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Our Story

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 nationwide living wage movement and won milestone victories to create a living wage region on the Central Coast, lifting wages for thousands of workers. In 2013, 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

CAUSE is a base-building organization committed to social, economic, and environmental justice for working-class and immigrant communities in California’s Central Coast. We build grassroots power through community organizing, leadership development, coalition building, civic engagement, policy research, and advocacy.  

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 living wage ordinances benefiting thousands of workers

  • Prevented service cuts and fee hikes and expanded public transportation in the region

  • Increased funding for education and youth programs by turning out the vote for state and local ballot initiatives and organizing youth advocacy for programs and services

  • Advocated for voting rights and fair political representation for immigrant and working-class communities in election districts and redistricting

  • Supported the unionization of in-home support service workers resulting in wage increases and health coverage

  • Protected our communities from being burdened by environmental hazards like liquefied natural gas terminals, power plants, and metal scrapyards

  • Helped expand access to healthcare for low-income families, immigrants, and children through both local and state policy

  • Built an immigrant defense rapid response warning system and worked to separate our local law enforcement from collaboration with ICE

  • Passed local ordinances protecting tenants from eviction and displacement and supported the construction of more affordable housing in our region

  • Worked to advance access to healthy school nutrition programs and reduce exposure to pesticides among children and farmworkers

  • Defended immigrant rights by stopping car impoundments for unlicensed drivers and supporting access to driver’s licenses for immigrants

  • Promoted health equity and access to green space by creating a new park and supporting environmental restoration efforts in our communities

  • Responded to wildfires in our region with disaster aid for immigrant families, safety protections for outdoor workers, and language access to emergency information

See profiles of some of our recent victories: