At a time when immigrants are being targeted by increasingly hostile federal policies, we commend the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, which voted unanimously today to authorize the county’s first-ever immigrant legal defense program. The community-led program, which will be operated by the county’s public defender’s office, follows similar programs that have recently launched in San Francisco and Alameda Counties. Contra Costa’s program, “Stand Together CoCo,” will provide rapid-response deportation defense services, a 24-hour hotline, as well as training and education for families in need of immediate immigration legal assistance.
The Bay Area’s community leaders must stand firmly behind the immigrants who are so critical to our region’s identity and vibrancy. As a reflection of the urgent need for immigrant legal defense and support, our foundations and several others have quickly pledged $575,000 to help make Stand Together CoCo’s launch possible. Philanthropic funding, combined with $500,000 from the county per year, will sustain the program for its first two and a half years. This effort represents a joint commitment from the public and private sectors to work in partnership with the community to ensure that Contra Costa County is a welcoming, inclusive place where everyone has access to due process and the opportunity to thrive. Our foundations stand united with Contra Costa County against all attacks that threaten these values.
Jim Becker, CEO, Richmond Community Foundation
Fred Blackwell, CEO, The San Francisco Foundation
James Head, CEO, The East Bay Community Foundation
Sandor Straus, President, Firedoll Foundation
Bob Uyeki, CEO, The Y & H Soda Foundation