CIRS Blog about Rural California

Coachella, California

CIRS is a public interest research non-profit with offices in the SF Bay Area. CIRS is seeking a Community Research Outreach Specialist. We are currently seeking to hire a staff member to work on a three year project, starting January 2018. The positing starts at 80% FTE but with increased funding could become full time.

The Project

The integrated campaign we will initiate involves a collaborative effort driven by residents of communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley to address issues of environmental injustice. Our goal is to inform residents and policy makers, to implement mitigation strategies and spur investment. The policy changes we advocate for will result in a systemic change in the region and the changes in practice we encourage will impact community norms. We expect to improve community health as a result of the goals we set forth.

The project will contribute to the following:

  • Develop youth leadership through citizen science projects designed to render power through knowledge and mitigate on the ground risks. (air quality monitoring and community greening)
  • Build the power of residents to influence decisions that affect them by working with them to develop data-based tools to
  • Enhance the effectiveness and leverage partnerships by working with a diverse group of partners both within and outside the Coachella Valley.
  • Raise the visibility of community health issues impacting the residents living near the impact area of the Salton Sea by supporting their ability to lead discussions, hold space and power in meetings and tell their stories at a regional, county and state-wide level.

The Job

  • The role requires driving throughout several communities engaged as this position is field based only
  • The position entails working in various community settings
  • English-Spanish bilingual, native Spanish speaker preferred
  • Must possess strong interpersonal skills and be culturally competent with the ability to adapt to different populations
  • Must be able to work in a multi-organizational collaboration
  • Must be able to facilitate meetings where scientific data are explained to community members
  • Track and follow-up with past and present potential community partners
  • Maintain community engagement
  • Requires an individual who is a self-starter, disciplined with his/her time
  • Ability to work with little supervision
  • Candidate will ideally possess some community outreach/organizing experience

Education:

  • Bachelor's Degree required/Master’s Degree a plus
  • Emphasis in Sociology. Geography, Environmental Studies or Community Development preferred but not required

Skills:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Community outreach/organizing
  • Ability to communicate clearly on multiple levels
  • Understanding of environmental justice issues
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Must have excellent time management skills
  • Self-starter yet team oriented-outcomes
  • Knowledgeable in rural issues
  • Effective presenter
  • Effective in developing rapport and relationships in the community
  • Receptive and efficient in executing tasks designated by the Executive Director

We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package, including vacation, healthcare subsidy, sick leave and compensatory time off. Rent on home office can be negotiated. All benefits will be prorated to % FTE if not full time.

CIRS is an equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

To apply and for details on compensation contact Gail Wadsworth gwadsworth@cirsinc.org

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in Rural California 228 0
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The California State Supreme Court Nov. 27 ruled against Gerawan Farming’s attempts to dismantle the state’s process for settling employment contract disputes.

 

Gerawan, one of the largest tree fruit farmers in the nation and based in Fresno County, has been locked in a battle with the United Farm Workers for four years over a union agreement with its workers.

 

The dispute has lead to numerous lawsuits, a failed attempt to kick the union out and several findings of unfair labor practices by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

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in Rural California 266 0
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County agricultural commissioners released reports of 2016 revenue in summer 2017. Kern County led the state in farm sales, with $7.2 billion worth of commodities sold, led by grapes, almonds, citrus, pistachios and milk.

Monterey County farm sales fell from $4.7 billion to $4.3 billion, largely because of lower vegetable sales of $2.8 billion in 2016. Leaf ($785 million) and head ($480 million) lettuce was the major crop in Monterey, followed by strawberries, $725 million, and broccoli, $390 million.

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in Rural California 270 0
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thanksgiving 2017As we approach Thanksgiving 2017, let’s give a thought to workers who work along the food chain, often in the lowest paying and most tenuous positions. According to a report from the Food Chain Workers Alliance, “More than 86 percent of workers reported earning subminimum, poverty, and low wages, resulting in a sad irony: food workers face higher levels of food insecurity, or the inability to afford to eat, than the rest of the U.S. workforce.” And workers along the food chain are not a small portion of the US workforce, five core segments of the food chain[1] employ 21.5 million workers the largest employment sector in the US.

Our economy has been transitioning from one in which workers have been able to exercise their rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions to one where workers are, in effect, disposable. What are the trends that contribute to this situation?


[1] Production, processing, distribution, retail and service are the 5 core segments.

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in Inequality 867 0
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Much has been written about the disproportionately high incidence of health problems such as diabetes and obesity among African Americans and Latinos when compared to non-Hispanic whites. But health disparities among smaller minority groups such as American Indians and Pacific Islanders have received far less attention.

new report out of University of California Riverside aims to change that. Led by Andrew Subica, an assistant professor of social medicine, population and public health, the study examines seven years worth of data on health trends among American Indians and Alaskan natives, native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and multiracial adults living in California.

The findings paint a startling picture of ill health among these small and historically neglected populations. Not only do their rates of diabetes and obesity surpass those of non-Hispanic white people, but many are just as or even more likely to suffer from these diseases than African Americans and Latinos.

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in Rural Health 422 0
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