Saturday and expressed its support for the victims of that violence, according to a press release Monday."
Del Norte Triplicate 08/17/2017
"On this episode of North Coast Update, Susan Andrews reports that True North Organizing Network and the Klamath Local Organizing Committee brought together community leaders to address the lack of recreational opportunities for Klamath youth. Questions remain, but concerns include youth having to play in the streets due to a lack of maintained facilities. Team sports were a focus of discussions , but other ideas included trails and a swimming pool."
"The lack of recreational opportunities for young people in Klamath has long been on the minds of members of the community. On Tuesday the Klamath Local Organizing Committee, a division of the True North Organizing Network, took a big step towards addressing that issue by bringing various leaders in the community together at Margaret Keating Elementary School to commit to working together to create a plan.
“This issue in particular, we have been talking about this in private since I moved back here in 2005,” said KLOC member Josh Norris. “Parents and community members have been talking about this for years. It has always sort of been at the top of our priority list, but we weren’t sure about a strategy because we have always been told there is no funding for this kind of project, and once we get the facilities who is going to run the programs?”'
Del Norte Triplicate 06/24/2017
"The Youth Organization and Leadership pathway will be spearheaded by True North Organizing Network community organizer Chrystal Helton. During the first week of the program, participants will be able to go to a social and climate justice camp in the Medford area, Brubaker said.
After that camp, the women in the Youth Organization and Leadership pathway will attend the Sisterhood Rising camp. This camp is a Building Healthy Communities program that brings women from all 14 BHC sites together to focus on gender justice. The men in the Youth Organization and Leadership Pathways will have an opportunity to go to the Sons and Brothers camp, organized by Boys and Men of Color. “We send a variety of races to it, we don’t just focus on boys and men of color,” Brubaker said. “Locally we realize issues are intersectional across different races. It’s the same as Sisterhood Rising, young men coming together and learning from each other on social justice and how to be inclusive and how to be understanding that what’s happening in our community may be very similar to what’s happening in other communities.”
When they return to Del Norte County, leadership pathway participants will also learn about the True North’s parent organization, the PICO Network, Brubaker said. Brubaker said she hopes more women will want to sign up for this pathway."
Del Norte Triplicate 06/20/2017
"Out of the 107 students that attend Margaret Keating Elementary School, 72 percent are American Indian, according to the California Department of Education. Last week Chrystal Helton, a community organizer with True North Organizing Network whose two boys attend Margaret Keating, noted the poor test scores are a pattern that gets worse with each grade.
“This means that by the time Margaret Keating kids get to Crescent Elk (middle school), they’re already behind,” she said. “I’m scared that my sons will fall behind and I’m also scared that my boys will grow up in an environment that has low expectations of them, their cousins and their friends.” Helton pointed out culture and place are important to the Yurok community and connecting them to school curriculum and policies will help Margaret Keating students be more successful."
Del Norte Triplicate 06/03/2017
"Patricia Black questioned whether or not it was appropriate for a city council to weigh in on a particular state bill, especially when the council remains silent on so many other bills. Judith Burke said crime actually goes up in areas where people are afraid to speak with police and therefore, become targets for criminals. Felice Pace said the bill, if passed, would most affect the county’s agricultural workers and their families. Pace suggested that many undocumented workers would likely have been at the meeting if they were not afraid to be.
True North Director Terry Supahan called the issue a slippery slope to debate at the city level. “I would urge you to take time to figure out a better healing approach to making sure what you’re trying to do here, what you’re trying to speak to, is not so much what is happening in Sacramento but what’s happening here in Crescent City and Del Norte County,” he said.
Manuel Saavedra said that since the election, he is often asked by members of his community if he feels safe. This bill is not about protecting criminals,” he said. “It’s about protecting neighborhoods and our community — to feel safe calling local law enforcement. It’s not about left vs. right, it’s about families being kept together. It’s disgusting knowing my community feels unsafe. It’s even more foul knowing there’s a letter being sent, or talked about being sent so quickly.”'
Del Norte Triplicate 05/18/2017
"How can white people in Humboldt County be better allies to people of color? Linda Stansberry, and guests Kim Bergel, Eureka City Council; Erin Powers Taylor, True North; Meridith Oram, Showing Up for Racial Justice; and for fifteen minutes by phone, Paul Kivel, who wrote "Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Social Justice."Learn about accountability, privilege and those cringe-worthy but oh so necessary conversations."
"Terry Supahan, director of True North Organizing Network, was the first to ask the board to table the topic, saying “Unless you’re a Native American,” we’re all immigrants. “We’re not talking about criminals and violent offenders,” he said. “I’m not. I’m talking about the people I know and care about and I know that you do, too.”
Patricia Black also asked the letter be tabled in order to give more time to the board and public to get a clearer picture of the proposed legislation. Noting volunteers had gathered signatures of 200 registered voters in just a few days, Black said there is a heightened level of fear among immigrants who may not report crimes for fear that they might be deported. “You may not see it because you may not have close relationships with undocumented people,” Black said to the board. “For me, speaking Spanish has given me a door to that community and I can tell you that our friends and neighbors are living under tremendous stress and constant fear of being separated from their children and taken from the homes that they have built in this community.” Black said while sending the letter would be a symbolic act, the statement it makes would affect people’s lives."
Del Norte Triplicate 03/02/2017
"A group is petitioning the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors to support a state senate bill barring local law enforcement from helping federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A spokesperson said the group plans to present the petition to supervisors today (Tuesday) at their regular meeting.
On the board’s agenda is an item asking to authorize the chair to sign a letter opposing SB54 as it relates to law enforcement’s investigation, detection, detaining, interrogation or arrest of persons for immigration purposes. Black said the collaborative group, started by members of True North Organizing Network, wants the board to vote down the letter or table the issue until more research can be done."
Del Norte Triplicate 02/28/2017