Saturday, October 04, 2008

PUEBLO: a great group in my new town.

One of the many reasons I am pleased to now live in Santa Barbara, California, is the existence of this great organization, PUEBLO.

This is how they describe themselves:

PUEBLO is a 501(c)4 non-profit economic and environmental justice organization dedicated to building the political power and leadership of low-income residents throughout Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara County is home to one of the wealthiest communities in the United States, yet there is tremendous poverty throughout our County. Santa Barbara County has the highest rate of uninsured children in the State, and the economy is dominated by low-wage jobs in the service, tourist, and agricultural industries.

The high cost of living is forcing working families to hold multiple jobs, commute long distances for low-wage work, and live in crowded apartments. Many working people are frequently forced to make hard choices between paying the rent, feeding their families, or going to the doctor. When working families are unable to meet their basic needs, our whole community suffers.

PUEBLO’s primarily organizes around the following issues: living wage, public transportation, affordable housing, health care, immigrant rights, and child care.

One of my favorite parts about this is that they are organized as a 501(c)(4) organization. This means that donations to the organization are not tax-deductible, as they are with the better known 501(c)(3) organizations. The flip side is that PUEBLO does not have to conform to the legal limits placed on 501(c)(3) organizations, namely that they can't support or oppose candidates for elected office. In other words, they are less hamstrung by the "non-profit/industrial complex." I look forward to learning more about them.

No comments: