Union Democrat staff

Perez to speak at MLK event

Carmen Perez, national co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March, will speak at the annual Martin Luther King event at 2 p.m. Jan. 14 in the Sonora High School Auditorium.

The Motherlode Martin Luther King Jr. Committee has presented free programs to celebrate King’s birthday for 23 years.

Perez is the co-founder of Justice League NYC and founder of Justice League CA. In 2010, Perez was named executive director of The Gathering for Justice, which was founded in 2005 by Harry Belafonte.

The organization brings together activists, community members, formerly-incarcerated individuals, gang members, and academics from all communities and cultures for discussion .

The local MLK event will feature The Pine Cone Singers, the Sierra Waldorf Choir, student essay contest winners and Imam Ahmad Kayello from the Modesto Islamic Center.

Callaway announces candidacy

Merita Callaway has announced she is seeking the District 3 sear on Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.

“Being a supervisor is about listening and working in collaboration on a local, regional and state level… and, as always, in all that I do, I am committed to ensure that multiple voices are heard,” she said in a news release.

Callaway has lived in District 3 for 30 years and previously served multiple terms on the board.

She said she sees fiscal issues and land use as major issues.

Michael Oliveira is the current supervisor for District 3, which includes Douglas Flat, Murphys, Brice Station, Forest Meadows, Hathaway Pines, Avery, Arnold, White Pines, Dorrington, Camp Connell, Cottage Springs, Skyhigh, Tamarack, Sherman Acres and part of Vallecito.

Callaway lost to Oliveira in 2014.

Ed Langan has announced his candidacy for the seat as well.

Working for children

Three Calaveras County residents were recently sworn in as court appointed special advocates.

Ralph Barringer, A.D. Hawkins and Patt Hopper were sworn in by Judge Healy in the court room where they will help children through the court process and advocate for their best interest

CASA trains volunteers to watch out for the welfare of a child who has been abused or neglected and may have been removed from their home and placed in foster care.

The organization will hold its next training starting on Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The training will continue on weekdays until Jan. 23 at the Court House in San Andreas.

CASAs report to judges on facts about the child and the case to help the judge determine the best interest of the child.

CASA volunteers must complete 40 hours of training, pass a background check and be fingerprinted.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates program has been in existence for nearly 40 years, but is new to Calaveras County.

Information: Fara Roberts at 209-754-9816 or by email froberts@nexusyfs.org .

History comes alive

Columbia State Park is looking for docents to volunteer to offer history lectures at the commemorative Gold Rush town.

Costumed interpreters help teach history through reenactments, staffing exhibits and assisting with special events. The program includes more than 60 active docents and an additional 100 volunteers from around the state who help on special event days.

Volunteers are asked to commit to eight hours a month.

Applications are being accepted through Jan. 15. There is a meet and greet on Jan.

6. Training begins Jan. 27 and will run for seven consecutive Saturdays.

For information, contact the park office at 209-588-9128.

Patient and Family Advisory Council members needed

Adventist Health Sonora is looking to fill seats on its Patient and Family Advisory Council, which meets quarterly to discuss patient care and to look for new services.

The first council was assembled in 2016 and is made up of people who had been a patient or whose family member had been a patient in the previous 12 months.

“By bringing in new members, Adventist Health Sonora hopes to gain further insight to the health care needs of our community and continually improve patient care,” medical center spokesperson Lindsay Brewer said in a news release.

For more information: www.AdventistHealthSonora.org/patientadvisory or 209-536-5028.

Advocates sought for patients in long-term care facilities

Volunteers to monitor care and resolve problems in long-term and residential facilities are needed in Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, and Tuolumne counties.

The Mother Lode Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program needs people who can work in conflict resolution and be objective and independent during investigations of complaints from residents. Program officials said it requires about 15 hours of work a month.

Volunteers must attend a 36-hour training to become certified by the California Department of Aging. Training begins Jan. 23 in Sonora.

For more information, call (209) 532-7632.