Before midterm elections arrive, Centro del Pueblo and allies will advocate for Measure K, first known as the Sanctuary Ordinance, which is in support of protecting immigrants and creating a sanctuary status for Humboldt County.
After members of Centro del Pueblo collected over 6,000 signatures last spring, county officials and the Office of Election certified and approved it as a measure on July 13 for the upcoming election on Nov. 6, according to member Brenda Pérez Mendoza.
“They decided to respect the signatures,” Mendoza said. “They expanded the certificate and put us on the ballot on there as Measure K. Measure K was a name given to us by the Office of Elections… immediately we thought as in K, keeping families together.”
The organization and their allies have been petitioning for the Sanctuary Ordinance for months. Now that their initiative is on the ballot, advocates will be campaigning to inform potential voters and gather support for it.
“It’s going to be an extremely important discussion for Humboldt,” Mendoza said. “I think right now, during the campaign, we are facing opposition from the local government. We have this big chance to give the power to the people on the ballots.”
The measure would ensure that county resources serve the local needs of the community and help law enforcement by preventing funds from being used for unfunded mandates.
According to Linda Evans, a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the local branch of her organization is small but they try and support local groups working on measures, initiatives and projects.
“Hopefully, there can be some degree of feeling safer in this community,” Evans said. “Feeling welcomed. That’s what my objective is, to make people feel welcomed.”
Local Tribes Support Measure K
Centro del Pueblo member Renee Saucedo asked Wiyot Tribe members for a time slot during Wiyot Day on Aug. 25 at Table Bluff Reservation in Loleta.
“If all of them vote, we can do this together.”
According to Saucedo, Centro del Pueblo and the Wiyot Tribe had conversations for several months about the sanctuary law. The Wiyot Tribe offered support and the tribal council thought it would be an opportunity to engage and to learn about the sanctuary law.
“It means the world to us,” Saucedo said. “As you know, the Latinx community living in Humboldt, many of us identify with being indigenous or claim indigenous ancestry. So, to be collaborating now with local nations is of the utmost important to us.”
With two months left to campaign for Measure K, Mendoza said that September and October are going to be intense.
“We’ll be visiting radio stations, TV channels and the university,” Mendoza said. “We know that there is rejection but we are hopeful. We have 6,000 signatures and everyone of those people have families. If all of them vote we can do this together.”
Mendoza said that they will be reaching out to the southern part of Humboldt County where a large portion of Latinx reside.
“This is going to be the first sanctuary county in history that comes from the ballot,” Mendoza said. “If Humboldt County passes this, it’s going to be the first time in the United States that a measure like this is decided by the people.”
For more information and to read the full measure, visit www.measurek.org