For Immediate Release
May 3, 2017
Ashley Schapitl (Feinstein), 202-224-9629
David Carle (Leahy), 202-224-3693
Samantha Slater (Bennet), 202-228-5905
Tyrone Gayle (Harris), 202-897-6212
Feinstein, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Shield Farmworkers from Deportation
Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) today introduced legislation to shield farmworkers from deportation and put them on a path to earned legal status and eventual citizenship.
Under the Agricultural Worker Program Act, farmworkers who have worked in agriculture for at least 100 days in each of the past two years may earn lawful “blue card” status. Farmworkers who maintain blue card status for the next three or five years, depending on the total hours worked in agriculture, would be eligible to adjust to a green card or legal permanent residency.
Agriculture is a $54 billion industry in California, and U.C. Davis estimates that up to 70 percent of California farmworkers—approximately 560,000 people—are undocumented. Under the Justice Department’s new immigration enforcement guidelines, they are all priorities for deportation.
“Everywhere I travel in California, I hear from farmers, growers and producers from all industries—wine, citrus, fruit and tree nuts, dairy—that there aren’t enough workers,”said Feinstein. “Farm labor is performed almost exclusively by undocumented immigrants—a fact that should surprise no one. By protecting farmworkers from deportation, our bill achieves two goals—ensuring that hardworking immigrants don’t live in fear and California’s agriculture industry has the workforce it needs to thrive. Despite their significant contributions to California’s economy and communities, farmworkers are now a priority for deportation under this administration’s shameful policies. We simply must protect the families who help put food on our tables.”
“Across our country, including the many dairy farms of Vermont, foreign workers support agriculture and help put food on our tables,” said Leahy. “It is past time we show our support for them and our understanding of the challenges that farmers and workers face in doing the hard work of dairy farming. Our bill would allow these workers to come out of the shadows and contribute to their farms and communities without fear of arrest, and I am proud to support it.”
“California has the largest agricultural economy in the country, and our famers rely on the labor of undocumented immigrant workers,” said Harris. These workers contribute to our economy and pay taxes, while performing backbreaking labor in a sector where there are often labor shortages. It’s past time and smart for our economy that we provide them a pathway to citizenship, decent working conditions, and the opportunity to come out of the shadows and more fully contribute to our state and national economy.”
“Colorado’s agriculture economy relies on an experienced workforce,” Bennet said. “The failure to fix our broken immigration system has had real economic consequences for our farmers and ranchers. This bill serves as a necessary step until we can enact a long-term solution by passing comprehensive immigration reform.”
“The United Farm Workers strongly supports and cheers Senator Feinstein’s introduction of the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017 because the act recognizes that the people who feed our nation should be able to earn the opportunity to gain legal status,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president of United Farmworkers. “Overwhelmingly, farm workers do the hard, brutal work of feeding all of us—it is long past time that the law should allow professional farm workers the chance to earn legal status.”
The following organizations support the Agricultural Worker Program Act:
· Alianza Americas
· America’s Voice
· American GI Forum
· Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
· Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
· Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network.
· Center for American Progress (CAP)
· Church World Service
· Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
· East Coast Migrant Head Start Project
· Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO
· Farm Worker Association of Florida
· Farmworker Justice
· Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
· Hispanic Federation
· Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
· La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)
· Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
· LatinoJustice PRLDEF
· League of United Latin American Citizens
· MAFO, Inc.
· Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF)
· National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives
· National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP)
· National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures
· National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
· National Latina/o Psychological Association
· National Hispanic Medical Association
· National Immigration Law Center
· National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH)
· National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association
· PICO National Network
· Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN)
· SER-Jobs for Progress National Inc.
· Southern Poverty Law Center
· U.S.- Mexico Foundation
· United Farm Workers
· United Migrant Opportunity Services/UMOS Inc.
· United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI)
· United We Dream
· We Are Casa
· William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI)
· Worker Justice Center of NY
When Chairman Burton was elected eight years ago, we understood that the current funding burdens were unsustainable for the party. So, we took action to ensure a sustainable future for our work.
Additionally, we bought and renovated a permanent headquarters in Sacramento.
In addition, we’ve taken further action to ensure that the transition is smoother for the incoming Chair.
Next week, we’ll be sending the final message in this series — Proof is in the Pudding: Election & Policy Success.
Split a donation between Rob Quist and the DNC to help elect Rob to Congress and Democrats around the country.
Fair warning, Michael: if you’re like me, your jaw’s about to hit the floor.
On Thursday, Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in this month’s congressional special election in Montana, told voters that he couldn’t support the House GOP’s health care bill.
But just a few hours later, Gianforte was caught on tape — on a call with his lobbyist donors — celebrating the passage of a bill that would take away thousands of Montanans’ and millions of Americans’ health care.
It’s the kind of brazen, cynical talking out of both sides of one’s mouth that you’d expect from the bad-guy politician in a cheesy movie. But this is real life, and it shows just how much is at stake in this special election.
Fortunately, Montanans have a better choice. Rob Quist is running a grassroots campaign to represent hardworking Montanans and their families in Congress and won’t be beholden to special interests. He believes in protecting our right to get the health care we need — and unlike his opponent, he means what he says.
The choice in this election couldn’t be more clear, so let’s make sure we’re giving Rob everything he needs to win. The choice in this election couldn’t be more clear, so let’s make sure we’re giving Rob everything he needs to win. Chip in $10 or whatever you can now, and we’ll split your donation between Rob Quist’s campaign and the DNC. Your donation will provide Rob’s team with a critical investment in the final days of this race and will help elect Democrats across the country.
If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately and be divided evenly between the DNC and Rob Quist for Montana.
Democratic National Committee
The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.
For Immediate Release
May 8, 2017
Contact: Dave Jacobson, (818) 943-2348
Maclen Zilber, (510) 508-9142
Jacobson & Zilber Strategies
IN NEW ONLINE AD, LARA TO TRUMP: “CA’S OUT OF YOUR CONTROL”
Senator Ricardo Lara Unveils New Cutting-Edge Digital Ad, Titled “Embolden” in Race for California State Insurance Commissioner
LONG BEACH, CA — Keeping up his momentum in the race to become California’s next State Insurance Commissioner, today State Senator Ricardo Lara rolled out the first online video of his campaign.
Titled, “Embolden,” this new digital ad takes aim at President Donald Trump’s backwards agenda and comments saying that “California is out of control,” by illustrating the sharp contrast between the Oval Office’s agenda and that of Senator Ricardo Lara, the son of immigrants, and a forward-thinking state lawmaker who has delivered for working families, immigrants and consumers.
To view the ad, click on the screen shot below:
Below is the script of the ad:
Trump — “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.”
Lara —Donald Trump continues to attack immigrants, like my mom and dad, a seamstress, and a factory worker.
Lara—His hate has only made me more determined to empower Californians to control their own lives.
Lara— While Trump degraded women, I helped pass equal pay for equal work in California…
Lara — While Trump rips apart healthcare — I am fighting to secure it for all Californians.
Lara— While Trump denied climate change— I pushed the toughest environmental laws in America.
Lara- While Trump University defrauded students, I backed California’s DREAM Act.
Trump—“California in many ways, is out of control, as you know.”
Lara—Mr. Trump, you’re right about that. California is out of YOUR control.
Lara— I’m running for Insurance Commissioner to keep Californians in control of our lives and our future.
Since the inception of his campaign for California State Insurance Commissioner, State Senator Ricardo Lara has amassed wide-ranging support from leaders and organizations, including:
- United States Senator Kamala Harris
- State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León
- State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
- California Board of Equalization Chair Fiona Ma
- State Assembly Speaker Emeritus and State Senator Toni Atkins
- State Assembly Speaker Emeritus and State Senator Robert Hertzberg
- State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez
- State Senator Holly Mitchell
- State Senator Ben Hueso
- State Senator Tony Mendoza
- State Senator Scott Wiener
- State Senator Steven Bradford
- State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
- State Senator Nancy Skinner
- State Senator Ben Allen
- State Senator Mark Leno (Ret.)
- State Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez
- State Assembly Member Miguel Santiago
- State Assembly Member Blanca Rubio
- State Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia
- State Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin
- State Assembly Member Evan Low
- State Assembly Member Tony Thurmond
- State Assembly Member Kevin McCarty
- State Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (Ret.)
- Sacramento Mayor and former State Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg
- Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia
- California Democratic Party First Vice Chair Alex Rooker
- California Young Democrats’ President Eddie Kirby
- California Latino Legislative Caucus
- Equality California (EQCA)
- UNITE HERE, AFL-CIO
- California State Council of Laborers
- California Conference of Machinists
- United Steelworkers Legislative Education Committee for Los Angeles and Orange Counties
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 36
- United Industrial Workers of the Seafarers International Union, SIUNA, AFL-CIO
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 11
In recent weeks, Senator Lara, who recently co-introduced Californians for a Healthy California Act (SB 562), which amounts to single-payer healthcare for the state, announced that he is running to serve as California’s State Insurance Commissioner – a statewide elected office dedicated to protecting consumers, enforcing all insurance regulations, and safeguarding Californians’ economic and health security.
Dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as the “Point man in the push for immigrant rights,” Senator Lara, who also previously served as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus and currently serves as Vice Chair of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus, announced his candidacy by previously releasing the following statement:
“Our nation is in full blown crisis mode right now. We have a man in the White House with no popular mandate, who is methodically working to strip Americans of their healthcare, their economic security and their civil liberties.
“I’m running to be California’s next State Insurance Commissioner because I believe at my core that California needs a strong defender, and a counterpuncher, who will stand up to fight our bullying President, Donald Trump, and his increasingly reckless federal government on issues from healthcare access to economic security and more. If millions of Californians begin losing their health insurance because of actions taken by Donald Trump, I will be there to fight him tooth and nail at every pass.
“As California’s Insurance Commissioner, I’ll work tirelessly to represent the great people of California, not the corporations, the billionaire class, the pharmaceutical or the insurance companies. I plan to work with anybody who is willing to come to the table, but my allegiance will always be first and foremost to the consumers, the patients, our working families, and our most vulnerable communities in our Golden State.”
As a State Senator, Ricardo Lara has already been a leader on numerous issues that the office of the Insurance Commissioner interacts with. As stated above, he recently co-introduced a single-payer healthcare system for the state, and also spearheaded the groundbreaking law that provided health care for 170,000 immigrant children, and has played a strong, dynamic role in shaping, implementing and expanding Covered California.
In 2016, Senator Lara engineered the successful statewide campaign to allow for multi-lingual education in California’s schools. He was also one of the key leaders behind a landmark effort to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in California. This legislation is more important than ever, now that Donald Trump has instructed border patrol agents that they may deport undocumented immigrants for the “crime” of driving without a license.
Senator Lara was born and raised in East Los Angeles and attended schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He graduated from San Diego State University with a double major in Journalism and Spanish. He worked as a legislative staffer for years, including working for State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and for then-Assemblymember and now State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Léon. In 2010, Senator Lara was elected to the California State Assembly, and in 2012, he was elected to the California State Senate, where he made history as the first openly gay person of color in the State Senate.
His 33rd Senate District is expansive, encompassing nearly one million people, roughly 70% of which is Latino. The district is located in the heart of the South Bay and stretches from Long Beach to Lynwood, and from Huntington Park to Lakewood and Los Angeles.
Significantly, if elected, Senator Lara would be the first openly gay statewide elected official in California. Today, Senator Lara serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the California State Senate, considered to be perhaps the most influential committee in the California State Senate.
The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.
Dear CDP E-Board Member,
Last time I sent out an email, it was to explain my support for Keith Ellison based on a thorough process of listening and asking what you wanted.
As with the DNC Chair, I have had the chance to discuss with many of you what you are looking for in a CDP Chair.
Unlike the DNC Chair’s race, the CDP chair race has been an extremely negative one. Rather than focusing on ideas, it seems more like this campaign has been about mischaracterizations and personal attacks. I certainly hope these tactics stop. They are destructive and turn off more delegates than they inspire. That being said, I’ve been through this enough to see through the smokescreens and not let the actions of overzealous supporters get in the way.
We have three candidates for Chair with different visions and styles.
Lenore Alpert-Sheridan – a noted attorney who has focused her campaign on Progressive issues and eliminating dark money.
Kim Ellis – The former executive director of Emerge CA who has put forth ideas on decentralizing the party structure and resources, as well as adding new layers of party elections to empower grassroots activists.
Eric Bauman – The Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party Chair of the Los Angeles Democratic Party and former President of Stonewall Democrats who has focused his campaign on ideas to empower the grassroots and elect more Democrats.
Each of these candidates brings their own set of experiences, styles and goals which could affect the party’s considerable gains in the face of losses nationally.
In my discussions with delegates, I heard over and over again that delegates wanted a California Democratic Party Chair who:
- Is willing to listen to the grassroots (not just one group) and knows how to empower them to make change
- Is an organizer and has a history of bringing people together
- Is straightforward – does not pander or tell people what they want to hear
- Has a record of taking on the political establishment
There is, in my opinion, only one candidate who fits this description – Eric Bauman.
Some who are new to California politics may view him as the establishment, but those of us who know what his path has been here understand he is not.
How an Outsider Became a Voice for the Grassroots inside the Party.
Eric Bauman did not just become CDP Vice Chair or LACDP Chair because the establishment put him there. In fact, he got to where he is by taking on establishment interests in California. In the 1990s.
Eric did not begin his career in politics. He is a trained nurse who got into politics because of his interest in health care issues. He ran for chair of the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley and California Democratic Party Secretary but was edged out by establishment candidates.
As an LGBT activist with Stonewall Democrats, he reinvigorated a Democratic club by focusing on a Progressive agenda and demanding local, grassroots voices be heard. He was fighting for universal health care and ending discrimination in Los Angeles at a time when those voices were few.
Despite pushback from the establishment, his perseverance and hard work enabled him to become a leader int he party. But even as he became more involved, he stayed a strong voice for grassroots activists. When insiders tried to shut down or limit the ADEMs, he fought to keep them. When politicians tried to use the delegate system to move appointments around to rig endorsements, he was part of the effort to stop it.
He’s traveled all over the state on his own dime to help grassroots Democrats organize and been a ready mentor to any new or young activists to show them how the party works. He was always there to listen and even if he disagreed with you, he still found a way for you to have a voice without pandering to you, or sugarcoating things.
That is the kind of leadership the California Democratic Party needs.
Eric Bauman Helped Los Angeles Become a Democratic Stronghold.
Thirty years ago, Los Angeles was a very different place politically. Los Angeles County had 4 Republican members of Congress, 3 Republican Supervisors, and 3 Republican City Councilmembers. California had Republican governors in the 1990s and even held 2 or 3 of the other constitutional offices.
Today we have zero statewide Republican constitutional officers, only one Republican represents any part of Los Angeles in each of the U.S. House of Representatives, County of Los Angeles and City of Los Angeles. Democrats hold 2/3 majorities in both the Assembly and State Senate. Once a place where Republicans thrived, the San Fernando Valley is now a stronghold for Democrats. I’m not going to say all of this was solely because of Eric Bauman, but he was a significant part of that effort, as were the multitude of grassroots activists from labor, environmental, progressive and immigration rights groups that turned Los Angeles into a blue anchor for California.
I personally have seen how Eric Bauman has taken that experience building infrastructure and communications to other parts of this state. It is not a matter of just money, you have to build the support network to sustain organizing, operations, messaging and fundraising at the local level to build staying power for Democrats to win and stay there. Eric has done that without blowing smoke or making promises that can’t be kept. The endorsement of Jaimie Beutler, chair of the CDP Rural Caucus shows that those who have worked with him know he can move us forward.
He’s also been a strong communicator who can go toe to toe with Republicans, corporatists and right wing extremists on TV and in print to expose their true agenda.
The only candidate for CDP Chair who knows how to make the party work and win elections on Progressive principles at the state and local level.
Finally, the California Democratic Party is complex. The Chair has to get Democrats elected at every level and every corner of the state, work with elected officials and make sure that the voice of those who make the party work day after day in each precinct are heard. As if this is not enough, the CDP must also navigate a labyrinth of election laws that were designed in part by Republicans with the goal of empowering corporations and suppressing the voices of working people within the law. FEC, IRS and FPPC investigations can take valuable resources from winning elections.
The other two candidates for CDP Chair are good people who I think genuinely care about the party, but only Eric Bauman has consistently fought the establishment on behalf grassroots activists and won efforts to preserve their voice while also winning elections for Democrats to get progressive policies passed. He did it by working hard, having integrity and bringing people together. He will have my support and I hope he will have yours too.