Light Work Partners with For Freedoms To Launch Billboard Campaign in Syracuse, NY

QUESTION — Syracuse, NY “Sanctuary City”

In conjunction with our exhibition, “Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul,” #LightWork and “For Freedoms have collaborated on a series of billboards. The images and text that comprise these public art installations aim to provoke conversations in our community that lead to civic engagement. View downloadable map of six Syracuse billboards here – http://lg.ht/LWBillboards

Installation: Hank Willis Thomas, “THEY ARE US US IS THEM”

Tucked into the provincial city center, down the hall from a coffee shop and public library is an obscure office where ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers do their work. They investigate and often detain undocumented immigrants in Syracuse, setting them on a path for potential deportation.

“This is a notice of eviction,” stated Rebecca Fuentes, lead activist of Workers’ Center of CNY, “We have found your office and its counterparts in violation of a series of basic human rights. In Syracuse, you have intimidated the entire immigrant community by establishing checkpoints in public places and on public transportation, by invading or threatening to invade the homes of residents, and through the aggressive interrogations of our community members. For these reasons, we hereby demand that you leave our city.”

http://www.lightwork.org/news/light-work-in-partnership-with-for-freedoms-launches-billboard-campaign-in-syracuse-ny/

QUESTION — Syracuse, NY “Sanctuary City”

Governor Cuomo, give the Green Light NOW!!

Governor Cuomo, give the Green Light NOW!! Thank you Central NY for signing all these postcards for governor demanding he signs an executive order so all immigrants can have access to driver licenses. It is now up to the governor to do the right thing.
Thank you allies from the Syracuse Immigrant and Refugee Defense Network for all your support!!
Gracias a todos quienes firmaron las postales dirigidas al gobernador para que firme una orden ejecutiva permitiendo el acceso a las licencias de manejar en NY. Queremos Luz Verde ahora!

Today is the day to call Governor Cuomo to ACT NOW! DRIVERS LICENSES FOR ALL! NOW!

Today is the day to call Governor Cuomo to ACT NOW! DRIVERS LICENSES FOR ALL! NOW! We ask that you do the following:

Here is the script in both english and spanish:


ENGLISH (véase abajo para instrucciones en Español)

My name is (YOUR NAME) and I am from (YOUR CITY OR TOWN). I am calling today because last week another of our community members was separated from his three year old daughter because he didn’t have a driver’s license. It is in within Gov Cuomo’s power to make Carlos the last New Yorker who is facing deportation because he did not have access to a driver’s license. Carlos is a leader in the fight for licences and is one of thousands of NYers that support restoring access to drivers licences. Can we count on Gov Cuomo to act now to join 12 other states and to make New York safer for all?

ESPAÑOL

Mi nombre es (SU NOMBRE) y soy de (SU CIUDAD O pueblo). Estoy llamando hoy porque la semana pasada otro miembro de nuestra comunidad fue separado de su hija de tres años porque no tenía licencia de conducir. Está en poder del Gov Cuomo hacer que Carlos sea el último neoyorquino que enfrenta la deportación por no tener acceso a una licencia de conducir. Carlos es un líder en la lucha para las licencias y es uno de los miles de residentes que apoyan la restauración del acceso a licencias de conducir.

¿Podemos contar con el Gobernador Cuomo actuar ahora para unirse a los otros 12 usted y hacer el estado de NY más seguro para todas y todos?
Call/Llama: 1-518-474-8390

Twitter: @NYGovCuomo

Facebook: @GovernorAndrewCuomo

#GivetheGreenLightCuomo

#GreenLightNY

#LuzVerdeNY

#DriverLicensesNOW

#CuomoLetMeDrive

#Cuomodejamemanejar

32BJ Joins Board of Immigrant Workers’ Center!!

We are very happy to announce that Amy Sugimori, Director of Policy and Legislation for SEIU 32BJ, has joined the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Center of Central New York! We admire SEIU 32BJ’s history of fighting for workers’ rights and they have been very supportive of our work in Upstate NY for several years. Amy has a long history of activism and policy work in immigrants’ rights and labor, and drives 32BJ’s work on defending immigrant rights. Prior to her current position, Amy was executive director of La Fuente, a project engaging union members in civic participation in their communities, and was an attorney with the National Employment Law Project.
Welcome Amy and thank you Hector Figueroa, 32BJ President for your commitment to workers’ justice in NY. Sí se puede!

http://www.seiu32bj.org/press-releases/32bj-joins-board-of-immigrant-workers-center/

El Festival de la Cosecha/The Harvest Festival

Trabajadores del campo, miembros del Centro de Trabajadores que quieran ir, por favor déjennos saber y tal vez podamos conseguir raite! Este evento sera en Sodus NY: El Festival de la Cosecha, un evento para celebrar todas las contribuciones de los trabajadores agrícolas a la comunidad. Vamos a tener una mesa del Centro con información acerca de la membresía y sus beneficios para trabajadores agrícolas.
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Farmworkers, members of the center of workers who want to go, please let us know and maybe we can get ride! This event will be in Sodus NY: The Harvest Festival, an event to celebrate all contributions from agricultural workers to the community. We’re going to have a center table with information about membership and its benefits for agricultural workers.

Come join us for a volunteer craft making day at the Workers’ Center!

We are in need of volunteers to help us make things like buttons, mirrors, keychains, banners, etc. and prepare materials for our table at the Wescott Street Fair this September 23rd. Anyone with sewing skills would be especially helpful.

We will be holding 2 volunteer days for this:
September 14th
September 21st
Both days will be starting at 5:00pm

Prominent Organizer with Alianza Agricola Detained

As a follow up to the news that a prominent farmworker organizer was detained we are now able to make public that it was Carlos Cardona, the Alianza Agrícola co-founder and co-president and a dairy worker in our area for over 10 years.

On the evening of Thursday, August 30th, Carlos was pulled over by Attica police and turned over to Border Patrol for not having a valid driver’s license. He is now being held at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia, NY, facing deportation and separation from his three-year-old daughter and wife. Carlos is a prominent organizer with Alianza Agricola and part of the statewide campaign Green Light Driving Together, an effort to expand access to driver’s licenses for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status. He is originally from Guatemala and has been living in the United States with family for a decade.

The day Carlos was detained, August 30th, was also his daughter’s 3rd birthday. Rather than joy and celebration, the family was torn apart, her father criminalized for nothing other than coming to the U.S. to work hard and provide for his family. Ironically, that same day was the NYS Fair’s themed “Dairy Day” and Carlos’ boss was in Syracuse with dairy farmers from across the state celebrating the industry.

The irony doesn’t stop there. Today is Labor Day, and members from the Alianza Agricola and thousands of other undocumented immigrant workers are in the milk parlors and in the fields working long shifts in the extreme heat and without any overtime or vacation pay as if it were just any regular day. In an interview with Carlos from detention last night, he reminds us, “we’re not complaining about that. We just want to be able to get a license to be able to drive if we need to go to the doctor or so that we can buy fresh healthy food each week.” Carlos isn’t a criminal. His only “crime” was to come to the U.S. to work hard and help provide for his family. There are two ways you can help: 1) support them through the nightmare they are experiencing and donate funds for the legal and other expenses this will incur for his family, and 2) demand executive action from Governor Cuomo to expand licenses to all immediately and stop the deportation pipeline that is separating NY’s immigrant families simply because they don’t have an NYS ID.

Please donate to this GoFundMe Page that has been set up to support his wife and child: http://bit.ly/familysupportneeded.

In addition to financial support for his family, we are expecting that if Carlos is able to be released on bond it will be set at the exorbitant price of $10,000. Any donations that you can give are very much appreciated – as well as sharing with your family/friends/networks.

And thank you to all who have already donated and shared this campaign! Almost $2,500 has been raised by 50 people in just two days!

#AlianzaAgricola
#ImmigrantRights
#ImmigrantNY
#RRRN
#GreenlightNY

PRESS CONFERENCE: Farmworkers, advocates and local residents speak up for dignity and respect in front of Melrose Farms

Press contact: Rebecca Fuentes  (315) 657-6799 Workers’ Center of CNY
Farmworkers and advocates give a report to the community about the conditions at Melrose Farms. Enough is enough!
           On February 7, 2018 the town of Owasco ordered the owner of Melrose Farms, in the town of Owasco, to “cease and desist” the use and occupancy of the building where he had been providing housing to farmworkers and their families (see attachment for more information). Many people came together to support the families who then became homeless. It was a beautiful show of support for the farmworker community, as the families were assisted in finding housing, food and support while they found another job.
The farm was not only in violation of housing code enforcement, but also the Cayuga county health department found the farm did not obtained any permit to build a septic tank for the housing and that the waste was being discharged into the farm’s manure lagoon.
Even before many of us became aware of the inhumane housing conditions at Melrose, several workers had contacted the Workers’ Center of Central NY to complain about wage theft, as workers were not getting minimum wage or getting payed for all their hours.
On Tuesday, August 28, we are coming back to Melrose farm to give a community report about today’s working and housing conditions at this farm. We will share worker’s testimonies about current conditions at Melrose and demand action from local officials.

WHAT: Farmworkers and advocates present a report to the community about working and living conditions at Melrose Farms. Farmworkers will share their testimonies about working and living at Melrose Farm.

WHERE: Across the road from Melrose Farms, 3815 Melrose Rd. Auburn, NY 13021
WHEN: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 11:00 am
 
WHY: Farmworkers deserve dignity and respect now!
Six months after Melrose Farm’s owner J. Tidd was ordered to cease and desist use and occupation of a building that was found unfit for human habitation, what has been done by the owner and the local authorities to correct the working and living conditions at this farm? We must speak up and continue the pressure so employers do the right thing. The safety and dignity of farmworkers as well as the environment, depends on it.
February, 2018

Consulado General De Mexico En Nueva York/Mobile Mexican Consulate Visit

Trabajando fuerte para traer los servicios a nuestra comunidad. Aquí con miembros del consulado sobre ruedas de Mexico que estuvieron en nuestro Centro de Trabajadores.
Sí se puede!!!

Working hard to bring services and resources to the community. Here with members of the Mexican Consulate on wheels. They were in Syracuse at our Workers Center. Thank you to all who helped us and made sure it was a success.

https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/nuevayork/index.php/en/consulate-on-wheels

Press Release: NY State Fair Opens with Upstate Demand for Driver Licenses: Farm Workers, all Immigrants Need License Access Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, August 21st 2018

Press Contacts:

Rochester: Carly Fox, 585-500-9409, cfox@wjcny.org

Syracuse: Rebecca Fuentes, 3152185708, rfuentes@workerscentercny.org

Buffalo: Jennifer Connor, 716 550 9393 JFMFPress@gmail.com

NY State Fair Opens with Upstate Demand for Driver Licenses: Farm Workers, all Immigrants Need License Access Now

The State Fair largely celebrates New York’s Agricultural industry and the workers that hold up that industry would like to have freedom of movement and protection from being put in the deportation pipeline simply because they don’t have a NYS license. “Farmworkers, are an integral part of the motor that drives our state’s agriculture. says Luis Jimenez, president of the Agricultural Alliance in Western NY. “As a father raising U.S.-born children, I want them to have the same opportunities as others. If the police stop us, we might be deported just because we can’t show a license. My children are terrified every time we drive because it could mean we will be permanently separated.”

Advocates across the state say that New York should join the twelve other states for whom getting a driver’s licenses is only about driving and is not connected to immigration status. “New York should resume issuing licenses to all, and join the 12 other states that do.  It is a simple matter of safety for all who drive, and it will generate $57 million dollars a year for our state’s economy. It is common sense policy and the Rochester City Council is fully supportive of this measure.”  Jackie Ortiz, Rochester City Council Representative

License regulations can either be changed through two paths: Governor’s direct order, and through a change in the law. Assembly Bill 4050, first introduced in 2016, would make a standard license available, regardless of immigration status. The bill gained momentum during the 2017-2018 legislative session, with 34 Assembly Members signed on, including Pamela Hunter, Harry Bronson, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and it was introduced in Senate as S? at the end of session. Nine Senators have signed on so far.

 

“Farms are really important in Western New York and form an integral part of New York’s identity and economy, and today, Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse stand together to say: we need New York’s elected officials to deliver on issues that are important to us” says …. The health of our upstate farms and cities are inseparable, and safe driving  for workers, by having access to a license, would drive the health of our region. Driving is not a privilege, it is a necessity to daily life, and both migrant farm workers who keep farms going as well as asylum seekers who bring new life to our cities need access to a license now.

 

“We are out here because we support freedom of movement for the workers who keep our agricultural industry alive through the sweat of their labor” said Carly Fox, Senior Worker Rights Advocate with the Rochester Worker Justice Center. “The State Fair is a moment to celebrate the contribution of Agriculture to New York State, however, for most of the workers in NY who pick our fruit and milk our cows, there are significant barriers to be able to get to the grocery store and buy food.”