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June 2021

This agreement provides access to Axon Direct, which will allow the field supervisors and managers to review and audit body worn camera footage on a regular basis, to allow us better oversight in the field," "A signal sidearm, which is attached to the firearm holster, which activated the primary user's body worn camera, with additional body worn cameras within the range of the signal anytime a firearm is removed from the holster," Undersheriff Jauch, said.


May  2021

The MLK CommUNITY Initiative is holding a food giveaway every third Monday of the month through the rest of the year.

The food giveaways will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MLK CommUNITY Initiative’s headquarters, located at 1627 Virginia Ave.

 All you have to do is pull up to their distribution site and a volunteer will load your car. Social distancing guidelines will be followed and you are required to wear a mask when in your car.

Food Giveaway Dates:

  • June 21

  • July 19

  • Aug. 16

  • Sept. 20

  • Oct. 18

  • Nov. 15

  • Dec. 20

April  2021

In recent years, Martin Luther King Jr. Park, in southeast Bakersfield has become a hotspot for crime and litter. But council member Eric Arias, assemblyman Rudy Salas, and the MLK Community Initiative want to change that.



April  2021

Leaders in Kern’s Black community offered reaction Tuesday after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.“Thank you God,” exclaimed Pastor Gregory Tatum as he heard the verdict read live on NBC News.

April  2021

Thank you to all who served at the Kenya Community Center FOOD DISTRIBUTION. Volunteers from MLKcommUNITY Initiative, Cain Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church, Jerusalem Mission Community COGIC, and AmeriCorps distributed boxes of food provided by the Capk Food-Bank to families in need.

April  2021

The MLKcommUNITY Initiative plans a prayer vigil for 5 p.m. Sunday on the steps of the Bakersfield Police Department downtown.

 Earnest prayers for unity and forgiveness, for mutual trust and love, will happen this Sunday on the steps of the Bakersfield Police Department," according to the organization's website.

April  2021

Just as the supply of COVID-19 vaccine has increased in Kern County, demand appears to be tapering off even though Kern has a relatively low local vaccination rate.

"The quicker we get our population vaccinated, the sooner we get back to that normalcy we’re looking for," said Brynn Carrigan, Kern County's public health director.

April  2021

Regardless of the many ways they came to The People's Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, their focus was singular: to receive one of 1,000 one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, free of charge, right in their southeast Bakersfield community.

"Today we removed every single barrier," said Arleana Waller, founder of the MLKcommUNITY Initiative, one of the organizers of this first pop-up clinic in this area of town.

More than 500 doses of the COVID - 19 are available at People's Missionary Baptist Church

April 2021

More than 500 doses of the COVID - 19 are available at People's Missionary Baptist Church.

April  2021

The MLK CommUNITY Initiative put together the first vaccination pop-up in Southeast Bakersfield on Sunday. "I truly believe the vaccine can help people, and despite the side effects I think it’s definitely worth it,” said Mc Arthur Blackledge, vaccinated Bakersfield resident.

April  2021

According to the state's COVID website, in Kern county, 2.5 % of African Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, that's less than Asian Americans at 4.4%, Latinos at 35.6% and Caucasians at 29.2%.

It's for the reason that inspired several local groups to partner together to walk the neighborhoods of southeast Bakersfield Wednesday, knocking on doors to encourage people to get vaccinated this Sunday.

April  2021

Arleana Waller: “We have partnered with the governor’s office to put 1,000 Johnson and Johnson ‘one shot, get it done’ vaccines into the southeast community,” said Arleana Waller, CEO of the MLK CommUNITY Initiative. “We’re excited to partner with all the people you see here to canvas and reach the community and get them registered to receive this vaccine.”

March 2021 

“We’re excited to partner with the governor, Kaiser, Dignity and Adventist,” said Arleana Waller, the Founder and CEO of the MLK CommUNITY Initiative. “This is a massive event. One thousand single shots. “Getting the vaccine is the best way to ensure that you don’t end up killing yourself, or allowing this virus to kill somebody you love,” said Pastor Jones.

March  2021

.Kern County public health authorities have partnered with members of the local Black community to produce a pair of public service announcements urging people to set aside their hesitations and get vaccinated against COVID-19."Distrust and uncertainty are real," he says. "But the COVID-19 vaccines have been validated by top medical experts to be safe and effective, and they are free."

March 2021

They require a lot of buy-in, and they require a number of people who are willing to go against the status quo or the way things have always been. And so what we have see in the build up of the whole BLM movement was a lot of chatter and excitement and momentum buildings.The ultimate decision lies with the council in their discussion of the budget scheduled in May

March 2021

23ABC is partnering with the Community Action Partnership of Kern to help provide the daily nutrition needs of many of the county's residents, including those within our county who may be in a food desert."Last year we provided 33 million pounds of food at no cost to the citizens of Kern County," said James Burger, Community Action Partnership of Kern advocacy and outreach coordinator."

March  2021

Waller says she and other community members have tried for years to help the community around MLK Park rebound, but she does not believe there has been enough support from officials. So while calling for community members to hold each other responsible for the safety of each other, Waller also says there needs to be aggressive action to bring more support to the community and help others “who have been boots-on-the-ground,” working to fix the social issues that have plagued Southeast Bakersfield for decades.


February 2021

Founder Arleana Frink Waller wanted to create an economic non-profit development collaborative organization that works for the sole purpose of providing resources to a long underserved community. Along with a strong multicultural team of community leaders and volunteers allows the MLK Community Initiative to impact our community in ways we have never seen before.

January 2021

“As a community, one of my hopes and dreams is that every person can remember Dr. Martin Luther King, not as an advocate for Blacks, but as an advocate for world peace,” said Christ First Pastor Josephate Jordan, who has been organizing the event for more than 20 years. “It’s important that we spread that word to this community and wherever we have a voice to be heard.”

December 2020

The MLKcommUNITY Initiative held its December food giveaway at its new headquarters, the Kenya Community Center at 1627 Virginia Avenue. According to the Initiative's founder Arleana Waller, 17,000 pounds of food was provided at the drive-thru event and over 500 boxes were handed out — Waller added that the Initiative ran out of food with people still waiting in line. The food was given to needy families, seniors, homeless and veterans in need.

December 2020

COLDf is really healing the trust, because the trust is so divided between the city and the community. It’s healing trust between organizations that don’t typically work with each other, because we’re bringing collaborative partners together.  I feel like Esther from the Old Testament story; like I was prepared to go away and come back to help my people. It’s humbling to be trusted with people’s hope. Hope fuels a revolution. If we can get you to hope again, we can create change together.

November 2020

The MLK CommUNITY Initiative are once again partnering with the Patriots of the Cross to provide free protein boxes throughout the month of November. The distributions will be held on Nov. 11, Nov. 18 and Nov. 25 at 2:30 p.m. The boxes can be picked up at the MLK distribution center located at Central Seventh Day Adventist Church.

October 2020

Voter rights and registration are being advocated by the MLK CommUNITY Initiative's "Inspire to Go Higher" program that held a drive-thru caravan event on Saturday in South Bakersfield. During the inaugural "Get Out The Vote" caravan, volunteers gave information and redirected potential voters who are not registered to the Elections Office in downtown Bakersfield.

October 2020

His was just one of dozens of pickups, vans and trailers that waited in a long line early Friday morning at CityServe Kern County's F Street location to load up 30 food boxes — out of more than 1,200 that had arrived from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

"Having the opportunity to receive and distribute these beautiful boxes of food through Farmers to Families is an incredible opportunity to bless the community," said Robin Robinson, CityServe's community development & church engagement director.

  September 2020

The Kentucky attorney general announced the grand jury report in the deadly shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor on Wednesday. Grand jurors indicted one of the three officers involved for "wanton endangerment in the first degree."Grand jurors indicted one officer for wanton endangerment, which means the officer recklessly fired his gun. Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that put Breonna Taylor's neighbors in danger. But none of the officers were charged with killing 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.

September 2020

On Monday, the initiative held its monthly free food giveaway to support many residents experiencing tough times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of (the southeast community) are essential workers and if you have a very limited income coming in, you have to make very tough decisions,” Waller said. “(The giveaways make) a very big deal in their house.


July 2020

The Kern County Sheriff’s Department has created an advisory council in collaboration with the MLK CommUNITY Initiative Council, the organization’s spokeswoman, Arleana Waller, announced Tuesday.“We want to educate and enlighten and be educated and enlightened,” Waller said in a prepared statement. “We believe the only way to accomplish this goal is to bring a diverse voice to the table, to roll up our sleeves and to work from a space of love and understanding.”

June 2020

Nick Hill lll, The President and CEO of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce is asking for a stop to African-Americans being subjected to police brutality over the years, in the wake of George Floyd's death.

June 2020

Due to the large volume of messages, the city only included a summary chart of all messages received in the memo. A survey of the subjects indicate many emails involve defunding the Bakersfield Police Department, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the #8CantWait campaign. A portion of the emails also oppose defunding the police department.

June 2020

Things got a little testy Wednesday afternoon when Sheriff Donny Youngblood held a virtual forum to discuss law enforcement and the African American community.

May 2020

African Americans are part of the HTC population. COLDf community partner ShePower produced a great PSA with Black Pastor

May 2020

African Americans are part of the HTC population. COLDf community partner ShePower produced a great PSA with Community Leaders.

Community leaders urge communities of color to follow social distancing guidelines

April 23, 2020

"I'm excited that there is one in the fifth district period that's important cause Brown and black both are suffering highly in this coven and the disparities that we deal with. But when we look at the Southeast area, which is the area we're here speaking on behalf of, we do not have a free test and center out in this area. We do not have an urgent care. Transportation is an issue. A grocery store is an issue," Waller said

Food banks feel strain as more families seek help

April 21, 2020

Lately these drives, which typically help about 150 to 200 families, have been seeing 300 to 550 families. She recently had to turn away cars that stretched three blocks just because food was no longer available. "Yesterday, I said to my husband, 'I’m so sad, that’s over 100 families we weren’t able to help,'" she said after returning from a food giveaway. ~ Arleana Waller

April 20, 2020

Supervisor Leticia Perez in partnership with Isaiah Crompton from “Caught Up The Game”, Arleana Waller from The Frink Firm and other community leaders make up the MLK CommUnity Initiative.

April 1, 2020

The Kern Complete Count Committee Communications member Arleana Frink-Waller joins Eyewitness News anchor Aaron Perlman to explain how you can get involved with the Census and sign up to help.

March 29, 2020

Kern County is fortunate to have several female leaders from various sectors who are role models for young women aspiring to achieve greatness like them.  The Californian asked several of these women two questions — what is one trait every strong leader needs, and what inspirational advice do you have for young women who aspire to a leadership position — in honor of Women's History Month.

MLK CommUnity Initiative community partner - Supervisor Leticia Perez speaks on COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Supervisor Perez, mentions that she is currently working on regular food deliveries in the southeast area of Bakersfield, as part of the ongoing MLK Initiative.

The MLK CommUnity Initiative handed out free food to a long line of cars Wednesday morning on California Avenue.  One woman, Desiree Chapman, said she was in line at least an hour when we spoke to her. She said she’s still working but needs the extra help for her family and baby.

MLK CommUnity Initiative to hold food distribution on March 18

March 17 2018

The MLK CommUnity Initiative usually holds this food distribution on a monthly basis and is typically held at Belle Terrace Park however, in light of the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus the organizers have decided to change the location of the distribution to allow for greater health precautions to be made.

March 18, 2018

“When times are tough, or we think times are tough, we come together, we pull our resources together,” Assemblyman Rudy Salas said. Dozens of caring hearts and serving hands showed up to help the MLK CommUnity Initiative distribute food. “Fresh fruit, we have oranges, apples, pears, chicken,” Arleana Waller with The Frink Firm said.

MLK Community Initiative first to do a Drive Through Food Distribution in Kern County

March 18, 2018

"This is our way of being present and giving and supporting the community," said Arleana Waller, CEO of the Frink Firm. Her organization, along with Supervisor Leticia Perez, and Circle of Life and Caught Up The Game collaborated to make the MLK #commUNITY Initiative food giveaway possible. "We understand people are hurting and in need." - Gave out over 550 boxes of food with 50 volunteers.


Arleana Waller, CEO of the Frink Firm and ShePower Leadership Academy serves as a 2020 Census Spokesperson wo empower the HTC community to self count themselves. This commercial ran on multiple local media channels.

March 12, 2020

Arleana Waller, CEO of the Frink Firm and ShePower Leadership Academy serves as a Census 2020 Spokesperson to empower the HTC community to count themselves in the 2020 Census.

March 12, 2020

Arleana Waller, CEO of the Frink Firm and ShePower Leadership Academy talks with the media as a trusted messenger to empower African Americans, who are a part of the HTC community to count themselves in the 2020 Census.

March 11, 2020

Arleana Waller, CEO of the Frink Firm and ShePower Leadership Academy says our role as a community organization in the 2020 Census is to become part of a powerful network of government, nonprofit, corporate, and community organizations to develop solutions to effectively reach everyone and encourage them to respond to the 2020 Census. Our specific target audience efforts are toward the African American community.

February 27, 2020

#MLKcommUNITY Entrepreneur Roundtable sponsored by Bank of America, with 50 scholarships to Startitup given by Bank of America and KITE. Approximately 70 people attended.  The event was hosted by The Frink Firm.  Food was provided by Chef Ora of O’Mazing Event Planning.

February 26, 2020

Heart disease and stroke is the No. 1 killer in women, and it disproportionately affects African-American women, it’s our No. 1 killer. African-American women are less likely to be aware that heart disease is the leading cause of our death. It’s time Kern County health care partner with us and start an initiative to educate us on matters of the heart.

February 27, 2020

Cottonwood Road, known for its struggles with poverty, homelessness, and crumbling infrastructure, had something special to show Williams, who came to Bakersfield by invitation from Kern County supervisor Leticia Perez, ward one city councilman Willie Rivera, the Bakersfield City School District, and the MLK Community Initiative.

February 2, 2020

“Whether a parent chooses a traditional school, charter, or parochial school, we’re passionate about educating parents about not allowing the government to dictate what’s best for their kids”, Warren said.

February 4, 2020

MLK Community Initiative Founder and CEO of The Frink Firm, Arleana Waller accepts the County Proclamation in Honor of February as Black History Month in Kern County.

January 29, 2020

1000+ signatures to say NO to Calcot was disregarded in the same manor the Southeast voice continually is disregarded.

The Southeast Voice Was Silenced By City Council

Neighboring community reacts to city councils decision on purchasing Calcot for new homeless shelter

January 23, 2020

MLK Community Initiative Founder and CEO of The Frink Firm, speaks on behalf of the Initiative in oppose of the low barrier shelter being placed in the Southeast.

Bakersfield City Council narrowly approves location for low-barrier homeless shelter on East Brundage Lane

January 22, 2020

MLK Community Initiative Founder and CEO of The Frink Firm, speaks on behalf of the Initiative in oppose of the low barrier shelter being placed in the Southeast.

January 22, 2020

MLK Community Initiative Founder and CEO of The Frink Firm, speaks on behalf of the Initiative in oppose of the low barrier shelter being placed in the Southeast.

January 23, 2020

"I have a compassion, I just don't feel that it all should be just congregated in one area," Nontzikelelo said. "We need to share equally in this issue."

January 22, 2020

Community advocate Arleana Waller submitted a petition with over 1,000 signatures to the city in opposition to the Calcot site.  “For the first time in decades, this community feels like it has hope,” Waller said. “And then we talk about adding a low-barrier shelter in a double-digit unemployment area, that’s inhumane.”

Isaiah Crompton & Danny O'Neal of MLK Community Initiative members organize community march with their organization.

January 20,2020

“Dr. Martin Luther King means so much to everybody, not just to African American cultures, but all cultures,” said Danny O’Neal, a member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee. Isaiah Crompton, a vice-chair of the committee, said the march was important to bring the ideals of King to Bakersfield’s younger generations.

Local groups offering scholarships to help create business owners, through mobile app

January 10, 2020

"The MLK Community Initiative is more about a group in the community, who care about the community," Waller said. "And they are working collaboratively, to help the Southeast area, specifically the MLK and Cottonwood area."

January 8, 202

 “Not enough thought and planning has been put into this to know if it will work or not,” community organizer Arleana Waller said of the city’s plan to put a shelter in southeast Bakersfield. “It’s very disrespectful to the residents who pay taxes in the community.”

December 10, 2019

Isaiah Crompton, founder of Caught Up The Game and community Lead with the MLK community Initiative Rebound Coalition speaks against the homeless shelter being placed in the Southeast area.

MLK Community Initiative host the City of Bakersfield Community at its Monthly Meeting

December 10, 2019

"We also want the city to understand and hear the residents as they've been asking for things for over 30 years, many residents who are in this area are one paycheck away from being homeless,” Arleana Waller, meeting organizer said.



Held at Jerusalem Church on Cottonwood Road, the well-attended meeting was designed to provide residents of the city's southeast a chance to comment on two recent proposals to develop an emergency homeless shelter in the area...


I am committed to working with the City and the residents of Southeast Bakersfield to stabilize and revitalize this neighborhood. This community has suffered from the stigma of drugs, gangs, poverty and crime for way too long and I want to help change that. Southeast Bakersfield has great, untapped potential and the ingredients for success are already there. Building a homeless shelter in the middle of this neighborhood, is not an answer to their cries, it would set us back significantly. And that is the last thing this community deserves.

COMMUNITY VOICES: Southeast Bakersfield deserves better


I am committed to working with the city and the residents of southeast Bakersfield to stabilize and revitalize this neighborhood. This community has suffered from the stigma of drugs, gangs, poverty and crime for way too long and I want to help change that. Southeast Bakersfield has great, untapped potential and the ingredients for success are already there. Building a homeless shelter in the middle of this neighborhood is not an answer to their cries. It would set us back significantly, and that is the last thing this community deserves....


For decades, tragedies have been a persistent and painful part of the Cottonwood story. Well-intended residents like Isaiah Crompton, one of the founders of the Stop the Violence gang intervention group, heroically so. It may seem to many, though, including those who have called Cottonwood home, that the rest of Bakersfield is content to leave it be... Waller, whose contractor-father, the late Willie J. Frink, built much of Cottonwood and Bakersfield in general, is fortifying Cottonwood in a completely different sense...


Crompton, who is 62 now, said he still remembers when King was assassinated in 1968. “I could hear neighbors wailing and crying,” he said. “It was just awful. I didn’t know what had happened at first and I ran home and my parents told me what had happened. The whole community was just so sad.” Now, more than 50 years after the death of the civil rights leader, King’s legacy will be a permanent presence in the community, and advocates hope the new name will symbolize a new future for the neighborhood.



Cottonwood Road in southeast Bakersfield will now be named South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  "There's a lot of energy and a lot of excitement," community leader and ShePower organizer, Arleana Waller said.