For more than 30 years, the staff of the Perris-based TODEC Legal Center has worked to bring immigrants into the mainstream of American life, through education, employment training, English-language instruction and by guiding them through the immigration process to become U.S. citizens.
So far, more than 100,000 immigrants have navigated their way through the process to take the oath as Americans.
Each year, the non-profit TODEC (Training Occupational Development Educating Communities) hosts a multicultural festival on the Perris City Hall Campus and Bob Glass Gym. This year’s festival takes place Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Perris City Council on Sept. 8 presented a proclamation in support of TODEC and the upcoming festival. Perris Mayor Daryl Busch noted TODEC’s “mission to empower disenfranchised immigrant communities” and its continuing support of “equitable access to information and services for limited and non-English speaking peoples.” The Mayor noted TODEC serves as a diverse population and was instrumental in bringing the Cesar E. Chavez Public Library to Perris more than 20 years ago.
TODEC founder Luz Marie Ayala and members of her family accepted the proclamation. Ayala gave brief but emotional remarks as she thanked the City of Perris for supporting its mission and its annual multicultural festival.
“Thank you from our community,” she said. “I am very happy about this.”
Luz Gallegos, community programs director for TODEC, also expressed support to Perris its support of the group,
“We are very grateful for our City supporting us,” she said. “We will continue to empower our immigrants.”