A Commitment To Work With Common Ground

"Vallejo City Council Candidates commit to working with Common Ground on public safety and homelessness."

Beginning next year, the Vallejo City Council will look a little different. In a couple of weeks, we will be using our voices and ballots to elect 3 new members of the City Council. Those new Council Members will have their own priorities for Vallejo. But elections are not just about voting for the person with the best ideas. It is up to the community to tell them what we expect from them as representatives. Common Ground has a vision for our city and we want people to hear it.

Why do we care? We have concerns for the unhoused community, and concerns that the Police Department will continue policing themselves. We have been listening to the Vallejo community and they are scared, fearful, and losing hope that things will change. That is why on Wednesday October 12th, members of Common Ground, the Vallejo community, and City Council candidates gathered at St. Patricks-St. Vincent High School to begin a public relationship. All twelve candidates were invited and the candidates who accepted the invitation and attended were:

District 2: Cassandra James, Don Jordan, J.R. Matulac
District 4: Ruscal Cayangyang, Chris Platzer, Ravi Shankar
District 5: Tara Beasley-Stansburry, Melissa Bowman, Peter Bregenzer

They listened to our stories, our concerns, and our vision for Vallejo. When asked the following yes or no questions all the candidates gave a resounding “YES!”

-If you are elected to the city council, will you work with Common Ground to make police oversight effective, transparent, and independent?

-Will you meet with Common Ground and Vallejo Together to hear from those with lived experience and to learn and understand what is really happening on the ground?

-Will you work with Common Ground to leverage federal, state, and local funding and resources to give the unhoused community the safety net they deserve?

-If elected, will you meet with Common Ground within 2 months of taking office to discuss how we will move forward together on these issues?

This is a new beginning of Common Ground relationships with the City. By publicly affirming support, the candidates have taken a step toward building trust within our community. Whichever of the candidates are elected, we can hold them accountable to what they pledged at the event.

As members of Common Ground, we expect they will hold true to their public intention to make the Vallejo community safer and more secure and we will be there to work with them and hold them accountable.

We will be exercising our civic right to vote on 11/8, and we encourage the community to do so as well. Your vote matters!


Global Holiday Faire Update

We are just a month away from the 25th Annual Global Holiday Faire. The plans are well underway. Merchandise is already being ordered. We are working on getting the word out (ads have been placed, fliers have been handed out - don’t forget to help with this part of our effort to spread the word!). Volunteers have been signing up (but not enough! If you can work the day of the Faire, please let Helen Mezzera know ASAP if you haven’t already). Donations of crafts, gift baskets and re-gifted items are being made (please continue to do so. If you have a donation to make, please let me or Helen know and we will schedule a time to get those donations from you).

Our website (globalholidayfaire.org) has been updated. On the site, you will find information about the organizations that we are supporting this year. You will find links to the websites of those organizations, where you can shop or donate if you aren’t able to come in person to the Faire (the website includes some past organizations that won’t be in person this year too). One thing to note on the website is the link to our special Heifer International fundraising page. If you come to the Faire, you will be able to visit our Alternative Giving table to make a gift to someone through Heifer and / or Arbor Day Foundation. On the website, you can contribute to our $3,000 goal for Heifer this year. We have gotten a great piece of news from Heifer - there is a matching fund that will double all of our donations this year, both online and in person at the Faire. So donate online, or come to the Faire to buy alternative gifts and get Christmas cards for that person who has everything. Or you can purchase cards through Arbor Day where the proceeds go to plant trees in someone’s honor.

The Faire will feature food items (soup and chili mixes, baking mixes, spices, candy, jams, oils, sauces and more) from SERRV and Women’s Bean Project. It will have a wide variety of hand-made items from around the world through Project Have Hope, Global Mamas and Concern America. It will have locally made crafts and plants from Loma Vista Farm. There will be baked goods, gift baskets, crafts and re-gifted items for sale to benefit Amador St. Hope Center, DePaul Women’s Center, Vallejo Together and Doctors Without Borders. We will also be selling multiple varieties of chili and our famous turkey soup to-go (and hopefully lumpia too!). With so many shopping options and a dozen non-profit organizations benefiting, we are going to embody our motto: “One Stop Shopping, Double Your Holiday Giving”.

The Faire is Back!

The Global Holiday Faire (our 25th!) will return in person on Saturday, December 3rd, from 9-1. We are making adjustments to make sure we are addressing the concerns of our volunteers and shoppers in terms of safety. We want to have a successful Faire for all the nonprofit organizations we are raising money for, while being as safe as possible. For that reason, we will have fewer tables than in the past, and we will not have our traditional hotdog/chili/soup lunch. But, we will still have tables with merchandise for at least 6 organizations. We 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, Vallejo Together and Doctors Without Borders. While we won’t have lunch, we will sell to go containers of the same homemade chilis and soup as we’ve had in the past!

There are lots of ways that you can help. We are looking for volunteers. It is a shorter Faire this year, so please think about volunteering. 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 after a two year hiatus, we are back in person (plus our virtual marketplace is still open at globalholidayfaire.org). We will have flyers available soon, so keep an eye out in your email in the upcoming weeks (plus in person in church).