May 24 marked a unique day at the Capitol. Normally a place strictly dedicated to politics, lobbying and debate, the atmosphere is very serious and often polarized. But on this particular day, the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) brought the faces of our immigrant nation to the capitol grounds in a celebration of diversity and community at their annual Immigrant Day event. To start off the day’s activities, a religious service was held featuring religious leaders of all faiths. “This really showed people coming together,” commented Nati Flores who attended the event on behalf of the Michael Chavez Center. “Religion often causes tension. It was great to see it really bring people together.”
The service set the tone of the day. As the day pressed on, performances and presentations took place bringing a lighter air to Sacramento. Then the group broke off to visit representatives and members of the Senate to bring personal stories to the attention of our state’s and country’s leaders. Covering more than just immigration issues, the groups talked about healthcare, childcare, workers’ rights, the TRUST Act, and many others. The people represented at the Capital that day were “working for all the things they want to accomplish together,” Nati said of the event. “It wasn’t just immigration issues, though many face that. It’s about everyone finding a better future.”
This was the first time that the Chavez Center attended Immigrant Day, but it will likely not be the last. Taking along a few day labor members, our role in advocacy for our community is growing. Several other organizations went to the event representing Contra Costa County. Among their ranks were First 5 Contra Costa and Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization (CCISCO).
Read more about Immigrant Day on the CIPC website.