CWJ visited Ernst and Grassley to demand a “clean” DREAM Act

 

Eleven CWJ members and allies met with the regional directors of Senators Grassley (Fred Shuster) and Ernst (Brittney Carroll) on Tuesday, January 16 to discuss immigrant justice, including the urgent need to pass a “clean” DREAM Act immediately.

Every day that Congress fails to pass a DREAM Act, more than 100 young people who came to the U.S. as children lose their work permits and are put at risk of deportation. A “clean” DREAM Act means creating a path to citizenship for young people without linking it to draconian measures that criminalize and terrorize their parents and relatives such as walls and ramped up detentions and deportations.

What we heard were essentially identical views from the two senators’ representatives.  They are supporting the proposals put forward by right-wing Republicans Tom Cotton (AK) and David Perdue (GA). They have no interest in supporting a “clean” DACA renewal.  They have no understanding of why DACA recipients might be concerned.  They ask, “Do they think they will be deported on March 5, when DACA expires?”

They choose to emphasize a package of draconian measures for more “border security” (a wall), more prosecution of immigrants, ending what they call “chain migration” and other proposals, as a condition for any relief for DACA recipients.

They need to hear from us now! A clean DREAM Act is good for workers, good for our economy, good for families, and it’s the right thing to do.…

Workers Celebrate Positive Impact of Johnson County Wage

In 2015, Johnson County workers won a long-overdue, historic minimum wage increase when the Johnson County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved raising the minimum wage in three steps: to $8.20 in November 2015; $9.15 on May 1, 2016, and $10.10 on January 1, 2017. After years of inaction from Congress, County Supervisors joined 29 states and dozens of other cities and counties in taking necessary action to address the growing crisis poverty wages are causing for Iowa families, schools, social services, and local economies.

By 2017 when the state legislature banned local minimum wage increases, three other Iowa counties had followed Johnson County’s lead and were poised to raise wages for tens of thousands more working Iowans. CWJ has since led efforts to maintain the Johnson County increase by seeking commitments from employers to voluntarily honor the $10.10 minimum wage. Over 160 Johnson County businesses have so far pledged to maintain the higher wage, with many now proudly displaying signs in support of the higher minimum.

Iowa’s current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour translates to $15,080 for a full-time, year-round worker, not enough to meet an individual’s basic needs in any Iowa community, much less support a family. Iowa’s minimum wage was last increased on January 1, 2008, meaning Iowa minimum wage workers have not had a raise in a full decade.

“This report is the latest milestone in our ongoing community campaign to achieve living wages for all workers. Two years ago, Johnson County residents came together to demonstrate broad community support for increasing the minimum wage. Data in the county’s new report backs up what workers and employers alike have experienced since 2015: raising wages is good for families, for business, and for our local economy. In 2018, we’ll continue urging more Johnson County employers to join the over 160 businesses who have already pledged to uphold our community wage standard of $10.10. The Iowa legislature attacked workers in 2017 by making local wage increases illegal and trying to lower the wages of 65,000 Iowa workers. But they can’t stop our local progress or keep our community from coming together to raise wages and strengthen our economy.”  Rafael Morataya Executive Director of Center for Worker Justice

Read the Minimum Wage Report on this link 

 

 …

Our 2017 Winners

“We are here to stay! Immigrants are here to stay! Our minimum wage is here to stay! Our unions are here to stay!”

CWJ is proud to Honor those Leaders in our Community who have contributed to improving our  lives in the last year; here are the Winners:

Emerging Leader: Margarita 

Volunteer of the Year: Sally HartmanRecognition for Improving our Community: Johnson County Supervisors

Recognition of Work Team: Forest View Tenant Association

Second Gala Fundraiser October 21

 

Celebrate local progress with us at CWJ’s Second Annual Gala on October 21, 2017 at 6:00 PM! Our members and allies have built a vibrant organization bringing hundreds together across boundaries of race, national origin, and immigration status. Through the hard work of our community, we’ve redefined what’s politically possible in our region.

We’re delighted to announce the return of the amazingly talented duo, Calle Suras the night’s musical guest as we honor the achievements and hard work of our members.

Here is the link to purchase tickets for the GALA 

Enough of Corporate Agenda

More anti-worker, anti-immigrant bills are being rushed through the Iowa state capitol, and it’s important that each of us speak up to our legislators against them. While lawmakers continue to make life easier for billionaire corporations by eliminating rules that protect Iowans, lowering wages, and handing away millions in corporate welfare, they are playing an age-old game of divide and conquer by scapegoating our immigrant brothers and sisters for growing inequality. Please call your legislator today to oppose these bills:

Senate File 172 would make the flawed E-Verify system mandatory for most Iowa employers. This system checks workers’ photos, names, and social security numbers against several federal databases that are riddled with errors due to name changes related to marriage, changes in immigration status that aren’t yet recorded, and typos. It creates a burden for both workers and employers, and is just a complicated duplication of the I-9 system already required in every workplace. It doesn’t raise wages or improve our workplaces and has led to charges of discrimination across the country.

House File 265 would prohibit the state, counties, cities, and state-funded schools from adopting policies that restrict their participation in federal immigration enforcement. Our cities, counties, and schools have the right to prioritize their limited resources toward fulfilling their primary mission – creating safe neighborhoods and learning environments so that all Iowans can thrive, not tearing apart our communities and tearing apart local families.

 

Contact your Senator (515) 281 3371

Contact your Representative ( 515) 281 3221

Membership Meeting & Allies/Reunion de la Membresia y Aliados

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We invite you to attend the monthly meeting of members of the Center, where you will hear news from the community, the work being done; Updates on immigration and what we are doing to protect the community, we will also talk about the education of our children, theft of wages and affordable housing.
We will have Daycare !

This is an open invitation to our Allies in Iowa City, join the Membership Meeting & find out how you can support our immigrant’s Community on this political moment.…

Stop the Legislature’s Assault on Iowa Workers!

On February 7, Republican lawmakers in Des Moines filed bills that constitute an all-out attack on workers in every city, county, and school district in our state. CWJ President Mazahir Salih and Vice-President Irund A-wan joined hundreds of union and community members at the capitol yesterday to speak out against these attacks.

House Study Bill 92 would take away the minimum wage increase our members fought so hard to pass, and throw tens of thousands of Iowa workers back to the poverty minimum of $7.25. It would ban local governments from passing any laws or resolutions that provide higher standards than state or federal law on any issue related to workers’ rights, as well as certain consumer environmental protections.
House Study Bill 84/ Senate File 213 is an extreme proposal that strips away over 100 years of basic civil service and union rights of public service workers – such as teachers, firefighters, secretaries, and snowplow drivers. It removes civil service protections established in the early 1900s to prevent nepotism and corruption, allows workers to be fired for any reason and without cause, makes it illegal for public workers to negotiate with their employer over any working conditions except raises, and contains provisions to dismantle public workers’ unions.
This is devastating to our state, our workers, and our public services. Please join us in calling our state legislators today to reject these attacks on the people of Iowa!
Connect to your state Senator by calling 1- 844-332-8460.
Connect to your state Representative by calling 1- 855-790-8815.