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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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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Annual Farmworker March Spotlights Worker Violations at Crystal View Farms / Press Release, Community to Community Development and Familias Unidas por la Justicia

August 2, 2019 Press Release, Community to Community Development and Familias Unidas por la Justicia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Annual Farmworker March Spotlights Worker Violations at Crystal View Farms

Farmworker March for Dignity

When: Sunday, August 4, 2019 4:30 a.m

Starting point: 1431 Sunset Ave. Ferndale, WA

BELLINGHAM, WA August 2, 2019 – This Sunday, hundreds of people will march 14 miles through rural roads of Whatcom County for the annual Farmworker March for Dignity, organized by Community to Community Development (C2C) and Familias Unidas por la Justicia. The march kicks off at dawn, the average time a Farmworker begins working in the field. Leaders from C2C, Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), and Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad will start the march at a Customs and Border Patrol station, the site of border militarization, detention and deportation impacting Farmworkers families in the region. 

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Satpal Sidhu’s responses to my questions about a sanctuary ordinance and farm workers on the Riveters Collective Ask Me Anything event / Dena Jensen

July 27, 2019 Dena Jensen

One of the great election-related services that the Riveters Collective — which organizes and supports actions in Whatcom County and local communities — offers to our community, is their Ask Me Anything (AMA) events on Facebook, where members of their Facebook group can ask questions to find out what they want to know about candidates running for office during election season.

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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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Outgoing 42nd LD Rep. Vincent Buys rings out the old year with H-2A malarky

Click the image to access audio of the December 29, 2018 KGMI Saturday Morning Live radio show featuring outgoing WA 42nd LD Representative Vincent Buys

January 6, 2018 Dena Jensen

On December 29, 2018 KGMI Saturday Morning Live show radio host, former Whatcom Tea Party board member, and current Common Threads Northwest board member Kris Halterman interviewed outgoing Washington state 42nd LD Representative Vincent Buys. Democratic candidate Sharon Shewmake defeated Rep. Buys in the November 2018 election. Ms. Halterman had him on the show to talk about plans he has made for his future after leaving his elected office and what community issues he thinks will continue to be important here in Whatcom County in the year ahead.

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