The city of San Fernando has organized a campaign to prevent the closure of the J.C. Penney in San Fernando.

The long-standing store is scheduled to close at the end of July, impacting some 50 employees.

Community organizations such as the Valley Economic Alliance have aligned with city officials in a last-ditch effort to keep the retailer in the community.

The city has arranged an online petition as well as a Facebook page dedicated to the campaign. Organizers hope to get 1,000 signatures before a community rally, which will be held on July 1.

Community members have already begun voicing their sentiments on the website change.org, which hosts the online the petition.

Sylmar resident, Dean Cohen, said “As the President of the Sylmar Civic Association, I feel that the removal of the store will negatively affect the Sylmar - San Fernando area and the surrounding communities. It is the only local department store. The next nearest Penney’s is at least 15 miles away in Northridge, Burbank or Santa Clarita.”

Angela Melero