Report on GT Dems Progressive Potluck, Feb 27, 2017
Gladys Munoz, co-founder of the Justice and Peace Advocacy Center, spoke last night at the GT Dems 2nd Progressive Potluck at Little Fleet. She talked about the fear that members of our farm worker community are experiencing due to Trump's new order to round up and deport any immigrant without legal standing, breaking families apart and sending children into foster care.
There are about 7000 people in our greater community, including family members, affected by this police state harassment and discrimination. That isn’t counting the people of color in the service industry who are often affected in the same way.
Some little-known facts regarding our farm workers: The average pay in a good year for a farm worker is about $15,000. Factor in medical costs, car repairs, food and rent, clothing and all the ordinary, common expenses every family faces. In addition, they have no social security and no health insurance. It is also the second most dangerous occupation, next to mining in our state. Remember much of our fresh fruits and vegetables are hand-picked by our farm workers. Agriculture is the 2nd largest industry in Michigan, bringing in 71.3 billion dollars in state revenue, second only to California.
JPAC helps people with financial support for legal, medical services, navigating the Immigration System, language services, transportation, and the mountain of paperwork people must have to prevent jail and deportation, or to get a loved one safely out of detention. JPAC needs volunteers to help with their efforts. They also need folks trained in 'rapid response' techniques to help immigrant encounters with ICE and the police. The next training session is March 14th at St. Francis Catholic Church in Traverse City from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.
Finally, JPAC needs money. Every dollar we donate says to our Latino brothers and sisters "we have your back." JPAC continues to help people whether the organization has funds or not, often giving out of their own pockets. Gladys says "if there is a need, you must respond. Otherwise, why be there?"
You can learn more about the Justice and Peace Advocacy Center at http://justiceandpeaceadvocacy.org/
If you care to donate to the Justice and Peace Advocacy Center you can do so online with the above link or you and reach them here in Traverse City. Reach them at Justice and Peace Advocacy Center, PO Box 901, Traverse City, MI 49686. Their phone number is 231-883-3782. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Kay Keating,
Member Outreach/Content Subcommittee
GT Dems Communications Team