Eat, Drink, and Support the Dream Act At 'Dinners For DACA’

 Photo courtesy of SameSide

Photo courtesy of SameSide

This post was originally published for L.A. Taco. 

Lovers of good food and activism will be able to experience their worlds collide next week at SameSide’s 7th session of Dinners For DACA.

For $35, socially conscious diners who stand up for America’s nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants under DACA will be able to enjoy a three-course meal consisting of “organic, locally sourced comfort classics” at The Standard hotel’s 24/7 Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. However, instead of merely raising a glass in support of dreamers during the dinner, the diners will organize and take action on the spot.

“We are going to make calls to elected officials and we are going to write letters, says Nicole àBeckett, who co-founded SameSide along with her brother, David Legacki. “What we do at SameSide is lower the barrier and instigate other people to have their voice heard,” she concludes.

“That is when change happens.”

According to àBeckett, the main goal of these dinners is to show how anyone can be effective and engage in current matters. “It can be intimidating or scary for some people and others just don’t know how they can get started,” she adds. “SameSide wants to help guide them.”  She also recognizes that this is not just a California issue, but a national one. Thus, they encourage their attendees to make phone calls to family and friends in other states where their representatives might not be as supportive as California’s. This dinner is not a fundraiser and ticket sales received do not go towards any charity. The price of the dinner covers the restaurant’s cost to host the prix-fixe dinner.

The intimate dinner series has attracted DACA recipients themselves who have bravely spoken up and told their stories to the rest of the attendees during the dinner’s roundtable component. “It just so happens that we have had dreamers attend every single one of our DACA dinners and share their stories,” àBeckett comments. She is very aware of the exploitative nature that can be perceived while doing this as an ally, so she exercises as much caution as possible when promoting and executing. One dinner they recently hosted inspired a dreamer to organize a similar event in Wilmington.

Erick Huerta, a vocal DACA recipient from Boyle Heights, welcomes the support. “As someone who was active in the campaigns to pass the first iterations of the Federal Dream Act in 2007 through 2010, the support of allies was instrumental in making the work happen.” He remembers a lot of vital conversations taking place over the dinner table. Huerta currently has a DACA work permit and still welcome those who want to continue learning and support this current fight for DACA and a Clean Federal Dream Act.

Though, he does add: “Just make sure that your efforts to support are coming from a genuine place.”

What? Dinners for DACA

Where? The Standard’s 24/7 Restaurant, 550 South Flower Street

When: Wednesday, January 31st from 7:30-9: 30 pm.

Cost: $35 for a three-course meal, tax, and gratuity included. Tickets can be found here.