VOZ Leadership School

Photo by Douglas Yarrow

Photo by Douglas Yarrow

The VOZ Leadership School met this January 15-17 to participate in various workshops and discussions involving issues including concerns about gender at the Day Labor Hire Site; an analysis of the power, stigma, and effect that migrant job-seekers have upon police, businesses and the community at large; what to do before, during, and after a raid; a screening of El Jornalero; and an analysis of the Gutiérrez Bill, currently in Congress. The purpose of the leadership school is to help participants develop leadership skills to raise awareness, and to train and assist day laborers to organize and act within a political agenda based on their interests, leading to a personal and social change.

Photo by Douglas Yarrow

Photo by Douglas Yarrow

A theater piece was utilized to focus on areas of concern for female migrants seeking work, including the matter of employers’ preference to hire males, as well as the frequent occurrence of the women being approached by males at the Center for dates and companionship.

In discussions about the community effects and impressions of migrants seeking work, the participants addressed the ways that police, businesses and other citizens tend to react to the presence of migrant job-seekers on the streets, trying to create a sense of awareness about the misconceptions as well as the interests of all people involved and to come to responsible solutions.

In analysis of the Gutiérrez Bill, participants worked in groups to read through and share the bill.  Though the bill proposes eliminating the ordinance 287G, the cooperative agreement between police and ICE, it proposes boosting cooperation between police and ICE, as well as further utilizing technology, soldiers, and vigilantes at the border—essentially remaining unchanged.