At its May 3 meeting, the Madera City Council approved a letter of support for Senate Bill 227 that would extend unemployment benefits to undocumented workers.

May 3, 2023 — Madera City Council

Documented by Ramiro Merino

What happened: At its May 3 meeting, the Madera City Council approved a letter formalizing support for Senate Bill 227, which would extend unemployment insurance to undocumented workers.

In the letter addressed to Senator Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, who represents District 15 and is chair of the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee, states that the city would like to “express our strong support of SB 227” and that “this would advance the goal of stabilizing households and families for more California workers seeking employment after losing a job.”

“The City of Madera has personally seen the economic impact of unemployment in our community,” the letter states. “This legislation will provide equitable means to the most vulnerable among us and will help to support a robust local economy.”

Dr. Sarait Martinez, executive director for the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO), spoke in support of the letter and thanked the council for listening to public testimonies at the previous meeting.

“If you do decide to pass this, you will be the second city in the state to pass this,” she said. “San Francisco passed this recently. We hope to count on your support.”

Page 1 of a two-page letter approved by the Madera City Council formalizing the city’s support for Senate Bill 227, which would extend unemployment benefits to undocumented workers.

And also: During public comment, DJ Becker expressed concerns about the city’s animal control system and ordinances. He said three previous officers have left and they are down to one who is in training.

“Madera has an overwhelming number of surplus animals and ineffective ordinances, which is a bad combination,” he said. “What do you think is happening to the 5,000 animals that are refused to be taken by the Animal Control? It is a crisis and it is our responsibility to fix it. Let’s not ignore it any longer.”

City attorney resigns: City Attorney Hilda Montoy read a letter announcing her resignation effective July 1, 2023.

“I hold a strong belief in the merits of good governance and how it can help the public we all serve,” she said. “I admire what each of you does for the city, yet the time has come to focus on my family.”

Up next: The Madera City Council held a special meeting to discuss the change in city attorney on May 10. Its next regular meeting is scheduled for May 17.

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The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...