Author of book on Vietnam's workers
to speak Wednesday, Nov. 20
Posted Nov. 15, 2013
Dr. Gerard Sasges' book about the lives of workers in a Vietnam undergoing historic changes in the 21st Century -- It's a living: work and life in Vietnam today -- has been praised as "beguiling in simplicity, but epic in scope."
Working Partnerships and South Bay First Thursdays, a monthly event series for those interested in Asian American and Pacific Islander issues, will host the author for a reading and discussion at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 in the Santa Clara Valley Labor Center's Hall A, 2102 Almaden Road in San Jose (map). RSVP here.
Sasges, who was born in Canada and received his Ph.D. in history at UC Berkeley, lived in Vietnam for 10 years and based his book on more than 150 in-depth interviews with "the tea ladies, market vendors, and motorcycle taxi drivers who were a part of my every day." He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.
The event is the fifth in the 2013 Working Partnerships Social Innovators Speaker Series, which is generously sponsored by PG&E as a forum for Silicon Valley leaders to hear from innovators in many sectors of society.Tweet
Fall has been busy season
for our leadership development programs
Posted Nov. 14, 2013
Professor Terry Christensen speaks to a Leadership Institute class
Fall has been a busy season for Working Partnerships' leadership development programs, which prepare progressives and people of color for leadership roles in Silicon Valley.
Fourteen invited community activists from the government, nonprofit and labor sectors are in the home stretch of their Leadership Institute training, which concludes in December, and will join more than 300 other LeaderNet alumni. The Institute provides education and support that builds skills and develops strong strategic relationships.
Eleven invitees -- including four elected officials, a union president and two small businessmen -- will finish their Values-Based Leadership training this weekend. Plumbers, Steamfitters & Refrigeration Fitters Local Union 393 has hosted the VBL training, which is co-sponsored by the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. Participants are entering the pipeline from grassroots to the halls of power.
Guest faculty for the two programs has included Executive Director Derecka Mehrens, Research and Policy Director Bob Brownstein and Community Builders Director Steve Preminger of Working Partnerships, San Jose City Councilmembers Ash Kalra and Xavier Campos, Santa Clara County Supervisors Dave Cortese and Cindy Chavez (a former Working Partnerships executive director), Executive Officer Ben Field of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, Fire Fighters Local 230 President Robert Sapien, San Jose State University faculty member and BAYMEC co-founder Wiggsy Sivertsen, retired San Jose State political science professor Terry Christensen and Teresa Castellanos of the San Jose Unified School District Board.Tweet
Supporting immigrant farm workers
at Taylor Farms in Tracy
Posted Nov. 14, 2013
Farm workers rally at the Taylor Farms plant in Tracy
Working Partnerships stood with immigrant workers at a rally at Tracy's Taylor Farms facility this morning to demand respect, living wages and affordable benefits.
The workers, who are organizing with Teamsters Local 601, spoke of ongoing safety issues at the plant including fumes from strong chemicals used to clean machinery, being forced to work up to 18 hours a day and being afraid to report workplace injuries for fear of being fired.
"Taylor Farms needs to know that the community will not stand for abuse, intimidation and harassment of its workers," said Lucia Gonzalez from Working Partnerships USA.
According to workers at the rally, unfair labor practice charges have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board, and the union has asked to speak with Taylor Farms CEO Bruce Taylor in an effort to start a constructive dialogue.Tweet
Thank you for the success of Champions for Change
Posted Nov. 13, 2013
Click on the image to see a slide show of all the fun at Champions for Change
Thank You! Our first annual Champions for Change fundraiser Nov. 11 was a huge success, and we are grateful to all of our sponsors as well as our Solidarity Circle family -- those of you who agreed to help sustain our work for the long-term.
Find out more about our Solidarity Circle and how you can join today.
With your on-going support we will continue the struggle for racial and economic justice for workers and communities of color in our Valley.
As we celebrate Working Partnerships' 18th anniversary, we are looking to the future. Our movement is stronger than ever, and the challenges we face are great. Housing costs are the highest in the nation. Wages in some of the most prosperous industries in our region remain stagnant while CEO pay skyrockets. Tens of thousands of workers face uncertainty like never before because they can't find a full-time job.
And while access to quality, affordable health care is now a reality for millions of workers, we are reminded of the millions more who will be left uncovered. We are up to meeting these challenges. In partnership with all who celebrated at Champions for Change with us, we plan to do our part to achieve real and lasting change in our community.Tweet
Working Partnerships' team smashes
goal for health care contacts
Posted Nov. 13, 2013
Our California Calls team won a social media challenge for posting this picture from their precinct walk on which they found a stray cat.
Working Partnerships surpassed its goal by a wide margin for its fall round of phone-banking and precinct walking to inform San Jose residents about the federal Affordable Care Act.
Our crew contacted 6,676 voters in our project as part of the statewide California Calls coalition, easily beating its goal of 5,966. They won California Calls' Social Media Challenges three times against other teams from around the state by posting pictures from precinct walks, making a video about Obamacare and by posting on the topic of the California Dream.
In addition to the informational contacts on health care, Working Partnerships' team was able to gauge local interest in affordable housing with 72 percent of the contacts saying government should invest resources in affordable housing and more than 1,000 saying they wanted to get involved in the affordable housing campaign.Tweet
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