University of Michigan FIGHT FOR $15 event on April 1

Join a new coalition in the FIGHT FOR $15: a Panel discussion and organizing meeting on raising the Minimum Wage.

When: Wednesday April 1, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Where: 512 Haven Hall, 505 South State Street , University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Parking map: https://pts.umich.edu/maps/central_south.pdf (PDF)

FF15Learn about living wage campaigns around the country.
Take action with us on April 15th in solidarity with minimum wage struggles everywhere.

Speakers: GEO organizers, Detroit fast food workers, student workers, and community members

Breakout Sessions: share experiences and discuss organizing and campaign strategies for the 4/15 action.

Decisions: vote on the course of action for April 15th to coincide with the nation-wide struggle to raise the minimum wage.

Dinner will be served!

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/670126539760570/

Protect workers and save local democracy in Michigan: Stop H.B. 4052

Sign the Washtenaw Community Action Team’s petition against Michigan’s House Bill 4052 by clicking the link below. If passed, this law may prohibit Michigan cities and towns from passing minimum wage laws, prevailing wage laws, and other progressive local laws:

https://www.coworker.org/petitions/protect-workers-and-save-local-democracy-in-michigan-stop-h-b-4052

November 20th: Global Action for Ayotzinapa – Ann Arbor and Detroit

As part of the Global Day of Action for Ayotzinapa , today there will be a vigil in Ann Arbor to support the people of Mexico and their efforts to gain answers in the case of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa:

WHERE: Diag, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor campus, Ann Arbor MI
WHEN: Thursday November 20, 5:00 PM

For more about the disappeared students, check out this article . There is also an event in Detroit :

FlyerAyotzi1

Ann Arbor International Day of Peace – Sunday 9/21/14

Join the Washtenaw Community Action Team, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and other local organizations for the Ann Arbor International Day of Peace:

WHERE: Parking lot north of Ann Arbor Downtown Library, 343 S. 5th Ave, Ann Arbor
WHEN: Sunday 9/21/14, 9 AM – 11 PM
More Info: Facebook event

Gather with your peaceful friends, family and neighbors in Library Lane as Ann Arbor joins thousands of communities around the world to discuss, envision and celebrate peace. Featuring live music, dancing, art, food and more. **Interested in performing/volunteering? Contact: a2ybeat@gmail.com**

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples, and for “creating a culture of peace and non-violence for the children of the world.”

Join us for a full day of peaceful, inspiring events including spoken word, live music, peace workshops, a free speech soap box, the Megiddo Peace Table, food carts and much more. Details for these and other events to be posted as they are confirmed. **Please invite friends, family and neighbors!**

Music and Spoken Words to Turn the Heart
Confirmed acts include:
Detroit Music Awards winner, Grammy Award Nominee and original Woodstock alum Muruga Booker and the Cosmic Hoedown Band.

Paul and Claire Tinkerhess.

***
This very special event is made possible with the cooperation and support of: the Ann Arbor City Council, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, the Megiddo Peace Project, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, Gray Panthers of Washtenaw, Jerusalem Garden, Downtown Home and Garden and the Center for Independent Living.

**Interested in performing, donating or volunteering your time for set-up, clean-up, etc…? Please contact: a2ybeat@gmail.com**“

WCAT Statement on Detroit Water Blockade

The Washtenaw Community Action Team (WCAT), a broad coalition of organized labor, faith and community groups, supports the people of Detroit in their pursuit of  affordable drinking water and sanitation in accord with the U.N.’s International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, a covenant issued in 1977, during the administration of President Carter.  In WCAT’s view, the water cut-offs in the City of Detroit unfortunately reflect the deep racial divides and intractable economic and social inequality within the United States.

The burden of paying for city services has unfairly fallen onto the residents who have stayed within this economically depressed city, most of whom are African-American. These residents have seen water rates rise by 119 per cent within the last decade. With official, understated unemployment rates at a record high and the official, understated poverty rate at about 40 percent, Detroit water bills are not affordable to a significant portion of the population.

WCAT supports the basic human right of access to clean drinking water for all our neighbors.  We view the present water shut-offs by the City of Detroit as a violation of a basic human rights.

Follow-Up Meeting and Background on AAPS Custodians

Join labor and community members for a follow-up meeting to strategize next steps in fighting for Ann Arbor Public Schools custodians:

Monday, June 30th, 8:00 PM
LEO/GEO Office, 339 E. Liberty, Suite #340, Ann Arbor

Here are two documents that provide some background. The first letter outlines the process that has been followed up to now, including what has happened since the Wednesday press conference. The second document contains the current worker co-op proposal.

Letter Re AFSCME Proposal (PDF, 435 KB)

AFSCME Coop Proposal (PDF, 7.8 MB)

Great Turnout for Ann Arbor Public Schools Custodians

On Wednesday July 24, a substantial and diverse group of people — union, community and religious leaders and activists, and a number of candidates running in local and state elections — gathered in front of Ann Arbor’s downtown library to demonstrate our support for the AAPS custodial workers of AFSCME Local 1182. This photo, contributed by Adam Zemke, captures quite a few of us.

It was a great rally, followed by an even more spectacular School Board meeting. Public comment, followed by a direct action Mic Check, won us a meeting Thursday morning 6/25

Labor and community supporters of Ann Arbor Public Schools custodians, June 25 2014.

Union and community members supporting Ann Arbor Public Schools custodians on June 24, 2014. Photo by Adam Zemke.

. We’ll keep you posted as to what comes out of that meeting and what our next steps will be.

Conference: GOOD JOBS FOR ALL (U of M)

Welcome, welcome! The WCAT will host it’s second ‘Good Jobs for All‘ Conference at the University of Michigan on Wednesday April 9th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Here is the link to the Facebook event. Here is the Flyer.

Below you will find a thorough description of the event:

I. Summary: The Good Jobs For All conference brings together four organizations dedicated to improving the lives of the working people. The purpose of this interactive conference is to unify the efforts of these four organizations, provide participants with quality information about working struggles/movements, educate them on how to get involved, and encourage both the faculty and student body to become leaders within their community. At a bare minimum, we will all walk away from this conference with an advanced understanding of organizational structures, dynamics, and strategy. If you ever wanted to learn how to run an organization, what it takes to be a leader, and/or further your understanding of the economic/political complexities of the working people, this is the conference for you.

II. Brief Agenda:

1. Walk in, grab some grub, get comfy.

2. Next, participants will listen to a very short presentation from each organization. Based on these presentations, participants will pick which organization they would like to learn more about.

3. We will break up into discussion groups based on the organization of your choosing (i.e. if you chose the WCAT, you will go with the WCAT group). Here participants will get to share stories, experiences, or information about the organizations they are currently apart of and learn more about the organization they chose to learn about. Here is where participants will get to further their understanding of the organization’s current campaign as well as other organizational nuances (such as effective recruiting and tactics, maintaining membership, building leadership, and just about anything else you want to learn about).

4. Wrap-up, survey, and a T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY!

We hope this conference fulfills your desire to learn, engage, and act.

III. Conference Subjects/Topics:

Raise The (Minimum) Wage: Launched by Michigan United, this ballot initiative strives to gradually raise the minimum wage in the state of Michigan from $7.40/hr to $10.10/hr by 2017. This will also raise the minimum rate for tipped employees 85 cents per year until it reaches parity with the regular minimum wage. The current minimum rate for tipped employees is $2.65/hr. If successful, this initiative could potentially increase the wage of over 1,000,000 people and pull over 350,000 people out of poverty. The WCAT is partnering with Michigan United on this campaign.

D15: Good Jobs Now is also working towards raising the minimum wage within the corporate, fast food sector to $15/hr. The idea is that these fat-cat corporations have the money to pay their workers a living wage, and they ought to. If done right, it’s possible to raise the wage without all of the negative repercussions traditional economists theorize. Good Jobs Now has focused most of their work in Detroit, though they are looking to expand their efforts out to Washtenaw County. Their main focus is D15 right now, though they have done a ton of other work as well and will gladly share all of this at the conference on Wednesday.

AAATA Millage Increase: With the slogan “More Buses, More Places, More Often,” WeROC recently jump-started their own ballot initiative to increase the millage for the Ann Arbor Transit Authority (public transportation). This means that, with a slight tax increase, the AAATA will reach more areas in Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, and Ann Arbor more often. WeROC will come ready with a diagram that shows all of the additions to be made. Not only will this increase the number of jobs in these areas, but it will also get people to their jobs faster and more efficiently. It is for this very reason we included them in this conference; this is definitely a working interest.

Ban the Box: WeROC will also discuss issues surrounding the Ban the Box Campaign. Ban the Box is an initiative to remove the criminal history question from the application-stage to give returning citizens a fair chance at employment. Many other organizations have been tackling this issue, but at this conference you will get to hear WeROC’s unique experience in this field.

Working America: Working America is a national labor organization that aims to educate, assist, and mobilize working Americans to improve their working conditions, job security, and health care. The WCAT is a local hub for Working America where people can come every two weeks to talk about their working challenges – or challenges they’ve heard – and possible responses to take. The goal is to run a number of campaigns, like the Raise the Wage Campaign, that consistently fight for the integrity, equality, and protection of the working people.

We hope to see everyone there. Bring a friend! The more the merrier, there’s a lot to talk about.


Good Jobs For All Conference (University of Michigan)

WCAT Ypsi and Thank you SEPE

First off, if there is anyone out there that went to Cafe Ollie on Thursday, April 3rd and could not find the WCAT meeting in the back, do not hesitate to email Bo Bradarich (bobrad@umich.edu) or Eleni Kastanis (kastanis@umich.edu) to let us know you are still interested in joining the WCAT. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and will have a sign up that says “WCAT” next time so it is easier to find us. You may email us with questions. We will meet again on April 17th @ 5:30pm at Cafe Ollie, 42 E. Cross St. Ypsilanti, MI. Hope to see everyone there.

Secondly, thank you to all of the members in the Students for an Ethical and Participatory Education (SEPE) at Eastern Michigan University for helping schedule and run a tabling event at EMU last Thursday. We collected about 30-40 signatures and had a few really great conversations with the students passing by. If you would like to learn more about SEPE, you may visit their Facebook or their EMU Page or attend one of their meetings on Tuesdays in the Student Center at EMU.

If you want to collect signatures, please email Bo Bradarich at bobrad@umich.edu.

Sign the Petition, Raise the Wage | Washtenaw Community Action Team