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Solidarity With Ferguson

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As we celebrate Labor Day weekend, usually a time to honor courageous working men and women, we’d like to hit pause and take a moment to express our overwhelming grief and outrage over the events in Ferguson and the brutal reality they reveal.


Another mother and father senselessly lost a son, and we at EBASE feel the loss of Michael Brown. These feelings combine with those evoked by the deaths of Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and so many more. Our hearts go out to the Brown family, and our hopes go out to the people of Ferguson as we stand in solidarity against the raw racism that led to the slaying of yet another black man in America.


It raises the question of who gets to be safe? And who gets to be human?


An unarmed black man gunned down by police; an immigrant crossing the border shot by Right Wing vigilantes; the LGBT youth brutally beaten in the school bathroom; and a woman raped in her own home.


So few people in America are safe, because the systems and institutions that perpetuate oppression and discrimination treat many in our community as less than human. Violence is a mere symptom of a sickness that runs deep in America.


It is our challenge as a people to awake our consciousness and become more uncomfortable with the injustice that we are all a part of.  And it is our job in the progressive community to address the root problem: the great inequities of our society.


As a multi-racial organization, the Ferguson events have refueled our ongoing commitment to end racism and the other “isms” as part of our economic justice work. Justice is a holistic solution and cannot be teased out for some and not for others. We invite you to take a moment this Labor Day weekend, to reflect and join us in that commitment toward a racially, economically, and socially just world.


In solidarity,

The EBASE Staff


P.S. Join EBASE in making a donation to the local organizing efforts in Ferguson to support the work of Organization for Black Struggle. 

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Nikki Bids Farewell and Welcomes Kate

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Dear Friends,

I am so grateful for my seven incredible years working with EBASE. I feel both nostalgia and excitement as I leave EBASE next week to run our national network – The Partnership for Working Families.

When I became EBASE’s Executive Director, I asked people to focus on one word to explore the work we could do together in our organization’s second decade. That word, inspired by my young daughter, was “imagine.”

I asked: “Imagine a new future for our community, what would we see?”
• Imagine the brave immigrant women who worked at Emeryville’s old boycotted hotel with paychecks in hand.
• Imagine Oakland residents having access to quality jobs from the massive redevelopment of the old Army Base.
• Imagine passing living wage ordinances and minimum wage legislation across the region so people can put food on the table.
• Imagine building a more powerful movement of workers, residents, people of faith and voters who are successfully pushing an agenda for good jobs and healthy communities.

Well, many years later, it’s amazing to have achieved victories that were difficult to imagine. It shows that by joining together, rolling up our sleeves, and staying committed to a vision of a better future, we can create the change we imagine. And, it reminds me of the talent and dedication of our staff and board, and the value of our partners, like you.

EBASE continues to be on the cutting edge of raising the floor for low-wage workers and opening the door to quality jobs for marginalized communities including immigrants, people of color, youth, and people with criminal records.

Upon my exit, we are making some exciting changes in leadership. I am thrilled to announce that EBASE’s own Kate O’Hara will be leading the organization to our future victories as the Interim Executive Director.

In the seven years I have worked beside Kate, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to our movement. EBASE’s board and staff have appreciated Kate’s role as a driving force for change. Imagine a woman joining EBASE over seven years ago to lead multiple equitable development and community benefits campaigns across the East Bay. What could one person do?

Starting as Community Benefits Program Director, Kate built a shared vision for equitable development among a broad spectrum of organizations involved with the Oakland NetWork for Responsible Development which has provided a foundation for many of the community benefits and land use campaigns over the last few years. She also oversaw the creation of a grassroots member-led organization in Emeryville that is still active today.

Kate then focused EBASE's job creation work on one of the biggest opportunities of our lifetime - the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base - and with the Revive Oakland coalition, went up against the biggest warehouse developer in the world to deliver a landmark good jobs agreement that will affect thousands of construction and warehouse jobs. Beyond the policy victory of that campaign, Kate built strong relationships at City Hall, a lasting community-labor-faith coalition that continues today, and gave rise to grassroots members who are leading our next generation of campaigns.

Kate has also worked closely with me to ensure that we have the necessary resources to carry out this important work, fundraising, doing whatever it takes, and bringing her own brand of collaborative leadership to our staff team.

We have joked about how long and hard winning these types of transformational changes are. Nurturing a coalition and campaign and then negotiating and winning a huge agreement was like giving birth to a child. And in fact, along this seven-year journey, Kate has also become a mother of two children who fuel her fire for leading EBASE to more wins for our community.

Coming from a faith-filled family, Kate has always heard a strong calling to empower and care for the beloved community we are all a part of. Today as a mama of two young kids, Kate feels a strong sense of solidarity with working parents and the daily struggles of childcare, doctors’ visits, and squeezing in enough time for hugs. From Kate's perspective, good jobs and healthy, safe neighborhoods are just the minimum we need so that every parent can provide the kinds of opportunities that their kids deserve.

So in the coming months, please take a moment to welcome Kate at kate[at]workingeastbay.org, and I won’t be far and will be reachable at nfb[at]forworkingfamilies.org.

Thank you for helping to turn our shared vision into victories over the years. I will never forget your support. I ask you to continue to imagine what’s possible and partner with EBASE and with Kate in forging ahead on a path of more victories for our movement in the years to come.

In solidarity,


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You're Invited to the FAME Clergy & Community Breakfast

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FAME Breakfast E-blast

Subject: You’re invited to FAME’s Clergy & Community Breakfast

You’re invited to the Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy’s Clergy & Community Breakfast on May 15th!

This year’s event, “Prophets on Profits: Workers, Wages, and Community Wealth,” will be a time of communal reflection, celebration, and inspiration as we continue to provide a moral voice and witness to those who are traditionally left out of our economy.

To RSVP and purchase tickets, go to www.2014famebreakfast.eventbrite.com

We will honor the prophets in our midst who are working to transform the profits of greed into community wealth. This year’s speakers include:

• Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Andrew Straus, Oakland’s Temple Sinai

• Movement Voice Awardee: Nikki Fortunato Bas, Executive Director, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy

• Courageous Voice Awardee: Guadalupe Salazar, McDonald’s Worker and East Bay Organizing Committee Leader

• Prophetic Voice Award: Bob Lane, Lay Leader, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church

Thursday, May 15, 2014
8:30 - 10:30am, doors open at 8am
Islamic Cultural Center
1433 Madison Street, Oakland 94612

Tickets: $50
Please consider giving an additional $25 to ensure workers can attend.

Please RSVP by Thursday, May 8, 2014 at www.2014famebreakfast.eventbrite.com

A limited number of discounted tickets and volunteer opportunities are available. For more info, email jenanne@workingeastbay.org or call her at 510.891.7106 x 304.

The Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy (FAME) is a network of clergy, spiritual leaders, and people of faith. Our mission is to educate and mobilize our communities to stand with low-wage and immigrant workers. We seek policies that will sustain lives with dignity for workers and their families by improving wages, benefits, and working conditions.

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Oakland Passes $12.25 Minimum Wage With Paid Sick Days

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OK - Maybe not today, but this November, WE WILL pass a ballot initiative to raise Oakland's minimum wage to $12.25 with cost of living increases and paid sick days!


Join Lift Up Oakland, a coalition of community members, workers, small business owners, students, and faith leaders who are uniting to lift up our City.

It’s time we make Oakland the kind of town that families can afford to put food on the table, keep a roof over our heads, and not have to choose between a paycheck and our health!  When workers have more money in their pockets, they spend it in our community, building local businesses, creating jobs, and generating tax revenue for schools and public safety. EVERYONE BENEFITS!

Will you join us NEXT SATURDAY when Lift Up Oakland goes public and launches our efforts to collect the 35,000 signatures we need to qualify for the ballot?

February 15th (rain or shine)
Fruitvale Village at Fruitvale BART
9:30am - 3pm Launch Rally & Signature Gathering

*We’ll be repping our City, so wear your Oakland gear: Raiders, A’s, Warriors, Oaklandish, Hella Oakland, 510, etc.

 RSVP to Maria Elena Allain at info@workingeastbay.org  with questions!

Lift Up Oakland is a coalition of community members, workers, small business owners, students, and faith leaders who believe that Oakland should be a town where those who work hard can afford to take care of our families and help create a healthy community and healthy economy. We are the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), Raise the Wage East Bay, Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), SEIU 1021, SEIU ULTCW, UFCW Local 5, and UNITE HERE 2850.

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Executive Director Transition

Posted by on January 24th, 2014

Dear Friend,

As we start a new year, I have been reflecting on EBASE’s 15 years of advancing good jobs and healthy communities and my past seven years with this dynamic organization. During my tenure, EBASE won two major multi-year campaigns – one led by immigrant women hotel workers in Emeryville to uphold the living wage law we passed, and the other led by a broad coalition of community organizations, the labor movement, clergy leaders and youth groups to ensure quality jobs for Oaklanders from the massive army base redevelopment.

I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and feel privileged to have been part of such amazing struggles and victories. A new chapter in EBASE’s history will begin in July, when I transition from my role as Executive Director to lead the national network that EBASE co-founded, the Partnership for Working Families.

The Partnership, under the leadership of its first Executive Director Leslie Moody, has grown to 17 affiliate organizations similar to EBASE. It is leading a renewal of our economy in metropolitan regions across the country by building diverse community and labor alliances to advance innovative programs that create quality jobs and strengthen healthy communities.

I have served as the Board Chair of the Partnership for the past three years and have been inspired by the winning campaigns of EBASE’s sister organizations around the country. By building power in our regions, we are also collectively reshaping the economy to create opportunity and prosperity for all.

This summer, Leslie is leaving the Partnership to re-engage at home in her local community in New Mexico. The Partnership Board has appointed me to serve as the next Executive Director. I will continue to be based in Oakland and look forward to staying connected to EBASE and amplifying its work as I take on a new role with our national network.

EBASE’s board and staff have been engaged in a thoughtful transition process, which will continue over the next six months. We are beginning a search for a new Executive Director and are committed to finding the best candidate. Please share our job announcement with your networks.

EBASE has a strong and talented board and staff team to lead this transition and our programs. We are following through on our big victory on the Oakland Army Base, and we partnering in an exciting new campaign that will lift up conditions for low wage service workers and engage thousands of community members, union members, students, businesses, religious congregations, and voters. Stay tuned and stay with us as we continue to build power in our communities.

Thank you for your support of EBASE. We look forward to many more years of partnership with you.


Nikki Fortunato Bas, Executive Director

From the Transition Committee: We are grateful to Nikki Fortunato Bas for her visionary, professional, grounded and collegial leadership of EBASE for the past seven years. While we are sorry to lose her as our much beloved Executive Director, we are excited that she will have an expanded leadership role in our national network. We trust that will only help to strengthen and spread the groundbreaking victories EBASE has accomplished during her tenure. And in true Nikki fashion, she has chartered a smooth and strategic course for us as we sail into this transition and beyond. We have ample time for a good search process to yield a new team leader and we continue to be guided by an excellent map, also known as our Five-Year Strategic Plan. We are on track to reach our goals of creating thousands of quality and accessible jobs in the East Bay and building power with workers and communities. Finally, Nikki chose an opportune time to welcome new leadership into EBASE as we take on yet another trailblazing campaign in Oakland this year. We thank Nikki for leadership that has helped make our ship stronger and our voyage bolder!

Board President Wei-Ling Huber, Board Member Danielle Mahones, Board Member Diana Wear, Staff Member Kristi Laughlin, Staff Member Jahmese Myres

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New Year’s Resolution You Will Like

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Dear Friend,

The #1 New Year’s resolution is to get fit. I know a way to do that AND fulfill another popular resolution: volunteering to help others!

This is EBASE’s 15th anniversary year, and the staff here invites you to volunteer with us and walk the picket lines and voter precincts to win justice for low-wage workers.

We’ll be out in full force to give workers a hand up and end handouts for corporations by supporting the Our Walmart and Fast-Food Fight for $15 campaigns. We’ll be working to end unfair immigrant detentions and deportations which threaten workers’ ability to fight for higher wages. And we’ll be out there to ensure that our local government is creating quality, living wage jobs for our residents.

2014 is also an important election year, and we’ll be knocking on thousands of doors to ensure our neighbors are educated and empowered to vote. We expect there to be numerous ballot measures that will impact low-income workers and communities. So stay tuned!

Volunteering is a great way to make friends, have fun, and most importantly, be part of the movement to end income inequality. So join us!

Email us at info@workingeastbay.org and put VOLUNTEER in the subject line.

Happy New Year from all of us at EBASE!

Nikki Fortunato Bas
EBASE Executive Director

P.S. If you don’t have time to volunteer but still want to contribute, please consider making a donation to EBASE to help move workers out of poverty!

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Ho Ho Ho Holy Cow! 2013 Has Been a Banner Year!

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Dear Friend,

Wow! 2013 has been a banner year for EBASE, and you’ve been a part of it.

We've helped weave a thread between numerous campaigns to lift low-wage workers. From fast-food to Walmart to recycling to airport concessions, workers are fighting for a living wage. EBASE has been there to create one strong voice for economic justice, and you’ve been there to make that voice a loud one.

We've broken ground on the Oakland Army Base redevelopment project. EBASE has been there convening the Revive Oakland coalition which won a groundbreaking jobs agreement, ensuring that the thousands of jobs which will be created will be quality jobs. And you’ve been there for the years it took to win such a victory.

We've won enormous gains for immigrant workers through the efforts of the Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy (FAME). The Trust Act to limit deportations and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to ensure overtime pay were both signed into law. And you were there to send letters and make phone calls to sway elected officials.

As I reflect on what we’ve achieved, I feel gratitude for the support you’ve given, and I also reflect on what is possible for the future: a just economy for everyone in our community.

My holiday wish is that friends like you deepen your commitment to our mission and make a gift to EBASE – either monetarily or with your volunteer time to sustain our work.

Every dollar and every volunteer hour creates change in some way, and allows us to inch closer to our goal of ensuring that every worker can provide for themselves and their families.

So thank you, and happy holidays!

Nikki Fortunato Bas
EBASE Executive Director

P.S. Tax deductions aren’t just for the fat cats! Your donation to EBASE is fully tax deductible! Make a gift to EBASE today.

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Don't Be a Turkey this Thanksgiving:
Join Us for a WEEK OF ACTION!

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Get some exercise Thanksgiving week by walking the picket lines with us for a living wage! Let’s give low-wage workers a hand up, and end handouts for corporations!

While multi-national corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s profit billions, they pay their workers poverty wages, forcing many to turn to public assistance just to put food on the table. People who work full-time should be able to provide for their families, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill to subsidize corporate profits.

Join ACCE, ALAMEDA LABOR COUNCIL, EBASE, EBOC, OUR WALMART, SEIU 1021, UNITE HERE 2850, and hundreds of workers and community members for a Week of Action!

11/27 Our Walmart Action, 9am, Walmart 44009 Osgood Road, Fremont

11/27 Oakland Airport Food & Retail Worker Action, 12noon, Terminal 2

11/29 Black Friday National Walmart Action, 3pm, 15555 Hesperian Blvd., San Leandro

12/5 Fast-Food National Day of Action, 11:30am McDonald’s at 1330 Jackson St. Oakland and 3:30 meet at Fruitvale BART


JOIN FAME (The Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy) and EBASE for a

Statewide Day of Action to END Deportations
Wednesday, Nov. 27th – 12 Noon
West County Detention Facility 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond
(It serves as a detention center for Bay Area immigrants)

Join us the day before Thanksgiving for a demonstration of solidarity with families whose loved ones are detained. Listen to their stories and help us to put an end to the unfair deportations and separation of families. Bring a potluck item if able!

For information, contact Kristi Laughlin at Kristi@workingeastbay.org or
Daniel Pinell @ Daniel@workingeastbay.org
Carpool from East Bay, contact Ariana @ ariana@mujeresunidas.net
Carpool rides from San Francisco, contact Eric @ erikschnabel@hotmail.com
San Jose

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Save the Date for Thanksgiving Week of Action

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Staying in town for Thanksgiving? Work off your turkey, tofurky or chicken mole by taking action. Let’s give low-wage workers a hand up, and end handouts for corporations!

While multi-national corporations like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s profit billions, they pay their workers poverty wages, forcing many to turn to public assistance just to put food on the table. People who work full-time should be able to provide for their families, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill to subsidize corporate profits.

It’s time corporations paid people a living wage so they can provide for themselves and their families!

Join ACCE, ALAMEDA LABOR COUNCIL, EBASE, EBOC, OUR WALMART, SEIU 1021, UNITE HERE 2850, and hundreds of workers and community members for a Week of Action!

11/25 Oakland Airport Fast Food Action
11/27 Action to support WalMart associates
11/29 Black Friday National WalMart Action
12/5 Fast Food National Day of Action

Stay tuned: time and place TBD.

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Groundbreaking for Groundbreaking Jobs Policy

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Celebrate good times! Ground has finally been broken on the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base. The project, which has been more than a decade in the works, will create thousands of new jobs for Oaklanders. With your support, Revive Oakland, a coalition of more than 30 community groups which EBASE convenes, won a groundbreaking jobs policy.

The policy ensures that the construction and logistics jobs being created pay a living wage. It also has a local hire requirement, a community oversight commission, and a job center has already been created to connect local workers to training, services, apprenticeships, and job listings.

“This jobs policy is going to transform Oakland,” said Shirley Burnell, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) leader, Revive Oakland member, and nominee to the community oversight commission. “This will allow people to put food on the table, and when people can provide for their families, they don’t need to turn to the streets so crime is curbed.”

This is the biggest thing to happen to Oakland in years, and it’s only the beginning!

Revive Oakland is continuing to work throughout the region to expand the jobs model won in the Army Base agreement. Just this month, the coalition pushed for and won a jobs policy for AC Transit’s construction work on its Bus Rapid Transit project on International Blvd.

Revive Oakland wants to ensure that jobs created by government agencies – with public tax dollars – are good living wage jobs and that Oaklanders have access to those jobs through the jobs center.

“Taxpayers want to know that their money is going toward real jobs that you can raise a family on,” said Nikki Fortunato Bas, EBASE Executive Director. “That’s how we are going to lift people out of poverty, and that’s how we are going to revive Oakland’s economy.”

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From a BART Worker's Mouth

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From a BART Worker’s Mouth

When Sharina Pearson goes to work as a BART janitor, she’s won’t take BART to work. She’s afraid for her safety and wants to avoid the glaring looks when passengers see her in her uniform.

“People misunderstand us and think we’re greedy,” said Sharina. “But the truth is we are like a lot of middle class families out there struggling to make ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck. That’s what I’m doing.”

Sharina is a single mother of four children living on about $50K. She juggles the bills, often paying one or two late so her kids can have school supplies or other basic needs. “I want to provide for my kids so they have what every kid has along with some memories,” she said.

Though she struggles, Sharina is incredibly thankful for her BART job. “Heck, I’m grateful to be working while some people are going hungry in this economy,” she said, “But the cost of food, gas, and medical has gone up so much, and I don’t want to slip down. And if BART keeps chipping away, we’re going to fall under.”

When it comes to a strike, Sharina spoke with humility. “We don’t want to inconvenience the passengers as they are just like us: middle class workers trying to get to work to support their families,” she said. “I look at the strike as standing up for my own family, but standing up for theirs too, because employers are trying to chip away at middle class jobs everywhere. We need to stick together because we all deserve fair wages with decent benefits to provide for our families.”

Let’s heed Sharina’s words and stick together for good middle class jobs for all. Tell BART you support the workers and urge them provide a fair contract that keeps pace with the rising cost of living with no takeaways!

Email the BART Board of Directors at boardofdirectors@bart.gov

Or call your BART Director:

Rebecca Saltzman represents District 3, which includes Albany (partial), Berkeley (partial), Oakland (partial), Piedmont, San Leandro (partial), Unincorporated Alameda County (partial), El Cerrito (partial), Lafayette (partial), Moraga, Orinda and Unincorporated Contra Costa County (partial). 510-338-7948

Robert Raburn represents the public in District 4 which includes the cities of Alameda, Oakland (partial) and San Leandro (partial). 510-530-3444

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Meet Maria: Domestic Worker on the Front Lines of Victory

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Maria wiped tears from her eyes as she spoke about the elderly woman she’s been caring for over the past two years. She’s a home health care worker, and the woman suffers from Alzheimers and is degenerating rapidly from the disease. When Maria first started working for her, the two would talk about their families, Maria would dye her hair, paint her nails, and do her makeup. But now the woman can barely communicate and doesn’t want to be touched.

Maria has grown very attached to the woman and is wrapped up emotionally in her care. It’s more than just a job, but at the end of the day, home health care workers deserve fair pay. Because Governor Brown signed a bill last week requiring overtime pay for domestic workers, Maria and thousands like her will be rewarded for their hard work and have protections against employers taking advantage of them.

“This is a victory not just for me but for all of the workers,” said Maria, who is not only a domestic worker but an eight-year leader with Mujeras Unidas y Activas, one of the main groups who advocated for the bill. “We are no longer scared, and when families ask us to work longer hours, we now have rights.”

The new law requires employers to pay their domestic workers time and a half for any work that exceeds nine hours a day or 45 hours a week. The Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy (FAME), a part of EBASE, has been one of the many organizations that has been part of the fight to push an entire Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. We lent our support through Labor in the Pulpit, by sending religious delegations to legislators, and signing Interfaith letters to Jerry Brown.

Though the bill falls short of a list of a full bill of rights, it is a significant victory.

“We didn’t win everything we wanted, but we are unified, more protected, and less scared of being deported,” said Maria. “I want to thank all the people and organizations out there who supported us, and this is your victory too.”

Coincidentally, the passage of the bill comes during Latino Heritage Month, making it that much sweeter. Most domestic workers are women and immigrants. Maria says the new law has already had enormous impacts in the Latino community. “We walk away from this empowered. And we can now go on to fight for more rights as domestic workers and as immigrants,” said Maria.

For more information, go to the lead organization: the California Domestic Workers Coalition at http://www.domesticworkers.org/ca-bill-of-rights

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You bowled us over with you enthusiasm for our mission!

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Whether or not you threw strikes at our Bowl-A-Thon, we thank you for throwing your support behind EBASE’s mission. Together, we are creating good jobs and healthy communities and making our economy work for working people!
More than 135 folks turned out to have fun at the lanes! Check out our photos here:
• Action pics by Justice Photographer, Brooke Anderson
• Goofy photobooth pics
We’d like to give a big shout out to our organizational sponsors and individual donors who made the Bowl-A-Thon a resounding success!

Power Builder, $3,000+
SEIU 1021
Unite Here International Union
Just Economy Advocate, $1,000+
Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Kazan, McClain, Satterley, Lyons, Green
Unite Here 2850
Vlaire Group

Coalition Convener, $500+
Alameda Building & Construction Trades Council
Davis, Cowell, & Bowe
International Union of Painters & Allied Trades, Local 3
Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 104
Teamsters Joint Council 7
United Labor Bank
Movement Mobilizer, $250+
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Beth Hofer
Donna Bransford
Ella Baker Center
IFPTE, Local 20 Engineers and Scientists of California
International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, Local 21
Lozeau Drury LLP
National Employment Law Project
Partnership for Working Families
Peter Olney
Policy Link
Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter
United Assoc. of Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 159
Working Partnerships

Friend, $125+
Akonadi Foundation
Ben Beach
Bend the Arc
Block by Block Organizing Network
Inner City Advisors
Just Cause : Cause Justa
Kent Lewandowski
LOHP UC Berkeley
Mujeres Unidas y Activas
Pete Woiwode
Restaurant Opportunities Center
Stephen Pitts
Super Print

Ally, $20 -100
Alex Lantsberg
Al Auletta
Allen Weinrub
Amaha Kassa
Anna Lee
Charla Vazquez
Corrin Buchanan
Dannette Lambert
Derecka Mehrens
Elinor Buchen
Emily Goldfarb
Harriet Storm
Jennifer Kraljevich
Jerome & Helen Finkelstein
Jill Ratner
Jolene Scarella
Jon Rodney
Katrina Fullman
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Libby Schaaf
Lisa Schottenfeld
Lois Jones
Maria Kong
M. R. Wolfe & Associates
Parent Voices
Oakland Rising
Our Wal-Mart
Robert Lane
Sarah Wilson
Sebrina Owens-Wilson
Shira Bezalel
Walter Yonn

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Strikes for Justice Bowl-a-Thon

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In the last few months, poverty-wage Wal-Mart workers, fast-food workers, and airport concession workers have all gone on strike for better lives for themselves and their families. You can support them and the thousands of other minimum wage workers who just want to put food on the table. Throw your own STRIKE for ECONOMIC JUSTICE at EBASE’s first-ever Bowl-a-Thon.

Let’s be clear about it - no one can survive on $8 an hour in the Bay Area. Even fully employed people are getting left behind and falling below the poverty line. Many are forced to use food stamps and other government assistance to get by while the multi-national companies for which they work profit in the billions.

Like many of you, EBASE is working to change this picture and bring together community and workers under one goal: raise standards for working people so that everyone can provide for their families.

In just a few weeks we’re bringing the community together to raise much-needed funds for this cause at our “Strikes for Economic Justice” first annual Bowl-a-Thon. You don’t have to throw a strike to make a difference. Just throw your support behind EBASE’s mission to create a just economy for all.

Come out and bowl with your staff team-- Give a gift of $125, $250, or $500 and send 1, 2, or 3 staff! Give $1,000 and get your own lane!

Create your own page and set your own fundraising goal. Raise $125, $250, $500 and hit the lanes on your own or with 1-2 friends. Feeling ambitious? Raise $1000 and get your own lane!

Don’t want to bowl or can’t make it that night? Give a gift to in honor of workers and communities.


September 19th, 5-8pm
AMF Southshore Lanes
300 Park Street
Alameda, CA 94501

To sign up: www.stayclassy/strikes4justice
contact: sadiyah@workingeastbay.org

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Fast-Food Strikes Sweep Nation

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Shonda Roberts, mother of three, works part-time at KFC and earns only $8 an hour. She’s one of the thousands of fast-food workers who went on strike in 60 cities recently to stand up for $15 an hour and better working conditions.

Like many of her co-workers, Shonda makes impossible choices between food, rent, and other basic necessities. “I’ve gone to work hungry,” said Shonda. “Sometimes you’ve got to decide if you’re going to keep shelter over your head or have something to eat, and sometimes I go without.”

EBASE has been one of the leading community organizations supporting the fast-food workers as part of our work to raise standards for low-wage East Bay residents.

“For our community to thrive economically, all of our community members need to be able to provide for themselves and their families,” said Nikki Fortunato Bas, Executive Director at EBASE. “Even working full-time, low-wage workers are living in poverty which affects not only their families, but all of us.”

Fast-food and other low-wage service jobs are the fastest-growing area of job growth in this country. Though these multi-national employers are profiting billions, they pay workers so little that many have no choice but to use government services. Taxpayers are left holding the bag and being forced to subsidize corporate profits.

“I work and shouldn’t have to rely on the government just to put food on the table,” said Shonda. “We should have an equal playing field. Everyone should have the opportunities that corporate America has. I should have the opportunity to provide for my family.”

Thank you to the hundreds of people who supported workers like Shonda last week in Oakland. Let’s continue to support the fast-food workers as well as the Wal-Mart workers, airport concession workers, and the thousands of other East Bay residents who are struggling with the same issues.

Stay tuned on how you can get involved!

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Celebrating the tenacity of those who father

Posted by Felicita Pedroza on

This Father's Day, we want to celebrate those fathers who lead by example, not only in their families, but in society. We want to acknowledge the hard work of those who father while standing up against injustices.

My name is Antonio Ruiz and I am a houseman at the Hyatt House in Emeryville, where I have worked for 11 years. I have lived in Emeryville for a number of years with my three kids and my wife who works at the Marriot in Oakland. I am also a member of the Union Committee and decided to stand up and fight for a better future for my family. There are many stories of injustice at Hyatt, but I want to share one of the reasons why I decided to fight back.

When Hyatt came into our hotel in June 2011, the managers called me into the office and told me that they found something in my background check. They told me it was something very bad and fired me that day. I was shocked and didn't understand what it was because I have never even had a speeding ticket. All they told me to do was to call Hire Right, the agency that did the background check. When I did, they told me I was a sex offender, drug dealer and had a suspended license in New Jersey. I was in shock, because I have never even been to New Jersey and I had been working at the Woodfin and at UC Berkeley for many years. Clearly, this was a different person with the same name.

I went to Alameda Sheriff's department to get a copy of my record and I brought it to the hotel to show them it was clear. When I went to the hotel, they treated me like a criminal and said they didn't want to see it. I was traumatized because I didn't know how I was going to support my family. After 6 weeks of looking for other work, I called the hotel and they said I can come back. They said that they had made an honest mistake, but they were not going to pay me for these weeks.

I am angry that Hyatt would treat me like this, and for this I have decided to fight for justice. I am a hard worker and not a criminal. I don't want this situation to happen to anyone else. I want the opportunity to work in a Union hotel so my co-workers and I can support our families with a decent wage, health care and respect.

To stay updated about Hyatt House workers in Emeryville, contact Felicita Pedroza at Felicita[at]workingeastbay[dot]com.

Enjoy your weekend and let a special father know you appreciate them,

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Fremont residents deserve better recycling,

Posted by Jennifer Lin on June 5th, 2013

Let's make it happen! 

The campaign for Sustainable Recycling in Alameda County continues with great opportunity to expand recycling services while increasing job quality for dozens of workers in Fremont.

On Tuesday, June 11th, they're going to the City Council meeting to speak out for better services. Let's be there to support this important campaign for better recycling services and good jobs. Bring your family and friends to stand with recycling workers!

Tuesday, June 11th at 6pm
Fremont City Council
3300 Capitol Avenue

Please join BLT workers, ILWU Local 6, EBASE, and other supporters of the Sustainable Recycling Campaign. Contact Jenny Lin (510.893.7106 x321) for more information and if you will be able to attend.

Many of you have met Josefa Alvarez and Santos Rivas, who are worker leaders at BLT and this will be an opportunity to support them while asking the city of Fremont to expand the types of recycling services available to all residents. We will also be sharing the results of a resident survey conducted by students at the University of California Berkeley, that shows the desire to expand recycling.

Workers at BLT already provide recycling services for residents in Fremont and other cities -- but they know those services can be improved to make them easier and more available for everyone. BLT should honor their promise to approach the Fremont City Council together -- so workers secure better recycling services for residents -- along with fair pay and decent benefits.

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Jennifer Lin,
Research Director


Support Fasting Workers Fired by ICE

Posted by Nikki Fortunato Bas on June 5th, 2013

We Invite You to Support and
Join Immigrant Workers in their Fast

Next week, as the full Senate begins deliberation on the Immigration Reform Bills S. 477, unjustly fired immigrant workers and their allies will be engaging in a FAST AGAINST THE FIRINGS to draw attention to the hundreds of immigrants in the Bay Area fired because ICE says they have no papers.

One worker from Dobake: Elena, in her 60s, is one of the 125 Bay Area women and men fired weeks ago through ICE audit, after 16 years of employment earning minimum wage at Dobake Bakery in Oakland. She is now facing not only loss of employment, but also loss of her health insurance which covered her expensive high blood pressure and cholesterol medications.

Here are a few of the numbers we know of who have been fired or soon will be around the Bay due to ICE I-9 audits:
Dobake Bakery - 125 workers fired
Albanese Construction - 200+ workers fired
Mi Pueblo Market - hundreds fired?
Pacific Steel - 214 workers fired
ABM - 475 workers fired

As the firings are taking place throughout the Bay Area - the fast will move each day to different symbolic locations.

Tuesday, June 11th, @Cesar Chavez Park, S. Market St., San Jose
12 Noon - Opening Press Conference
6 pm - Community Gathering of Support

Wednesday, June 12th, @Mi Pueblo Market, 1630 High St., Oakland
12 Noon - Interfaith blessing, speakers, and testimonies
6 pm - Community Gathering of Support

Thursday, June 13th, @Oakland Federal Bldg., 1301 Clay St., Oakland
12 Noon - Interfaith blessing, speakers, and testimonies
6 pm - Community Gathering of Support

Friday, June 14th, @Oakland Federal Bldg., 1301 Clay St., Oakland
12 Noon - Breaking of the Fast & Press Conference

Click here to sign up
Click here for more information

  • Join the Fast (water only) for 24 hours or more. Our goal is 10 community ally fasters each day- from your home or at the fasting tent. We hope that at least 5 of you can be present and on site for some part of the day at the fasting tent. Click here to join the fast for all three days or a 24-hr shift.
  • Visit the Fasters to offer a Religious Blessing, spiritual ritual or words of encouragement. At 12 noon and 6 pm everyday there will be public gatherings of support.
  • Make a donation of financial support for fired Dobake Workers. Send checks to EBASE, Attn: Laura Rivas, Dobake Support, 1814 Franklin St., Suit #325, Oakland, CA 94612 - or bring in person to the fasting tent. 

Hope to see you there!

Nikki Fortunato Bas
Executive Director


Participating Organizations: Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights-CLUE CA, Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice in Santa Clara, Alameda Co. United in Defense of Immigrant Rights, Natl. Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Filipino Advocates for Justice, E.Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Working Partnerships USA, Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy, East Bay Immigrant Youth Coalition, Asian Law Caucus, Asian Law Alliance, Black Alliance for Justi Immigration, Laborers L. 270, UFCW L. 5, ILWU L. 6, UNITE HERE L. 2850, AFSCME L. 3299, South Bay Labor Council, Alameda County Labor Council, Dobake Workers Comm.,  Dignity Campaign, Dignidad y Resistencia, Pacific Steel Workers Comm., Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Justice for Mercado Workers, ASPIRE....

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The Rebirth of ICWJ

Posted by Kristi Laughlin, FAME Project Director on May 28th, 2013

In our fourteen years, we have walked with housekeepers, janitors, Port truck drivers, security officers, and healthcare and domestic workers, and helped them improve their workplaces and livelihoods in powerful ways.

Yet we recognize that in this current economic system, so many are excluded or precluded from working. That is why we must also address the root causes and systemic forces that govern and restrict many workplaces. For example, in our recent involvement in the ground-breaking Revive Oakland campaign, we fought hard to win a Good Jobs Agreement with the City of Oakland that insured that upwards of 2,000 quality jobs would be created at the former Oakland Army Base and to expand employment opportunities and access for people with criminal records, as well as ensure that half of those jobs would go to Oakland residents.

In prayerful discernment about our evolving and new campaigns, we have tried to heed the example of the prophets and the ancestors of our rich faith and spiritual traditions who boldly proclaimed justice for all. So, it is with great faith and humility that we commit ourselves to:

Tackling the power of greed, complacency, and a business-as-usual attitude on the part of corporations or government entities requires a vibrant spiritual community that is committed over the long haul. This is why we need you, and why we are launching our first-ever formal membership drive. We are asking that you and/or your congregation become an official member of FAME.

Your membership dollars will play a critical role in our advocacy and accompaniment of immigrant families and workers. It will help us to build a more robust faith-rooted movement to realize an economy of well-being for all in the East Bay.

Your membership will also be your “ticket” to a FAME Launch Party. It will be an opportunity to join your companions in the struggle for a celebratory luncheon replete with song and story-telling on June 25, 12:00-2:00 pm at 12-2pm.

We look forward to your participation and partnership.

Peace, shalom, salaam,

Kristi Laughlin,
FAME Project Director

Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy

Formerly Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (ICWJ)

  • We are clergy, faith, and community leaders in partnership with the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) who work to bring about a just and more moral economy in our own backyard.
  • We believe in the power of our faith and spiritual traditions to transform people, society, and systems to become just, sustainable, and resilient.
  • We provide strong moral support and accompany low-wage worker’s struggles for a voice on the job, just wages and benefits, and safe working conditions.
  • We advocate for the creation and protection of quality and sustainable jobs that lift people out of poverty.
  • We promote moral budgets (city, county and state) that reflect the value and needs priorities of families, communities, and society.
  • We are dedicated to faith-rooted organizing: organizing rooted and based in prayer and the creative gifts of our diverse faith and spiritual traditions.
  • We understand that organizing and solidarity with marginalized and vulnerable peoples is a spiritual practice.
  • We seek to transform hearts and minds, as well as build power and win campaigns. This informs our methods, tactics, and practice.
  • We are committed to power sharing. We prioritize working in collaboration and building meaningful alliances with unions, community organizations, denominations, and others.

We turn social action into worship…and worship into social action!


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Harvey Milk would stand with Hyatt House workers, will you?

Posted by on

Ana Alvarado's story:

On Tuesday, April 30th workers at the Hyatt House in Emeryville held an amazing and moving action wherein top Union Committee leaders shared their stories of work place injustice and asked the Hyatt Emeryville management for a fair process to organize and choose a union without threats or intimidation.

Ana Alvarado (Housekeeper of 4 years) was among the top 4 committee leaders who shared their personal story as to why she has chosen to be a leader and fight for dignity and respect. After workers spoke at the delegation, Alan Mass, Hyatt Emeryville General Manager, emphasized there would be zero retaliation against committee leaders and anyone else who supported the Union.

However, on Wednesday-May1st, Ana Alvarado was given a written warning for allegedly leaving hair in a bed she cleaned. This is the first written discipline that Ana Alvarado has knowledge of receiving while working at this hotel property. Ana has asked, Why Now? Why after she shared her story of work place injustice?

We need your support to spread the word. Share this blog on your FaceBook and/or Twitter page and lets us know you stand with these workers. 

FaceBook/Twitter: @workingeastbay.

"This week, equality advocates throughout California and around the world mark the birthday of LGBT rights pioneer Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in November of 1978. I worked closely with Harvey and saw firsthand how he stood, not only for LGBT people, but for all working people, particularly those who had been disenfranchised. Harvey understood the importance of coalitions that connected the struggles of different communities and seized every opportunity to show support for labor unions, women, minorities, and immigrants.

Today, Hyatt workers around the world are engaged in an international campaign for respect on the job, safe working conditions, fair wages and affordable healthcare. Last month, the workers at Hyatt House in Emeryville joined that campaign.

As we observe Harvey Milk's birthday and celebrate the extraordinary progress of the movement he represents, it is important also to honor his legacy as a one of the first to forge a coalition between labor and the LGBT community. If Harvey were with us today, I have no doubt that he would stand with the Hyatt workers and call on Hyatt management to permit a fair process for workers to organize without fear of retaliation. Just as Harvey urged LGBT people to leave their closets, come out and organize, he would speak out for the right of workers to have a voice on the job, without fear of threats or intimidation." -Cleve Jones

Scroll down to read Ana Alvarado's story, a housekeeper at Hyatt House in Emeryville fighting for dignity and respect on the job. Contact Felicita at Felicita[at]workingeastbay[dot]org if you want to stay informed about Hyatt House workers.

In  California, Harvey Milk Day is recognized as a day of special significance for public schools. California's schools are in dire need of help. More than one in five children in California live in poverty, and nearly half of all K-12 students participate in the federal free and reduced-price meal programs provided to students from low-income families.

For the past two years, AYPAL and the Campaign for Quality Education (CQE) coalition have been organizing communities and advocating at the Capitol to achieve educational equity for all students in California’s public schools. This month, they are taking action to push for the timely passage of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by the state budget deadline of June 15th, 2013 - and we need YOUR support!

Click here to check out this week’s action to see how you can support the passage of LCFF by the end of June!

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