b"New initiatives pave the way for community self-advocacyPuente has supported the rights of community members and farmworkers since inception. Now, two new initiatives give the *Latino/a community tools to advocate for themselves with landlords, and to push for direct political change by forming grassroots campaigns.The 2021 Strategic Plan crystallized Puentes priority around economic security for the South Coast community, which in turn led to the hiring of a Housing Advocacy Director, Hyun-mi Kim. She oversees the Model Lease program, an initiative to update the leases that farmworker tenants sign with their bosses/landlords, sometimes without understanding them. We often hear from farmworker tenants, letting us know that they have not been provided with a lease. Or even when they have a lease, it's not in their native language, says Kim. Theres also a lot of legal jargon that is difficult to understand.The new leases are being workshopped by tenants and landlords, who have welcomed the updates. Puente is also developingbilingual pamphlets that inform tenants on their rights and responsibilitiesincluding the issue ofhousing repairs, so tenants can report issues without fear of eviction. Broadening the lens, Puentes Del Campo Al Cambio (From the Field to Change) program is providing a space fornatural-born leaders who are already invested in improving their communityand giving them training and tools to make political headway on tackling big issues they want to focus on. The group meets monthly and two of its members have already been elected to serve on the newly formed San Mateo County Farmworker Advisory Commission. Were very used to Puente being at the front of the room and advocating. The vision that we have is that Puente can stay in the back and support the leaders, because change happens when people who need it, lead it. says Puente Executive Director, Rita Mancera.12"