Recently in California Category

I say "parting shot" because even though the City of Los Angeles prepares to evict Occupy LA, the '99% movement' is evolving beyond the presence of just tents occupying City Hall. It is evolving to become more focused: drafting this list of 10 demands to local authorities. One of the most notable demands in that list is this unequivocal promigrant stance:

Los Angeles [is] to be declared a sanctuary city for the undocumented, deportations to be discontinued and cooperation with immigration authorities be ended - including the turning in of arrestees' names to immigration authorities.

Having been on the ground since the occupation started, I can report that the very fact that this list of demands was so quickly drafted by its leaders and approved by Occupy LA's General Assembly represents in and of itself a showing of the movement's maturing into a more organized endeavor.

Check out the latest from Cuentame:

It's this sort of local organizing that easily makes California one of the most pro-migrant states in the Union, in addition to being the most populous one. This also brings to mind some of the great organizing going on in San Francisco with 67 SueƱos, which I hope to write more about soon, primero Dios.

Separately these sorts of efforts might seem insignificant in the face of the massive deportation machine that the Obama administration has set up, but all together they are what make the migrant rights movement one of the most vibrant and active social movements in the U.S. today. There's something amazing about being able to go almost anywhere in the U.S. and find people in solidarity with the work I'm doing.
[Editor's Note from Kyle de Beausset: At the recommendation of Jocelyn Sherman at the United Farm Workers, I just read Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement. One of the best reads I've gotten through in a long time because it gets right into the details of how change is made from the ground up.

It has also made me feel a lot more connected to what is happening in California with the UFW in the present which made me feel like I had to get something up on this piece of legislation that's moving. I wish I could have written something myself but Dylan Anderson has graciously offered to allow me to put this up as a guest post.]

SB 104: Providing Farm Workers a 75-Year-Old Protection
By Dylan J. Anderson
United Farm Workers

Recently, both the California Senate and Assembly passed SB 104, "The Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act." Introduced by Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), SB 104 would give the state's more than 400,000 farm workers an alternative to on-the-job polling place elections to decide whether to join a union. The new option would allow them to fill out state-issued representation ballots in their homes, away from bosses' threats and other interference. If a simple majority - more than 50 percent - of workers signs the ballots, their jobs would be unionized.

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