Action #1 – State: Call your state legislators to approve the “California Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package.
For those of us lucky enough to shelter at home – we can order a box of organic strawberries online from a Ventura County farm here, for example, or here. But they can’t be harvested digitally. Farmworkers have to show up in person to do their jobs, often without access to adequate healthcare, or the ability to maintain social distance, leaving them vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.
On April 9th, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-CA30) introduced the five-bill “California Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package” to protect the health, safety, and economic security of agricultural workers and prevent disruptions to the nation’s food supply.
“California’s farmworkers play a critical role in our state’s $50 billion agriculture industry, and in our nation’s food supply. Governor Newsom has rightly designated agricultural workers as an essential infrastructure workforce. But as we ask our farmworkers to continue working through the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take action to protect their health, safety, and economic security. Protecting farmworkers is not just our moral duty, it is also critical for preventing disruptions to our food supply.” – Rivas
The bills were conceived following consultation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture as well as members of the agricultural industry and farmworker community.
Minimal script: I’m calling from [__] and I want Assemblymember/Senator [___] to support and vote for the “California Farmworkers COVID-19 Relief Package” that was just introduced by Assemblyman Robert Rivas.
Minimal script if you want it: This package of bills is important, as it treats farmworkers with the societal respect they deserve, and also provides a safety net which will help California keep our state’s and nation’s food supply going strong. Thank you for your support of California farmworkers.
The “California Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package” consists of:
- AB 2915: Farmworker COVID-19 Health and Safety Act (to be amended)
- Expands paid sick leave for farmworkers from 3 days to 2 weeks
- Provides for supplemental hazard pay, to compensate farmworkers for increased health and child care costs
- Directs subsidies to county, employer, and private child care providers, who provide care to farmworker children
- Codifies comprehensive Cal/OSHA guidance on how agricultural businesses should protect and train agricultural workers vis-a-vis COVID-19, including by providing them face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Funds an outreach campaign of public service announcements and workplace signs, in both English and Spanish, to educate farmworkers on the Cal/OSHA guidance
- Provides temporary housing for agricultural workers, to mitigate overcrowding and allow for appropriate social distancing
- Authorizes a comprehensive survey of farmworker housing conditions, including labor camps and H-2A housing, resulting in statewide recommendations to ensure the health and safety of farmworkers
- AB 2956: Agriculture Labor Shortage and Overtime Act
- Provides an agricultural overtime tax credit, to mitigate the industry labor shortage by subsidizing the cost of businesses paying overtime to existing workers
- AB 2164: Telehealth and e-Consult Services Act
- Deploys telehealth and e-consult services for rural and community hospitals
- AB 3155: Moderate Income Housing Act
- Streamlines the approval process for smaller unit housing developments, to benefit farm workers as well as other lower income residents
- AB 2165: Access to Justice and Electronic Court Filings Act
- Expands the availability of electronic filing to all state trial courts, given that access to courthouses is a serious problem in many farmworker communities
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (SD-19): SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 email
State Assemblymember Monique Limón (CA-37): SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700 email
Not your people?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.
Action #2 – Please share information on funds to help farmworkers and donate what you can!
WE HAVE REOPENED THE 805 UNDOCUFUND TO SERVE IMMIGRANT FAMILIES WHO ARE BEING IMPACTED BY THE OUTBREAK OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).
The 805 UndocuFund is a collective effort among Ventura and Santa Barbara County-based grassroots organizations to assist local undocumented immigrant individuals and families who are excluded from federally funded safety net programs; that have been economically impacted by the loss of their homes, wages, and/or employment due to disasters in our community like wildfires, mudslides, and the coronavirus.
We are currently fundraising and hiring staff to serve our community. We will open applications to receive assistance soon. We know many affected families are facing hardship right now and we hope to support as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience and understanding.You can donate online or for instructions to donate by check, click here.Volunteers are needed to interview affected families in assistance, assist in application processing clinics and help disburse financial aid funds. Sign up here.
Justice for Migrant Women joined together with Hispanics In Philanthropy to raise immediate funds to help keep farmworker families safe from #COVID19 as they perform “essential” work to feed us. Show your support and appreciation and donate today to the Farmworkers’ COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund here. This is a nation-wide campaign.
Please donate $25 today to help support the farmworkers who feed our nation. Checks can be mailed made payable to Hispanics In Philanthropy with Farmworkers’ Pandemic Relief Fund written in the check memo line. Please mail checks to 414 13th Street, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612
You can also help raise awareness by sharing this sample post: Farmworkers do life-sustaining work and put their lives and health at risk by continuing to work in the fields during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am thanking them through my donation to the Farmworkers Pandemic Relief Fund. Join me in showing our gratitude and support today!
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