Kick off Gathering for Circle of Light

February 28, 2017

CAUTION TO THE FIESTYTogether we are a Citizen ArmyNot everyone can do everythingRemember, we are all in this for the long haul so pace yourself to avoid burnoutHere are MANY examples of actions that are neededFind your role, take selfcare breathers and use your passion, privilege and platform however YOU can.

  1. SHOW UP for urgent, what’s happening now events and protests – ex. Airport strike for travel ban; as we’ve seen, numbers matter!
    • protests need behind the scenes support (flyers and poster makers, translation and legal work, transportation providers, Know Your Rights protectors)
    • Bay Area Resistance: text RESIST to 41411 to stay updated on ICE Raids and any future action regarding immigration related executive orders and polices
  1. USE YOUR VOICE politically as a citizen
    • Locally, ATTEND City Council and Town Hall meetings
      1. Find out if your city has municipal ID program; if not push for it to incorporate one
      2. Encourage your city agencies and institutions to stop all collaboration with ICE and refuse to hold people for ICE: this includes, social service agencies, shelters, schools, probation offices, jails and courthouses
      3. Tell the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to approve funding for the San Francisco Public Defenders Office to hire immigration attorneys to represent detained immigrants
    • State/National level, CALLS and LETTERS to Congress, Representatives and Senators
      1. Make 5 calls in five minutes to our elected leaders to empower them with our concerns
      2. Call voters in Special Elections for State Legislatures, Congress, and National Issues. Democracy Action SF hosts local phonebanks, including for a Special Election for Congress Sunday and ACA Tuesday
      3. Tell CA lawmakers (senators, governor) to pass California Values Act, SB 54
      4. Tell CA lawmakers(senators, assembly members, governor) to pass SB 6, which will fund legal representation for immigrants fighting deportation in immigration courts. Tell them you want this representation to be truly universal and without excluding groups based on prior convictions or otherwise
      5. Tell CA lawmakers (senators, assembly members, governor) to pass SB 3, the Strong Public Defenders Act, which will give every public defender office access to immigration expertise
      6. Keep eyes open for proposed legislation to support in CA
      7. Write to and call White House and congress members to say you and America value immigrants and demand US ensures immigrants have access to due process and protection, demand no separation of families, etc; host postcard and letter writing parties to do this
      8. Write WH about not banning Muslims or freezing refugee program
      9. Win backState Legislatures and Congress with,  SwingLeft.orgThe Resurgent Left, and the Sister District Project
  1. ENGAGE your smaller communities (think about ALL your circles: work/business associates, religious organizations you may be a part of, special interest/hobby groups, school communities, neighbors, community centers, gym, home contractors, childcare, friends from all walks of your past & present life)
    1. Pass pertinent information to your circles via email/social media
    2. Host your own circle gathering or event
    3. Reach out to folks you know OUTSIDE CA who can make a difference in their states (friends, family, other contacts); persuade them to call their reps
    4. Think about the needs in your own community and how to leverage resources to meet those needs (one example is If your community members are not facing deportation themselves, leverage their resources in support of a community that is
    5. Print Know Your Rights handouts and deliver to people in your neighborhood and anyone you know who might need to know or who knows of other folks who might need to know; let them know you are making no judgements but making sure we all know our rights in these times; encourage them to pass on to others
  1. RESEARCH and SUPPORT organizations doing the field work
    1. Volunteer your time
    2. Donate your money
    3. Host an event: talk, training or fundraiser (ginormous or teeny tiny); many of these organizations want to reach more people and can send experts to speak or train folks at your events; they need more people to host the trainings (provide space, food, recruit folks, etc)
    4. Host Know Your Rights event for immigrants in your community
    5. Join Local Resistance Groups e.g., Indivisible SFStand Up San Francisco#Resist San Francisco & TheResistanceSanFrancisco
  1. OPPOSE actions and rhetoric that divides us based on “good immigrants-bad immigrants,” which historically has been used to undercut real reform. Act with a principle of fairness and justice for all


Resource Links

ACLU specific actions:

Learn more:

To volunteer, sign up here: Volunteer

To become a card holder, sign up here: Membership.


March 8 (International Women’s Day!) Day Without A Women sponsored by the Women’s March on Washington.

March 8: Register New Citizens to Vote, 10-11:30am at Paramount Theater, 2025 Broadway at 20th St, Oakland, CA 94612

March 14 (Pi Day!): Tech Stands up to Trump in Palo Alto

March 15: Supporting Open Source Code in Election Voting Systems

March 18: LGBTQ in Action Against the Freedom of Religion Act

THURSDAY, APRIL 13th 6:30-8:30 p.m. (note new time): SECOND CIRCLE OF LIGHT GATHERING (POTENTIAL FOCUS: A FREE PRESS, OUR DARN LIBERAL ELITE MEDIA; Wait, Is this Fake News? Im confused!”) Location: Sports Basement on 15th and Bryant Street (parking garage entrance on Florida Street across from SFSPCA), gathering with be held in larger “Grotto” space

April 15 (Tax Day!): Tax March San Francisco

April 22 (Earth Day!): March for Science San Francisco


Kick off Gathering for Circle of Light

February 28, 2017

Edwin CarmonaCruz is now, during the Trump Administration, the InterimDevelopment Director of La Raza Centro Legal.  Originally from Azusa, CA. he moved to San Francisco in 2012 to attend the University of San Francisco to purse a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Latin American Studies.  While working full-time and attending USF, Edwin was involved with: MEChXA de USF, College Track SF, Curry Senior Center, ANSWER Coalition, and La Raza Centro Legal.  He has been a part of the Immigration department at La Raza for 2 years and is a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accredited Representative.

Lisa Frydman is Director of Regional Policy and Initiatives at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). KIND’s regional team works to protect Central American and Mexican migrant children on the move, in partnership with civil society organizations in the region. Previously, Lisa was Managing Attorney at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). Throughout her eight years at CGRS, Lisa worked to advance law and policy for immigrant women, children, and asylum seekers through impact litigation, national policy advocacy, and extensive training and mentoring of attorneys. Prior to CGRS, Lisa practiced child immigration and child welfare law at Legal Services for Children. She began her legal career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center representing immigrant children before the Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals. Lisa has trained and mentored attorneys across the country and has presented to federal judges, immigration judges, and asylum officers. She is a 2002 graduate of Berkeley Law, Order of the Coif, and a 1996 graduate of the University of Maryland, magna cum laude.

Benita Jain, Immigrant Family Defense Fund (IFDF) and Immigrant Defense Project (IDP). Benita has been fighting deportation and detention for 16 years. She is a part of an all-volunteer group of parents and staff at her daughter’s elementary school that established the Immigrant Family Defense Fund after the 2016 election. IFDF supports Oakland public school families facing deportation with rights information and helps to cover legal fees, bond costs and emergency living expenses. Benita is also Supervising Attorney at the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP), a New York-based organization that fights for the rights of immigrants accused or convicted of crimes, and works to end mass criminalization, detention and deportation. Benita was co-Director of IDP before moving to Oakland and has been on the Steering Committee of the Detention Watch Network and Families for Freedom. She has written several pro se guides for immigrants and is an original co-author of the Deportation 101 curriculum. Her “other” job is raising two kids, 5-year-old Rohit and 8-year-old Maya.

Kelly Dermody is Managing Partner of the San Francisco office of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP Her experience is in organizing the SF legal community to respond to the crises presented by the Trump administration, helping to develop a network of non-profits and legal professionals engaged in strategic crisis planning, and working with city government and philanthropists on ways that they can support legal services for people in need – all of which have touched immigration issues this year.  Kelly is currently in the process of being trained to do volunteer deportation defense.  At Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, Ms. Dermody chairs the firm’s Employment Practice Group and specializes in class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs in employment and consumer cases.  In 2012, she served as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, after serving as an officer and on the board of directors.  From many years running, the Daily Journal named Ms. Dermody a “Top 100 Lawyer in California” and she has been named a Northern California “Super Lawyer”, including being named a “Top 10 Lawyer” in Northern California in 2014.  She has won a variety of professional awards, including “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year,” and awards from charitable and civic organizations, including the National Association of Women Judges, the Anti-Defamation League, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, California Rural Legal Assistance, Legal Momentum, Centro Legal de la Raza, and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. Ms. Dermody received a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Harvard University and a J.D. degree from Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall).

Shailey Jain joined Gibson Dunn in 2014 after graduating from Columbia Law School.  She has represented a number of pro bono clients regarding asylum applications while at Gibson Dunn.  After the election, she helped coordinate the firm’s efforts in the Bay Area in response to the Executive Order banning entry into the United States for nationals from 7 countries.   She is also working on the Seattle case where ICE arrested and detained a DACA recipient.

Gibson Dunn, an international law firm with more than 1,200 lawyers in 19 offices all over the world, is proud to partner with many of our clients working to provide immigrants with access to pro bono legal assistance, thereby assuring access to the justice system for a large, vulnerable segment of our communities.  These partnerships have taken many different forms, but often involve setting up full-day or half-day pro bono clinics where our attorneys work side-by-side to provide legal counsel to low income immigrants seeking advice on issues ranging from asylum petitions to DACA applications.  After the election, Gibson Dunn has taken on an even more active role to support immigrant communities.  Working with groups like the International Refugee Assistance Project and OneJustice, over 100 Gibson Dunn attorneys stepped up to offer legal assistance and additional support to individuals who were detained upon entry into the United States pursuant to the Executive Order.  We had partners and associates on the ground working at Dallas Fort-Worth, Dulles, JFK, LAX, Newark, Oakland, and SFO and provided direct legal assistance to detained individuals and their families, including drafting habeas petitions, negotiating with immigration officials and obtaining detainees’ release and reunification with family and friends.  Gibson Dunn also filed an amicus brief on behalf of prominent companies and employers in the Eastern District of New York case, Darweesh v. Trump, 1:17-cv-00480-CBA (E.D.N.Y.), which challenges the January 27 Executive Order.   Most recently, Gibson Dunn has partnered with Public Counsel to represent Daniel Ramirez Medina, a DACA recipient who was arrested on February 10 and detained in Seattle.  On February 13, Gibson Dunn filed a habeas corpus petition in Seattle, seeking Mr. Ramirez’s immediate release on the grounds that his arrest and detention violate his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.  Our lawsuit asserts that Mr. Ramirez and others like him, who the United States government promised not to subject to such arbitrary detention if they adhered to the rules to live and work here lawfully, must not be expected to live in fear that any day they could be arbitrarily and capriciously arrested and detained.  At a hearing on Friday, February 17, a magistrate judge in Seattle set an aggressive schedule to resolve the matter on an expedited basis.  Gibson Dunn will continue to be committed to defending the rule of law, civil rights and fundamental human rights.

Christine Preziosi is a volunteer with the ACLU of Northern California and our Circle of Light/ACLU liaison.  Christine can educate us on how we can get involved with the ACLU and support the work they do.  Christine previously led the food pantry team (amongst other community outreach efforts) at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center. Christine is currently a student working on her Masters in Nonprofit Administration at the University of San Francisco.

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