NBJwJ Supporters:
Marty Bennett and Mara Ventura from NBJwJ will be a part of this daylong conference--THIS FRIDAY!--at the Petaluma Campus of SRJC, leading two of the morning workshop sessions. See below for more information.


Food Justice: Addressing the Intersections of Race, Class and Environmental Justice

PRESENTER(S): Mara Ventura, North Bay Jobs with Justice

LOCATION: Kathleen Doyle Hall, PC 205

Although immigrant workers supply the labor to grow and provide food for all Americans, immigrant communities often don’t have access to affordable, clean and culturally appropriate food for their own families. We’ll discuss how to center the most impacted communities in the work of environmental, labor, and food-justice organizations.


Good Jobs and Zero Waste

Celia Furber, Recology
Marty Bennett, North Bay Jobs with Justice and SRJC History Department
Guy Tilotson, SRJC Waste Diversion and SRJC Sustainability Committee
Laura Neish, 350 Bay Area and Sonoma
Patricio Estupinan, Recology and Teamster Local 665
SRJC Ecoleaders Club student leaders

LOCATION: Kathleen Doyle Hall PC 243

This panel discussion will examine how bad jobs can become good union jobs in the waste-management industry and how a zero-waste campaign for Petaluma and other municipalities over the next decade can result in a 100 percent diversion of waste from landfills.


This conference is free and open to the public.
For more information and registration links click here:


Gather at 2 pm at Roseland Village for Music and Inspirational Speeches by Workers!
The march will begin at approximately 3:30, stopping for a rally at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel at 4:30 to support

hotel workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 2850 who are fighting for a fair contract and better working conditions.

The march will continue on to SR City Hall where we will address issues such as homelessness and draw attention to the working homeless and the need for solutions!


Download a pdf of the flyer HERE

More information and translated versions of the flyer coming soon.


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
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.



From Sonoma County Ashes, a Fund for Undocumented Immigrants Rises

By Leilani Clark
Civil Eats
November 27, 2017

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.”


Up with Trash!

By Leilani Clark
Made Local Magazine
September/October 2017

Teamsters, labor leaders, and environmentalists unite to demand local waste management companies make a commitment to living wage jobs, worker safety, and environmentally friendly practices.

Twenty-seven years ago—at the urging of his brothers who had found jobs with a local waste management company— Patricio Estupiñan immigrated from his hometown in Central Mexico to Sonoma County. Within no time, he was hired to drive a garbage truck. When the company eventually sold to the Ratto Group, a subsidiary of North Bay Corporation, the county’s largest waste hauler with service to eight of nine cities, Estupiñan, now married with two children, was earning $24.70 an hour with benefits. 

After the sale, things deteriorated. First, Estupiñan’s hourly wage was cut by one dollar, a loss that he calculates cost him thousands of dollars a year. Then, he realized he was being paid more than the employees who were already with the Ratto Group, and they grumbled about rarely receiving raises. The two-tier wage system bothered him. Why should two people do the same amount of work and not receive similar pay? 

“Three or four drivers tried to do something about it and got fired,” he tells me over coffee on a Saturday afternoon in Roseland. “[The management] told people, ‘If you want a raise, there’s the door.’” 

Arriba la Basura
Por Leilani Clark
Made Local Magazine
Septiembre/octubre 2017


Los Teamsters, líderes laborales y ambientalistas se unen para exigir que las empresas locales de manejo de desechos se comprometan a ofrecer trabajos con salarios dignos, salvaguardar la seguridad de sus trabajadores e implementar prácticas respetuosas del medio ambiente.

 Hace veintisiete años, a instancia de sus hermanos que habían encontrado trabajo con una compañía local de manejo de desechos, Patricio Estupiñan emigró de su ciudad natal en el centro de México al Condado de Sonoma. En poco tiempo, fue contratado para conducir un camión de basura. Cuando la compañía finalmente fue vendida al Grupo Ratto, una subsidiaria de North Bay Corporation, el mayor transportista de desechos del condado con servicio a ocho de las nueve ciudades, Estupiñan, ahora casado y con dos hijos, ganaba $24.70 por hora con beneficios.

 Después de la venta, las cosas empeoraron. Primero, el salario por hora de Estupiñan se redujo en un dólar, una pérdida que calcula le costó miles de dólares al año. En seguida, se dio cuenta que le pagaban más que a los empleados que ya trabajaban para el Grupo Ratto, y que se quejaban por recibir aumentos muy de vez en cuando. El sistema salarial de dos niveles le molestaba. ¿Por qué dos personas que trabajan lo mismo no reciben un salario similar?

 “Tres o cuatro conductores intentaron hacer algo al respecto y fueron despedidos”, me dice tomando café un sábado por la tarde en Roseland. “[La gerencia] le dijo a la gente: ‘Si quieren un aumento, ahí está la puerta’”.


Close to Home: A Local Good News Story for Labor Day

By Ofelia Cardenas and Juanita Galipo
The Press Democrat
September 3, 2017

We work as a housekeeper and banquet server, respectively, at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek hotel in Santa Rosa. We are both mothers and Santa Rosa residents.

This Labor Day, we are celebrating a victory that will immediately benefit us and about 50 of our coworkers at the Hyatt, but which we hope will spread to hospitality workers throughout the North Bay.

 Last month, together with a majority of our coworkers, we chose to join a union, and management respected our choice. That may sound like an unremarkable series of events, but in fact it is extraordinary. Most of the time, when workers try to organize a union, they face vicious resistance from their employer. The path to unionization winds through a minefield of intimidation and retaliation, and many workers who set out down that path never make it, either because they get fired or because the entire organizing campaign is defeated.

Clean Up and Recovery from the fires is now underway, but the need is still great. NBJwJ is committed to ensuring that our community's recovery is a just and sustainable one for all workers affected by the fires, especially the many undocumented workers who will be unable to apply for resources. To that end, we joined with NBOP and the Graton Day Labor Center to start a fund with Grant Makers for Immigrants and Refugees to support undocumented children, families and community that have also lost either their homes or places of work. We established UNDOCUFUND.ORG to raise funds for this vulnerable group of workers. Please consider giving generously.

Donate here online: UndocuFund.org or send a check to: UndocuFund c/o GCIR, P.O. Box 1100, Sebastopol, California 95473-1100

If you or someone you know could benefit from this fund, please go to Undocufund.org for information. Or contact: Omar Medina at omedina@undocufund.org