October 5: National Day of Dignity and Respect Rally and Canvass for Working People

At 10 a.m. on October 5, faith, labor and civil rights groups in Greensboro will join in marches and rallies in over 40 cities calling for Congress to pass immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship that promotes family unity and protects workers’ rights. Participants will hold a rally speaking out on the importance of commonsense reform, followed by a canvass where they will encourage others in their communities to continue putting pressure on lawmakers.

“We ask everyone to come out and join us as we take to the streets by knocking on doors and encouraging people to reach out to Rep. Coble,” said Working America State Director Carolyn Smith. “We cannot let the work of obstructionist lawmakers result in more families being torn apart by deportation and more worker exploitation by abusive employers. It’s time to raise our voices and makes sure Congress hears our call for dignity and respect.”

Working America has 30,000 members in Guilford County, with 7,500 in Rep. Coble’s district.

What: Rally and canvass for immigration reform

Who: Working America, North Carolina State AFL-CIO, Teamster Local 391, State Employees Association of NC, SEIU, Guilford County NAACP

When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 10–10:30 a.m. rally followed by 11 a.m.–2 p.m. door canvass, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. site canvass

Where: New Light Baptist Church, 1105 Willow Road, Greensboro, NC

For more details on how to get involved please contact Carolyn Smith at (336) 392-2129 or by email [email protected]

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Coalition of Labor, Civil Rights, Immigration Groups, Urge Rep. Howard Coble to Support Immigration Reform

A coalition of labor and immigration groups will gather Wednesday with petitions, visual displays and more to call on Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) to support immigration reform.

Specifically, the coalition urges Rep. Coble to bring an immigration bill to the floor vote that:

  • Provides a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States

  • Protects workers’ rights and ensures that any worker authorization system treats workers fairly

  • Protect immigrants against employers that take advantage of their status

  • Allows for rational, fair and just enforcement

“The people of Guilford County care deeply about this issue,” said Carolyn Smith, state director for Working America. “We are asking Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) to make the right decision to support comprehensive immigration reform.”

WHO: Working America, North Carolina State AFL-CIO, State Employees Association of North Carolina, Teamster Local 391, NCAE, Immigrant Rights Working Group of Guilford County,  Greensboro NAACP

WHAT: Rally/Press Conference at Rep. Coble’s Office

WHEN: Wednesday, August 21, 10 a.m.

WHERE: 2102 N Elm Street

Interested media contact Carolyn Smith with Working America at 919-906-0152 or email [email protected]

Working America, a national organization for working people, has 3 million members who fight for good jobs and a just economy. For more information, go to www.workingamerica.org.

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Your Congressman is in Your Neighborhood. Have They Heard from You on Immigration?

Immigration reform is the kind of issue that brings people together from all walks of life. Although immigrants stand to benefit the most from a path to citizenship, we are all affected by the multilateral tangents connected to our broken immigration system.

Last  Saturday, our North Carolina Community Action Team met so that we could raise awareness about the immigration fight and use our strength in numbers to pressure elected officials to act. The U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that establishes a path to citizenship, but the U.S. House has yet to take it up.

Our members came to the meeting eager to discuss what they wanted to happen with immigration reform, and to take action. We decided to target Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee and ask him to vote in favor of bringing the Senate bill to the House Floor for a vote.

Our members wrote postcards to their friends, family members, and neighbors residing in the 6th District, asking them to call Rep. Coble and to urge him to move this bill forward. We were able to generate 66 postcards in the time that we met, and several folks took some home to send out later as well.

On Wednesday, I went with our member Erin West, to a lobby meeting with Rep. Coble organized by SEANC (State Employees Association of North Carolina) and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Erin told Congressman Coble about her experience as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in the district, and how her students would be affected by immigration reform. “Of over 100 students that I taught, all were eager to learn, and came from loving, hard-working families. Some are now entering high school, and on top of dealing with normal high-schooler problems, they worry every day about losing their parents, or being taken away from the only country they know as home,” Erin explained. “We can’t afford to lose these promising students, and it would be nothing short of a tragedy to see them separated from their families.”

Rep. Coble responded positively, but in a noncommittal manner, that he too believes it is time to do something about immigration reform, but that he doesn’t know what that is going to look like when he goes back to Washington, DC.

It’s moments like these, when members of the faith community, labor, and concerned citizens like Erin come together, that our politicians begin to listen. While we are still unsure about how Rep. Coble will vote and what the ultimate fate of the bill will be, but we will continue to make our voices heard until the House takes action.

To get involved with the North Carolina Community Action Team, email me at [email protected].

Photo by @AFLCIO on Twitter

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