The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the particular vulnerability of older low-income service workers. Due to the community's lack of social safety nets, many of our older community members are impoverished.
The funds are meant to help non-traditional service workers such as:
-cannners/ bottle collectors
-catalog home sale agents
-older folks who drive Uber/Lyft for extra income
-swap meet vendors
-others who hustle for a living, for example, people who pick up free items, repurpose and sell
Inspired by other group-specific fundraisers, this fundraiser will launch on March 19 and will invite trusted community members to oversee funds distribution.
To make logistics easier, we will do geographic constrains. Funds will be distributed to people who are over 65 years of age living/working in the State of California. I urge others to follow similar efforts for other states/populations.
Application and funds distribution:
We are following other platforms and their application and distribution schemes. I (Omi) was inspired by the "COVID-19 Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks" and are citing them directly here:
" We wanted to absolutely avoid parsing through people’s narratives and deciding whose needs were more important than others. We agree with adrienne maree brown who quotes Lao Tzu (author of Tao Te Ching) in Emergent Strategy: 'If you do not trust the people, they will become untrustworthy.' We are choosing to trust the people. We are not social workers and we refuse to replicate that position and dynamic."
Here is how the process will work:
1. Simple application (will go live once enough funds become available).
2. The application will close 2 weeks after opening. The deadline will be announced in the coming days.
3. Our goal is to help individuals. If you need it, we will attempt to fund you. ($100-500 depending on collected funds).
4. Because the population is "hard to reach" we will reach out through other means besides Facebook/Instagram. I am thinking of a google number people can call and leave a voice message with their application info. (if you have ideas send me a pm).
5. The number of applications and amounts requested will be published.
6. Distribution begins.
About the team:
Omi is a doctoral candidate at the UC Berkeley School of Education. I decided to open this fundraiser because I understand that many of the people I list as beneficiaries of this campaign, continuously face increased social vulnerabilities and are often left out of many public policies and relief efforts. I will not obtain or be paid any money from this fund.
Xugo Lujan Jr.: Is a two-spirit/queer organizer born and raised in East LA. My dedication to environmental justice stems from my family's’ forced migration story due to localized NAFTA impacts in Torreon, Coahuila which subsequently destroyed mi our home to make way for an expanding US supplying textile company. With my family now in East LA and throughout South East LA, I wish to honor my family’s struggle by fighting against environmentally racist projects impacting our collective health and well being. My experience organizing began in my high school years with the 2006 Immigrant Rights East LA Walkouts and fighting for the implementation of k-12 LGBTQIA Curriculum with Gay-Straight Alliance. In my four years at UC Santa Cruz, I organized in support of campus worker rights as well as a student of color access and retention within higher education. Currently, an MPH student at Cal State LA which I hope will provide additional tools in our movement.
Carmen Jovel: Hola! I am a queer, nonbinary organizer born in El Salvador, raised in Inglewood, CA and currently living, learning, and growing in Oakland, CA (Occupied Ohlone land). My roots in community organizing started as a young child having to fill the role of advocate for my monolingual Spanish speaking mother and seeing that need to continue in my community as I grew older. As I became increasingly radicalized, I started to advocate for folks like my mother who have always had to find creative ways to stretch a dollar for basic needs. I have advocated for workers' rights, immigrant rights, queer youth's rights, and wellbeing, as well as my current work in housing advocacy. I currently work as an eviction defense advocate at the East Bay Community Law Center as a program and intake coordinator helping folks learn about their tenant rights and defend their housing when threatened with eviction. I hope to continue to create paths of access to folks that find themselves seeking resources but lacking access due to institutional and societal barriers.
Andrea: Hi all, I work as the Assistant Director for the Multicultural Community Center at UC Berkeley. My family migrated from El Salvador during the war and began to reside in the City of Orange, CA. I joined this campaign to ensure all those who have cared for us are taken care of during this pandemic. Thank you!
We are partnering with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), a non-profit organization because we continue to receive requests to match donations if we partnered with a 501(c) (3). Our goal and intentions were to aid as many elders as possible and see this as an opportunity to do just that. CBE has “the mission to build people’s power in California’s communities of color and low-income communities to achieve environmental health and justice by preventing and reducing pollution and building green, healthy and sustainable communities and environments.”
With this in mind and to honor the bylaws of their non-profit status, we will change the name of the funding page to just say “Mutual Aid for California Elders.” We will honor all applications for funds for Latinx elders and send the received funds to date (April 24) to the people who applied through our previous application system.
From now on, however, those interested in a donation receipt, need to send the contribution to CBE directly, and they will create a new application system to distribute those funds to elders of various ethnic demographics.
Please note, if you are a company or organization that wants to donate to our cause you need to meet CBE requirements which are the following:
The Organization shall not accept gifts that:
A. Violate the terms of the Organization’s organizational documents;
B. Would jeopardize the Organization’s status as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under federal and state law;
C. Are too difficult or expensive to administer;
D. Are for purposes that do not further the Organization’s objectives; or
E. Could damage the reputation of the Organization
Oil, Gas, and Mineral Interest:
The Organization shall not accept contributions from the following categories of corporations:
1. Oil, petrochemical, or chemical corporations;
2. Corporations known to have a history of environmental violations;
3. Waste disposal corporations;
4. Other corporations which may pose actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest for the Organization.
Omi, Andrea, Carmen, Xugo