In This Issue
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MLA Grantors Include:

Save Local Food, Farms, & Ag Jobs
Delegates to Save Farms Summit
MLA held the Farmland Preservation Conference on October 4, 2017, where the Steering Committee hosted 62 individuals of various professional and political sectors, including five Kent County Commissioners.  Jon Beard from Public Sector Consulting facilitated and Teresa Hendricks from Migrant Legal Aid moderated.  The delegates to the meeting  self-selected into work groups in three key areas to move the action agenda forward toward funding preservation of farms.  The keynote address was by Gene Garber from Farmland Preservation Pennsylvania, followed by Denny Heffron, Farmer and member of the Kent County Ag Board, and Rich Harlow of MDARDs PA 116 program. Contact MLA for more information on how to get involved (616) 454-5055
Judge Deborah McNabb Honored For Decades of Service on MLA Board

Over the course of 30 years, Deborah McNabb has served as a Staff attorney, Capital Campaign Chair, Board Member and Board President, before becoming the first ever female elected Circuit Court Judge in Kent County.  MLA's board, in appreciation for her long-standing devotion and commitment to MLA and justice for migrants, honored McNabb with the dedication of their board room as the The Deborah McNabb Board Room.

Professor Natalia Gomez Linares Honored
For over two decades, GVSU Professor and published poet, Natalia Gomez Linares served on the board of MLA as the education liaison, generating joint funding opportunities and grants with GVSU's Legal Studies and Spanish Language interns. Until she passed away from cancer, Natalia continued to participate in meetings by phone, donating her diminishing precious time to MLA.  In honor of her passion for education and service, the MLA Board dedicated the Learning Center to her, renaming it the Natalia Gomez Linares Learning Center .
NGOs and Farmworkers File Motion for Expedited Hearing in Chlorpyrifos Litigation

On October 13, 2017, Petitioners League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), et al. filed a motion to expedite briefing and hearing in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Pruitt, Case No. 17-71636 (9th Cir. June 5, 2017). In their motion, Petitioners request that the court "expedite proceedings because of the harm being caused by [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)] Administrator Pruitt leaving chlorpyrifos tolerances in effect when he did not and cannot determine that chlorpyrifos is safe under the Food Quality Protection Act." Read more
Big Hunger Panel Explores Why Hunger Still Persists in the United States

Big Hunger Author, Andy Fisher,
implicates food banks, retailers, and poverty in the cycle of hunger
Panelists addressed the poverty of farm laborers, urban food bank customers, and the industrial complex of Hunger discussed in Big Hunger, the book. 
Sadly, migrants who harvest our food often can't afford to buy it. And many people in our community chronically depend on food banks. Panelists Lisa Oliver King, of Our Kitchen Table, Teresa Hendricks, of Migrant Legal Aid, and Big Hunger author Andy Fisher explore why we haven't solved hunger in the U.S. Fisher offered recommendations for change. Thanks to Access of West Michigan, the Essential Needs Taskforce (United Way Heart of West Mich), and Catholic Charities. #BigHunger 

New Ag Bill Spells Trouble for Workers
October 25, 2017, Rep. Bob Goodlatte's Agricultural Guestworker Act (Ag Act) passed the House Judiciary Committee. The Ag ActH.R. 4092, would create a new, H-2C guestworker program for year-round employers, including dairies, food processors and aquaculture companies. The AG Act tempts experienced unauthorized agricultural workers to join the H-2C program and appears to provide more flexibility to American farmers with respect to housing, transportation, and touchback periods. But  Farm-worker Justice's  Director of Immigration and Labor, Adrienne DerVartanian, said the bill "would create a massive new anti-worker, anti-immigrant guestworker program. This program would subject workers across agriculture and beyond-from the fields to the processing plants, from aquaculture to forestry-to low wages, poor working conditions, and exploitation. Instead of providing our nation's experienced undocumented workers with a path to immigration status and citizenship, the only option this bill provides is for undocumented workers to become subjugated contract laborers under the new H-2C program, a program that requires workers to regularly return to their country of origin and intentionally prohibits family members from joining workers."  Read more 
H-2A Ag Labor Bites Back with Strike, Work Stoppage
QUINCY, Wash. - In the long light of a late fall afternoon, Ulises Perez Gonzalez hesitantly cuts a Costco cake. The 23-year-old Mexican farm- worker's hands, roughened from months of farm labor, are not accustomed to the delicate work.  About 15 Mexican workers watch Gonzalez. They're celebrating an unlikely victory: a successful strike by foreign fieldworkers. On the cake, inscribed in icing are the words, "Sí se pudo." Read article
Growing Worries for Fruit Growers

From the lack of immigration reform and worker shortages to the Food Safety Modernization Act, tree fruit growers worry about their future.  Read more 
Worker shortage challenges California

It takes three main elements to bring food to your table: land, water and people. In California, all three are under stress.   Read more  
MLA is dedicated to defending and preserving farmworker housing, health, income, and dignity.  
Teresa Hendricks
Migrant Legal Aid
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