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.
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.
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!
to check out this week’s action to see how you can support the passage of LCFF
by the end of June!
Making Proposition 30 Real for our Students and Communities: Equality vs. Equity
Posted by Jahmese Myres on
Equality vs. Equity
Will you join us on
June 1st as we talk to Oakland voters about equitable distribution
of Prop 30 funds?
Contact Jahmese[at]workingeastbay[dot]org- 510.893.7106 x320
Thanks to Prop 30--- for the first time in many years --- California
will pass a budget without any cuts to education. In fact, we now have enough money to think more deeply about
how we want to build a supportive and fruitful education system.
Some proposals recommend that education funds are allocated equally among all schools (like the
picture on the left). However, not
all students are starting from the same place. Some have different needs and face greater challenges than
others. Instead, allocating funds equitably (like the picture on the right),
would give extra resources to schools who serve a greater number of students
with unique situations—like foster youth, low income and English learners.
Governor Brown has proposed a plan that distributes 96% of
the funds evenly across all schools, and the remaining 4% among those schools that
need additional student support.
We know that all students do better when they have the
support and resources they need. Prop 30 has given us the opportunity to provide
additional resources to those with the greatest needs and to build an education
system that uplifts our students and sets them up for success.
While the win last fall was amazing, Prop 30 will only be a
real victory when see it implemented in the way we envisioned: for the support
and success of all our students.
On Saturday, June 1st,
we’ll be talking to voters in Oakland’s flatlands about spending Prop 30’s
education funds in an equitable way that truly supports our students and builds a just education system. Will you join us?
Contact Jahmese[at]workingeastbay[dot]org- 510.893.7106 x320
FUN & AWESOME
FACT: Did you know EBASE filled 102 volunteer shifts in last fall’s voter
outreach push to pass Prop 30?
Civic Engagement Organizer
Honoring the Resiliency of All Those Who Mother
Posted by on
Josefa Alvarez (right) dedicatedly stands against injustices recycling workers
face on the job and with the many other workers who face unsafe working
conditions in the workplace.
"I am Josefa Alvarez and I have
been working as a baler operator at BLT Enterprises, a recyclling
company in Fremont, for almost 7 years. I am a mother of 5 kids and they
are my treasures. Everything I do, they are my driving force.
recycling worker, we are in the shadows. Many people don't know how to
sort their recycling and they just dump stuff in the recycling bins, and
don't think about us -- the workers who do the sorting. That is why it
is important to educate the public on how to properly sort recycling and
let them know who we are. This is why I speak out.
The two most
difficult things about my job: First, there are the unsafe working
conditions. On many occasions I have seen dangerous working conditions
and have seen workers being put at risk. Second, many of my co-workers
do not know their rights as workers, so when I tell them to speak up and
advise them their rights, the company is always pushing back, silencing
them. Also, I am a mom who has to split her time between work and my
kids; my kids have to share me with my work. When I spend a day with
them it feels like it has only been 5 minutes.
It is difficult to be a
mother, but I must keep pushing for myself, just as they must keep
pushing. Everything is a push and a struggle. I went through a lot as a
single mother and as a female worker. I have had to struggle when I was
told I couldn't do things just for being a woman. I know we have rights
as workers and we have to fight because we are workers, not subservient.
The legacy I leave my kids with is an example of a hard worker, the
importance of speaking out, of co-workers having your back, and to not
remain silent." (Desplacese hacia abajo para leer su cuento).
"My name is Mari Mendonca. I am a Front Desk Host/Night
Auditor at the Hyatt House in Emeryville CA. and have worked there for the past
seven years. I am a Berkeley native and a single mother of four.
I am proud to
be standing up for justice at Hyatt for myself and in solidarity with all of my
colleagues, who have felt disrespected, abused, used and ignored.
Some of the injustice that I have personally experienced is
unfair wages. Hyatt has hired several people in my exact same position as Front
Desk Host/Night Auditor, people whom I have trained to do the work that I have
been doing for the past seven years at a pay rate that is higher than mine.
I have asked for and suggested numerous times that we be
given security especially during the Night Audit shift being that it is
overnight and a high risk time of day. In lieu of them expending for a guard
every night, which in my opinion should be the norm I have requested that we at
least have security on Friday and Saturday nights when the potential for
partiers is high and we have already experienced many evenings where we have
been verbally and physically harassed or intimidated by either the registered
guest or their entire entourage. I have also discovered that the fire escape
stairwells at the end of the hallways (which are supposed to be locked from the
outside) are unlocked. We have also had many nights where party guests will use
these stairwells to usher up extra guests in excess of the number of guests
that are regulated for guest safety and fire codes creating complaints and
confrontations that put myself and my colleagues in jeopardy. Once a man was
even running down the hallway with a gun and ran into the elevator with my
previous colleague and he had to ride down in the elevator with him, gun in
I have also discovered in my seven years of service that the
gates that lead from public space outside the hotel to the pool, Jacuzzi and
gym area are easy for transients and non-guests to enter and I have encountered
this circumstance at least more than a few times. I have had to confront these
people, mostly men not knowing how they would react and unsure if I would be
Another request is for more security cameras around the
perimeter, all entrances and exits and at the elevators. This would allow us to
monitor those areas throughout the evening giving us some idea of what may be
going on, on and around the entire hotel as we have had many break-ins to cars
on the lot and even someone robbed at gunpoint at the back entrance.
The front doors have never locked properly and I have
informed the Hyatt that the Fire Department told me that the doors must when
locked at night have the motion sensors working on all the front doors so that
they will open when people on the inside pass by. Only one of the front doors
actually works the way it is supposed to.
Hyatt came in after purchasing our hotel promising us that
it was going to surpass the previous employers in every aspect of the hotel
operations –so far I have not experienced the actualization of these promises.
I know that Hyatt has more than enough money to afford the type of security
required to maintain a property of this size and to pay fair wages to loyal
employees who have shown diligence and commitment to upholding their high
standards of service. In fact since my colleagues and I have taken action and
began to stand up and tell our stories of injustice management has hired
security to protect against…..us? I am hurt to know that in all my years of
requesting protection for myself and my colleagues that it only becomes
affordable to protect against us when we are attempting to unify in asking for
a little dignity and respect."
My thanks and acknowledgement to the strong and fearless mother’s of EBASE, Nikki, our visionary leader and Executive Director, Kate, our
long-time campaign lead and
Revive Oakland Director, Jenny, our longest
EBASE staffer and
Research Director, Kristi, our voice in
ICWJ Project Director, and Maria, our
Operations Manager. These women pour their love and passion into economic and
social justice by the bucket. The accomplishments of EBASE are possible because
your mama? Shout her out on FaceBook.
Enjoy your weekend and hug the dynamic mom(s) in your life
El cuento de Josefa Alvarez:
"Estamos en las sombras, mucha gente que no sabe sortear
piense que no mas botan y no piensan que nosotros somos los que tenemos que
sortear, por eso es importante ensenarle a la gente como sortear y que sepan
quienes somos. Por eso no me quedo callada. Yo soy Josefa Alvarez, tengo casi
siete-7 anos trabajando como baler operator en BLT Recycling. Soy madre
de 5 ninos y ellos son mis tesoros. Todo lo que hago ellos son mi empuje. Lo
mas dificil de mi trabajo son las condiciones de seguridad, en muchas ocasiones
yo e visto el peligro y muchos incidentes donde trabajadores se ariesgaron. Tambien
muchos de mis companeros de trabajo no saben sus derechos y cuando se los digo
y les aconsejo que no se queden callados reciben otro mensaje de la compania
muy contrario al mio, y se quedan silencios. Yo pase por mucho , como madre
soltera, como mujer que tuvo que luchar en el trabajo cuando me decian que no
lo podia hazer, no mas por ser mujer. Yo se que tenemos nuestros derechos y
tenemos que pelear porque uno es trabajador no esclavo. Les estoy dejando a mis
hijos un ejemplo de trabajadora para que sepan la importancia de hablar, ser
respladados en el trabajo, y no quedarse callados. Y tambien ayudarles a los
que no saben. Tengo que ser madre con tiempo cortado, porque tengo que trabajar
y tengo que compartir mi tiempo con ellos con mi trabajo. Cuando paso un dia
con mis ninos se siente como cinco minutos. Es dificil ser madre pero tengo que
salir pa’ delante yo y ellos tienen que salir pa’ delante, todo es pa’ de lante."
A year in review: 2012 Impact Report
Posted by Nikki F. Bas on April 24th, 2013
Are we winning? Yes, we are!
Last year was a fantastic year for EBASE and this year, we are going to keep on winning.
2012 Impact Report documents some of our major
accomplishments in 2012.
My personal highlights are:
- Building a broader and stronger movement
for economic justice by working with an amazing set of allies including
community base-building organizations, unions, faith leaders, youth
organizations, and environmental justice groups and health
To secure these victories, EBASE built powerful &
diverse coalitions to organize our base of residents, workers, people of faith
and voters. We conducted top-notch research to understand the root causes of
economic injustice so that we could craft winning solutions and shift the
public debate. Our campaigns employed these strategies and more to build power
and pass effective policies for lasting change.
the coming years, EBASE will deepen our work at the intersection of worker justice
and environmental health through a new campaign for Sustainable Recycling.
Alameda County is a national leader in efforts to
get to “zero waste” by diverting more of our trash to recycling and composting.
However, our county also has among the lowest working standards for recycling
workers in the Bay Area. Additionally, a significant amount of
our trash is still going to landfills, and will continue to, until we improve
our systems for recycling. Consumer education, worker involvement and community
engagement are critical so we can also address polluting facilities and the low
wages and unsafe conditions faced by the County’s hundreds of recycling
Achieving Sustainable Recycling will be a
demanding yet glorious road – just like our past campaigns – and as I remember
a day in February where more than one hundred recycling workers joined with
allies and said, “even though we work in trash, we are not trash,” I am recommitting myself and EBASE to our vision of vibrant,
healthy neighborhoods and an inclusive middle class.
with us. And, if you are down for
Sustainable Recycling, give a gift today AND it will ‘double’ as part of a gracious 2013 matching gift
opportunity from one of our partners. Come on, join in. Be a
part of keeping EBASE strong and fortified to build power with workers and
Onward! Nikki Fortunato Bas
thanks all of last year’s donors for their support and efforts in building
power with workers and communities.
Allyce Kimerling and Frances Rotolo
*Andrea L. Lee
Anna Denise Solis
Father Dan Danielson
Jen Wylegala and Dan Calamuci
*Julina and Jazy Bonilla
Mari Rose Taruc
Mary Lou Watson
Mauricio J. Wilson
Mekahel C. Francois
Riana Shaw Robinson
Richard M. Johnson
*Rosemary G. Brennan
*Sandra V. Padilla
*Peter Tadao Gee
special thanks to EBASE sustainers whose reoccurring monthly gifts were a
part of sustaining our efforts throughout 2012.
Join Us to Introduce Resolution Urging Alameda County to
Posted by Kristi Laughlin, ICWJ on
Stop Collaborating with ICE
|Art by Jesus Barraza www.DignidadRebelde.com|
Alameda County Board of Supervisors Hearing to Introduce Resolution
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
Alameda County Administrative Building,
(1221 Oak Street, 5th floor, Oakland)
This is a critical juncture in the
movement to stem the tide of misguided deportation policies as Congress
debates the terms of an immigration reform proposal rife with punitive provisions.
On Tuesday, our allies in ACUDIR
will introduce a resolution before the Alameda County Board of
Supervisors urging the Sheriff’s Office to stop using scarce county
resources to detain people for ICE under the “Secure Communities”
program, or S-Comm. Nearly 2000 people have been deported from Alameda
County alone due to S-Comm since its implementation in 2009, leaving
children and their loved ones in despair and economic hardship.
We invite you to be present for a press conference right before
the hearing to affirm our values of family unity, workers rights, and
equal treatment under the law.
We encourage you to:
- Share your story and give testimony during the public comment period at the hearing.
- Tell the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff how you, your family and community have been impacted by S-Comm and
- Why you want ICE out of Alameda County.
10:30AM - Prayer & Music (light breakfast provided)
11AM - Press Conference & Rally
12-2PM - Testimonies in Support of Resolution & Public Comment (3-min limit)
Let us know you’re coming! You can RSVP on the facebook event page or with Kristi by emailing Kristi@workingeastbay.org.
Will you help us reach our goal of having 200 people take a stand for justice in Alameda County on April 23rd?
ICWJ Project Director
Funds for Jobs Center Approved!
Posted by Kate O'Hara on
|Photo credit: Brooke Anderson |
City of Oakland answers coalition’s call to build a strong the good
has never been about policies, our work is about people, it’s about good jobs
for our people and it’s about building a stronger, safer, healthier Oakland," said Servant BK Woodson, Sr. to kick off last
Get to Work Rally.
the City and the Port to complete the good jobs pipeline that will move local
residents into good jobs. Specifically we called for the city to fully fund
the job resource center, to appoint the community oversight commission that will
watchdog the project and for the port to adopt similar jobs standards for their
half of the former Army Base.
Mayor Jean Quan joined us and echoed our call, committing to move the oversight
commission appointments and establish a strong commission before ground breaks
later this year.
And, after the
rally, the City Council unanimously approved a total of $500,000 a year for the
next two years, split between the Job Resource Center and the city’s oversight and
enforcement staffing. This investment is a good start to
an effective jobs pipeline that will connect residents to training, services
and long-term opportunities. Click here to read Oakland North's article of the rally.
policies we passed last year set the stage for expanding economic opportunity
in Oakland, we know these are just words on paper until we get real shovels in
the ground. That’s why all of us we are keeping our eyes on the prize and our
noses to the grindstone.
I hope you
will continue to stand with us and with Oakland in the coming months and years
to make these good jobs real - We'll need you!
Revive Oakland! Director
Check Out this Weekend's Earth Day Actions
Posted by Nikki F. Bas on
Earth Day is all about communities across the world taking action to protect our environment.
Our East Bay community continues to pursue our collective right to clean air and water, sustainable and nutritious food, and protection from blight and polluting industries.
- Friday, April 19 @ 4PM, Acorn Woodland Elementary School (1025 81st Ave.) Students from local schools will be performing, The Lorax
by Dr. Seuss. Don't miss this chance to support our youth and get
reminded of the story of the Lorax, who speaks for the trees and against
the greedy Once-ler in this environmental chronicle. Click here for more info.
- Saturday, April 20 @ 10AM, Let's Clean Up Green Up! (5 locations) Come
out for a day of beautification actions in east Oakland. Teams will
clean up trash, as well as plant flowers and trees. Lunch will be
provided along with a collective discussion about greening our
communities. Click here for more info or contact Nehanda Imara at 510-302-0430 x21 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you there- be a part of making our communities beautiful this weekend!
- Monday, April 22nd @ 12noon, U.S EPA's Region IX Office, (75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco). Be a part of over 60 organizations for
a historic Bay Area action to tell the White House, Congress, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, and California EPA to protect our
climate, health, and communities, not polluters and stop dumping
hazardous wastes in our communities! Take BARTMUNI to Montgomer St.
Station and click here for more info.
PS: Don't forget to support our allies at Greenaction and community groups in Kettleman City who are fighting to stop the expansion of a hazardous waste and chemical landfill. Click here to stand with them and find out what you can do to support.
Have a 'green' April and Earth Day!
Nikki Fortunato Bas
National Day of Action for Immigration Reform
Posted by on
labor and community allies and dreamers demanding a pathway to
citizenship for millions of workers and families who have been living
here for years and contributing to our workplaces, congregations, and
The Key to Citizenship: Rally in Support of Commonsense Immigration Reform
WHEN: Wednesday April 10, 2013 @11:30am
WHERE: Frank Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA
The Bridge to Citizenship
community, labor, DREAMers, business owners, interfaith and elected
officials for a rally, procession and candlelight vigil in support of commonsense
WHEN: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 @ 5:30pm
*Meet at 5:30pm at the eastern ramp of the Pedestrian Bridge*
Program starts at 6:00pm
WHERE: University Avenue Pedestrian Bridge
(Over Interstate 80 between University
and Ashby exits)
Featuring: "Bring Rodrigo Home" Kids for Kids campaign of 4th grade students from Jefferson School BUSD. For Rodrigo's story and to sign his petition. Click here to sign.
These events are sponsored by the Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO and SEIU- United Service Workers West. For more information please contact Mario Salazar at mario.salazar[at]seiu-usww.org or (714) 883-4099
Nikki Fortunato Bas
It was a Sight to Behold
Posted by Kristi Laughlin, ICWJ Project Director on
Interfaith Immigration Update
A. Immigration Vigil this Saturday
B. Powerful Foot-washing Ritual Garners Media Attention (see below)
Please Join us this Saturday, April 6th for our monthly immigration vigil at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond,
where we pray and bear witness to the suffering of immigrants detained
in this facility, facing deportation and forced separations from their
families. This Saturday marks the second year anniversary of our
interfaith vigils to call attention to unjust detention &
Saturday, April 6th, 11am-12pm
West County Detention Facility
5555 Giant Highway, Richmond, CA
For more information, contact Rev. Debbie Lee, email@example.com or Kristi Laughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a Memorable Sight to Behold
Over twenty faith
leaders gathered in front of the ICE building on Holy Thursday and the
week of Passover to wash the feet of immigrants, in a powerful
expression of respect and solidarity. Among them were many domestic
workers, women and youth suffering from workplace abuses, and those
facing detentions and deportations. Clergy used this sacred ritual of footwashing to
recognize and uphold the dignity of each person, to honor their
contributions to our community, and to call for meaningful immigration
reform. Click here to watch a news clip of the event.
During the foot-washing, there were smiles, hugs and tears
accompanied by moving personal testimonies. Despite living in fear of
deportation and being separated from her family, Nelly expressed feeling
“revived and filled with strength to carry on” after she had her feet
washed. Over 100 people representing ten different denominations and
faith networks, and eight community and advocacy groups joined in this
public action. Among them was Rt. Rev. Marc Hand ley Andrus, bishop of
the Episcopal Diocese of CA, who washed the feet of Jose Arreola, a
young man who came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was only two years
old. Rev. Ann Jefferson of City of Refuge Church washed the feet of
Nelly, a working mother and survivor of domestic violence who was
detained by ICE for eight months and now wears an electronic monitoring
device on her ankle.
Those present carried signs with affirming messages of love and
compassion, and ones urging a moratorium on detentions &
deportations, keeping families together, and respecting the dignity of
all workers. Rogelio, a worker at Mi Pueblo, shared his story of
workplace abuse and solidarity with his female co-workers who bear the
brunt of the abuse. Emiliana, a domestic worker, shared her story of
abuse & exploitation at the hands of her employer and emphasized the
need for worker protections to include domestic and home care workers.
This event was sponsored by the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice East and the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (ICIR), a project of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice—California (CLUE).
Wishing you blessings of new life in this holy spring-time season,
ICWJ Project Director
Vote to Fund the Job Resource Center
Posted by Kate O'Hara on
Good jobs = less violence
That's why so many of us worked together to pass the landmark good jobs policies for the massive Oakland Army Base redevelopment
last year. These policies aim to expand economic opportunity and bring
down the violence by putting Oaklanders to work in good-paying jobs over
the next decade.
The City committed to creating a job resource center as a part of
these policies – now it’s time to put our money where our mouth is.
Please join Revive Oakland at two critical upcoming votes, as
the City Council Community Economic Development Committee votes to
allocate a portion of the city’s revenue from the Army Base project to
the job resource center.
- City Council Committee vote, Tuesday April 9, 3:00pm, City Hall, Hearing room 1, 14th and Broadway, Oakland: The Committee will vote to allocate a portion of the city's revnue from the Army Base project to the job resource center. The Job Resource Center is a key component of the good jobs policies and of getting low income residents of color and folks with criminal records into good-paying construction and warehouse jobs over the next decade.
- Let's Get to Work rally. Tuesday April 16th, 5:00pm, Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland: Oaklanders need jobs! In just a few months, the City and the Port will break ground on the Army Base Redevelopment. Join us in calling on the City and the Port to ensure that all the pieces are in place that will make this project a win for Oakland. We need a fully funded Job Resource Center, a seated and strong Community Oversight Commission to watchdog the project, and the same jobs policies for the Port of Oakland's OAB project.
Already, we have made progress: The interim West Oakland Job
Resource Center is working with job seekers interested in construction
jobs and helping get them into the pipeline for work by connecting them
with job trainers, apprentice programs, service providers and
contractors.Sharing love for all of Oakland alongside you,
Revive Oakland Director
Great Day for EBASE, Great Day for Oakland
Posted by Rui Bing Zheng, Development Manager on
We thank all of our Team EBASE 14th anniversary marathon participants!
Patricia Contreras Flores
Half Marathon Participants
Pui Man Wong
Stephanie St. Clair
4-person Relay Participants
Rui Bing Zheng
5K Marathon Participants
Nikki Fortunato Bas
Kid's Fun Run Participants
Mabel O'Hara Hardy
Mensah Ajanaku Jr.
Bk Woodson Sr
THANK YOU TO OUR "In It for the Long Run" MARATHON SPONSORS
BAC- Bricklayers, Tilesetters and Allied Craftworkers, Local 3 Northern California
The California Endowment
Center for Policy Initiatives
Center for Third World Organizing
IFPTE Local 20- Engineers and Scientists of California
M.R. Wolfe & Associates
National Employment Law Project (NELP)
Partnership for Working Families
Plumber Local 393
SEIU UHW- Services Employees International Union- United Healthcare Workers West
THANK YOU TO OUR WATER STATION VOLUNTEERS
Heidi St. Clair
Tai Amri Spann-Wilson
Did you miss the races? Check out Facebook for photos and feedback on the day!
Thanks to all of your support, we have exceeded our $15,000 goal and have raised $15,629!
Miss the chance to be a part of friend to friend fundraising? Stay tuned for EBASE's first-ever Bowl-A-Thon in September as we continue to celebrate 14 years of workers and communities building power.
Again, many thanks from the entire EBASE family to all our Oakland
Running Festival participants. See you on the lanes in the Fall!
Women Build Oakland and California
Posted by Felicita Pedroza, Communications Assistant & Kate O'Hara, Revive Oakland Director on
|Photo credit: Tradeswomen, Inc. |
a West Oakland resident, African American woman and union construction worker,
Christine Garrett is focused on how the Army Base will create and maintain jobs
for her neighbors. A member of Painters Union Local 3 who has been active in
Revive Oakland, Christine Garrett expresses gratitude for her union, which ensures
she has good wages, healthcare and a pension.
joining Local 3, Christine was a bit unsure about becoming a union member. “The
union was a mystery box and it seemed like I’d never get in”.
today as a journey person, who recognizes the low number of women in the trades
Christine is committed to bringing more sisters into the Trade. She
is on the board of Tradeswomen,
Inc, a grassroots organization committed to recruiting and retaining more women
in the trades. She believes that “social
justice allies and women [address] these issues from all angles and I want to be a
part of making policy that creates real change.”
This International Women’s
History Month, we honor women like Christine who have blazed trails into the
construction industry over the last 4 decades. Although women still only make
up 2-3% of the skilled construction trades workforce overall, in the Bay Area, “we see somewhat better numbers for women and
women of color. Particularly since the ‘90s when tradeswomen became more visible and the number of women of color in trades grew,” explains Meg Vasey, Executive Director of Tradeswomen
Working in Trades comes with challenges for many. Unemployment in the trades has
been brutal during this last recession. As Meg explains, “Sometimes you have
work and sometimes you don’t; you’re not a 100% guaranteed shifts, but wages
are enough to make it worth your while”.
extra challenges can exist. As an IBEW Local 302 electrician – working with the tools – from 1980 to 1998, Meg found herself one of few women on the job. But she stuck
with it because she knew that the union could guarantee she received equal pay
to men. “I found the trades a very inviting opportunity.”
a new generation of women working with the tools, tradeswomen
can find more sisters on the job site – even, starting in the classroom as they prepare for the field.
Lewis, East Bay resident and IBEW Local 6
member is the first African American women instructor for the Energy
& Utilities Careers for Women Program, a program at Tradeswomen, Inc. in partnership with PG&E to
prepare women for utility construction work. Her
commitment to bringing more women into the trades comes from her personal
experience. When she joined IBEW 18 years ago, Chantel was surrounded by mostly
white men. On the job site, she
experienced discrimination, including one man telling her "she should be at home
with the children like his wife."
challenges, Chantel maintained her determination, “I didn’t let the few sexist people deter me or make me feel like
I was less.” She found the vast majority of her fellow workers fully supported
women in the trades which encouraged her to keep going, to pay attention, and to ask
as an instructor, she is proud to be a role model for other women who are
encouraged seeing someone who looks like them already doing the work. Extremely grateful for her union -that ensures affordable
healthcare, a pension, and support,- Chantel loves her job and wants to connect other women to the same opportunities. “I’m gratified
to see a building that I helped to construct. That’s a great feeling.”
what can we do to bring more women into the Trades?
- “Women need specific outreach targeted
to them. If this targeted outreach is done aggressively, we can find women who
are interested, capable, and have the background to do this work.” – Meg Vasey
- “We need more awareness to see that
there are women doing it. Attend
Women Building California and the Nation conference April 6-7 and you'll get
to see a room full of women who do all kinds of stuff.” –Chantel Lewis
- “We need both outreach in the
community, and we need to dig deep into the root causes and move towards
instituting new policy, like what we’ve done for the Army Base project, to
create jobs for residents.” –Christine Garrett
Interested in a construction career? In addition to the
resources identified here,
EBASE & Revive Oakland featured in
Posted by Nikki Fortunato Bas on
“Funding Movement Building: Bay Area Approaches”
Revive Oakland is a coalition of 30 community, labor, faith and youth organizations, including Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, EBASE, Oakland Community Organizations, Urban Peace Movement, East Bay Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, ILWU Local 6 and the Alameda Building and Construction Trades Council.
“Funding Movement Building: Bay Area Approaches” was written primarily for progressive funders—in order to “document, lift-up and share examples in order to spur and inspire colleagues.” EBASE Executive Director, Nikki Fortunato Bas highlights several funder practices crucial to the success of Revive Oakland’s campaign so far:
Multi-year general operating support; doubling down for both institutional and campaign support.
Willingness of funders to work with EBASE to ensure that Revive
Oakland & community base-building partners were supported; allowing
EBASE to re-grant if the partner couldn’t be funded directly.
Program officers who worked with other institutional colleagues to fund different parts of the campaign.
Program officers who may not have been able to specifically
fund the campaign, being willing to fund aspects of the work related to
As we implement the good jobs agreement to ensure Oaklanders
gain employment in construction and warehousing jobs in the years to
come, we appreciate the support of the Akonadi Foundation
, The California Endowment
, Walter & Elise Haas Fund
, Kresge Foundation
, Marguerite Casey Foundation
, Mitchell Kapor Foundation
, Penney Family Fund,
a member of the Common Counsel Foundation
, Rosenberg Foundation
, San Francisco Foundation
, James & Gretchen Sandler Philanthropic Fund, Solidago Foundation
, Surdna Foundation
, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock
and the Y & H Soda Foundation
whose vision and commitment to support local movement building helps make our work possible. Onward! To download a pdf of the paper, please click here.
Nikki Fortunato Bas
The Bay Area Justice Funders Network
is an alliance of funders working to help advance a justice agenda and
strengthen grantmaking for social justice movements in the Bay Area and
beyond. The Network seeks to build relationships among foundations and
facilitate authentic partnerships with community based justice
organizations in order to help advance coordinated transformational
strategies, solutions, and visions for the region.
National Call-in Week for Immigration Reform
Posted by Nikki F. Bas on
March 11-15th, 2013
Call Senator Diane Feinstein today!
SF office: 415-393-0707
We are at a critical
juncture in determining what direction we will go as a country in how we
treat our neighbors. While Congress debates what the “path to
citizenship” will look like, thousands of families are destroyed through
detention & deportation, and many more excluded from any
possibility of adjusting their status under current proposals.
According to recent ICE statistics, nearly 100,000 people—moms,
dads, spouses, grandparents—have been deported from California alone,
largely due to a misguided immigration enforcement programs such as "Secure Communities
This climate of fear and vulnerability has also exacerbated retaliation against immigrant workers
by employers. These workers are often fighting for safer and more humane working conditions, as was documented in a recent report
As residents of the state with the largest undocumented immigrant
population in the country, we have a moral obligation to raise our
voices and demand a commonsense immigration reform
bill that will benefit all 11 million people
currently living in legal limbo.
Join us in calling for a commonsense immigration reform bill that ensures:
A real path to citizenship for all 11 million
End to punitive enforcement programs, such as “S-comm”
Call Senator Diane Feinstein and tell her:
Sample Script – “Hi, my name is ____________ and I’m
calling today to ask the Senator to show leadership in passing
commonsense immigration reform that provides a timely and reasonable
roadmap to citizenship for hardworking immigrants who contribute greatly
to our communities. Please stand with immigrant communities
and support an immigration reform bill that ensures a real path to
citizenship for all 11 million, family unity, worker protections and an
end to punitive enforcement programs such as Secure Communities. Thank
Looking for a few Good Volunteers
Posted by Felicita Pedroza, Communications Assitant on
Come cheer Team EBASE on at the Oakland Running Festival on March 24th at our Water Station in West Oakland.
Team EBASE volunteer duties include:
Cheering like crazy for marathon runners -- especially those from Team EBASE
Handing out water and snacks to keep our runners 'In It for the Long Run' and
Representing EBASE with style and grace and in our brand new t-shirts!
We are looking for 15 volunteers for 2 shifts beginning at 7:30am-10am and 10am-1:30pm.
water station is located in West Oakland at the last leg of the
marathon and half-marathon routes, so bring your cheer and enthusiasm to
keep the runners going strong through their last miles.
We need you! Click here and sign up to help us all make it across the finish line!
Festive signs and costumes are encouraged!
It's going to be a great day for Oakland and Team EBASE!
Sign up today!
Team EBASE Volunteer Coordinator
P.s If you can't make the race, you can still show your support by giving a gift to EBASE or one of our runners today. Or stay tuned for more on signing up to bowl with us this Fall at our first-ever Bowl-A-Thon!
Celebrating Our Past and Shaping Our Future- Honoring Rev. Phillip Lawson
Posted by on
We learn from our history- a winning future depends on an understood past.
The anniversaries of these seminal events inspire
reflection regarding the current status of African Americans in the social,
economic, and political landscape of the United States.
Today we commemorate an admirable religious,
spiritual, and civic leader, Reverend Phil Lawson for his glorious ministry and astounding work with EBASE and the
community.Serving on EBASE's board for ten years, Rev. Lawson has worked with the East Bay Housing Organization (EBHO), directing its Interfaith Program and working with immigration rights, as well as member and organizer of the National Council of Elders; incorporating many of the key leaders of the 20th Century Justice Movement. Co-founder of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Rev. Lawson has brought a great deal of history and experience in the struggle for civil rights to EBASE. He has assisted the organization's focus on the root causes of economic justice and has made connections between the Civil Rights Movement and today's battle for immigrants.
Rev. Phil Lawson has been working
alongside EBASE for the past ten years. Some of his greatest highlights at
The importance of
interfaith leaders in resolving the 2005 Grocery workers strike in Southern
Leading an interfaith delegation to confront the CEO of a hotel in San Diego in support of low wage workers.
Numerous strike line
invocations for hotel workers, Walmart associates, #immigration marches, Sacramento
lobbying, Port of Oakland drivers and security services press conferences.
EBASE 's material and
spiritual support getting the Occupy Movement and the Oakland Interfaith Tent
ministries moving during last year.
Having administered several major social justice roles, Rev. Phil Lawson resigned from EBASE's Board in December 2012. When asked what opportunities or challenges does he think EBASE needs to prepare for to achieve its mission of a just economy, he responded with the following:
"The major challenge and great opportunity facing EBASE will be its capacity to engage immigration as an economic issue at its core; seen most clearly in slavery or forced immigration. Again in the 20th century, there is the economic connection seen in NAFTA forcing the immigration of millions from the South."
thanks Rev. Lawson for being a quintessential model pastor and community
leader. He has been a comrade who has distributed his wisdom and has given us
"He helped us envision a truly just economy", stated @nikkifbas, ED of EBASE."Thank you so much for your many, many years of service, leadership, wisdom and inspiration to EBASE. I particularly appreciated your thoughtfulness as we developed our strategic plan."
Wei-Ling Huber, EBASE Board President shares warmly, "It's been a real pleasure working with you. Thank you [Rev. Phillip] for your years of dedication to EBASE and its mission. I know our movement paths will cross in many other ways, but your contribution to this path has been much appreciated."
salute the extraordinary Rev. Phillip C. Lawson.
peace and in love,
EBASE Spotlight: One of our newest EBASErs is ‘In it for the Long Run’
Posted by Felicita Pedroza, Communications Assistant on
Patricia Contreras Flores is ‘In it for the Long Run’ & also one
of the newest EBASErs on staff!
Bay Area raised and proud Michoacana
Mexicana, Patricia is not only developing into her position as organizer at
EBASE, but is also increasing her endurance for the @OaklandMarathon. When
she’s not attending meetings, door knocking, and advocating for economic and
social justice, Patricia is training for the run. March 2010 was the first time
Patricia participated in the Oakland Running Festival. When asked about the
difference between participating this year versus in 2010, she shared, "The biggest difference is that I am in a better pace in my life mentally and spiritually...long distance running is a mental [and] beautiful experience overall for me. I absolutely love my new job and running in the name of EBASE is such a blessing."
Patricia explains, "EBASE represents a movement that believes in fighting the good fight. We believe in challenging institutionalized violence in all its forms and are doing that in very intentional ways, in the past and present." Patricia is a proud Oakland resident and states, "I believe in this town and am working very hard to bring about change on door knock and conversation at a time. I refuse to give up on a town that gave rise to one of the most important political movements ever, the Black Panthers."
The Black Panther movement continues to be of motivation in her daily work, life and training and a persistent reminder to keep her eyes on the prize. Patricia explains, "That prize being freedom. Freedom to breathe clean air, freedom to have a decent job that allows you infinite choices, economically and every other way, freedom to walk down the street without fear, and freedom to fight for what is right. I know and feel this so much more because EBASE and because of that I will run for EBASE."
As EBASE's new Communications Assistant
and Lutheran Volunteer, in talking with Patricia, I couldn't help but feel
energized and inspired to further support Team EBASE. As someone with an overpowering gratitude for music and its tonic sway, I was eager to find out what kind of
music inspired Patricia on her 20 mile runs. Patricia's words flowed cheerfully as we ended our interview with one last question of what kind of music was dancing around in Patricia's ears during training; "You will find these artists constantly playing in my ears, helping me along: Cafe Tacuva-namely "Como Te Extrano" (the live version), Radiohead to warm up and get pumped (especially "The National Anthem"), Celso Pina "Cumbia Poder". And of course to keep me grounded absolutely anything by living goddess named Toto la Momposina."
This just in: Castlewood Workers Victorious after 3 years!
Posted by Sarah Norr, UNITE HERE Local 2850 on
|Photo credit: David Bacon |
Brothers and Sisters,
For three years, we've been looking forward to the day we could send you this announcement:
Castlewood workers have won their struggle for justice!
On February 13, the workers approved a great new contract that provides job security, affordable family healthcare, raises, and a substantial signing bonus.
"So many people told us that dishwashers and waitresses couldn't win against a luxury golf club," said server Jeanette Cardenas. "But we've learned that it doesn't matter who you are, if you stay strong and you're on the side of justice."
Workers and their supporters fought bravely throughout a lockout that lasted longer than the siege of Leningrad. The workers returned to their jobs in October 2012 after a national Labor Relations Board judge found the lockout illegal, but contract negotiations continued through the winter.
Under the new contract, workers will pay $225 per month for family healthcare, the same amount the union proposed before the lockout began. The workers' payment will go down to $150 in the last year of the contract. The deal also includes raises, strong seniority rights and protections against subcontracting - which Castlewood proposed eliminating during the lockout - and a signing bonus.
With the contract resolved, UNITE HERE Local 2850 has called off its boycott of Castlewood and is urging clients who canceled their events during the labor dispute to return.
"This isn't just our victory," said janitor Francisca Carranza. "So many people in the community, political leaders, pastors and other workers marched with us. We are so thankful to all of you - we never could have won this fight alone. Now we hope workers everywhere see this and understand that you don't have to give up everything you've worked for. You can stand up for your family and win."
Stay tuned for Castlewood Victory Party!
Monday, April 29, 6-9pm
Carpenters Local 713 Union Hall
1050 Mattox Road, Hayward
**RSVP HERE** so there are enough tamales for everyone!
For more information, contact Sarah Norr at 510-502-5344 or email@example.com or Matt at 703-955-0075.
UNITE HERE Local 2850
Castlewood Country Club food service workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 2850, enjoyed stable jobs with free family healthcare for many years. In the fall of 2009, Castlewood proposed raising worker's share of family health care cost to $739 a month - over 40% of the average worker's wage.
The workers rejected the proposal, but offered to pay $225 per month for family health care and to continue negotiating amicably. Instead, Castlewood locked them out on February 25, 2010. Castlewood then urged its employees to decertify their union, but the workers voted 41-17 to remain represented by the union.
Six months into the lockout, Castlewood made new proposals that were substantially worse than its original offer. The proposals would have stripped away seniority and job security protections, allowed unlimited subcontracting of workeres' jobs, made it optional for workers to pay union dues, and increased the cost of family health care even further. The union filled charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
Throughout the lockout, workers maintained daily pickets in front of
Castlewood’s golf course, and coordinated dozens of larger actions. They
were joined by political leaders, local clergy, and Pleasanton
neighbors. They also organized a successful boycott of the Club and a
high-profile civil disobedience action. The story – of low-wage workers
fighting back against the illegal pressure tactics of a high-end golf
club – drew national attention.
On August 17, 2012, NLRB Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson
found that Castlewood had maintained an unlawful lockout for the
previous two years. Anderson found that Castlewood had bargained in bad
faith and that its bargaining proposals were motivated by animus toward
On October 16, 2012, Castlewood ended the lockout. 46 of the 61
locked out workers returned to their jobs. Castlewood and the union
continued to bargain for a new contract.
On February 13, 2013, the workers voted to ratify a new three-year
contract. Under the deal, workers will pay $225 per month for family
health care – the same amount the union proposed at the beginning of the
lockout. Workers’ contribution will decrease to $150 per month in the
last year of the contract. The contract also includes raises, strong
seniority language and protections against subcontracting, and a signing
With the lockout over and the contract resolved, UNITE HERE Local
2850 and Castlewood workers ended their boycott of the Club and urged
clients to return. They also asked the NLRB to drop its prosecution of
Port of Oakland: Keep our community in your heart
Posted by on
This Valentine's Day, we are reminding the Port of Oakland to keep our community in their hearts as they embark on selecting high level Port staff.
These positions include a new Executive Director to run the Port's day-to-day operations, a new Maritime Director to run the seaport and a Social Responsibility Division Director to implement the Port's Social Justice Policies.
What do these positions have to do with creating good jobs, clean air, and a healthy and safe Oakland?
The Port controls its own half of the former Oakland Army Base but has not yet agreed to the same good jobs standards the City adopted last summer. In the coming year the Port will be negotiating deals with companies to build and operate a rail yard- the project- and the rest of the Port's Army Base project- result in good jobs for Oaklanders.
That's why we will be at the Port hearing tomorrow, urging the Commission to include community participation in their process to fill these critical staff positions. We need leaders at the Port who understand Oakland. We need leaders who have worked closely with residents and workers. These are the kind of leaders that will successfully implement social justice policies and who will be committed to working with all of us to make the Port a more accountable and engaged partner.
Tomorrow, partners from Revive Oakland and the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports will attend the regularly scheduled Port Commissioners board meeting to share and ask the Port to make compassionate and heartfelt decisions regarding these hires.
Want to stay connected to the work and vision of Revive Oakland?
"Like" us on FaceBook and keep in touch.
Sharing love for all of Oakland alongside you,
Revive Oakland, Director
Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Posted by on
In the words of Dr. King Jr., "whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for building the humanity, it has dignity and it has worth". EBASE stands firmly alongside Dr. King's legacy and dedication to worker and human rights. His beliefs in the importance and value of dignified workers, resonates deeply at EBASE as we strive to increase economic, racial, and social justice while building a just and moral economy in the Easy Bay.
labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and
despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and
social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome.
When in the thirties the wave of union organization crested over the
nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole
– Martin Luther King Jr., Speech to the state convention
of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Oct. 7, 1965
Take a moment with EBASE to honor Dr. King on what would have been his 84th birthday by continuing to respect the dignity of all who labor and by remaining committed to dismantling injustice in all its forms.