Saturday, August 31, 2013

California Governor Brown endorses comprehensive immigration reform.

The California Latino Legislative Caucus held informational hearings on current efforts on immigration reform on Aug.27,2013, in Sacramento, California.  Speakers from community groups, labor unions, growers, and Dreamers, among others, presented the major issues and many of the problems with SB 744, the current federal proposal.  Enrique Moreno of Border Angeles described terror on the border. There were clear divisions among the groups about the current bill for its many repressive characteristics.  Mike Garcia of SEIU the Service Employees International  was  one of the more active advocates  for the bill saw the passage of the amended S744  as a major victory for working people. Conservative Republican forces in the U.S. Senate amended the bill to achieve a massive   $46  Billion  expansion of border control and  enforcement.  Moreno testified that this would only lead to more deaths on the border.
California Governor Brown joined the hearing for a short while and clearly endorsed efforts at comprehensive reform and promised to work with the legislators to assist with related state issues.
You can view the entire hearing with its many excellent and well informed speakers here.
It is well done and well informed.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

California Latino Caucus holds hearing on Immigration Reform

California Latino Caucus Sponsors Debate on CIR
The California Latino Legislator Caucus sponsored a debate on "comprehensive immigration reform" in Sacramento on August 27, 2013.  Those opposing the U.S. Senate version of CIR, S.744, that now sits on the U.S. House of Representatives side for consideration, were Attorney Peter Schey, Enrique Morones of Border Angels, Arnold Torres, Immigration Analyst, and Arturo Carmona of  Those supporting S.744 were Mike Garcia of SEIU, Angelica Salas of CHIRLA, and Diana Tellefson Torres of the UFW (representing union president Arturo Rodriguez).  Gov. Jerry Brown also spoke as a guest of the forum.  Representatives of agricultural grower and construction industries were also represented and the AFL-CIO California Labor Federation.  Notwithstanding all of the controversial provisions of the S.744 legislation, such as the limited 10-year provisional permit and additional 3-year permanent residency, cancellation of social security credits for all applicants, cancellation of permits due to 60-day lapse of employment over ten years, the $50 billion border surge, the mandatory E-verify provisions for all employers and a national ID card for immigrants; the estimated 60% of the 11 million undocumented community that would be eligible and the others deported; the cancellation of U.S. citizens to any longer emigrate brothers and sisters, and much more; there are unions and immigrant advocates that continue to support this legislation under the argument that "nothing is worst" or that "this is the only thing on the table," or "this is our last chance."  We know that this is all false.  President Obama has deported more people than any previous president in American history.  He has deported 500,000 young people since he took office, more than the 360,000 who have received the DACA permit.  We demand that President Obama stop the separation of families and deportations.  We invite you to review the video of the debate (3 hours long, but well worth watching) and make up your own mind.  We are convinced that you will agree that our people deserve better! 
Mexican American Political Association.
See the hearing here. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cornel West on liberals, Trayvon Martin, privilege
Dr. Cornel West, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud joins Thom Hartmann. For tonight's Conversation with Great Minds Thom is joined by Dr. Cornel West. A self-described "champion of justice through the traditions of the black church" - Dr. West is one of America's most important public intellectuals and a fierce advocate for democracy. He currently serves as the Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at the Union Theological Seminary and is the author of 20 books - including the classics "Race Matters" and "Democracy Matters."
July, 2013. 

Big, Glitzy Marches Are Not Movements | Boston Review

Big, Glitzy Marches Are Not Movements | Boston Review

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Socialists Who Made the March on Washington

The Socialists Who Made the March on Washington

 Harold Meyerson.
 Rustin, working both with and for the unchallenged leader of the civil-rights movement, the venerable A. Philip Randolph, became the central figure in taking that movement national. For Rustin and Randolph, as for King, Baker, Levison, Harrington, Horowitz, and Kahn, the challenge confronting African Americans was always two-fold: to tear down the legal edifice of segregation that imperiled and degraded Southern blacks, and to remake the American economy into a more egalitarian social democracy under which—and only under which—black Americans could actually prosper.
  This was the genesis of the network of democratic socialists who seven years later were to conceive, organize, and set the themes for the March on Washington.
See the details of the Saturday march below.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Join DSA at the March on Washington

“You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of the slums. . . . There must be a better distribution of wealth . . . and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speech to the SCLC staff, Frogmore, S.C., November 14, 1966

                                                              Why We March
DSA is an official partner organization sponsoring the August 24, 2013 March on Washington 50 years after activists, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., marched on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  That march, and the years of organizing which preceded it, built public pressure and helped lead to landmark civil rights legislation and later the expansion and protection of voting rights.
    Democratic socialists Bayard Rustin, Walter Reuther and A. Philip Randolph (above)

helped organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 50 years ago.
   They knew that ending legal segregation and winning political rights for African Americans were essential, but not sufficient, to ensure justice and freedom for all. Without access to good education, to health care and above all to decent jobs that paid living wages, the vote was not enough.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Join the March on Washington

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Join the March on Washington: Join DSA at the March on Washington Why We March DSA is an official partner organization sponsoring the August 2...

Guest Workers threaten strike at Sakuma Brothers Farm

by David Bacon
BURLINGTON, WASHINGTON -- Filemon Pineda traveled a thousand miles to northwest Washington to pick strawberries and blueberries, as he's done for three years.  He left Santa Maria, California, in April, got picking jobs for himself and his wife at Sakuma Brothers Farms, one of the state's largest berry growers, and was assigned a dilapidated cabin in Labor Camp 2.

He bought a cheap bunk bed, and the company gave him some ancient mattresses, one even wrapped in an old black plastic sheet.  His three small children slept together on one bunk, while he spread the other mattresses on the concrete floor, which he covered with carpet samples.

When he went to work, though, he found he wasn't making enough to survive the coming winter, once the family returned to California.  He and his coworkers in Camp 2 stewed over their problems for several months.  Finally, in July, they'd had enough.  When the blueberry picking started, the company fired Federico Lopez on July 10 for asking for a wage raise, and workers went on strike on July 11 to get his job back.

They organized a committee, Families United for Justice, and later formulated a list of demands that included wage raises and improvements in conditions in the labor camp where they lived.  Sakuma Brothers Farms has two labor camps - temporary housing for migrant workers during the picking.  Over 200 families live in Camp 2.

Lopez was rehired on July 15, and workers returned to their picking jobs while they continued to negotiate with the company.  On July 20 they struck again, accusing the company of lowering their piecerate wage.  On July 26 they went back to work, while continuing to talk about wage increases.  Company picking records showed that 248 workers had participated in the strike - the vast majority of the 278 working at the time.

In the course of these negotiations, however, the workers discovered the limit to any improvements they could expect.  Sakuma Brothers Farms had made an application with the Department of Labor for 160 H2A guest workers in April, which a labor contractor would hire in Mexico, and bring to the farm in August to pick late blueberries and blackberries.

"They negotiated with us, which was a big achievement," explains Rosalinda Guillen, director of Community2Community.  The farm worker advocacy and organizing project she heads in northwest Washington was the workers' key source of support.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thousands march on Bakersfield office of Cong. McCarthy

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - More than a thousand workers and immigration reform advocates hit the streets of downtown Bakersfield before heading to an immigration reform rally at Yokuts Park today. (ABC news)
With more than 345 cars and buses in tow and more than 5,000 people on board, the largest car and bus caravan in California history came to Bakersfield, Wednesday calling on Congressman Kevin McCarthy to fight for a vote on immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
“The Path to Citizenship Goes through Bakersfield,” gathered immigrant rights leaders, labor unions, communities of faith, students, LGBT groups, business, elected officials, and other friends and allies at Yokuts Park before marching and rallying in front of Congressman McCarthy’s District Office.
The message to the third-ranking Republican Member of the House: we deserve a vote on immigration reform with a path to citizenship by September 30.
Key speakers were DSA Hon. Chair Dolores Huerta, and Maria Elena Durazo, Exec. Secretary of the Los Angeles Central Labor Council.
“The Path to Citizenship Goes through Bakersfield,” is part of national effort under the banner “Countdown to Citizenship,” intent on raising the stakes for immigration reform during the congressional August recess.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Path to Citizenship- focus on Congressman McCathy.

Thousands  of immigrant rights leaders, labor unions, faith organizations, student groups, elected officials, friends and allies from all over California will travel in car and bus caravans to Bakersfield, CA, to urge House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) to support and press for a vote on immigration reform with a path to citizenship. 490 farm workers from Stockton, Fresno, Madera, Portersville, Santa Rosa, Napa, Oxnard, Salinas, Greenfield and Watsonville want to join in this Wednesday event for an issue that is so vital to their well-being. Go to to assist.
Congressman McCarthy 

This event, “The Path to Citizenship Goes through Bakersfield,” is one of hundreds of actions and activities across the nation escalating the stakes for reform during the congressional August recess. The 1,100 car-caravan highlights the urgency for immigration reform in the immigrant, Latino, and Asian communities who have marched, mobilized, and voted in support of an overhaul for years.  The message to lawmakers is that reform with a path to citizenship is the answer our community seeks and it won't take no for an answer.

 Rep. McCarthy is the House Majority Whip and a top Republican leader in Congress. His leadership within the House gives him the ability to influence other Congressmembers. His Bakersfield district represents  one of the largest agricultural areas in the nation.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

This immigration reform is not good enough - PICO of California

At a mass meeting of over 1,000  and send-off of pilgrims, hosted by Pico of California, with Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto ,  Pico youth leaders  Cecilia Munoz and Noemi Hernandez declared, “this Immigration reform is not good enough “ at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sacramento on Aug.11, 2013.
The meeting in the packed church hall was a send off event for eleven pilgrims to begin a 285 mile walk through California’s Central Valley, the vegetable heart land of U.S. agriculture. – a pilgrimage toward citizenship.  The walk begins on Monday Aug. 11.  Religious and human rights activists are also  preparing to go to Modesto to  join with the pilgrims as they walk neighborhoods to bring pressure on Central Valley Congressmen who have not yet supported comprehensive immigration reform.  The 285 mile walk will conclude in 22 days  at the  Bakersfield office of  Cong. Kevin McCarthy, Republican  Majority Whip in the House.   McCarthy is not usually counted among the Tea Party Congress persons.  His  Bakersfield area district has a 35% Latino population and 22.8 %  of the voters in the 2010 election were Latino.

 The Pico youth activists described the past campaign for citizenship, the passage of the Senate bill S.744, and detailed its shortcomings. The current proposal’s barriers to citizenship are too high.  Some 3 million current residents will be excluded .
“We want read comprehensive immigration reform that includes all 11 million undocumented immigrants and that upholds the fundamental American values of family and fairness.”..  this basic message was delivered in both English and Spanish.
“Only a direct, inclusive and affordable path to citizenship for the friends, families, neighbors and members of our faith communities who are undocumented achieves the central goal of immigration reform and Americans of faith will accept nothing less.”
PICO of California is made up of over 400 religious congregations, schools and neighborhood groups and represents some 450,000 families.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Farmworker strike at Sakuma Brothers Farm- help needed

The Agricultural Strike at Sakuma Brothers Farms and the Tradition of Oaxacan Resistance
Portside Date: 
August 4, 2013
Brendan Maslauskas Dunn
Date of Source: 
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
As workers walked past fields of strawberries and blueberries into a negotiation meeting this morning with Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc. management, they were told to accept management's terms or lose their jobs.  This threat comes amidst a heated strike of over 200 immigrant farm workers at the Burlington, WA farm which is just north of Seattle.  It is the second strike the workers initiated in the last two weeks over a list of demands over wages, dignity, and respect.
The strike started after the firing of farm worker Federico Lopez on July 10th.  Lopez and his coworkers believed he was targeted for bringing up grievances with his superiors.  Some of the workers were listening to an interview of Rosalinda Guillen on a Spanish-language radio show on a local radio station.  They decided that they wanted her to assist them with their struggle at Sakuma Brothers Farms.
Rosalinda Guillen works for Community to Community Development [1], a farm-worker and food-justice organization located near the Canadian border in Bellingham, WA.  She began working as a farm worker in Washington State in 1960, eventually joining Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers (UFW).  She became a leader in the bitter eight-year campaign to organize the workers at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery [2] in the state which ended with a contract and victory for the workers in 1995.  A rallying cry for the UFW in its early days became "Viva la Huelga!" as the strike and other disruptive tactics were often deployed by the workers in an industry where there was little labor protection.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Immigration reform fight. UFW Vice President arres...

antiracismdsa: Immigration reform fight. UFW Vice President arres...: I was just arrested in the latest chapter in the battle over fair immigration reform. I was arrested for joining others in a campai...

Eliseo Medina of SEIU, and  Giev Kashkooli  among those arrested. 

Why Citizenship Matters: Getting to the Bottom Line | Economic Policy Institute

Why Citizenship Matters: Getting to the Bottom Line | Economic Policy Institute

Excellent video;  Why Citizenship Matters. At the AFL-CIO on July 30,2013, Speakers include Sen. John McCain, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Manuel Pastor, of USC. Jose Vargas and others.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Change is Coming

Immigration reform fight. UFW Vice President arrested.

I was just arrested in the latest chapter in the battle over fair immigration reform.

I was arrested for joining others in a campaign to win a new immigration process that includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.

I was arrested while protesting the Republican leadership leaving for an undeserved five-week vacation without introducing a comprehensive immigration reform bill with a path to citizenship. Instead, the GOP leaders are allowing a vote on the racist immigration policy proposals from U.S. Rep. Steve King.
  • Stand with me and my fellow immigration reform advocates who were arrested today on Capitol Hill by calling 866-930-3396 NOW to be connected to your Member of Congress. Tell her or him that we need an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship.
  • Also if you have not yet e-mailed Speaker of the House John Boehner and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte asking that Rep. King be removed from the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, please click here to take action 
      • In partnership with America’s Voice and United We Dream, I also helped deliver sweet American-grown cantaloupes, harvested by immigrants in California, to 224 members of the House of Representatives who voted in favor of Rep. Steve King's hateful proposal to end the Deferred Action program for DREAMers and to stop other uses of prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases. The cantaloupes were affixed with a crystal clear message:

"This cantaloupe was picked by immigrants in California.
You gave Steve King a vote. Give us a vote for citizenship."