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Update - Day Laborers on Street Corner

Workers who rise with the sun in Albany Park, have had their first taste of power in a recent meeting with Alderman Laurino.
May 15 Update on La Parada

On Friday, May 11 Alderwoman Margaret Laurino (39th ward) met with workers at the Salvation Army on N. Pulaski. About 65 workers were there and representatives from three local churches were also present. Several workers pressured Ald. Laurion to take specific action to support the workers’ concerns. This was great first encounter for workers raise their voices and demand justice and dignity in their search for work.

Ald. Laurino agreed to:

* help workers translate, duplicate and circulate flyers informing contractors of workers’ new location and availability;

* set up a meeting with local Korean media to get coverage about workers’ new location;

* facilitate a meeting with Chicago Police Department 17th District Commander Kathryn Kajari regarding continuing police harassment of Latino men on Lawrence Ave and

* meet monthly with a representative group of workers to discuss progress on their concerns.

Workers and staff from the Interfaith Committee will meet again with Ald. Laurino later this week to follow-up on these agreements.

In addition to Ald. Laurino’s commitments, the City of Chicago Department of Human Serivce and Commission on Human Relations have agreed to help workers secure other material resources to make the Salvation Army site function well. This includes things like extended hours, phone and computer lines, simple office space, etc. All parties involved have committed to addressing both workers’ and the community’s concerns. If, for any number of reasons, the Salvation Army site does not meet these needs, both the City and the Alderwoman are willing to work with us to develop an alternative site. Due to the workers’ urgent need for work, we are already looking some possible alternative sites so that the workers can transition smoothly.

Over the weekend an organizer from the Interfaith Committee visited workers’ centers in Las Vegas and Los Angeles to learn from their experiences. One things he learned was that these projects take a long time to establish. The next few weeks will be crucial in gauging the long-term feasibility of this site as we begin to get the word out to employers about workers’ new location and availability.

In the coming weeks, FOX TV Channel 32 will cover the issues at La Parada on Rev. Ruben Cruz’s weekly show, Esta Semana. We let you know the exact date and time when we know this information.

Please feel free to contact Christopher (ext 44) or Jose (ext 20) at 773-728-8400 with questions or comments.

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