From the Opinion section of the Napa Valley Register:
Women’s March Napa Valley held yet another impassioned community town hall meeting last Sunday at the First United Methodist Church with a distinguished 10-member panel and a respectable audience.
Each panelist touched on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) raids that are stoking fear in the hearts of our immigrant populace, particularly among those who are undocumented.
Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza stressed the need to work together and promote a message of unity while some audience members demanded more action from local officials and particularly from the Chamber of Commerce, the Napa Valley Vintners, wineries, grapegrowers and the vast hospitality industry.
Retired lawyer and audience member Preston Shackleford passionately delivered a message beseeching these industries to speak up and step up to help immigrants, regardless of their documentation status, as these very immigrants are the ones who enable such industries to thrive.
She expressed the need to protect vulnerable immigrants and held that once ICE is at an undocumented immigrant’s door, their rights are gone and they may not get to say goodbye to their family or have proper legal due process.
The current immigration crisis was interpreted as allegorizing “Napa’s second earthquake” with Shackleford emphasizing the need for strategic tactics by creating “sanctuary churches” to protect families and vehemently summoning the community to rise up as it did after the last earthquake.
Audience member Sharon Macklin followed with a timely question to the panel, “Who have you reached out to in the industry?
If you haven’t, can you do so?” Supervisor Pedroza answered that he would try to have more of a “direct ask” of these industries and how they can be more proactive.
Of particular importance was the openness of both Napa Chief of Police Steve Potter and Napa Sheriff John Robertson who attended in full uniform to explain law enforcement’s policies of never asking for immigration status when interviewing people in our community. Robertson pointed out that Napa is special and unique because “we truly work together with the community with open discussion.” Steve Potter thoughtfully added that they try to be present at community events and encourage all people, including minorities to attend and speak up at such Town Hall meetings. He has been witnessing much fear in children who are afraid of their parents being detained and deported.
Local pediatrician Joseph Carrillo added that he has seen an increase amongst children suffering anxiety, behavioral issues and not wanting to go to school. He believes that much of the trauma children are feeling and experiencing is due to the fear surrounding possible deportation, and unfortunately most physician offices do not have social workers or therapists. He touched on therapy for children in schools through puppetry to help them deal with fear and create a safe space.
Both Potter and Robertson talked about local law enforcement’s efforts in creating trust with local communities and all neighborhoods.
Potter relayed to the audience the difficulties they face when ICE goes on a raid and represents themselves as “local police.” ICE essentially takes advantage of the trust that the local law enforcement has worked hard to build.
ICE uses a ruse to get people to come out of their homes to arrest them.
Robertson doubled down emphasizing that when ICE is portrayed as homeland security in the media with their uniforms boldly declaring, “POLICE,” it diminishes the trust between the immigrant community and the local police. Robertson and Potter wear their uniforms with pride and want to educate and help immigrant communities and build deeper trust.
Melissa Patrino, executive director or Puertas Abiertas, a community resource center working hand in hand with Latinos has remained steadfast and active in responding to the vulnerable needs of the community.
She commented that ICE is a rogue agency with a list of people they are targeting and will persist with their raids even if it is a sanctuary city. Patrino discussed the difficulty of obtaining legal status. Most undocumented immigrants are hard-working, good people who have been in the U.S. for decades paying taxes.
Yet it remains a difficult and arduous road to obtaining legal status for most. Despite anyone’s stance on immigration, it is reasonable to agree that all people should be treated with dignity, respect and with due process despite their immigration status.
Irit Weir, organizer of the Women’s March Napa Valley, announced that if anyone knows undocumented immigrants in critical danger of deportation, an Advocacy Authorization form can be obtained from Congressman Mike Thompson’s office/website.
It can be submitted to his office or to Puertas Abiertas. Potter added that if ICE is at one’s front door claiming to be local police, the local police dispatch number (257-9223) can be called to confirm whether the local police are in fact at their door. Napa local police stressed the desire to partner with neighborhoods to create dialogue and openness.
If community members want to host a gathering of locals, they are happy to attend and talk to all people.
The panel was markedly diverse, with Karla Marquez (Dream Team Organizer), Gabriela Ramirez (Vice Principal of Napa Valley Language Academy, NVLA), Liliana Navarro (Latinos Unidos) and Melissa Patrino (Executive Director of Puertas Abiertas) sharing their raw stories and adversities they overcame. Alfredo Pedroza (Napa County Supervisor) and Jill Techel (Napa Mayor) stressed the need to create more dialogue and a community of problem solvers. Madeline Feldon (attorney for the International Institute of the Bay Area, IIBA) and Dr. Joseph Carrillo (local pediatrician) both discussed the stress and anxiety they have observed in children with undocumented family members.
They offered their respective legal and medical services to aid those in need.
Steve Potter (Napa Chief of Police) and John Robertson (Napa Sheriff) have increasingly taken a more active role in reaching out to the Latino population and being accessible at this critical time in our seemingly divided nation.
Harjit Khaira is a writer from Napa and a participant in the Women’s March.
WOMEN’S MARCH NAPA VALLEY
In association with
Napa United Methodist Church
AN EVENING WITH HOLLY NEAR
Friday, May 12, 2017
625 Randolph Street, Napa
Open Seating: all seats $25/available at EandMPresents.eventbrite.com
*A benefit for the Napa Community Engagement Fair
HOLLY NEAR has been singing for our lives for over 45 years. Having grown up singing folk, pop, jazz and musical theater, she is not a traditional folk singer and much to everyone’s surprise, she does NOT play the guitar. Her lyrics can be tender, humorous and inspirational as well as biting and challenging – and all the while she keeps it personal. Gifted with a powerful voice and a love for entertaining, Ms. Near puts on a great show reflecting on the world in which we live, the complexities of love and integrity. (For a complete press kit, visit
“Now more than ever, the peace-loving people of the United States would be wise to put forth an alternate perspective to war, revenge, and fear-based home security,” Near said. “We can gather together to remember our highest selves and find the courage to stand up for peace and justice. Our country has been a leading model of social change movements in the past. We can do it again”!
Ms. Near’s concert will feature two additional musician/performers:
TAMMY HALL is a remarkable force on keyboards. Her ability to cover a broad range of style brings beautiful texture to the material allowing Holly to move seamlessly through folk, jazz, and theatrical interpretations of the music. When not working with Holly, she is an instructor and mentor with many non-profit arts organizations making music and theatre accessible to under-funded inner city children. Ms. Hall has traveled extensively working with Harlem Gospel Singers, The Montclair Women’s Big Band, Regina Carter, Linda Tillery, Alive, Melba Moore, Darlene Love, and more.
JAN MARTINELLI has played bass with Holly since the early nineties, both on recordings and on tour. She is fiercely rhythmic as well as having a lyrical quality well suited to Holly’s repertoire. Jan is part of Wild Mango, a women’s Latin band that moves from merengue to bolero to samba to funk with rich undertones of Middle Eastern spice. When not recording or touring, she sits in with a jazz big band. Ms. Martinelli also works as Holly’s musical assistant, managing the charts and teaching the arrangements to artists who move in and out of Holly’s touring schedule.
WOMEN’S MARCH NAPA VALLEY
The mission of Women’s March Napa Valley:
Napa Valley residents working together to facilitate peaceful engagement in the democratic process through community building and progressive political action.
For information visit: www.facebook.com/Womens-March-Napa-Valley.
*Proceeds from the concert will support operational expenses for the
Napa Community Engagement Fair
Sunday, June 11, noon – 5pm
Napa Valley Expo
Dearest Community: Thank you to all NGO’s and individuals who worked really hard to bring forth the proclamation to the Napa Valley Board of supervisor yesterday. This is a first step in our declaration that we the Resident of Napa Valley are committed to protect each other and united in our intent to foster a healthy Napa community. Below is an example of a bolder declaration. We would like to continue the conversation at our next Town Hall meeting on April 30th. Please look at our event page. We urge all of you to invite our Latino and Latina neighbors so that we can get deeper into those complex issues. We will have a translator at the event. Can you help us with this request? Thank you !!!!
Chapter 8.60 Persons in Napa Valley: Protection by Due Process with ICE and CBP
8.60.010 – Purpose and intent.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the community health, safety and welfare and protect the residents by establishing minimum standards, including notification and related enforcement procedures, for persons interacting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within the area of Napa County.
8.60.020 – Standards—Applicability.
The standards in this chapter shall apply to persons within the county, except that nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to limit compliance with Federal and State laws, under USC 1373 as below.
1373 Rule: Under 8 U.S.C. § 1373 and 8 U.S.C. § 1644, federal law prohibits Napa County officials from imposing limits on maintaining, exchanging, sending, or receiving information regarding citizenship and immigration status with any Federal, State, or local government entity. Nothing in Napa County policies is intended to violate 8 U.S.C. § 1373 and 8 U.S.C. § 1644.
Defend our friends, families and neighbors from President Trump’s mass deportation agenda:
8.60.030 – The Judicial Warrant Rule.
Napa County officials shall require a judicial warrant prior to detaining an individual or in any manner prolonging the detention of an individual at the request of ICE and CBP.
8.60.040 No Facilitation Rule.
Napa County officials shall not arrest, detain, or transport an individual solely on the basis of an immigration detainer or other administrative document issued by ICE or CBP, without a judicial warrant.
8.60.050 Defined Access/Interview Rule.
Unless acting pursuant to a court order or a legitimate law enforcement purpose that is unrelated to the enforcement of a civil immigration law, no Napa County official shall permit ICE or CBP agents access to Napa County facilities or any person in Napa County custody for investigative interviews or other investigative purposes.
8.60.060 Clear Identification Rule.
To the extent ICE or CBP has been granted access to Napa County facilities, individuals with whom ICE or CBP engages will be notified that they are speaking with ICE or CBP, and ICE or CBP agents shall be required to wear duty jackets which do not use the label “POLICE” and make their badges visible at all times while in Napa County facilities.
Protect our friends, families and neighbors’ privacy from the Trump administration:
8.60.070 Don’t Ask Rule.
Napa County officials shall not inquire into the immigration or citizenship status of an individual, except where the inquiry relates to a legitimate law enforcement purpose that is unrelated to the enforcement of a civil immigration law, or where required by state or federal law to verify eligibility for a benefit, service, or license conditioned on verification of certain status.
8.60.080 Privacy Protection Rule.
No Napa County official shall voluntarily release personally identifiable data or information to ICE or CBP regarding an inmate’s custody status, release date or home address, or information that may be used to ascertain an individual’s religion, ethnicity or race, unless for a law enforcement purpose unrelated to the enforcement of a civil immigration law.
8.60.090 Discriminatory Surveillance Prohibition Rule.
No Napa County agency or official shall authorize or engage in the human or technological surveillance of a person or group based solely or primarily upon a person or group’s actual or perceived religion, ethnicity, race, or immigration status.
Help our friends, families and neighbors get redress when abuses and mistakes occur:
8.60.100 Redress Rule.
Any person who alleges a violation of this policy may file a written complaint for investigation with the Napa County Board of Supervisors and with the Sheriff’s office.
Help ensure our friends, families, and neighbors are protected from discrimination:
8.60.110 Fair and Impartial Policing Rule.
No Napa County official shall interrogate, arrest, detain or take other law enforcement action against an individual based upon that individual’s perceived race, national origin, religion, language, or immigration status, unless such personal characteristics have been included in timely, relevant, credible information from a reliable source, linking a specific individual to a particular criminal event/activity.
8.60.120 Duty to enforce, and Right to appeal.
As per other sections of Napa County Code, the Sheriff and local municipality Law Enforcement agencies within Napa Valley have a duty to enforce this ordinance, and the appeal process shall be that set out in Chapter 2.88 of the Napa County Code.