Leaders for Social Change

“Systems aren’t created by accident! People who created systems are benefiting from our silence and lack of solidarity.” The training is to build a shared analysis on how systems impact our every day life and how might we help change the dominant narrative through our collective purpose. Registration required! FREE Registration ! Lunch provided! Please RSVP by September 29th at noon: Tsia Xiong @...

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Crissy Gallardo: Support needed for Merced youth

Published: July 22, 2014 To my fellow Merced citizens who support investing in youth and the young citizens who spoke up and stood up during the recent city of Merced’s budget process: Thank you. Thank you for participating. Thank you for attending the budget sessions and the council meetings. Thank you for publicly supporting youth. Your hard work, commitment and...

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Merced coalition gathers to push for more youth funding

BY THADDEUS MILLER tmiller@mercedsunstar.com Published: April 17, 2014 MERCED — The Invest in Our Youth coalition held a news conference Thursday – just in time for this weekend’s Merced City Council’s budget meeting – announcing the newly formed campaign and hinting at some of its plans. Almost 100 parents, business owners, nonprofit representatives and young people gathered in McNamara Park to hear from the...

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Town hall attendees say more money needed for youth

BY THADDEUS MILLER tmiller@mercedsunstar.com February 13, 2014 About 100 people in south Merced came to Wednesday night’s town hall-style meeting with a seemingly unified message for the Merced City Council: Find money in the budget for youth. Unlike last month’s town hall meeting in north Merced, where the crowd about equaled city officials and...

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Immigrants on pilgrimage stop in Merced to promote reform

Published: August 20, 2013 By THADDEUS MILLER — tmiller@mercedsunstar.com MERCED — Diane Campos was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, but has no memory of her time there and hasn't visited since. Campos, 19, lives in Sacramento and has been in the United States for the past 18 years. "I went to school here, grew up feeling like a U.S. citizen until I reached...

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Recent Posts

Locals weigh in on Obama’s new immigration action

By Ana B. Ibarra
aibarra@mercedsunstar.com
Published: 11/21/2014

A blur of mixed feelings.

That’s how Merced County immigration advocates and members of mixed status families would best describe their reaction to President Barack Obama’s executive order that promises to shield more than 4 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation.

For Adriana Meza, 23, Obama’s announcement on Thursday night lifted a big weight off her shoulders. The Merced resident and liberal studies student at California State University, Fresno, was granted protection through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program two years ago, and now thanks to her U.S.-born 12-year-old sister, her parents will qualify to be protected from deportation and apply for a work permit.

But although her...
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Noted photojournalist speaks in Merced about migrant children crisis

By Ana B. Ibarra
aibarra@mercedsunstar.com
Published: 11/18/2014

Award-winning photojournalist David Bacon stopped by Merced on Monday night to start a local conversation about the growing crisis of migrant children in California.

Bacon has covered issues of labor, immigration and international politics for almost 20 years. He travels to Mexico, Central American countries and the Philippines frequently, where he documents the lives of civilians and their working conditions.

Bacon reminded the audience that the migration of children and families is nothing new. He cited the 1980s, when a large number of people from El Salvador fled to the United States amid their home country’s civil war. However, the more recent surge of immigrants is not necessarily due...
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DMV prepares to issue high volume of immigrant driver’s licenses

By Ana B. Ibarra
aibarra@mercedsunstar.com
Published: 11/14/2014

The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced on Wednesday that it will be adding staff, appointment opportunities and extending office hours in up to 60 locations to accommodate the anticipated demand for driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants next year under Assembly Bill 60.

AB 60, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, will allow people who are in the country illegally to apply for driver’s licenses as long as they can provide identification from their home countries. The DMV expects to issue an additional 1.4 million licenses in the first three years of the law’s implementation.

Starting Jan. 3, the Merced DMV office, 1313 W. 12th St., will...
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Merced County registrar hopes for 55 percent voter turnout

By Thaddeus Miller
tmiller@mercedsunstar.com
Updated: 11/03/2014

The Merced County Registrar of Voters is “optimistically” estimating a 55 percent turnout of registered voters by the end of Election Day, Tuesday.

A crew of elections employees gathered at the registrar’s warehouse in Merced on Thursday to tally the 11,469 vote-by-mail ballots that had come in by that day, the first day of the count. The last gubernatorial election, which was in 2010, saw a turnout of 51 percent of registered voters.

“I’m hopefully being cautiously optimistic that we’ll exceed that,” Registrar Barbara Levey said. “There’s some things that people have taken a high level of interest in on the ballot, so I’m hoping that’ll help encourage the voter...
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Prop 47: the debate over sentencing reform

By Colby Tibbet
Published: October 30, 2014

Central Valley community members met Tuesday at the The kNow Youth Media building in southwest Fresno to discuss Proposition 47, or the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, that California voters will vote on next week.

The meeting featured advocacy groups discussing their perspectives on Proposition 47 and its impact on local communities, from the fiscal implications to its focus on crime victims and mental health.

“Who is this going to impact? It’s going to impact poor communities, communities of color, and it’s going to impact young people,” said Jacob Simas, youth director at New America Media, the mediator of the event.

Proposition 47 aims to change...
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