Accountability in Vallejo

On February 8, Common Ground held an Accountability Session at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church! Eight candidates for local and state offices participated along with about fifty community members. We had eight from our congregation participating!

Solano County Supervisor Candidates in attendance:
Cassandra James      District 1
Michael Wilson        District 1
Rochelle Sherlock    District 2
Nora Dizon               District 2

District 3 - CA State Senate Candidates in attendance:
Rozanna Verder-Aliga
Jackie Elward
Thom Bogue
Jimih Jones

**Together we told the candidates our stories, shared teachings on police accountability, housing justice, and an upcoming housing bond BAHFA - Frequently Asked Questions - Bay Area Housing for All. Then we got into some public business and accountability.

County Supervisor Candidates were asked, and all gave an overwhelming, YES!
If elected, will you work toward hiring a staff dedicated to housing in Solano County?
If elected, will you work with Common Ground now to get BAHFA passed in November?
If elected, will you work to improve public safety in the City of Vallejo and the County?

State Senate Candidates were asked, and all (but Jimih Jones…) gave an overwhelming, YES!
If elected, will you work toward getting funding to Solano County to increase affordable housing and work to prevent people from becoming unhoused?
If elected, will you work with Common Ground now to get BAHFA passed in November?
If elected, will you work toward establishing more accountability from the police departments within Solano County?

Everyone was asked and gave an overwhelming, YES!
If elected, will you meet with Common Ground within 2 months of taking office to discuss how we will move forward together on all these issues?

**Overall it was a wonderful event and just proved the power of Common Ground and the work we do with them. Now we have to hold them to it!!

Ashes, Blessings, and Velentines

Please join us for Ash Wednesday as we enter into the Lenten season and celebrate Holy Love at First Christian Church Vallejo.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
11:00 am — 1:00 pm in the Sanctuary 

* We will have oil for those who prefer an anointing to ashes, and the sanctuary will be open for prayer.

Who Will Fight For Vallejo? Will You Join Us?

People are hurting and it seems that the city and the county do not have a clear vision for the future. Proverbs says, “Without a vision the people will perish”. Solano County will become an inhospitable place to live if WE, the community, our neighbors, AND our officials do not start working together to create the community we want to live in. What do you envision for your community?

A community where people can afford to have a roof over their head
A community where people have food on the table
A community where people can safely own a business without fear of being robbed
A community where people of color can live without fear of racial profiling and police violence
A community where people of differing backgrounds can be in relationship with each other and speak with respect and no hateful rhetoric

Do you want to have a voice in changing the problems in your neighborhoods?

On 2/8/24 Common Ground will host an Accountability Action with candidates for CA State Senate and Solano County Supervisor. With the March Primaries right around the corner, now is the perfect time to share our stories, our struggles, and our vision for the community. We will ask the Candidates to be accountable to us as their constituents, and to work with us as we envision the future. This is not a public forum or a town hall, but a chance for us to be in relationship with each other and show our strength to those who may soon have the power to make concrete changes. Please come and share your voice! We want to hear from you.

Thursday, February 8 | 6:30–8:00pm
Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
1905 Florida St, Vallejo, CA 94590

To register, go to

A Thanksgiving Shout Out

Our annual Thanksgiving luncheon may have looked a little different this year, but it was still filled with laughter, fun, and gratitude. We had 2 showers running, 2 vans transporting, 3 scissors cutting, 2 pews full of clothes and shoes, and 3 tables full of delicious food. We estimate 50 people, including 12 FCCV members, 3 hairstylists, 11 outside volunteers, and of course our guests, young and old, from the community who took showers, got new hairdos, and ate a wonderful lunch!

Going into the lunch, I must admit my own biases. I assumed that our neighbors would be downtrodden and lonely. Many of the people who came, came with their chosen families who they live with everyday. They were able to sit at a fancy decorated table and feast with those they love. They were all so grateful to us and full of love for each other, it was really heart warming to witness. One man was so tickled that he was allowed to eat more than one slice of pie, that he had one of each and then seconds of all of it! 

So I wanted to give a big thanks to everyone from FCCV who came and helped, who cooked, who cleaned, who dined, and who served. Special thanks to:

-Rev. Renae Earl, Jeffrey Ishmael, and Kelly Ghilarducci who diligently cut hair all day.
-Zack and Sage, Jeffrey’s kids, who spent their Saturday with us helping in any way they could.
-Buttercup Kitchen who donated 4 pies to the event!
-Vallejo Peace Project who donated tons of shoes, clothing, and toiletries.
-Lighthouse Covenant Fellowship in Benicia for bringing and managing the mobile showers.
-Vallejo Together volunteers who maintained the showers throughout the day, and transported people back and forth from the encampments.

After all is said and done, I am really grateful for this church and our mission work. We really are living the word we preach. Thank you to you all!

-Allison Mezzera, Mission Action Coordinator

Celebrate Advent at FCCV!

 Can you believe that Advent is just around the corner—starting December 3rd?!
Our theme for Advent this year is “Reclaim Joy!!” Together, we will be looking for ways to reclaim a child’s wonder and joy of Christmas as we prepare for Christ to be born and transform our lives and our world.  
As part of our reclaiming joy, we will be decorating the Christmas tree with ornaments that we each provide, something that will make the tree special and significant to each one of us. We would also invite you to bring other decorations, such as nativities, that can be placed on the windowsills and elsewhere in the Sanctuary. Please bring your ornaments and decorations on the 3rd ready to decorate the Sanctuary. If you aren’t able to come on the 3rd, additional ornaments are joyfully accepted all season!

Week 1—Dec. 3— Hope/Prepare
Week 2—Dec. 10— Peace/Waiting
Week 3—Dec. 13— Joy/Anticipation
Week 4—Dec. 24— Love/Adoration – this will be a service of Lessons and Carols
Week 5—Dec. 31— Journey – What? Five weeks of Christmas? This is a 5th Sunday, look forward to something different and special!
Also, please mark your calendars now for the Blue Christmas Service, which will take place on the longest night of the year, Thursday, December 21, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Global Holiday Faire

 The 26th annual Global Holiday Faire will be here soon on Saturday, December 2nd, from 9-2. Last year, we made adjustments in our first year back in person after two years of only having a virtual Faire. But this year’s Faire will be much more like the ones we had all those years through 2019. We will have more tables and items for sale than last year, and we will be bringing back our traditional hotdog / chili / lumpia lunch. In addition to several tables with merchandise, will have our Alternative Giving table where we will raise money for Heifer International and Arbor Day Foundation. Plus, we will have what we call the Big 4 tables with crafts, gift baskets, baked goods and regifted items raising money for 4 charities - Amador St. Hope Center, dePaul Women’s Center, Genesis House and Partners in Health.

There are lots of ways that you can help. We are looking for volunteers. Please think about volunteering (let Helen Mezzera know if you can). If you can contribute a donation for one of the Big 4 tables, it would be greatly appreciated! Start crafting now. Think about a gift basket you could put together. Think about gifts you have been given that you’ve never used, that someone might buy to regift (not looking for garage sale items). We have space in our storage closet for donations, so let us know when you want to bring them in. Also, please help spread the word that we are once again back in person (plus our virtual marketplace is still open at Flyers have already been emailed out, so please help us get those out to the people. Print them out or share them electronically with your friends, neighbors, coworkers or strangers on the street. If you know a place where you can post a flyer, please do so. If you can’t print them out, we will have physical copies in church soon.

The Global Holiday Faire is our biggest Mission Action effort of the year. Last year, it was so emotional and amazing to be back in person. But, we had to make it a little smaller than ideal. We still did amazingly well for the non-profit organizations that we raised money for. This year, let’s do even better! With your help volunteering, donating and spreading the word, there is no reason why this can’t be our biggest Faire ever!