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.”

Immigration Forum: Education for Action! 8/22

Join us for an evening of immigration education.
Learn about the issue’s history, how immigration’s national context affects our local communities; hear WNY (im)migrants’ experiences, and how you can work in solidarity with them by joining high-impact, locally-based efforts.

Registration form now available!
http://bit.ly/ImmEduForum

Or RSVP to rocrapidresponse@gmail.com to reserve your seat.

Please let us know if you are planning on attending and any special requests for the evening.

Suggested donation of $5.00

Location:
150 South Clinton Avenue
(At the Corner of Court Street)
Rochester

Time: 6PM to 9PM

Presenters and Workshops will be announced as they are formalized.

Building is wheelchair accessible
Food & Child Care provided
Sign language interpretation available upon request
Interpretación en español disponible

Sponsoring Organizations:
Rochester Rapid Response Network
Alianza Agricola and Allies of the Alianza Agrícola
Rochester Greenlight Allies
(Green Light NY Driving Together : Luz Verde NY Manejando Juntos
The New York Immigration Coalition

Gov. Cuomo: Take Executive Action for Driver’s Licenses Now!

Gov. Cuomo: Take Executive Action for Driver’s Licenses Now!

Green Light Press Conference Syracuse 8/21

AS STATE FAIR KICKS OFF, UPSTATE COMMUNITIES SEEK DRIVER’S LICENSES FOR IMMIGRANT FARMWORKERS

Join us on Tuesday, Aug 21st at 3PM for a press conference on the eve of State Fair to call for driver’s license access for NYS agricultural workers.

The New York State Fair, an event that is a celebration of the upstate agricultural economy, kicks off this week in Syracuse. The statewide Green Light campaign is bringing together elected officials, workers and community organizations in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo the day before the fair to call for driver’s license access for those who keep the farms running. Since 2002, those without Social Security numbers are denied access to licenses.

The Green Light NY: Driving Together campaign seeks to ensure equal access to driver’s licenses for all residents of New York State, regardless of immigration status. Our statewide coalition brings together immigrant communities, advocates, allies and other stakeholders to coordinate a unified driver’s license campaign. Twelve other states across the country have chosen safer roads and increased revenue by giving undocumented immigrants access to driver’s licenses. If New York does the same, it will increase revenue from licensing and other fees by $57 million annually for city and county governments statewide.

Location: Park Central Presbyterian Church 504 E Fayette St, Syracuse, New York 13202

For Press Inquiries Contact:
Rebecca Fuentes: rfuentes@workerscentercny.org 315-657-6799
Kayla Kelechian: kkelechian@workerscentercny.org 315-385-9874

Stand Up for City Jobs!

Please share the following invitation from the Urban Jobs Task Force. The WCCNY is a member of the UJTF and we Stand Up for City Jobs!

“On Tuesday, August 21 at 8:30 am in the Common Council Chambers (city hall, 3rd flr) the Syracuse Industrial Development (SIDA) Board is conducting two public hearings about two development projects.

These two projects are asking for a real property, sales and mortgage recording tax exemptions.

 The Urban Jobs Task Force wants to fill the Common Council Chambers for these hearings to impress the city and the SIDA board that these tax exemptions must come with community benefits in the forms of city hiring and contracting. See attached flyer.

 One project is quite big: a $31 M redevelopment of the Post-Standard building by VIP Structures.  The UJTF successfully worked with VIP on the PriceRite Build.  We will be urging VIP to work with us again and urging SIDA to make it verifiable and enforceable policy that developers getting city tax breaks must hire out of city and give contracts to Minority and women-owned firms.

The second project is smaller: a $5 M consolidation at 222 Teal Ave of Central Restaurant Supply of N. Salina and Gerharz Equipment Inc at East Molloy Rd.”

Download the flyer here: SIDA Hearing 8.21.18

More information about the Urban Jobs Task Force here: www.ujtf.org

 

Summer Cleaning at Slocum House

Date: August 11, 2018

Time: 10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M.

Location: Slocum House (please contact Julie for specific address)

Join the Friends of Farmworkers for a belated spring cleaning of Slocum House from 10am until 2pm. While we encourage people to be there the whole time, show up for what you can do. Please RSVP by emailing Julie Dragonetti dragonettij2@gmail.com, or here by saying you’re going so we can plan tasks and know how many people will be able to assist. Any questions please contact Julie dragonettij2@gmail.com.

Link to Facebook event here: