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Rooted in Unity: Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month

Dear Friends,

As the First Black Latina elected to the California State Assembly, I can attest first-hand that representation matters. That is why I am glad to be celebrating this year’s Latinx Heritage Month. In California, Latinx is the fastest-growing majority-minority population. Raised by Black and Puerto Rican parents, I have personally encountered spaces where I was the sole individual who looked like I did. This is precisely why I prioritize uplifting the voices of ethnic, racial, and linguistic minorities in the Assembly and the greater State of California.

Today, on September 15, our Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Honduran, Costa Rican, and Nicaraguan friends and neighbors celebrate Independence Day through carnival-like festivals with cachiporras, school marching bands, and cultural dances. On September 16, México celebrates its Independence Day starting with 'El Grito de Dolores' the night before, music, enthusiasm, and festivities. However, this time also marks a moment of reflection where many of our campesino, Black, Indigenous, and working-class Latinx community members still face direct xenophobia and racism. I’m honored that Oakland, Emeryville, and Alameda are home to one of the most culturally rich cities and welcome refugees from all over the world.

Latinx Heritage Month events

I take great pride in belonging to both the Legislative Latino and Legislative Black Caucus as an ever-growing number of residents, just like me, are embracing our intersecting racial identities and fighting for leadership roles that have historically been inaccessible. Let us remember that our “Latinx” community is not a monolith group of people by combating “Latinidad” that tends to erase Blackness and Indigenous identities.

In today’s Rooted in Unity: Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month e-newsletter you’ll find grants for local non-profits, academic scholarship opportunities, no-cost legal services, and community engagement opportunities. I encourage you to engage and share with your communities for greater visibility and access.

Yours in Service,

Assemblymember Bonta signature

Mia Bonta
Assemblymember, 18th District

In this newsletter, you'll find the following information:

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Section 1: State of California Updates

Section 1A: California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program (CSNSGP)

Cal OES Governor's Office of Emergency ServicesThrough the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, a total of $19 million is available to provide funding support for target hardening and other security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk for violent attacks and hate crimes due to ideology, beliefs, or missions. Proposals can be for emergency or security planning expenses, physical security enhancements, personnel training-related costs, construction or renovations (limited to $100K), or contracted security (but cannot exceed 50% of the amount requested).

Eligible applicants are 501(c)(3) nonprofits and can request up to $250K for their application proposal. Applications are due Friday, October 27, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Learn more about the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

Section 1B: California Small Agricultural Business Drought & Flood Relief Grant

Through the Office of the Small Business Advocate, the Small Agricultural Business Drought & Relief Grant will provide relief to small agricultural businesses that experienced a decline in annual gross receipts or gross profits due to drought or flood conditions.

California Small Agricultural Business Drought and Flood Relief Grant

Applications are accepted until funds are exhausted, so apply now.

  • Drought Group 1 is for small farms and socially disadvantaged farmers who are qualified small agricultural businesses that experienced a decline in annual gross receipts or gross profits of 10 percent or more when comparing the 2022 taxable year to the 2019 taxable year.
  • Drought Group 2 is for qualified small agricultural businesses that (a) experienced a decline in annual gross receipts or gross profits of 10 percent or more when comparing the 2022 taxable year to the 2019 taxable year, and (b) were most impacted by severe drought, as determined by a methodology based on the USDA Drought Monitor.
  • Flood Group 1 will be allocated to qualified small agricultural businesses impacted by flooding, including, but not limited to, those that are identified in the 2022 North American Industry Classification System codes listed in this document.

Section 1C: California Environmental Protection Agency: Environmental Justice Action Grants Program

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) is administering the Environmental Justice Action Grants Program to provide grant funding for emergency preparedness, public health protection, environmental and climate decision-making, and coordinated enforcement efforts affecting their communities. With a total of $25 million, this grant will fund projects intended to lift the burden of pollution from those most vulnerable to its effects.

Eligible applicants are 501(c)(3) nonprofit or community-based organizations, or tribal governments with up to $300K to awarded projects. Applications are due October 13, 2023 at 5 p.m.

Section 1D: California Department of Housing and Community Development New Surplus Land Portal

HCD Announcement

The California Department of Housing and Community Development announced the launch of a new online “Surplus Land Portal” for local agencies, housing developers, and advocates. The new Surplus Land Portal will help applicants submit documentation for surplus or exempt surplus local land, requests for technical assistance, and complaints of potential violations of the Surplus Land Act.

For more information on the Surplus Land Act and to access the new Surplus Land Portal, please click here.

California Reparations Taskforce Final Report Live ReadingSection 1E: Coalition for a Just and Equitable California (CJEC)

The Coalition for a Just and Equitable California (CJEC) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate and provide equitable access and opportunities for Black Californians. CJEC was a leading member and worked alongside then-Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber for AB 3121, the California Reparations Task Force.

CJEC does a 1-hour live community reading of the California Reparations Task Force Final Report Every Thursday at 7pm until 8pm on their Youtube, @CJEC-Official. Tune in today.

Section 2: AD-18 Community Resources

Section 2A: Ronald H. Brown Scholarship Application Now Open!

Ron Brown Scholar ProgramHonoring the legacy of Ronald H. Brown, the Ron Brown Scholarship awards 40-50 four-year $40,000 ($10K per year) scholarships to African-American seniors going to a 4-year university. The Ron Brown Scholarship recipients are economically challenged high school seniors who demonstrate a keen interest in public service, community engagement, business entrepreneurship, and global citizenship – the four pillars of the late Ronald H. Brown’s mission to uplift people of all races, cultures, and ethnicities – especially disadvantaged youth.

Applicants must be Black/African American, US citizens or permanent residents, and a current high school senior at the time of their application. The applicant is not limited to any specific field or career objective. Applications are due December 1, 2023. Official transcripts and two letters of recommendation are due December 15, 2023.

Learn more about the Ron Brown Scholarship and apply here.

Section 2B: Alameda County Law Library

Free and open to the public, the Alameda County Law Library provides no-cost services from law librarians and resources for residents to access from computers, legal databases, legal forms and instructions, self-help books, printing, meeting rooms, and other referrals or legal clinics with lawyers.

Alameda County Law Library

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
125 12th Street Oakland, CA

Section 2C: Homeownership Preservation

Presented by Housing and Economic Rights Advocates in partnership with the Alameda County Law Library, homeowners are invited to join and learn about their homeowner rights, HOA, property tax, and options to prevent foreclosure.

Homeownership Preservation

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
12 - 1 p.m.
125 12th Street Oakland, CA


Section 2D: Basic Changes in Homeownership

Sponsored by the Alameda County Law Library, join this virtual workshop to learn about “Basic Changes in Ownership Exclusions Between Parent and Child Property Changes” from Christopher Nguyen. Topics include methods of holding title, changes in ownership, common exclusions from reassessment, and focusing on parent/child exclusions.

Basic changes in  homeownership

This event is free to residents with advance registration required.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
12 - 1 p.m.


Section 2E: Casa Sueños Affordable Housing

Alameda County Housing BRIDGE Housing, Casa SuenosIn partnership with Alameda County Housing, BRIDGE Housing, and the Unity Council, Casa Sueños’s 1 to 3 bedroom at 3511 E 12th Street Oakland CA at Fruitvale BART will provide affordable housing to residents and families who are working class. This new development will support residents and families making between 20-80% of the area's median income, close to AC Transit, BART, and other community and business hubs.

Applications are due Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 5 p.m. Apply now.


Section 3: AD-18 Community Engagements

Section 3A: 21st Annual Art & Soul Festival Oakland

Art & Soul FestivalThe beautiful 21st Annual Art & Soul Festival is returning this year to Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza! This beautiful, fun family-filled festival will engage the community with Hip-Hop, Blues, Gospel, Jazz, dance, art, and other community-based organizations for you to enjoy. Free to the public. You don’t want to miss out.

Sunday, September 17, 2023
12 - 6 p.m.
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland


Section 3B: Emeryville Center of Community Life Summer Movie Night: Finding Nemo

Summer Movie Night Finding NemoHosted by the City of Emeryville’s Center of Community Life, enjoy an evening of family enjoyment with a movie night screening of Pixar’s Finding Nemo! Open to the public with free pre-registration to reserve a spot, you don’t want to miss out on Finding Nemo with family, friends, and community.

Friday, September 22, 2023
4727 San Pablo Ave, Emeryville
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the movie starting at sunset.



Section 3C: “Forget Me Not” Alzheimer’s Awareness Event

Jack London Sq Forget Me Not Alzheimer's Awareness ProgramJack London Square invites the community to a very special “Forget Me Not” Alzheimer’s awareness event. This upbeat event will feature great entertainment featuring Oaktown Jazz Workshop, DJ, live painting by local artists, and a spectacular drone show with 80 quadcopters flying in choreographed aerial formations. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Saturday, September 23, 2023
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Jack London Square, Oakland


Section 3D: Nuestros Colores Art & Culture Festival of the Americas

In partnership with the City of Alameda Recreation and Park Department and Public Art Commission, Nuestros Colors: Art & Culture Festival of the Americans will be a day of joy and celebration of Latin American cultures and peoples. Nuestros Colores Festival will celebrate music, dance, art, food, and culture from various Latin American countries like El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Colombia. Bring your family and friends to have fun!

Nuestros Colores Art & Culture Festival of the Americas

Saturday, September 23, 2023
12 - 4 p.m.
Chonchenyo Park
2430 Encinal Ave Alameda



Section 3E: 37th Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition

Emeryville Art ExhibitThe Emeryville Celebration of the Arts is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the City of Emeryville's artists, culture, and economic activity for businesses, residents, and arts communities. This year’s Emeryville Art Exhibition will take place in the Public Market and will showcase nearly 200 artworks from 126 Emeryville artists in various media formats at the Public Market!

Saturday, October 7-29, 2023
11 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Wednesday through Sunday)
5905 Shellmound Street, Emeryville