Protesters Show Support for Undocumented Immigrants in Santa Rosa March
By Martin Espinoza
The Press Democrat
March 6, 2018
More than 1,500 immigrants and their supporters marched through downtown Santa Rosa on Monday as part of a national campaign calling on President Donald Trump and Congress to bring permanent relief to undocumented immigrants.
The march, which started at Santa Rosa Junior College, was held on the day the president had hoped to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — an executive order under former President Barack Obama that granted temporary relief from deportation to those illegally brought to the United States as children.
Also check out this great video news clip from Univision: https://www.univision.com/san-francisco/kdtv/dreamers-protestan-en-las-calles-de-santa-rosa-video
And don't forget to check out our Facebook page for more great photos and video clips from the march!
What Is A Living Wage for Sonoma County?
by Martin J. Bennett
The Press Democrat
December 31, 2017
Last year, California became the first state to approve a $15-an-hour minimum wage. This minimum wage phases in over seven years: on January 1st of 2018, it will rise to $11.00 an hour for large employers and $10.50 an hour for businesses with 25 or fewer employees.
In addition, nearly two-dozen California cities have approved $15 an hour minimum wage laws that phase-in more quickly—San Francisco by 2018, San Jose by 2019, and Los Angeles by 2020.
Today the minimum wage is not a living or self-sufficiency wage, and the difference between the two is often misunderstood. California first enacted a minimum wage in 1916, along with 9 other states, and the federal government did so in 1938. The purpose of minimum wage laws was to create a wage floor that provides an adequate standard of living for all workers.
In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt declared: “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level—I mean the wages of decent living.”
¿Qué es un Salario Digno en el Condado de Sonoma?
Por Martin J. Bennett
The Press Democrat
31 de diciembre de 2017
El año pasado, California se convirtió en el primer estado en aprobar un salario mínimo de $15 por hora. Este salario mínimo entrará en vigor progresivamente en el transcurso de siete años: el 1 de enero de 2018 aumentará a $11 por hora para grandes empleadores y a $10.50 por hora para negocios con 25 empleados o menos.
Además, casi dos docenas de ciudades californianas ya han aprobado leyes de salario mínimo de $15 por hora que entran completamente en vigor más rápidamente: San Francisco en 2018, San José en 2019 y Los Ángeles en 2020.
Hoy en día el salario mínimo no es un salario digno o de autosuficiencia, y la diferencia entre ambos es a menudo malinterpretada. California promulgó un salario mínimo por primera vez en 1916, junto con otros 9 estados, y el gobierno federal lo hizo en 1938. El objetivo de las leyes de salario mínimo era crear un piso salarial que ofreciera un nivel de vida adecuado para todos los trabajadores.
En 1933, el presidente estadounidense Franklin Roosevelt declaró: "Ningún negocio cuya existencia dependa del pago de salarios inferiores al digno a sus trabajadores tiene derecho a continuar en este país. Al decir salarios dignos, me refiero a aquellos que rebasan un nivel de subsistencia básico; me refiero a los salarios de una vida digna".
Immigrant Families Seek Help After Fires
By ELOÍSA RUANO GONZÁLEZ
The Press Democrat
November 12, 2017
Cristalyn Robles and her family hurried in the early hours of the firestorm last month, loading four clients into wheelchairs as wind-driven flames roared toward the Larkfield assisted living facility where the immigrant family lived and worked.
As embers rained down on the darkened street near Cardinal Newman High School, Robles, her mother, her husband, Charlie, and their 7-year-old son ran to safety, each pushing a wheelchair holding the residents in their care.
“My son was crying, ‘Mommy, Mommy, I can’t see.’ I told my son, ‘You have to be brave. You have to get Maria out of here,’” Robles, 40, said.
Her mother, Alicia Tanael, 65, waved down a pair of motorists passing by and loaded the clients into their vans.
“It was very fast. All that came to mind was to get our residents out,” Robles said, recounting their escape from the Tubbs fire that destroyed the assisted living facility on Ursuline Road, leaving the family jobless and without a home. Grateful relatives of those who the family saved have started a GoFundMe page to help with their recovery.
On Saturday, Robles and her family, who currently are sleeping in her brother’s living room, stopped by the Roseland Village Neighborhood Center on Sebastopol Road, where local organizations were providing financial assistance for undocumented families impacted by the Sonoma County wildfires. Dozens of families already were lined up when the doors opened at 10 a.m.
Like many who awoke to the smell of smoke in the early hours of October 9th, Agustin Vivienda and his family raced out of their home and tumbled into the family car. As flames streamed into their neighbor’s backyard, Vivienda’s wife had just enough time to toss the children’s U.S. birth certificates and other important documents into a bag; Agustin grabbed the family’s two Chihuahuas.
While the family fled to the nearby town of Windsor, the rental they had just moved into—at $1,850 per month, a bargain in pricey Sonoma County—burned to the ground. Their home was one of over 4,600 destroyed by the Tubbs Fire, the most devastating wildfire in California history.
And now, Vivienda—along with an estimated 38,500 other undocumented residents who have made homes in Sonoma County—finds himself back at square one: In addition to his home and belongings, the 45-year-old construction worker also lost his tools and his work truck in the fire.
“It takes tools to make money to support my family and it takes money to buy my tools,” says Vivienda. “Even though I would like my own place to live, this is my main priority so I can go back to work full-time.”