CNY at Work! Call for Photos

Moe, Tin and Kaitlyn. Photo by Jonathan Trier. Midstate Spring, Syracuse.

In honor of ArtRage’s Gallery upcoming exhibition At All Costs: Photographs of American Workers by Earl Dotter,
ArtRage Gallery is calling for workers of CNY to send their photos.

They can be pictures of your co-workers or of yourselves at work. Whether you work on your feet, behind a desk or on the road we would love for you to be included in our photo collection.

Email your photo to (Max 2M, one photo per person). Include the name of the person in the photo, the photographers’ name, the name of the employer/workplace and city. (If you would like to only include first names, no problem!) Examples above: Moe. Photo by Jonathan Trier. Midstate Spring, Syracuse; Tin. Photo by Jonathan Trier. Midstate Spring, Syracuse: Kaitlyn. Photo by Jonathan Trier. Midstate Spring, Syracuse.

Tips for taking your photo:

Take a selfie or have a co-worker snap your photo.
Either posed or candid photos are great.
Take your photo doing your favorite or your least favorite part of your job.
Try to get an interesting shot that shows some of your working environment.
Experiment with different angles and send the photo that tells the best story.

What will we do with your photo?
The photos will be included in an ArtRage Gallery Facebook album. Select photos will be printed and included in a window display at ArtRage Gallery during Earl Dotter’s exhibition throughout May 2017. Read more about the exhibition and join us for the opening reception on Saturday, April 8 from 7-9pm at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse, NY 13203. Your photos will go up in May.

Note: You must be 18 years or older to be included in the collection. Help us spread the word! Pass this along to friends and family….know anyone with an unusual job? Make sure they send in a photo.

The Workers Center of CNY – Recipient of ROCLA’s 2017 Local White Dove Award!

The Workers Center of Central New York & the Workers Justice Center will jointly receive ROCLA’s 2017 Local White Dove Award in
recognition of their efforts to organize upstate New York
farmworkers to fight for their rights and for drivers licenses.
The event will be held at Gates Presbyterian Church, 1049 Wegman Road, at 5:15 p.m. Tickets: $100 for Champion; $30 for Friend; and $15 for students (but no one will be turned away)

JOIN US! Green Light NY:Driving Together Coalition Day of Action in Albany!

Español mas abajo!

Tuesday, March 7th
Join the Green Light NY: Driving Together Coalition for a day of action in Albany!
Be a part of the campaign to win equal access to driver’s licenses for immigrant NY!
Join the Green Light NY: Driving Together coalition for a day of action in support of driver’s license access for ALL NY residents, regardless of immigration status!  Hundreds of coalition members and allies from across New York will come together at the State Capitol to show our support for immigrant NY. We will march, rally, and speak with our legislators, to ensure the our elected officials understand that passing driver’s licenses must be a priority to protect immigrants, improve public safety, and strengthen our state economy.


  • Teach-in on Legislative Advocacy and Green Light NY
  • Campaign Story Sharing and Testimonials
  • Green Light NY Rally/March and Press Conference
  • Legislative Meetings and Rapid Fire Office Visits

Register here to let us know that you plan to join us by bus or car:
Reserve a seat on the bus for $5 – Scholarships are available for individual or families facing financial hardship.

Transportation available from: Suffolk, Queens, Westchester, Orange, Ulster, Syracuse, and Rochester
Departure time for busses will differ and be based on travel time from each region to arrive in Albany by 11:00 am. 
Please plan ahead and bring a brown bag lunch.
T-shirts will be available the day of for $10.


– If you are willing to drive yourself and others to Albany with your own vehicle, please indicate so in the registration form.

– If you are willing to help transport community members to and from the local bus pick-up/drop-off locations, please indicate so in the registration form.


Familiarize yourself with the legislation and supporting materials:

Assemblymember Moya and Ramos have sponsored new driver‘s license legislation:

Bill A4050: Read the Legislation Here


Two new reports were released on the benefits of drivers license accss in NY:
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer NYC impact report: Read his report Here
Fiscal Policy Institute statewide impact report: Read their Report Here

General Campaign Fact Sheets:

About the Coalition: Here
About Drivers Licenses Campaign: Here


Follow the campaign on facebook

Follow the campaign on twitter

#GreenLightNY #LuzVerdeNY 

#ImmigrantNY #OurNY


Martes, 7 de Marzo


Únete a la coalición “Luz Verde NY: Manejando Juntos” para un día de acción en Albany!


Forma parte de la campaña para recibir acceso equitativo de licencias de conducir para los inmigrantes de Nueva York

 Únase a la coalición “Luz Verde NY: Manejando Juntos” para un día de acción en apoyo al acceso a licencias de conducir para TODOS los residentes de NY, ¡sin importar su estado migratorio! Cientos de miembros de la coalición y aliados de todo Nueva York se reunirán en el Capitolio del Estado para demostrar nuestro apoyo a los inmigrantes de Nueva York. Marcharemos, nos reuniremos y hablaremos con nuestros legisladores para asegurar que nuestros funcionarios elegidos entiendan que las licencias de conducir deben ser una prioridad para proteger a los inmigrantes, mejorar la seguridad pública y fortalecer nuestra economía


 • Enseñanza de la Defensa Legislativa y “Luz Verde NY”

 • Compartiremos la historia de la campaña y tendremos testimonios

• “Luz Verde NY” Rally / Marcha y Conferencia de Prensa

• Reuniones y Visitas Legislativas


Regístrese aquí para dejarnos saber si puede unirse a nosotros en bus o en carro:

Reserve un asiento en el bus por $5 – Hay becas disponibles para individuos o familias que enfrentan dificultades financieras.

Hay transporte disponible desde: Suffolk, Queens, Westchester, Orange, Ulster, Syracuse y Rochester


El horario de salida de los buses será diferente al igual que la duración del viaje de cada región para llegar a Albany a las 11:00 am.


Por favor planee y traiga su almuerzo.


Camisetas estarán disponibles ese día por $10.



– Si usted está dispuesto a conducir su propio vehículo y a transportar a personas a Albany, por favor, indiquelo en el formulario de registro.

– Si está dispuesto a ayudar a transportar a miembros de la comunidad a los lugares de recogida de buses locales, indíquelo en el formulario de registro.


 Familiarícese con la legislación y los materiales de apoyo:

El asambleísta Moya y Ramos han patrocinado una nueva legislación sobre las licencia de conducir:

Bill A4050: Lea la legislació aqui

Dos nuevos informes fueron publicados sobre los beneficios del acceso a licencias de conducir en Nueva York:
NYC Contralor Scott Stringer NYC informe de impacto: Lee su informe  Aqui
Instituto de Política Fiscal informe de impacto estatal: Lea su informe Aqui
Hojas Informativas de Campaña General:
Acerca de la Coalición: Aqui
Acerca de la campaña de licencias de conductores:  Aqui


Siga la campaña en facebook:
Siga la campaña en twitter:

#GreenLightNY #LuzVerdeNY 

#ImmigrantNY #OurNY



In support of Jose Coyote Perez, dairy farmworker, community leader and member of the Workers’ Center, please call: Buffalo Fed. Detention Facility office of the Chief Counsel (716) 551-4741 and press 4# (four followed by the # sign)

Proposed script: My name is ______ I want to bring to the attention of the Chief Counsel the case of Jose Coyote Perez, A#099757267, who is in Batavia detention Center. He is the father of four children and community leader in Upstate and Central NY, member of the Workers’ Center of CNY and other community organizations. His case was administratively closed in September, but he was detained on February 24, 2017. Please release him and close his case again so he can return to his children and continue to be an advocate for human rights. Be prepared that they may tell you that is not the place to call but just tell them you want to leave the message for the Chief Cousel (if she doesn’t answer), it is very important to tell them the A# Jose is in good spirits, he knows he has a lot of support from all over Upstate and Central NY. Mil gracias. Please also sign the Petition !!! Petition !!!Petition !!!Petition !!!


Join us Monday Feb. 6th @ 11:30 am as Mayor Miner Announces Her Support of Green Light Campaign

Join us, Monday February 6th at 11:30 am for a press conference here at the Workers’ Center of CNY where Mayor Miner will announce her support for Green Light, the statewide campaign to expand access to driver’s licenses to all. We have been diligently working to garner support for the campaign by collecting signatures on our petition and getting local organizations and elected officials to sign on in support.

Declaring Syracuse a sanctuary city along with announcing her support of the Green Light campaign shows are concrete ways Mayor Miner is showing that immigrants are truly welcome in this community. In the current political moment where Trump is pushing through racist, vile, anti-immigrant legislation, we must be vigilant in supporting immigrants who are fighting back on multiple fronts. Join us this Monday, Feb. 6th at 11:30 am at the Workrers’ Center of CNY so we can send a message loud and clear, that immigrants are indeed welcome here.

Green Light NY: Driving Together statewide launch in Albany

Press conference in Albany, NY for the launch of “Green Light NY: Driving Together.”

On Tuesday, January 31 we participated in the official launch of our campaign “Green Light NY: Driving Together.” We joined immigrants, organizers, advocates and supporters from all of New York to tell the world we are organizing to have access  to driver licenses for all in New York. Here is the press release with more information about our coalition and a quote from our member Yobani Bravo, who represented the WCCNY.

Broad Coalition of Elected Officials and Advocates Unveil Analysis of Granting Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented New Yorkers
New Reports by New York City Comptroller Stringer and Fiscal Policy Institute Show Expanding Driver’s Licenses Would Benefit All New Yorkers

Policy Would Increase Economic Mobility, Improve Road Safety, and More than Pay for Itself

Coalition of Leaders and Advocates Led by New York Immigration Coalition Kicks Off “Green Light NY: Driving Together” Campaign to Push Expansion of Access to Driver’s Licenses

The New York Immigration Coalition, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, the Fiscal Policy Institute, elected officials and immigration advocates today released new analyses of the fiscal costs and benefits of expanding access to driver’s licenses to all New Yorkers, without regard to immigration status, and the launch of a new campaign announced, Green Light NY: Driving Together. The announcement of the campaign comes from advocates and elected officials as Comptroller Stringer and the Fiscal Policy Institute release comprehensive reports highlighting the significant social and economic benefits of extending driving privileges to undocumented immigrants. The analyses found that the policy change would help support immigrant families by expanding job opportunities, while modestly lowering insurance premiums for all state drivers and improving public safety on roadways, with the fiscal costs of implementing the proposal more than offset by added revenues. The Comptroller’s report documented these findings for New York City, while the report from the Fiscal Policy Institute notes the impact of these benefits across upstate New York.

Assemblyman Francisco Moya is preparing to introduce a new bill in the Assembly that would expand driver’s license privileges to undocumented immigrants living in New York State. The case in support of the new legislation is bolstered by the findings of the dual reports, which highlight benefits both in New York City and in Upstate New York. With the recent executive actions on immigration signed by President Trump, there is an additional imperative to allow undocumented immigrants the choice to receive a license. The new bill will require data not be stored in perpetuity and that any request for this information by an outside party be accompanied by a judicial warrant. Comprehensive legislation codifying the expansion of driving privileges will be formally proposed in the coming weeks.

According to Comptroller Stringer’s report, there are approximately 570,000 undocumented New Yorkers living across the five boroughs. These undocumented residents already contribute to the tax base in the City and State, but because they cannot legally drive, they are more restricted in their job prospects, face longer commutes which can limit parents’ time with their children, and live in fear of deportation.

“The time is right for our state to make this change. When backwards rhetoric and backwards policymaking are pouring out of Washington, this is a forward-looking proposal for New York State to meaningfully empower communities that need our support. Granting licenses is not just a statement of our values – it’s practical because it makes our roads safer, brings immigrants out of the shadows, and saves everyone money,” Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “Implementing this proposal will cement our legacy as a City and a State that welcomes immigrants. It is, simply, the right thing to do.”

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition said, “In a time when communities are fearful about the hostile anti-immigrant climate being created by the federal government, it is more important than ever to ensure our state supports the immigrant communities that make New York strong. By expanding driver’s licenses to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status, our campaign can improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, ensure that everyone can be properly licensed and certified with an inspected and insured vehicle, and will drop insurance premiums for everyone and result in increased revenue for the state. By expanding driver’s licenses to all, the State will be enhancing public safety, providing a strong avenue to inclusion for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and boosting economic growth, an overall win for all.”

“Expanding access to driver’s licenses would be a big improvement in the lives of some of the hardest-working and hardest-pressed New Yorkers,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative. “The policy will pay for itself, and it will bring some improvements in the lives of everyone else—from slightly lower auto insurance rates to a modest boost in the local economy to higher tax revenues to county and state governments and a little added to the state’s public transportation authorities as well.”

“With President Trump’s relentless attacks on immigrant communities, it is more important than ever before to make it clear that New York is a state which welcomes immigrants, and a state where immigrant families can succeed. Outside of cities with mass transportation, undocumented immigrants are at a serious disadvantage without driver’s licenses, making simple tasks like picking up groceries, picking up a child from school or going to work a struggle. I’m proud to announce that I’ve introduced legislation that would finally allow undocumented immigrants to qualify for a driver’s license. It is time to take a stand, say that bigotry is not welcome in New York, and remove the needless roadblocks immigrants face so they can provide for their families,” said Assemblyman Francisco P. Moya.

Javier H. Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, which has 20,000 immigrant members in Long Island and New York City, said: “As Donald Trump pursues every available avenue to terrorize immigrant and refugee communities, New York State must step up and become a safe haven. The state currently prevents hundreds of thousands of otherwise-qualified New Yorkers from obtaining a license because of their immigration status. This puts many immigrants—who, in many parts of the state like Long Island and the Hudson Valley, need to drive to get to work, drop kids at school, or get to a doctor’s office—at risk of traffic stops that could lead to arrest and deportation. Given President Trump’s vow to tear apart immigrant families that have had any contact with law enforcement, New York urgently needs to protect its immigrant community by restoring access to drivers’ licenses to all.”

Rey Morales, an Orange County Member with Community Voices Heard who would benefit from accessing a driver’s license stated, “I feel intimidated by the politics of the new administration. I feel that all that is happening affects us and impedes our advancement on our path. I believe the fight will be stronger now and we need to reinvent our plans and strategy. We must continue to fight for licenses in NY because that way we will be better protected and we can protect our families. A license is a shield against racism and discrimination.”

Yobani Bravo, Member, Workers’ Center of Central New York who would also benefit from acquiring a driver’s license, “It is very important for us to have a driver’s license so we can get to our work safely and we can respond to emergencies; when a cop stops you, that is the first thing they ask you, and when we don’t show it, we can get into trouble. It is also important because if we have a driver’s license makes everybody else more safe. It is not fair that we contribute to this country so much and we don’t have the right to driver’s license. This campaign will show people how many of us are unable to drive, but also how any of us are fighting for that right.”

Luis Jiménez, member, Alianza Agrícola spoke about how a driver’s license would change his livelihood, “The power of freedom of movement is a need and not a privilege. We all need to be able to move freely without fear. It is not a luxury that we want – it is something that require to live a life without fear. As a father raising children who were born here, I want them to enjoy the same rights and privileges as everyone else. It is sad to tell them, I can’t take you to basketball practice. I can’t take you here or there. So for that reason we are fighting and asking for a change. We want more respect for the immigrant community and the opportunity for equal rights in New York because we are human beings and we work hard and contribute to the New York economy.”

“When I was a child, my undocumented mother risked deportation every day driving me to school so I could receive the education I was entitled too,” said Mayra Hidalgo Salazar, executive director, Hudson Valley Community Coalition. “No mother should have to go through that. Equal access to a drivers’ license will not only keep our roads safer but it will help ensure families stay together in the face of increasing risk. While immigrants are under attack from the federal government, New York State must do everything in its power to protect ALL its residents and provide immigrants the resources and tools needed for them to thrive. A driver’s license is one step closer in the right direction.”

“For farmworkers and other isolated immigrant workers living in rural communities throughout Upstate New York, having a driver’s license is absolutely essential to ensuring access to basic necessities,” said Lewis O. Papenfuse, executive director, Worker Justice of New York. “When workers must rely on employers to purchase their groceries or provide them with rides to the doctor, their bosses gain control over virtually all aspects of their lives. As an organization that aims to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation and abuse, we see driver’s license access as an important workers’ rights and human rights issue.”

Nikeeta Slade, organizer with the Workers’ Center of Central New York said, “Now, more than ever, we need to fight and push for policies that show that immigrants, regardless of their status, are welcomed here and important members of our community. Fighting for drivers licenses for all is one important way immigrant worker members of the Workers’ Center of CNY have been doing this important work.”

According to the Comptroller’s report, currently 12 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. Implementing the policy would allow 150,000 undocumented immigrants in New York City to receive licenses and provide the following benefits:

Increased Economic Mobility for Families — The ability to legally drive will provide these New Yorkers with greater access to higher paying jobs, as well as strengthen families by making it easier for parents to drive their children to and from school.
Increased Revenues Would Offset Program Costs — Up to $9.6 million in driver’s license fees would be gained by New York State. An additional $1.3 million would go to the MTA in license fees.
Higher Auto Industry Sales — Sales in the auto industry would increase by 2.7%, generating tens of millions of new dollars for the state in registration and title fees, as well as vehicle and gasoline sales taxes.
Lower Auto Insurance Premiums — According to a recent study, preventing immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses increases annual insurance expenditures for licensed drivers by $17.22 per person. Changing New York State policy would deliver savings to New York City’s 3.6 million licensed drivers in future years.
Improvements in Public Safety — When all drivers learn the rules of the road and purchase insurance policies, the broader public benefits.
According to the Fiscal Policy Institute’s report, revenues from expanding access to driver’s licenses, which would increase the number of people buying cars and purchasing licensing fees, would more than cover expenses to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The report details how greater access to driver’s licenses would create additional revenues for public transportation authorities and especially benefit state and county governments.

FPI’s report also finds that from Long Island to the Lower Hudson Valley to Western New York – all areas where cars are more necessary to own to access jobs and participate in the economy – the benefits of expanding driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants would help improve economic conditions for undocumented immigrants, be a net positive for the local economy, and would even add some to local budgets and the upstate regional transit authorities. Collectively, undocumented residents already pay about $1.1 billion in state and local taxes annually.

Key findings from the Fiscal Policy Institute on new revenues from expanding driver’s licenses in upstate New York include:

265,000 people who would get driver’s licenses within three years, including 51,000 on Long Island, 53,000 in the Hudson Valley, and 11,000 in Northern and Western New York.
$57 million in combined annual government revenues, plus $26 million more in one-time revenues.
$28 million in annual revenues to New York State, $21 million to county governments, $8.6 million to the MTA (in addition to another $2.2 million in one-time revenue), and $288,000 to upstate mass transportation authorities.
Further detail about upstate metro areas is available in the report.

In order to realize these benefits, Comptroller Stringer, Assemblyman Moya, the New York Immigration Coalition and coalition partners recommend that New York State adopt legislation that would allow all immigrants to obtain licenses and launch a targeted public awareness campaign to educate eligible immigrants about the program.

“Hard-working families deserve a chance to realize the American Dream,” said Comptroller Stringer. “Granting driver’s licenses is an important step forward for the New Yorkers who contribute so much to our City.”

To see the Comptroller’s full report, click here.

To view the full report from the Fiscal Policy Institute, click here.

Save-the-Date! The People’s Inauguration, Jan 21st

The Workers’ Center of CNY is part of the newly formed CNY Solidarity Coalition, a coalition of people dedicated to protecting and fighting alongside immigrants, LGBT people, Muslims, women, and all other marginalized and oppressed groups that will be the direct targets of Trump and his vile cabinet.

On Saturday January 21st, 11:30-2:30 pm we are having the People’s Inauguration at All Saints Church 1342 Lancaster Avenue. At this event we will be celebrating our community and forging grassroots political power!

Location: All Saints Parish Center, 1342 Lancaster Ave
Food (Lunch) * Music * Theater * Poetry
Free and open to the public

Confirmed performances:
Dream Freedom Revival (DFR)
Joe Driscoll
“Falling Rocks” by Teatro de los Trabajadores
The Tearing Down of The Wall
Poetry (various)

Was November 8th a turning point for you?
Have you been following the news and thinking “I need to do something, but I’m just one person. What can I do?”

For people attending Syracuse in Solidarity protest from 10 – 11 am, (,
there will be coordinated carpooling from a makeshift “bus stop” at the Federal Building starting at 11 am — look for the big “People’s Transportation” sign.


WCCNY Member Honored at National Health & Safety Conference

Last week, four WCCNY members, Rosa, Yamaris, Andrea, and Victor, represented the Workers’ Center of CNY at the National Council for Occupational Safety & Health, where WCCNY member Crispin Hernandez was recognized for his commitment to advancing the movement for worker health and safety. In addition to accepting the award on behalf of the Workers’ Center of CNY and Crispin, members participated in and attended a number of workshops and panels on how to organize successful worker safety and health campaigns. We learned from and shared our own experiences on leading important fights around health & safety, fighting wage theft, and expanding access to driver licenses.


group photo cosh.jpg


WCCNY member, Victor holding a sign saying he’s attending this conference because he believes all workers should have the same rights. Victor also participated in a workshop and talked about his first hand experience with health and safety issues as a poultry worker and a dairy worker.

Donations like yours help make it possible for worker leaders to attend national conferences like these and bring back vital information to strengthen our organizing. We thank you for your continued support and we are glad you are in the struggle with us!

Si se puede!

Second Annual Gran Tamalada Fundraiser


Second Gran Tamalada Fundraiser! Treat yourself to delicious tamales and support the Workers’ Center! Place your orders by December 13th to Pick up on December 17th at 2013 E Genesee, Syr. 13210 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

WCCNY Ten Year Anniversary Fundraising Drive!

Workers’ Center of CNY Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary!


Here at the Workers’ Center of CNY we are always working and fighting hard for the rights and dignity of immigrants and workers. Now that Donald Trump, an anti-immigrant, racist, xenophobe, is president, we are committed to fighting even harder. While we are deeply unsettled and disturbed by all that Trump represents and stands for–misogyny, racism, exploiting and abusing workers–we are also encouraged and excited that this year marks the Workers’ Center of CNY’s ten year anniversary!

In the past decade, we have won many important victories. From organizing guest workers at the NY State Fair to end exploitation, abuse, and human trafficking of workers, to our farmworker leaders standing up against retaliation, intimidation, workplace violence at Marks Farm in Lowville. In the next two weeks, we will stroll down memory lane to highlight more of the victories we have accomplished.

We want to continue to grow our base so that we can win even more victories. That is why we are reaching out to you for support. We are kicking off a two week fundraising campaign to raise $5000 to support immigrant worker organizing. When you donate, you are supporting local workers and immigrants fighting for fair, just, and dignified, workplaces and communities.
The funds raised during this campaign will go towards funding “Know Your Rights”, transportation costs for outreach, the Green Light campaign to expand access to driver’s licenses for all, our newly formed theater troupe “Teatro de los Trabajadores,” and our Women’s Group committee. All of these programs are essential for building our organizational capacity so that we can continue fighting for dignity and respect in central New York.
Si se puede!