CAUSE began as two separate organizations, CAUSE in Ventura County in 2001 and PUEBLO in Santa Barbara County in 2003, which both emerged during the living wage movement and won milestone victories to create a living wage region on the Central Coast. In 2012, the two organizations joined forces, and CAUSE took on PUEBLO’s work in Santa Barbara County, creating a regional organization for social, economic and environmental justice.
CAUSE's mission is to build grassroots power to invoke social, economic and environmental justice for the people of California's Central Coast Region through policy research, leadership development, organizing, and advocacy. CAUSE defines the Central Coast Region as the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito.
CAUSE's vision is that together we can create a global community where we all contribute to, and benefit from, a sustainable economy that is just, prosperous and environmentally healthy.
Through community organizing and policy advocacy, we have:
Passed five living wage ordinances benefiting thousands of workers
Prevented service cuts and fee hikes and expanded public transportation in the region
Increased funding for education by turning out the vote for state and local ballot initiatives
Influenced redistricting to ensure fair political representation for immigrant and working-class communities
Supported the unionization of in-home support service workers resulting in wage increases and health coverage
Protected our communities from being exposed to environmental hazards like a liquid natural gas terminal in Oxnard and metal scrapyard in Santa Maria
Helped create a free and low-cost health access program for uninsured children in Ventura County
Passed a local ordinance protecting tenants from eviction by landlords in Santa Barbara County
Defended immigrant rights by stopping car impoundments for unlicensed drivers in Santa Barbara
Promoted health equity by convincing the city of Ventura to purchase land for a park in the low-income Westside neighborhood