An edited version of this story was featured in the November issue of Delaware Hispano magazine.
In some areas, the end of DACA has reduced community involvement out of fear of deportation. People are also now afraid to speak up out about crime and are more at risk because of it. We at Network Delaware believe that people should not be afraid to report crimes, seek healthcare and use public services. Network Delaware is the ultimate grassroots organization. It is made up of common people, just like you, who want to improve their communities. It is for and by the people of Delaware. All people — regardless of place of birth, origin or immigration status — are welcome; no questions asked.
We train current and future community leaders to make real change. We can teach you how to sway policy by talking to elected officials and take action on issues that affect you.
Here are some of the topics we have addressed:
• Safe Communities Campaign: On October 18, the Safe Communities Team helped pass the Red Clay Resolution that says that no Red Clay employee will provide immigration data on anyone unless there is a crime. Since then, the team has worked with the Newark City Council, Wilmington City Councilwoman Yolanda McCoy and with Matt Meyer, the County Executive of New Castle County, to pass the policy in other places.
The Safe Communities Team also led Neighborhood Clean Up Day. Immigrant communities should be clean and safe too!
• Education Campaign: Network Delaware was able to reduce the State’s proposed budget cut by 11 million dollars. The State had planned to cut funds for schools by 47 million dollars. Underserved poor, minority areas would feel such a cut the most harshly.
Also, we are working to end the School-to-Prison Pipeline policies that target poor, minority, learning disabled and abused students. Under this practice, students are suspended, expelled and arrested for even minor violations.
•Civic Engagement Campaign: Network Delaware has created a dual-language Voters’ Guide that explains your voting rights. It provides facts about who can vote, when and where to register and what kind of proof of identity is required.
• Organizing Change Leadership Development class: Network Delaware has created a course that teaches how to mobilize the public. The course focuses on modern community organization tactics and non-violent social change.
We are looking for people to join our communications, research, policy, and volunteer coordination teams. We believe that immigrants need to be part of the conversation too.
Drew Serres, Executive Director of Network Delaware says, “Rather than being represented by someone else, I would like to see the Hispanic Community have and use its own voice. We want leaders from the Hispanic Community to take the charge and Network Delaware can help them do that.”
We believe anyone can help improve their neighborhood. Join us and make your voice heard!
Better Your Community with Network Delaware was originally published in Network Delaware on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.