Sign-on: Human Rights Day of Action 2017

Organization Sign-On Statement

San Diego County is a multinational, multicultural region with vibrant immigrant and refugee populations. With the erosion of public trust in government and increasingly uncivil public discourse, we call on our local lawmakers to stand up for all San Diegans and to ensure that the region's newcomer, immigrant and Muslim families are safe, valued and included members of our shared community.

San Diego County is home to an estimated 90,000-150,000 refugees from all over the world, including Iraq, Burma, Somalia, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. Nearly three-quarters of the county's non-citizen residents live in mixed status households in which some family members are U.S. citizens and/or legal permanent residents. Immigrants and refugees contribute one-third of California's gross domestic product and make up one-third of the workforce in San Diego & Imperial counties.

So that every San Diegan may feel safe, valued and included, our region must address the key sustainability issues of access to housing, transparent democracy, and constitutional rights to privacy and free practice of religion. For every San Diegan, and especially our new Americans who have fled dire circumstances, it is vital that they have access to affordable and sustainable housing and supportive resources in order for them to contribute their skills and experience to better our region.

Therefore, on December 10, 2017, International Human Rights Day we call for:

  • #RightToARoof: San Diego County must ensure that our newcomer families, who are at the forefront of the housing crisis, have housing stability. San Diego County must include a plan and sufficient funding for housing in the County’s Refugee Resettlement legislative agenda in the upcoming 2019-2021 County of San Diego Refugee Employment Services Plan. The plan is needed to assist new refugees—those here less than 3 years—to pay no more than 30 percent of their household income towards rent.

  • Employment Opportunities: Our county can and must build a San Diego where all families can succeed. Currently, federal funds support immediate resettlement efforts to enter the workforce by getting a first job. This means refugees are often stuck in low wage work without the ability to develop new skills or a chance for upward mobility. The County should directly fund and support innovative partnerships between the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD), the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, and our local San Diego Workforce Partnership, to develop innovative pre-apprenticeship opportunities that target and pipeline newcomers into family-sustaining jobs. The County should address this in its upcoming 2019-2021 County of San Diego Refugee Employment Services Plan.

  • Preservation of Civil Liberties: Finally, to protect the civil liberties of our Muslim and newcomer families, San Diego must pass and institute a County policy that ensures local law enforcement officers adhere to state and local laws when participating in federal task forces and other law enforcement collaborations.

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, unite around the following principles:

  • San Diego elected representatives must actively promote dignity and respect for all, and should draft and support legislation that respects and promotes the equality and dignity of every human being;

  • San Diego elected representatives must effectively address the dangers inherent in the President’s xenophobic travel bans, particularly the assault on the freedom of San Diego residents to freely practice their religion and on the privacy of many who are victims of unconstitutional surveillance;    

  • San Diego elected representatives must actively seek and mobilize all possible means to provide affordable housing for people who are homeless, and other vital social services for communities of color, for low-income and underserved communities, for people with disabilities, for refugee and immigrant families, and for all who are struggling to make ends meet;

  • We will work together to engage voters in honest and challenging conversations and move eligible non-voters to find their voices to become active voters;

  • We recognize that for our struggle for justice, equity, fairness, and human rights to succeed, we are bound  by our mutual commitment to work together because though we may work on different issues or in different fields, we all seek to abolish oppression and inequality, in matters of race, ethnicity, faith, gender, and sexuality ; and

  • We commit to amplify refugee voices so their stories are heard by a broad public and our elected officials.

Four Ways to Take Action

  1. Show your support to Sign on to this statement using our online form.

  2. Encourage your membership to attend the community action in large numbers:
    Date: Sunday, December 10, 2017
    Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
    Where: Waterfront Park, Downtown San Diego
                1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101

  3. Share the Facebook event as broadly as possible. Invite people individually.

  4. Share this social media sign-on Thunderclap before Thursday, Dec 8th 2017. Use hashtags #RightToARoof and #ShowUp4Refugees.

Who We Are

The Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, United Nations Association-USA of San Diego,  along with our partners:

  • Alliance San Diego

  • American Civil Liberties Union - ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

  • American Federation of Teachers Guild - AFT Local 1931

  • American Friends Service Committee - San Diego

  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee: ADC San Diego

  • Center for Policy Initiatives - CPI

  • City Heights Community Development Corporation

  • Climate Action Campaign

  • Council on American Islamic Relations - CAIR San Diego

  • Environmental Health Coalition

  • Hanana Community Center

  • Horn of Africa

  • Huda Community Center

  • Humankind San Diego

  • Indivisible San Diego

  • Interfaith Workers for Justice San Diego - IWJSD

  • Islamic Center of San Diego

  • Karen Organization of San Diego

  • League of Women Voters - San Diego

  • Mid-City Community Advocacy Network - Mid City CAN

  • Muslim American Society - San Diego

  • Pillars of the Community

  • Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest

  • Progress San Diego

  • Public Interest Advocacy Collaborative - PIAC

  • San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council

  • San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium - SDIRC

  • Showing Up for Racial Justice - San Diego

  • Somali Bantu Association of America - SBAOA

  • Somali Bantu Community

  • Somali Family Services

  • Southern Sudanese Community Center San Diego

  • The AjA Project

  • Think Dignity

  • UNITE HERE Local 30

  • United Women of East Africa Support Team - UWEAST

  • Women’s March San Diego

and other allied organizations, and an interfaith committee of religious leaders created this annual community event to declare that San Diego is a safe haven for refugees and immigrants around the world, and that those who reside here are able to lead and live in dignity without discrimination. Many of our organizations focus on a single issue or concern, but we all come together recognizing that to achieve that vision to realize a community based on equality and respect, we must work collectively. We call for a public demonstration of our commitment to that vision.

Why We Gather

San Diego’s interfaith community, civil and human rights groups, labor and social service organizations, and compassionate individuals come together to affirm our commitment to make San Diego a safe haven for refugees and immigrants from around the world, especially those fleeing a crisis of violence, natural disaster, and persecution.

As a border community greatly enriched by immigrants and refugees, we affirm the dignity and humanity of all of our families, including torture survivors, refugees, immigrants, people with special medical needs, women who head households, unsheltered people, and children, all of whom deserve to have their voices heard and to have a government that is responsive to their needs.

Pana San Diego