is a worker-led organization that empowers immigrants and day laborers to gain control over their working conditions through leadership development, organizing, and community education.
We operate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Worker Center, which connects hundreds of workers a month with local employers and jobs.
NEWS AND EVENTS
Portland Day Laborer Organization in Crisis After Catholic Foundation Cuts Ties with Group for Marriage Equality Stance
Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project Announces Press Conference as it seeks Alternative Funds as Church Fund Pulls $75,000 Grant Due to Affiliation with National Council of La Raza (NCLR.)
Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project, an immigrant and day labor rights advocacy organization, recently lost a critical grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Foundation after being urged to drop its affiliation with National Council of La Raza (NCLR) due to NCLR’s support of marriage equality.
Voz was a finalist for a $75,000 grant but was told in a conversation on May 30 with several staffers of both Voz and CCHD that eliminating affiliation with NCLR would be the only way to receive the much needed funding.
A week later, June 6th, Voz submitted a letter to CCHD declining to terminate affiliation with NCLR and stood with NCLR on their values. Due to the loss of the grant, Voz will face a budget gap of $75,000 in an already slim budget of $310,000.
“This truly hurts our organization. It’s going to impact our employees as well as our clients, which is a sad situation,” said Romeo Sosa, Executive Director of Voz. “But CCHD forced the question of Marriage Equality into the grant process. Ultimately we are an organization that does not discriminate; many of us know people who are gay, lesbian and transgender. They are our aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, friends, co-workers and neighbors.”
“At the root of our mission is the pursuit of justice and equality for all immigrants and day laborers. We have always found that to do this, we need all allies, day laborers, and immigrants to stand together in unity,” said Voz’s Board of Directors in a letter to CCHD. “Alone we cannot achieve anything. Martin Luther King Jr., the namesake of our Worker Center once said: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. We stand with NCLR. We stand with their values,” said Voz’s Board.
“We are honored and humbled by this incredible show of support from Voz for us and for one of our core values — justice and equality for all, including the immigrants and day laborers VOZ serves every day. This is at the heart of what unites us and a recognition that we will only be able to accomplish our mission together,” stated Janet Murguía, National Council of La Raza (NCLR) President and CEO.
The funding from CCHD would have been used to support Voz’s campaign to pass legislation aimed to prevent and address rampant theft of wages in the state as well as provide Voz staff salary and health care. Voz will have until August to raise funds in order to prevent drastic cuts.
What allies are saying?
“We believe that the pursuit of justice and equality for all Oregonians necessitates alliances and bridges between friends and partners. Voz’s work is critical to ensure that all of our community members, including immigrants and day laborers, are treated equally and experience equality in our state. We are committed to helping bring community members together to support Voz to replace the funds they lost when they made the principled decision to stand in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Oregonians,” Jeana Frazzini, Executive Director, Basic Rights Oregon
Save the Center Campaign
The lease on the city-owned property where the MLK Jr. Worker Center sits is expiring. We are asking Mayor Charlie Hales to transfer the ownership of the property to Voz so that the Center has a permanent home.
Ways to Get Involved in the Campaign
What you can do to get involved in finding a permanent solution for the MLK Jr. Worker Center:
- Send in a Letter of Support for the MLK Jr. Worker Center to the Mayor’s Office
- Sign our online petition to Save the Center: https://pvoz.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=1&reset=1
For more information, contact:
Romeo Sosa– email@example.com or 503-233-6787
You can use this site to:
- Get info about the Martin Luther King Jr. Worker Center and how to hire a day laborer
- Learn more about day labor
- Find out about our news and upcoming events
- Learn how you can support Portland’s day laborers
We made this video during the National Fast NOT ONE MORE DEPORTATION in May 2013, in order to call local, national, and international attention to the unjust immigration laws. Thousands of people are detained and deported daily without any sort of criminal record. Their only crime is to look for a better future for themselves and their family in this country. These political prisoners are currently detained in private prisons. People in the video: Abdias has a pending deportation case and has waited more than 6 years. They have prohibited her from working until they clarify her situation. Rosa’s partner was deported later in 2013.
Este video lo hicimos durante la cadena nacional de ayuno NI UNA DEPORTACION MAS en Mayo de 2013, para llamar la atención local, nacional e internacional con las leyes injustas de inmigración. Están deteniendo y deportando a miles de personas diariamente sin tener un record criminal. Su único delito es buscar un futuro mejor para él o ella y a su familia en este país. Estos prisioneros políticos que están detenidos en este momento en las cárceles privadas. En el video habla Abdias, quien está pendiente de su deportación y ha esperado mas de 6 años, le han prohibido trabajar hasta que se aclare su situación. También habla Rosy, cuya pareja fue deportado después.