Harvest vs. safety; ag workers at risk in Chelan-Douglas counties / Facebook post, The Searchlight Review

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Click the graphic to enlarge a copy of a 4/30/20 email from Malcom Butler, a Chelan-Douglas Health Officer, sent to JT Austin of Governor Inslee’s office. The complete text of the email is contained in the blog post

July 7, 2019  Sandy Robson

From this recent Searchlight Review Facebook post, we can get some insights into the foundations of why agricultural workers continue to struggle against the imbalance of negative impacts suffered by them due to COVID-19.


 

In reviewing public records I recently obtained from the Chelan-Douglas Health District related to a COVID-19 outbreak at Stemilt Growers, a grower, packer and marketer of apples, pears, cherries and other tree fruits, I came across an email that I wanted to share. Continue reading

No hasty green-lights during COVID-19 / Letter to the Whatcom County Council

Click the graphic to access a copy of Whatcom County Council Member Ben Elenbaas’s “Letter to Governor as amended on 5.19.2020” on the Whatcom County website

May 21, 2020  Dena Jensen

Subject: Please develop resources to help businesses and community members be resilient during the current health emergency

Dear Whatcom County Council:

So far, I have listened to the first two hours and the last hour of your 5 hour Whatcom County Council meeting from May 19, 2020. During that time a lot of attention was brought by Council Member Ben Elenbaas to the idea that the Coronavirus is going to stay with us for a long time, perhaps infinitely. Continue reading

Update on Emergency Rules in Housing in Agriculture / Facebook post, Community to Community Development

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Click the graphic of a Facebook post showing two workers in blue clothing holding signs at a strike for safe working conditions and hazard pay in Eastern Washington to access the post on Community to Community Development’s Facebook page

May 13, 2020 Community to Community Development

UPDATE ON EMERGENCY RULES IN HOUSING IN AGRICULTURE: The Dept of Labor and Industries has finally released the rules for housing. In spite of all the public comments, the position and arguments of C2C and familias Unidas por la Justicia, science and medical data on how this deadly virus is transmitted the State Agencies have chosen to risk farm workers lives in favor of the economic interests of the corporate agricultural producers, mostly tree fruit . We would like to thank all of our friends and allies for standing with farm workers during this difficult time. Much more will be required from all of us, to support farm worker families and communities, given this lack of protections from our State Government.

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Submit comments ASAP to demand that emergency rules for ag worker housing truly protect and help save lives of farmworkers / Facebook post Community to Community Development

 

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Click the graphic of a Facebook post showing a photo of a farmworker’s open hands stretched forward full of fresh strawberries  to view this post on Community to Community Development’s Facebook page

April 25, 2020  C2C

Below is the full text of the Saturday 4/25/2020 Action Alert from Community to Community Development. People can send in a comment now to beat the Monday 4/27/20, 5:00 p.m. deadline!!

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New Immigrant Advisory Board and WA bills to support highlighted at C2C’s Migrant Justice Forum / Noisy Waters Northwest

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Click the graphic to access video of C2C’s January 22, 2020 Migrant Justice Forum. The presentation by Liz Darrow begins at around 18:00:00

January 31, 2020  Dena Jensen

On January 22, 2020, our local ecofeminist, immigration and farm labor advocacy organization, Community to Community Development, held a Migrant Justice Forum at the Localgroup Studio in Bellingham. One the presenters, Liz Darrow, who focuses on policy coordination, legislative advocacy, and media for C2C, offered a status update on the Bellingham City Council’s Immigration Advisory Board which was created by ordinance in October 2019. Ms. Darrow also brought forward a number of Washington State bills for this legislative session that merit community members calling on state representatives to provide their support. Continue reading

Farm Workforce Modernization Act poses setbacks for workers and growers / Noisy Waters Northwest

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Community members, along with representatives of Community to Community Development and Familias Unidas por la Justicia join in a 2019 People’s Tribunal addressing the mistreatment of H-2A farmworkers at Crystal View Raspberry Farm in Bellingham, WA

November 30, 2019  Dena Jensen

Update, December 14, 2019: On Thursday December 12, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, HR 5038, was passed out of the House in the Congress. It now moves to the United States Senate.

Local farmworker advocacy organizations, Community to Community Development,  and Familias Unidas por la Justicia have been of significant support to H-2A visa workers, locally in Whatcom County, and in other areas in the state, as they were in June of 2019 in Grant County, Washington, at the King Fuji Ranch in Mattewa. Continue reading

Worthy of honor and respect: the 2019 Farmworker March for Dignity / Noisy Waters Northwest

August 8, 2019 Dena Jensen

It’s been held for years. I have been to four. This year was the second time I’ve marched the full route. The annual Farmworker March for Dignity starts at dawn, with many people leaving their home destinations around 4:00 a.m., in carpools or individually, to arrive at shuttle locations and park their vehicles.

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Rosalinda Guillen: ‘…it’s a critical moment for immigrant families, immigrant children.’ / Video Transcript, Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic to access the Community to Community Development August 5, 2019 Facebook post of a video of Rosalinda Guillen who is picture in the screenshot of the post standing on a downtown Bellingham street corner holding a sign with a drawing of a red broken heart with tears and the name of the city of El Paso on it.

August 6, 2019 Dena Jensen

“So, it doesn’t mean that we don’t want politicians with us when they’re with us. But we will not be used for campaign photos. We will not be used as tokens to make it appear like they really believe in our movement, like they really believe in what we’re doing, like they will really protect our families. 
“We believe they won’t. It is an opportunistic, privileged action. ” – Rosalinda Guillen

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Contact House Appropriations Committee to support SB 5438 protections for farm workers / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic to access the two minute discussion and vote for SB 5438

April 3, 2019 ACTION Dena Jensen

Yesterday Senate Bill 5438 was successfully moved out of the WA state legislature’s Labor & Workplace Standards committee with a do-pass recommendation! SB 5438 would provide measures to offer more adequate protections for the rising number of H-2A farm workers being recruited by Washington state farms.

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2/26/19 Community Voz radio show on SB 5438, offering protections to farm workers / Facebook post, Noisy Waters Northwest

March 14, 2019 Dena Jensen

Click the graphic to access The Western Front article, “Community to Community Development Takes Fight for Agricultural Workers, Immigrants Rights to State Legislature”

I just listened to a recent Community Voz radio show on SB 5438 – which recently passed the state senate – a bill that would provide a source of funding and resources to provide better oversight to help prevent abuses of the H-2A visa agricultural program. You all should listen too. There’s a ton of information and analysis packed into the hour-long show that will help you better understand the bill. (Great music too!)

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