Spotlight: Shifting Power Dynamics

Bright Beginnings Advocacy, Community, Salinas

Mamas de Salinas Abogan

The last months have been busy for early childhood advocacy, shifting the dynamics of power in public spaces!

At the Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting in February, Bright Beginnings Community Organizer Maria Carmen Parra led the pledge of allegiance in English, a language she learned in her adult life.

During the public comment, Norma Horton of the Mamas de Salinas Abogan shared: “I stand up and raise my voice for all providers and professionals in education to immediately receive the vaccine against COVID-19 and consider us essential workers. Without those people, who are there to take care of their children, the agricultural workers cannot go to work.”

Another Mama, Maria Trinidad, also shared: “We know that farmworkers are a priority to take the vaccine which I am very happy about but also the entire child care sector should be a priority to be vaccinated so that we can offer our care to all these children and their families.”  

Additional Bright Beginnings community partners who were also heard in the Chambers included: 

  • Daisy Hernandez of CAPSLO, who voiced the needs of the Family, Friends, and Neighbor caregivers 
  • Francine Rodd of First 5 Monterey County provided their annual community report, citing: “Investments in early childhood reach generations – helping children and families now and bolstering our communities down the road with children ready to learn, higher graduation rates, and a strong workforce.” Read F5MC’s report here
  • Sonja Koehler of Bright Beginnings presented the Initiative’s annual report, in conjunction with the Monterey County Children’s Council. Read the annual report here

The Mamas also joined the Buckhorn Early Learning Advisory Committee’s meetings in February and March to discuss early learning, specifically preschool readiness and the local control and accountability plan (LCAP), a tool for local educational agencies to set goals, plan actions, and leverage resources to meet those goals to improve student outcomes. Parents learned how they can get involved with their district through the LCAP funding budgeting process. Participants also expressed their concerns around children not getting social-emotional development in times of COVID due to a lack of social connection. The next meeting is Tuesday, April 27. Keep an eye on the Alisal Union School District’s website for details.

We invite you to join the conversation and follow the Mamas on Facebook and Instagram.