Community Challenges SF to Support Meaningful Job Creation in D11

June 22, 2012

Media Contact:
Jun Cruz: Filipino Community Center

 Community Challenges SF to Support Meaningful Job Creation in D11

Several collaborating organizations release report with new community driven approach to workforce development to resolve inequity of no workforce dollars allocated to D11

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — District 11 is home to one of the most diverse communities in San Francisco possessing a vast wealth of skills and potential. However, despite Mayor Lee’s main focus on job creation, the district receives almost no investment from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD). The city’s efforts toward job creation have very little effect in harnessing the diverse and untapped talent of District 11 residents.

On Friday, June 22 at 9:00am in City Hall room 278, Communities United for Health and Justice (CUHJ) and Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) will release a report proposing a new breakthrough strategy that will utilize city investment to build off the cultural strengths of District 11’s diverse community entitled: Putting the Pieces Together: People Powered Solutions for Neighborhood Jobs and the Local Economy. (The full report and summary is available for download below).

The release of the report coincides with the first day the Board of Supervisors will hear public comment in response to department’s proposed budgets. Following the report release CUHJ will address the Board of Supervisors, advocating for needed funding to implement their new strategy.

“After listening to over two-hundred residents coming from various backgrounds and representing the diversity of our community, we know that both the city’s existing and proposed strategies do not meet the needs identified in our research which is why we had to develop our own,” explained Laura Melgarejo of People Organized to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER).

The new strategy is based on extensive research including twenty consultas (community convenings) held in Spanish, Tagalog, Cantonese, and English with 232 District 11 youth, adult, and elder participants to assess workforce needs.

“It differs from the city’s current strategies in two ways. First it prioritizes cultural competency beyond just language accessibility and includes community approaches that appeal to diverse backgrounds. Second, job creation is developed using a holistic perspective that integrates four main recommendations that literally make up the pieces of the puzzle,” said Terrence Valen Director of the Filipino Community Center.

The four main component or pieces of the puzzle are: One, “Worker Rights” education, outreach, and enforcement to create more “Dignified Workplaces”. Two, “Building Cooperative Economic Assets” so residents can take the lead in being self-sufficient and healthy.   Three, “Culturally Competent Employment Support Services” that build a stronger community as opposed to just a list of clients served. And four, “Career Opportunities with Public Investments & Policies” such as expansion of local hire initiatives.

“We plan to cultivate the best of our communities’ ideas and talents, regardless of their age or the language they speak.  Our goal is to build off the cultural strengths of our diverse communities and grow workforce and economic development opportunities in District 11” said Christina Canaveral of Coleman Advocates.

OEWD has committed an initial grant to begin implementing CUHJ’s recommendations, however to adequately move forward a significant committment is still needed from the city. CUHJ and CAA in partnership with Supervisor Avalos and OEWD is advocating through the add-back process to secure the additional funds.

Communities United for Health and Justice (CUHJ) is an alliance of three community-based organizations in San Francisco’s District 11 consisting of Filipino Community Center (FCC), PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights), and Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth. CUHJ actively develops grassroots leadership and is committed to creating long lasting change in District 11.  CUHJ collaborated with Chinese for Affirmative Action to complete the research, analysis, recommendations and report as well as in implementing the new strategy..###

CUHJ Full Report

CUHJ Report Summary

CUHJ Report Summary Tagalog

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