Posted in Breaking News, farm workers, migrant workers

Farmworkers work the fields in California’s Central Coast area while toxic smoke fills the air and raging fires surround them

This photo in my Twitter feed caught my attention. Farmworkers working the fields in California’s Central Coast region while toxic smoke filled the air and raging fires surrounded the area.

Photo courtesy:

CAUSE is a nonprofit organization that helps immigrants and farmworkers in California’s Central Coast region. Six days ago, members of CAUSE arrived at the fields to hand out masks to the workers. They needed masks to help filter out the smoke.


Handing out N95 masks with @MICOP805 to farmworkers working during the #Hillfire Please help out by donating to 805undocufund, to aid farmworkers that lose time off work and are often unable to apply for federal assistance because of immigration status.

Were the farmworkers forced to stay by the growers or did they choose to stay because they would lose pay for the day? I don’t know the answer yet, but I have asked CAUSE to give me some background.  I’ve been told the farmworkers are still out there today working the fields and conditions are not better.

Photo courtesy: CauseOxnard

In one photo, you can see they pick artichokes for Ocean Mist Farms. I’ve sent Ocean Mist a tweet and Facebook message to find out who made the decision to keep the workers out in the fields under these conditions. I’ll let you know if and when the company responds.

Here’s more about CAUSE and its mission:

CAUSE’s mission is to build grassroots power to invoke social, economic and environmental justice for the people of California’s Central Coast Region through policy research, leadership development, organizing, and advocacy. CAUSE defines the Central Coast Region as the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito.

Meanwhile, CAUSE is working with MICOP , also known as The Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project. Both organizations are helping raise money for the farmworkers. The 805 Undocufund Donations will help immigrant families who are not covered by the federal government for disaster aid. Here’s more:

The 805 UndocuFund is a joint effort of immigrant-serving organizations in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties to provide disaster relief to local immigrant families who are excluded from federal aid programs like FEMA and Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Many immigrant families were affected including loss of homes and essential belongings with the destruction of farmworker housing and apartments, lost jobs as the houses where they cleaned, gardened, cooked, or cared for children were evacuated or destroyed, and lost wages as the only freeway between Ventura and Santa Barbara was severed by mudslides and outdoor air quality was hazardous for outdoor workers like farmworkers, landscapers and day laborers.


If you’re interested in donating please head over to 805 UNDOCUFUND DONATIONS.

Screenshot: Instagram 
Posted in boycotts, Cesar Chavez, Human Interest, migrant workers

Three reasons why you should go the Dallas Mega March 2017

megamarch_2017Who is going to the Dallas Mega March 2017 tomorrow? I’ll be there. I reported on the last Mega March in March 2006. More than 500,000 people showed up to march.

Here are my three reasons why you should be this march:

1) For journalists and student journalists you know it’s a story.
2) If you care about immigration and unity you should be there.
3) If you’ve never experienced being in a march, go and be inspired by people who believe in a cause. Take your kids. My parents took us to marches and protests when we were children. I think those experiences as a child made me the strong, outspoken woman I am today.

The march starts at 2 p.m. in front of the Guadalupe Cathedral at 2215 Ross Avenue. Go early to find parking or take DART and walk over or arrange a ride to drop you off near the cathedral and pick you up at City Hall where the march will end.

If you plan to go wear sneakers and comfortable clothing. March organizers want you to wear red, white and blue t-shirts and bring an American flag. A backpack comes in handy for water, snacks, phone, sun block and a camera if you take one. Keep hydrated but remember finding a bathroom or port-a-potty may be a challenge. Good luck!

Go to the Mega March website for more information and the list of speakers.  Please share.  See you there!

Posted in Inspirational, migrant workers, News Now

I am my father’s daughter; what I learned from a true leader

Photo courtesy: UAW
Photo courtesy: UAW

I was thinking about my dad today and how proud he would be that I stand up for what I believe is right, and when I feel people are being wronged. My father, Alfredo Aguilar was an immigrant from Mexico, raised a family of five kids, and became a union organizer, migrant rights activist, and civil rights leader. He also had the first Spanish-language radio program “Fiesta Latina” in northwest Ohio. Yes, a super multi-tasker.

I often heard him in his broken English defending the little guy or gal. Whether he was addressing a room of 3,000 union members or defending a group of migrant workers, my father knew how to lead by inspiration. He was always looking out for the worker not getting fair pay, the person of color being discriminated, and even women who were not getting equal opportunities. Most of the time he was the only voice, unafraid to use it when it was not the popular thing to do. And let me say he made an impact.

When he died in 1981, his funeral was packed with people, and they didn’t stop coming for two days. Everyone had a story about how he made a difference. I think he would be very proud of me today…unafraid, a voice for the people.

RIP Papi.

Feel free to share and inspire another leader in the making.