Campaigns

1) REFORM IMMIGRATION For AMERICA (Immigration Reform)

El Centro Humanitario is an active participant in the National 'Reform Immigration for American' Campaign.The Campaign to Reform Immigration for America is a united national effort that brings together individuals and grassroots organizations with the mission to build support for workable comprehensive immigration reform. The campaign connects people from communities across the country who are ready to work together towards achieving the 279 votes needed to win just and humane comprehensive immigration reform legislation: 218 votes in the House of Representatives, 60 votes in the Senate, and one signature from the President.

What is El Centro Doing?

How Can YOU Get Involved?

To volunteer or to find out more about Centro's involvement in this campaign: call Raul at 303-292-4115, ext.103 or email rpastrana@centrohumanitario.org

2) Wage Theft Campaign

El Centro is leading to go after unscruplous employers through direct organizing of workers and policy advocacy. El Centro's wage claim program works to build a campaign against unscruplous employers through direct actions and community support. El Centro will focus on targetting a company that engages repetative violations of wage theft to a group of individuals and will focus on building community coalitions to change policy to penalize unscruplous employers.

To volunteer or to find out more about El Centro's wage theft campaign, contact America Carbajal, organizing director, at 303-292-4115, ext.103 or acarbajal@centrohumanitario.org


3) Domestic Workers' Rights Campaign

El Centro Humanitario is launching a  “Domestic Workers’ Rights”  project that will focus on developing research and analysis on the experiences of Colorado domestic workers (such as nannies, home care workers and house cleaners), and the challenges they too often face such as workplace exploitation and subminimum wages.   This research and analysis will result in a published report on the subject,  in preparation for a broader public education and a legislative campaign to pass a Colorado “Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights” (which will be modeled on similar efforts in states such as New York).   In order to achieve this goal, El Centro will build partnerships with diverse community and labor organizations around the issue of domestic workers.

Domestic workers are extremely vulnerable to abuse from employers due to the fact that most of them work alone, behind closed doors, so that abuses (such as subminimum wages and even physical violence) are not reported as should be.  They are excluded from the National Labor Relations Act that guarantees the right to organize and excluded from Title VII sexual harassment claims, which leaves them more vulnerable to sexual abuse from employers.  It is important to shed light on the challenges facing the thousands of domestic workers in Colorado, and to step up to help protect these vulnerable workers.  Modeling our work on other cities’ success in creating domestic workers’ bill of rights legislation, El Centro, in partnership with national domestic workers’ organizations and with local organizations, will address this issue with public education and legislative advocacy in 2010 and 2011.

The projected outcomes will be to publish the very first in-depth research study on the harsh reality of domestic workers in Colorado.   Research for the report and dissemination to the public will be facilitated with our university partners, as the CU Denver Political Science Department has agreed to recruit and guide graduate student research on the subject, and we also have active partnerships with Denver and Regis University faculty.   As the research moves forward, El Centro will mobilize public events to educate the general public about the issues faced by domestic workers and to build support in Colorado for passing legislation protecting the rights of Colorado’s domestic workers by 2011.   To facilitate these outcomes, we hope to be part of a coalition of diverse community groups interested in this work, so as to share our mutual strengths, build new alliances, and maximize our chances of passing a “Domestic Worker Bill of Rights” in 2011.

We would like to collaborate with your organization on this project in several ways.  If you are interested in this project, as soon as is practical, we would enjoy talking with your staff about the following possibilities for collaboration  (of course all collaborating organizations will be listed in the credits for helping to produce this study):

a. A simple survey will be produced to gather data from domestic workers about the conditions of their work  (e.g., wage levels, hours worked, experiences of workplace abuse on non-wage payment, etc.).  The survey will be the first comprehensive survey of domestic workers in Colorado and we hope to reach 1000 workers by June 2010.   We are hoping collaborating organizations will be interested in circulating the survey among the communities they work with, either in electronic or hard copy form.    We would like to collect surveys from various organizations and across the state.

b. We wish to locate individual domestic workers who are interested in sharing some of their work stories to be profiled as a kind of “oral history” in our published report.  Names and photos of workers will not be published.   We are seeking workers with interesting stories to tell about their work experiences, or who have experienced workplace abuse, low wages or any unjust or challenging circumstance. We will provide a small stipend for the interviewee ($30-$50 for the interview) and their story will be part of the publication.  We hope your organization might know of some workers who might be interested in this project and this opportunity to help.

c. We hope to build awareness around this issue across the state once the publication is completed.  If you are interested in organizing any public educational events or workshops around this issue, and distributing the publication, we would enjoy talking over these opportunities. 

    Update:
    View the study: ON THE JOB WITH DOMESTIC WORKERS: Workplace Abuse and Worker Exploitation in Colorado's Invisible Workforce

    4) Rights of non-standard workers campaign

    Considering that many low wage workers working in informal economic sectors (e.g., spot labor in the janitorial and construction sector), they often are unfairly classified as independent contractors, which means workers often receive sub-minimum wage.   El Centro has worked with collaborators to develop a campaign in Colorado to redefine the classification of employees and independent contractors. This campaign was launched in 2007 as one of the series of the campaigns to strengthen the rights of non-standard workers, and the goal is to regulate/punish unscrupulous employers for their attempt to wrongly put workers as independent contractors. For the upcoming years, El Centro will build stronger coalitions with labor unions and community groups, develop research/publication strategies to address the reality of non-standard/casual workers, and work to change the law in Colorado on this issue.   To overcome strong opposition from the business community, El Centro will build its base in the upcoming year, learning about other cities' efforts, and collecting stories of workers for public education purposes in 2009. For more information, contact mji@centrohumanitario.org or 303-292-4115, ext.102.

    5) Coop Development Campaign

    As a new strategy to create more job opportunities for the underserved community, El Centro's coop development campaign has been a natural progress that was made with worker leaders who were desperately seeking for an alternative solution to the current economic system. In the face of the economic downturn in 2009, El Centro launched its first official green cleaning coop with a year's preparation and we aim to develop more worker owned coops in the near future. For more information, contact Cali Rivera, at 303-292-4115, ext.104 or crivera@greencleaningforlife.coop