*For information about and to get involved with current issue activities, click here.*
Our leaders work in teams to identify the issues most pressing to the members of our community and for which we are most likely to effect concrete, positive change. At the heart of our process is listening and sharing stories, whether through house meetings or one-on-one conversations within our communities. Moreover, we conduct research on policy and best practices to help identify issues and solutions. Our achievements on the various issues we have tackled over the years are described below.
- Championed and won the passage of three important ordinances at the County level, in Fairfax, and in San Rafael: ordinances protecting renters from discrimination on the basis of their income (voucher holders); giving renters the right to request mediation if their landlord raises their rent over 5% in a calendar year; and requiring a landlord to give a cause (from a list of acceptable reasons) for terminating a tenancy.
- Advocated for and achieved an eviction moratorium at the county level at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and won continued extensions of the moratorium over the following year.
- Helped secure $310,000 in county funding for Legal Aid of Marin in 2020 to provide legal services to low-income renters and mediation of landlord-tenant disputes.
- Fought for and won rent freezes in 2021 in census tracts of San Rafael, Novato, and unincorporated Marin most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
REST and Housing-Focused Shelter
- Helped to organize REST (Rotating Emergency Shelter Team), which operated for 10 years in congregations throughout Marin as a “temporary” solution to give the County and service providers time to develop a plan to more effectively shelter people experiencing homelessness.
- Mobilized strong community support for Project Homekey permanent supportive housing projects in Marin in 2020, including organizing hundreds of personal emails to supervisors and officials, a petition with over 700 signatures, and turnout at several public meetings. Two of the projects were approved, providing housing for 70 people experiencing homelessness.
- Marshaled support for an additional Project Homekey site, which was approved in 2022, creating 43 new units of permanent supportive housing.
- Played a key role in the effort to get Victory Village built in Fairfax, holding numerous meetings with elected officials, conducting neighborhood walks to educate Fairfax residents, and turning out leaders for town council meetings.
- Supported the Dominican Sisters’ effort to create housing for two families experiencing homelessness headed up by single moms.
- Successfully advocated at public meetings for the approval of affordable housing plans at 1 Hamilton Drive in Mill Valley, Oak Hill near San Quentin, and Northgate Mall in San Rafael.
Financial Relief for Immigrant Families
- Fought strongly for and won the passage of AB 1876, legislation allowing immigrant workers to claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit. Participating in a statewide California IAF effort, MOC leaders wrote letters to Governor Newsom, and over 300 MOC leaders showed up on Zoom and Facebook live to demand inclusion for essential workers left out of state and federal relief.
Relationships Between Police and Immigrants
- Achieved a commitment from San Rafael Police Chief Diana Bishop in 2017 that the San Rafael Police Department would not collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and that officers would participate in “house meetings” in which small groups of MOC leaders, mostly immigrants, could engage, tell stories, and ask questions, particularly in the Canal neighborhood.
Towing and Impoundment in San Rafael
- Persuaded the San Rafael police department in 2011 to change their policy of towing and impounding the cars of any undocumented residents stopped for routine and minor traffic infractions, residents (at that time) who were unable to obtain a license because of their legal status. Organized over 600 parishioners of St. Raphael’s Church to share stories of hardship with the members of the San Rafael Police Department (SRPD). Worked with San Rafael City Council members and representatives from SRPD to advocate and win a complete change in SRPD policy, thereby reducing the economic hardship and psychological strain impacting hundreds of working families.
- Fought alongside other organizations statewide to push for the successful passage of AB 60 in 2013, which allows undocumented people to obtain a driver’s license in the State of California.
Access to Healthcare
- Successfully pressured the County of Marin to hire an additional 20 eligibility workers following the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to improve local implementation.
- Created a monthly roundtable check-in for all major players to meet and coordinate their implementation plans, resulting in Marin County having one of the highest enrollment rates in the state.
- Educated and trained hundreds of leaders across lines of race, class, language, religion, and geography to work together on a practical agenda of local issues.
- Organized accountability sessions with candidates for public office, participated in precinct-walks for statewide propositions, and participated in numerous county and town council meetings across Marin.
For the latest on MOC's issue work, check out our News blog!