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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Graton Labor Center to Purchase Site

Graton Day Labor Center
Launches Urgent Appeal 
to Purchase Site

By Terry Winter, Christy Lubin and Christina Zapata
The Graton Day Labor Center (Centro Laboral de Graton) has launched an urgent appeal and capital campaign to purchase its site located at 2981 Bowen St. Due to economic circumstances, our landlord is forced to sell the property and would like to sell it to us. In July we received a notice of auction after one of the loans on the property went into default. A successful appeal was made to the community and we were able to purchase the loan thus becoming 31% owners of the property. Incredibly, in less than a week our friends, supporters and families donated $87,000.

But we are not out the woods yet. Our landlord has subsequently filed for bankruptcy and is negotiating with us to complete the purchase. Centro Laboral de Graton (CLG) is reaching out to our long-term supporters, friends and families to help us raise the additional $300,000 we need to complete the site purchase.

The current site of the Graton Day Labor Center was developed with the generous support and labor and assistance of hundreds of day laborers, domestic workers, West County residents and supporters. Previous to the development of the site, local stakeholders participated in a year-long community consensus process. This remarkable investment of trust and respect between day laborers and members of the Graton Community gives testimony to the power of a truly participatory and democratic process.

What we do
Centro Laboral de Graton offers workers and employers an organized hiring process. In 2010, hundreds of men and women were matched to employers for work at a fair wage and their collective earnings were over $220,000.

Centro Laboral de Graton (CLG) fills a major educational gap in our community. When employers hire, or businesses contract with day laborers, they can be assured that workers at CLG have been exposed to worksite safety training, such as avoiding dehydration and heat exposure, ergonomics, and hazard identification. CLG offers English Language instruction as well as health access and education. CLG also trains and supports workers in becoming effective leaders in their communities.

CLG is recognized as:
• A hiring site that serves workers and employers in a dignified and just manner.
• A hiring site that is inclusive and democratic.
• A non-profit organization with cutting-edge programs that have in turn created a community.
• A volunteer organization that raised over $200,000 in labor and materials for the construction of our center.
• A national model for fostering and maintaining broad community consensus on very controversial issues.
• A recipient of the Connie Codding Humanist Award in 2010 from Listening for a Change: an award bestowed to Sonoma County individuals or organizations who bring together diverse voices and experiences for the public good.
• A model center, known nationally and locally for our outcomes and impact.
• A center for education, culture and leadership development for day laborers and domestic workers.

You have stood with us in the past and we are asking you to help us today. We hope that you will consider an investment towards this goal. The purchase of our site would allow us to remain located in the heart of the Graton community and give us the space we need to further grow and develop the quality programs and services that make Centro Laboral the impactful organization it is today.

Please support a model that works for all in our community. Join in to protect this valuable resource in the West County!

Please call our director, Christina Zapata at 829-1864 or send funds to: Graton Day Labor Center (Centro Laboral de Graton), PO Box 42, Graton, CA 95444.

Our deepest thanks goes out to those donors have contributed up to this point to help us secure our home. Thank you all! Please do what you can to join others to support the center. All contributions are tax-deductible.

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