On June 6, 2017 our Executive Director, Aaron Ortiz, spoke at a meeting for the City Council of Hayward, CA. On that day, the City of Hayward representatives and community members were discussing the adoption of a resolution declare Hayward a "Sanctuary City". By doing this, the City of Hayward would be sending a message to its residents that all of the city’s population were valued and protected, regardless of immigration status.
Mr. Ortiz, spoke at the City Council meeting to explain the dramatic and wide-ranging benefits of becoming a "Sanctuary City". He stressed the importance that our local government protect their citizens regardless of immigration status, in order to reduce stressors, mental health impact of immigration stress, and reinforce trust among community members. He also reminded those present that a large population of the younger generation of undocumented immigrants come here as young children and wish to start the process to become United States citizen within the Hayward City and Alameda County. With such a large number of young people - and many soon-to-be voters - Mr. Ortiz helped to impress upon the Board of the City Council is that these young people are the future voters and possible supports of the City Council members.
Mr. Ortiz wrote a very heartfelt and informative email to all of his staff after he presented at the Hayward City Council meeting on June 6, 207. It is as follows:
Dear La Familia staff,
It is with great pleasure that I announce that Hayward officially has passed a resolution to become a “Sanctuary City” on June 6, 2017. Tuesday night the City Council voted on a resolution titled: Adoption of a Resolution Declaring the City of Hayward a Sanctuary City and Amendment of Administrative Rule 1.10.
I’m proud to say that the vote was passed unanimously 7-0 in favor of the resolution by the Hayward City Council. I would like to thank everyone who spoke in support of this resolution.
This was truly a collective effort by many community members! I would like to acknowledge Hayward City Council, specifically Council-member Elisa Marquez and Council-member Francisco Zermeño for their support in being part of a committee to move this item forward before the City Council. Also, I would like to thank The “Hayward Collective” Hella Diverse, a grassroots entity that helped push this item forward as well, community members, BOS Richard Valle, and La Familia staff (on their own merit).
In a time where we cannot depend on our national leaders, we now know that in Hayward we can depend on local community to stand on the right side of human rights, human dignity and equality, irrespective of immigration status.
La Familia as an organization built on the needs of under-served and marginalized populations continues to be profoundly committed to the well-being of children, adults and families in our communities irrespective of immigration status. After all we are “La Familia”!
Aaron Ortiz | Chief Executive Officer | La Familia
After sending this passionate email to all of his staff, he continued to encourage his staff to continue the hard work that they do for Hayward and throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
In the video below you will see a the passion that Mr. Ortiz has for his community and for the people who he sees as citizens who need help, even if his government doesn't.
La Famiila stands with all residents of Hayward, California, and the United States who are here to seek happier, healthier, safer lives. We believe in the dignity of and respect for all individuals in our communities and will continue to support and serve them through our services.