News from the LIFT Fund and our grantees.

Aide Rodriguez: Mujeres Unidas Gets Out the Vote

Building Impact and Power in the Bay Area
As immigrant women and domestic workers, we use every available means to share our struggles and get our voices heard. “I began doing electoral work as a volunteer, knocking on doors in 2012. I became really motivated me when I realized how many people in our Latino community didn’t know how or where to go vote, while others simply did not vote because they were so disappointed in the political system,” Maria Morales, a domestic worker and Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) board member stated. “It was then that I realized how important it is that we get out to motivate people if they can vote to do so -- only in that way will they be able to be heard. I hope to continue organizing and motivating our community so that together we can change the future for everyone!”

Lucia Lin: In San Francisco, Worker Organizing is Civic Empowerment

At the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), we know that engaging monolingual immigrant Chinese voters is key to ensuring that San Francisco remains a diverse city for its working class residents and workers. While we have been on the forefront of passing progressive labor standards from raising the minimum wage to $15.00/hr to passing the nation’s first fair scheduling law in 2014, working people continue to be pushed out of one of the most economically stratified cities in the country. This election cycle we face a key question: Is San Francisco a city where only the rich can live and play, while workers commute over 30 miles to clean their playgrounds and cook in their restaurants?

Christine Neuman-Ortiz: From Boycotts to Ballot Boxes

Latinos Make Themselves Heard in Wisconsin
Without a doubt, the national election of 2016 is one of the most important elections we have ever faced. Since August, Voces de la Frontera has been mobilizing the Latino vote in Wisconsin, a swing state where the Latino vote will be key in determining the outcome of the national election.

Derrick Johnson: From Right to Work to Voter Suppression

The Importance of the Worker Vote in Mississippi
With so many headlines and surprises this election year, it sometimes is easy to forget that election day is about more than choosing the next President of the United States. It is about seeing the political landscape around you and making choices based on your needs and interests. This is especially true for the citizens of Mississippi.

Alexandra Suh: From pulling weeds to amending the soil

Organizing for real change in Los Angeles' low wage industries
[T]o leverage worker-center insight, we need to build capacity, individually and together so each is not reinventing its own spindly wheel. If we can seize this moment and make real inroads against wage theft, we will be able to spend less of our time looking down, trying to establish the floor, and more time raising standards, bringing into being the kinds of places we all want to work in, with our gaze to the sky.

Kokayi Kwa Jitahidi: From LA with Love: The Time When Justice Trumped Business

July 2016 is an important month in the history of the City of Los Angeles. History of a pro-business city, where the trajectory of unbridled capitalism, as well as contemporary expectations of how the economy should work, did not point towards one of the most impactful minimum wage and wage enforcement ordinances across the country. This is a month where, against great obstacles, justice trumped business.

Joel Jimenez: The Fight for $15 is Directly Linked to the Struggle Against Wage Theft

While many of us, day laborers, took part in the fight for the $15 minimum wage one of the things we are looking forward to is enforcement and accountability for cases of wage theft. It is astonishing to me how some employers are able to live with themselves, are able to sleep at night while denying hard working people of wages they have earned. The fight for $15 is directly connected to the fight for wage enforcement.

Megan Ortiz: From Policy to Food on Our tables

Next steps for Day Laborers and Household Workers in Los Angeles
Making the minimum wage a reality means the implementation of the ordinance needs to be robust and responsive to the needs of workers across industries....Policy is only as good as its implementation and implementation is only as good as the community that monitors and continues to push.

Flor Rodriguez: A victory by workers for workers

Only July 1st, we celebrated because we felt a sense of joy! After a long struggle, the implementation of the wage theft ordinances is a victory. It is not something that was given to us but rather a struggle that we been fighting for for a long time. And, this victory was a victory of workers, workers who have shared their stories and have done the work on the ground.

Victor Narro

Change and innovation come not from the status quo, but from disruption. It takes a disruption in our everyday lives to stop us in our tracks, make us reflect, and decide to make a change. This quote by Brazilian scholar Sebastiao Ferreira captures my perception of the Los Angeles Wage Theft Coalition and its campaign to win the most innovative wage theft enforcement policy in Los Angeles.

Blogging our Victories: An L.A. Story

On July 1st, 2016 a new minimum wage will go into effect in the city of Los Angeles as well as the enactment of the Los Angeles Wage Enforcement Division Ordinance. In celebration of this major victory in for worker justice in Los Angeles, the LIFT fund will publish a series of blogs featuring LIFT worker center grantees, labor and research partners who worked together to make this happen.

LIFT Fund Hires Valeria Treves as New Director

The Fund has hired its first director, Valeria Treves, marking an important milestone for the growing fund! The partners of the LIFT fund including Ford Foundation, the Solidago Foundation, the General Service Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the AFL-CIO, are excited to welcome Valeria to the Fund. Formerly the director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), Valeria brings her experience in the worker center field, with labor partnerships, and on grant making committees as well as her deep commitment to worker organizing! Please join us in welcoming Valeria on Twitter! Use hashtag #welcometoLIFT, be sure to tag @theliftfund and @ValeriaTreves.

2015 Grantees

Today, the LIFT Fund announced its 2015 grantees, awarding $585,000 to 17 worker centers partnering with labor unions nationwide – from Mississippi and New Mexico to Tennessee and New York – that support building worker power using new, innovative forms of organizing.