Volume 65 | April 2020
Your Monthly News & Updates
Protecting McFarland
According to the City of McFarland's website, there will be a public hearing TONIGHT Thursday, April 23, at 6 p.m. to reconsider the GEO Group's application, which was voted down by the city planning department in February. Included on tonight's agenda posted on the city's website, staff is recommending the approval of the facilities, with some suggested modifications.

The public hearing notice comes less than a week after the city council appointed Eric Rodriguez , a former U.S. Marine and former GEO Group, Inc. employee, to fill the vacant seat on the city council.

The vacancy was a result of Mayor Manuel Cantu's resignation in February in response to the Planning Department's vote which denied the Geo Group's application to modify their conditional use permit and allow them to convert two state prisons in McFarland into immigration detention facilities.

Community members are concerned that the city council will not hear the full extent of their opposition when they are limited to remote and unfamiliar modes of communication. “The last time there was a vote, over 300 people stood outside of City Hall in opposition of GEO and all of that of that comes down to a Zoom call,” said Alex Gonzalez, a community organizer with Faith in the Valley.
If you have a comment, a statement or question, please submit these in writing to the City Clerk by email to claudia@mcfarlandcity.org

Comments will also be taken during the public comment portion of the meeting. COMMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN NOON (12:00 PM) today THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2020.

Visit the city's website for more information.

To participate in Thursday's meeting:

Telephone: US Dial: 1(669)900-9128 or
1(346)248-7799 or 1 (646) 558- 8656 or 1 (253) 215- 8782
or 1 (301) 715 -8592 or 1 (312) 626 -6799
Once connected, it will ask for the WEBINAR/MEETING ID: 848 7829 3697#

Read more here
Your Voice Matters! Complete the Census
About 50% of households in Kern have responded to the census survey. While the deadline to respond has been extended, filling it out now means that you will avoid a knock at your door. To complete the census online, visit

or call:
English : 844-330-2020
Spanish : 844-468-2020
Households who had not responded by April 8th were mailed questionnaires. 
Please take a few minutes to encourage your social media networks to respond to the census questionnaire. 
To find out how your community responding to the Census, click here

COVID-19 Resources
In support of our community, BHC Kern partners have put together a list of local resources to help locate everything from food to academic support for students to health information. A comprehensive list of these resources is available in both English and Spanish .
If you know about a resource that should be added to the guide, please contact Sefora Mendoza at smendozabhc@gmail.com or info@healthysouthkern.org

Addressing the Needs of Recently Released Residents During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Please read the commentary from BHC partner Ucedrah Osby reminding leaders about the importance of considering the needs of the recently released during their re-entry process.

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting everyone in Kern County, and our leaders need to do everything they can to mitigate the spread of this virus, including protecting the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated population in our region.
The virus cannot be contained within the confines of our county jails and state prisons. Every day more than 1,000 correction officers, sheriff’s deputies and support staff interact with the incarcerated population. These people travel back and forth from the jails and prisons to their homes and interact in our community. 
Earlier this month the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced that it would release 185 county inmates who were expected to be released soon to state parole or county probation. This is part of an amplified effort to protect staff and incarcerated people in correctional facilities to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Read the full article .
Honoring A Champion
Building Healthy Communities recently lost a fierce advocate and championin in Bea Solis. For those lucky enough to have known her and would like to honor her, The California Endowment is hosting a virtual celebration of her life this Saturday.

If you would like to share and remember Bea, you are invited to participate .
Building Healthy Communities| 9000 Stockdale Hwy| Bakersfield| CA| 93309

We have the power to build healthy communities for the next generation! 
A #HealthyKernCounty benefits us all