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It's been almost 20 years since the EPA introduced the Worker Protection Standard--the only regulations that protect farmworkers from pesticides. The new guidelines changed industry practices for the better, but have never adequately protected the health and safety of farmworkers and their families. Sign this petition to the EPA, demand that they protect farmworkers now!
In 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced that they would update the WPS to beef up the protections. They released a draft of the proposed update in February, received more than 200,000 public comments and 400 handwritten pleas from farmworkers over the summer and have been stalling ever since.
We propose holding the EPA to a deadline of August 18, 2015--exactly 20 years after the WPS were put in place in 1995--to put these new protections in place. Please sign our friend PAN's letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, because 20 years is too long to go without progress!
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2015 is the beginning of a new year and a time for re-committing ourselves to the struggle for social justice for this country’s hardworking farmworkers. FWAF staff is determined. We will re-double our efforts to work for immigrants’ rights, better wages, decent housing, freedom from sexual harassment, and protection from pesticide exposure for the workers in the fields, groves and nurseries in Florida and in the nation. The farmworker community is our community! We are the farmworkers, and that includes many of our staff, our Board of Directors, the leadership committees, our community leaders, and community members.
Farmworkers form the very basis of the agricultural economy of the U.S. We all depend upon the work they do for our country to function & flourish. These workers deserve equality & dignity – civil rights, immigrants’ rights, worker rights and human rights. This is what we will continue to work for today and throughout 2015. Join us in the cause of “Justicia Para los Campesinos.”
In 2015, we will:
Apopka advocate wins Wendell Rollason Award for rural health work
ORLANDO, Fla., November 20, 2014 - The Florida Rural Health Association is proud to announce Tirso Moreno, co-founder and general coordinator of the Farmworker Association of Florida, the 2014 winner of the Wendell N. Rollason Achievement Award.
The Wendell Rollason Award was established in 1995 to honor Wendell Rollason, a powerful force in Florida on issues of rural health, migrant farm workers, and education for poor and minority children. In the spirit of Rollason, the award winner is honored for his or her compassion, unselfishness, and commitment in seeking solutions in the delivery of rural health care and quality of life in rural Florida.
Under Moreno’s leadership, the Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) has a 31-year history of contributing to the health and well-being of farmworker communities in 15 counties across Central and South Florida.
“With deep commitment to community organizing, popular education, and farmworker leadership development, Tirso has led FWAF to many social, environmental, and economic justice accomplishments,” said Holly Baker, Moreno’s colleague and nominator for the award.
FLORIDA'S FARMWORKERS & FAITH LEADERS DENOUNCE YOHO AND BONDI's SYMBOLIC AND SHAMEFULANTI-IMMIGRANT ACTIONS
Our Lives and our Labor Matters
Gainesville, FL - On Thursday, December 4th, the US House of Representatives passed a bill introduced by U.S. Representative Ted Yoho (R- FL3) to bar the President from deferring the deportation of undocumented Americans through the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program. As if that weren't enough, late Friday the Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that the Sunshine State was joining a lawsuit against Obama's executive action on immigration.
Both actions are a symbolic and shameful move to attack the administration's program which would give temporary relief from deportation to nearly 5 million undocumented parents of US citizen children who have been here more than five years. The relief would imply they would get a work permit and thus, a drivers' license, dramatically reducing their chance of being detained and separated from their children. It is estimated that less than 253,000 of over 600,000 undocumented immigrants in Florida who would potentially quality.
Rep. Ted Yoho represents wide agricultural areas of Florida, and in fact, sits on the Agriculture Committee. Agriculture is a $100 billion industry and employs nearly one million Floridians. Rep. Yoho should be well aware of the needs of our agricultural community for regularization of the status of immigrants who work for the farmers, as well as of the suffering of the many U.S. citizen children whose parents have not been able to change their status due to the repeated failures by the US Congress to fix our broken immigration system.
Tirso Moreno, from the Farmworker Association of Florida stated: "This is hypocritical considering that many undocumented Floridians are farmworkers who work from sun to sun doing the backbreaking work that sustains our economy. We feed not only Florida, we feed the nation. We do the hardest work at the lowest pay, and to add insult to injury, Rep. Yoho wants us to fear detention and deportation too? He should know better,
Join host, News Director Rick Spisak
with his guests Jeanne Economos, from Pesticide Awareness Campaign (Click to listen de podcast)
and Our friend from Food Not Bombs the Hunger Striker Dezeray who is non-violently fighting for compassion for the Hungry and Homeless in Fort Lauderdale and across the country.
And our ACA Advocate Athena from Florida Chain, explaining the new registration campaign, and dispelling the rumours that have been circulating by those who have opposed it since it was first proposed.
TUNE IN for our Thanksgiving Special - Food, Pesticide, Hunger and Healthcare - TUNE IN -
and give thanks for all the good people that make these shows possible.
Solidarity & Peace
Rick Spisak, News Director
Taken from: WPLG-TV (Miami) November 21, 2014, By Andrea Torres
The majority of undocumented migrants in South Florida did not benefit from President Barack Obama's executive order -- shielding 5 million from deportation
FLORIDA CITY, Fla. - Many in the business sector worried that President Barack Obama's executive order was going to have an impact on South Florida's labor market, but it won't.
There are still at least 7 million undocumented migrants nationwide, who do not have a path toward a legal work permit. Jorge, who asked that his last name not be published, said Thursday night that what they need is Congress to pass new immigration law.
Undocumented workers who are better off in the United States underpaid than in Central America or Haiti make up the work force of the agricultural fields in Homestead and Florida City. Work permits would mean higher pay since most of them make less than Florida's $7.93 minimum wage.
On Thursday, November 20, 2014, the Florida Rural Health Association presented the Wendell Rollason Award to FWAF's General Coordinator, Tirso Moreno. The award is given annually to recognize outstanding public service leadership in the area of rural health issues in Florida, and to recognize commitment in seeking solutions in the delivery of rural health care or quality of life in rural Florida.
November 21, 2014
From the Farmworker Association of Florida and our farmworker membership in Florida, we want to thank President Obama for taking the bold move, against stiff opposition, to provide for measures under his executive authority to protect close to 5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States against the threats of detention and deportation. While we fully recognize that this is but a stop-gap measure to provide temporary relief to families that have been living in the shadows and in fear for years, the urgency of the immigration crisis demanded the courage to take immediate steps that have a major impact on a large segment of the population in our country.
In light of last night’s Presidential announcement, we take the following position:
We resolve to:
We cannot wait any longer! Our families deserve better! Our country needs to live up to its values as a melting pot that welcomes all to her shores.
News taken from Univision Orlando
Florida, (Entravision).- Los químicos utilizados en los cultivos son una de las amenazas más peligrosas que enfrentan los trabajadores del campo, día a día. Ampliamos en nuestro reportaje especial “Pesticidas mortales”.
Elvire's daughter wrote in her facebook "So proud of what my mom is doing. She truly cares about the La Via Campesina and the FWAF organization, she totally deserved to meet the pope and her trip to Italy."
On Saturday, 10/25/14, Haitian farmworker and FWAF community leader in Fellsmere, Elvire Francois, departed for an exciting trip to Rome, Italy.
Taken from La Vía Campesina
Food Sovereignty is the right of the world’s peoples to produce and to consume healthy food. Food cannot be reduced to a commodity in the hands of the transnational corporations.
The international peasant and family farmer movement, La Via Campesina, is calling upon its member organisations across the world, and on grassroots organisations, allied social groups, and concerned consumers to be part of the World Day of Action for Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations, this coming October 16th, 2014.
Every year, La Via Campesina organises this Day of solidarity, resistance, and mobilisation in order to make citizens aware of the current threats to Peoples’ Food Sovereignty.
"Today a Window was opened in what for 50 years has been the Cathedral of the Green Revolution"
Press Release- La Via Campesina
The International Symposium on Agroecology for Food and Nutritional Security was held on the 18th and 19th of September of 2014, at the headquarters of the Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in Rome. This marked the first time that the FAO has ever officially and directly addressed the topic of agroecology.
In his closing remarks at the Symposium, José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the FAO, said that: "Today a Window was opened in what for 50 years has been the Cathedral of the Green Revolution." The delegation of La Via Campesina, that participated in the Symposium, welcomes this opening, but recommends caution, given the attempts to coopt agroecology that were observed at the event.
According to La Via Campesina, the science, practices and movement of agroecology are the product of centuries of accumulated peasant and indigenous knowledge, knowledge of how food was produced for humanity since long before farm chemicals were invented. This knowledge has been organized through a 'dialog of knowledges' (dialogo de saberes) with the western sciences of ecology, agronomy, rural sociology, etc. Support for agroecology, among rural social movements, consumers, environmentalists and others, has grown a lot in recent decades, in part because of it's sharp critique of, and it's alternatives to, the badly-named 'Green Revolution' of industrial agriculture. For La Via, peasant agroecology is a fundamental building block in the construction of food sovereignty. Read more