Power in Action

California IAF Says Undocumented Immigrants Deserve More Relief


Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans on April 15 to make $75 million available to help undocumented workers left out of unemployement relief programs like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act known as CARES. It could mean $500 each in the hands of 150,000 adults after applications start being accepted next month....

Governor Newsom’s plan to help undocumented immigrants is woefully inadequate...What is owed in justice should never be given to charity. While we commend Governor Newsom for having good intentions, far more is needed to provide effective and equitable relief for undocumented workers and their families.”

-- Janet Hirsch, leader with One LA-IAF.

[COPA-IAFOne LA-IAF, and Inland Communities Organizing Network (ICON)Common Ground and Bay Area IAF] called for several initiatives to help undocumented workers including: expanding the eligibility of State Disability Insurance to workers unemployed because of Covid-19 but ineligible for unemployment insurance; sending $1,200 to any Californian who qualified for the California Earned Income Tax Credit last year or this year; expanding no-cost to low-cost hotel options to agricultural workers; making more money available to food banks and school districts feeding students.

[Photo by Nic Coury, Monterey County Weekly]

Newsom Announces Covid-19 Relief For Undocumented Workers; Advocates Say It's Inadequate, Monterey County Weekly

Letter to Governor NewsomCalifornia IAF


The Covid-19 pandemic is precipitating an economic crisis of historic proportions, requiring sacrifices from all Americans to avoid a massive loss of life.  Congress must respond with a fiscal policy aimed at avoiding a serious Depression. The Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) urges Congress to deliver an economic stimulus plan that protects those who urgently need help the most: American workers, families, and small businesses on the front lines of this national emergency.






The Covid-19 Pandemic is unlike any challenge we’ve faced in recent history. In order to slow the onset of the disease in our community, one of the few tools we have is social distancing. The very idea of distancing presents challenges for our institutions, our congregations, schools and associations, which all value human connection, not distance. As we face the prospect of widespread human suffering, both from the disease itself and the remedy, we need to understand and address what is happening in our community.

For 45 years, the West/Southwest IAF has used the practices and habits of organizing to assert the common good in public life. Over those years, in the midst of addressing serious issues, our best strategies have emerged when we work together.  As a network, we are employing these same strategies, sometimes with new technological tools, in the coronavirus crisis. 

Deploying a Relational Response to this Crisis:

  • Listen and caucus:
    Leaders in West / Southwest IAF Institutions are forming teams to listen and learn what is happening with people. Teams are then working with West / Southwest IAF Organizations to caucus safely via phone or online and reflect on what they’ve heard.
  • Conduct Research Actions:
    To understand this moment and how it is impacting us and our communities, West / Southwest IAF Leaders will meet, online and by telephone, with experts and public officials. 
  • Act strategically:
    West / Southwest IAF Organizations will act collectively on the local, state and federal level.

As West / Southwest IAF leaders and institutions, we are called to maintain the bonds of community and act decisively to respond to the needs of our families and neighbors.



Leaders prepared by the West/Southwest IAF and Interfaith Education Fund leverage local and statewide wins that directly impact family health, wealth and safety.  With your support, we can continue to develop the leaders who will make life better for families and communities in 2020.

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