Meeting 4 Info: Income Inequality and Economic Opportunity

Our next meeting on Income Inequality and Economic Opportunity is March 10th 2015 6-8PM at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History!

Here are the projects we’ll be exploring at this meeting. Please click the links if you’d like to learn more about these projects prior to the meeting.

The Digital NEST with Jacob Martinez
The Digital NEST is a high-tech space located in the heart of Watsonville. Young people ages 12-24 from Santa Cruz County have access to computers, software, Wi-Fi, and other digital tools and classes. They master skills necessary to thrive in the high tech, globally connected world in which we all live. Digital NEST does not stop at “training” – we turn our members into technology consultants who provide technology support services to local businesses, fostering entrepreneurship and fueling community economic development. Currently many of our big companies do not recruit future talent locally. They look outside the county for this talent. Our vision is to have the Digital NEST be the first place they look for new talent and do this by having them invest in the youth.  Learn more about the Digital NEST here.

The Homeless Services Center (HSC) with Maggie McKay 
HSC practices effective solutions that create a pathway to housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County. The HSC campus is a part of this path, providing a space for programming that moves individuals and families out of homelessness into stable housing. The campus and its entryway present challenges which heavily influence the public’s perception of homelessness. But, I see this challenge as an opportunity. My dream is to creatively transform the HSC space and empower the individuals experiencing homelessness in this process.  I hope that by creating an entryway and campus that are dynamic and beautiful, that it will send a message that HSC is creating solutions as well as bringing dignity and hope to its participants. Learn more about the HSC here.

Youth Violence Prevention Through Youth Employment with Megan Joseph
“Nothing stops a bullet like a job” – Father Boyle
While overall crime and juvenile delinquency rates are down in our County, 2014 was the deadliest year on record in the City of Watsonville, and 60% of the victims were youth.  For the past two years, over 200 stakeholders have engaged in county-wide planning process to address youth and gang violence from a holistic perspective that provides a balance of prevention, intervention and enforcement.  Youth employment has emerged as a key strategy to violence prevention, providing youth with a positive way to build confidence, stay engaged, support their families and successfully transition into adulthood and careers.  It has also emerged as a huge gap in our community, with only 31% of youth ages 16-19 employed, down from 50% in 2007.  Our dream is to tear down the roadblocks to youth employment so that every youth who wants a job in our community, has a job. Learn more about Youth Violence Prevention here.

It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask with Wes Modes
Wes will lead a discussion on fundraising, sharing culture, crowdsourcing, and participatory economics. We’ll talk about your projects and brainstorm ways you can find funders and push past the discomfort of asking them for support.
Here are some links to possibly helpful readings:

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