Thursday, February 2, 2023


Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.


Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Amid Wildfires, Heat, WA Farmworkers Call for Greater Protections


Monday, September 19, 2022   

Washington state farmworkers are facing harsh conditions in the midst of wildfires and late-summer heat. They're calling for greater protections from the elements.

Alfredo Juarez is a farmworker in northwest Washington and organizer with Community to Community Development. He said the wildfire smoke was a major issue last week, but farmworkers were still in the fields.

"There was an alert for people to stay home and only leave if it's an emergency to go out but other than that to stay home," said Juarez. "The farmworkers kept on working. They didn't have masks to work. So it's very dangerous."

Juarez said his organization has been handing out N-95 masks. He said the high temperatures have also been an issue.

Washington state has implemented heat rules that require employers to allow more rest periods if temperatures are 89 degrees or higher. But Juarez said the temperature threshold is too high and should come down to 75 degrees.

Edgar Franks is political director with the farmworker union Familias Unidas por la Justicia. He said he is urging Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a climate emergency in the state, especially given the frequencies of recent weather-related disasters.

"This is not a problem that's just going to go away overnight," said Franks. "So we need the state to really take this seriously and move resources and have a clear plan to address specifically the damage that climate change is going to be doing to not only the environment but to workers and communities."

The governor's office says they are looking for ways to protect farmworkers but that declaring a climate emergency is not currently on the table.

Franks said not responding to the changing climate hurts agriculture.

"Agriculture used to have weather patterns and kind of a predictability," said Franks. "And now everything is up in the air, so that not only hurts industry but it also hurts workers."

Disclosure: Community to Community Development contributes to our fund for reporting on Human Rights/Racial Justice, Livable Wages/Working Families, Poverty Issues, Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Protestors at the University of California-Berkeley demonstrate in support of student groups that passed a bylaw pledging not to invite pro-Zionist speakers. (Palestine Legal)

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …

Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …


New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …

While mortality rates for pregnant women have decreased globally, they continue to rise in the United States, with Black women three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. (Inez/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

Health and Wellness

With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…


Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021