Modern Slavery :


 

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Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes1 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers have been found held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.

And right now is the worst part of Florida’s tomato picking season – the days are hot and the vines have nearly been picked clean making it hard to fill quotas. In these final days, there is also tremendous pressure for tomato farms to turn a profit making conditions ripe for worker exploitation.

It’s important that we act now.

A new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from growers that are not partners of the Fair Food Program and where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.

Tell Publix Super Markets’ CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

After decades of abuse, Florida’s farmworkers finally have a chance in the fight against exploitation with the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms.

The White House recently called the exciting new program “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover – and prevent — modern-day slavery, and just last week United Nations investigators called it “impressive” and praised its “independent and robust enforcement mechanism.”

Leading brands including Subway, Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have already joined the fight against forced labour and now only buy tomatoes from growers who comply with the following Fair Food Principles:

  • A code of conduct for tomato growers;
  • Complaint mechanisms for farmworkers;
  • Education sessions to help workers understand their rights; and
  • Regular auditing of farm operations.

It’s been four long years of public pressure but Publix, one of the largest purchasers of local tomatoes, still refuses to take responsibility for their supply chain. 

Tell Publix to make the right decision to join the Fair Food Program and ensure our tomatoes meet the highest human rights standards in the food industry today.

Will Publix Super Markets, which prides itself on making Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list, continue to turn a blind eye and give excuses, or will it leverage its vast market influence and lead the way in cleaning up slavery in the tomato supply chain once and for all?

We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight that is ending slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

Thank you for your support,

Debra, Kate, Ryan, Mich, Hayley, Nick, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free team.

Save the Date – Jan 11 and 12 Treasures coming to south Florida!


NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

NMAAHC — National Museum of African American History and Culture

Save Our African American Treasures

Saturday, January 11th, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 12th, 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
2650 Sistrunk Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
The program is free and open to the public, all are welcome.

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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will host “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation,” a two day program to help south Florida residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance.

Participants are invited to bring up to three personal items for a 15-minute, professional consultation with experts on how to care for them. The specialists will serve as reviewers, not appraisers, and will not determine an item’s monetary value. Objects such as books, photographs, ceramics, metalwork and textiles no larger than a shopping bag (furniture, carpets, firearms and paintings are excluded) can be reviewed.

The “Treasures” program also includes the following activities:

All Day Saturday and Sunday!

Hands-on Preservation: In this hands-on activity, participants are invited to learn how to properly store letters, pack garments and prepare photographs for preservation storage and presentation.

Community Partners Expo: Learn more about the wonderful resources available in South Florida! Community Partners will distribute materials and answer questions from members of the public.

Saturday 11:00 a.m. / Sunday 12:30 p.m.

Black Broward Speaks: A presentation from three local repositories on how each acquired, preserved and made accessible an extensive collection of photographs of blacks in Broward County, dating as far back as the 1890s. Photographs depict the agricultural past, civil rights struggles, thriving business communities, and social life.

Saturday 12:00 p.m. / Sunday 1:30 p.m.

Personal Collection Disaster Planning: When a disaster strikes, personal keepsakes are among the top items to be saved. Unfortunately, these items are often forgotten until after the damage has been done. This discussion will provide information on the necessary steps to care for your treasures before, during and after disasters.

Saturday 1:00 p.m. / Sunday 2:30 p.m.

Saving Your Family Photographs and Papers: Great Aunt Mary left you with the responsibility of preserving the family photographs and papers — now what do you do? Learn how light, heat, and humidity affect your family collections. Discover some simple things you can do to be a good steward of your family paper and photography collections.

Saturday 2:00 p.m. / Sunday 3:30 p.m.

Preserving Digital Memories: Digital photographs and other new media are fragile and require special care to keep them useable. As new technologies appear for creating and saving our personal digital information, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content. Find out more about the nature of the problem and learn some simple, practical tips for preserving your digital memories.

Saturday 3:00 p.m. / Sunday 4:30 p.m.

Preserving Clothing and Textiles: What is a “textile” in the museum world? Rag dolls, flags/banners, hats, lace, linens, needlework, quilts/blankets, uniforms, upholstery/curtains — think fabric. Come and get some tips on how to better preserve your daughter’s christening gown, your grandmother’s wedding dress, or your father’s military uniform from a professional who works in the field of textile preservation.

For more Treasures event information, visit nmaahc.si.edu/Programs/FLTreasures, email treasures@si.edu or call (877) 733-9599.

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“Save Our African American Treasures” is made possible with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Petition: Stop voter suppressio​n in Florida


Rick Scott’s administration has just made their next move in the attempt to suppress voting rights in Florida.

The Secretary of State issued a directive — without much (if any) input from regional election supervisors — that limits the locations at which Floridians can drop off absentee ballots to elections offices only, instead of remote drop off sites that are more convenient for voters.

Put simply: Rick Scott’s administration once again has just made it harder for folks in Florida to vote.

The next big election in Florida is coming up on January 14th — a special election primary to fill the vacant seat in Florida’s 13th congressional district. We have a great candidate in Alex Sink and it’s another prime pickup opportunity for Democrats.

Every Floridian in that district should be able to make their voice heard without worrying about these new restrictions. These limitations are unnecessary and can have a dramatic impact in suppressing the vote. For instance, in 2012, 42% of all ballots were dropped off at these remote sites closer to where voters live.

We cannot let slick Rick try to rig another election. Join me in calling on Rick Scott and Florida Republicans to retract these new voting restrictions immediately.

The right to vote in this country is non-negotiable. Any changes we make to our election structure should make it easier for people to vote, not harder.
Thank you for standing with me against these new restrictions.
Debbie

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 12/17 ~~ the House


12daysofCongress

The Senate stands in adjourned until 9:00am on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

At 10:00am, there will be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message with respect to H.J.Res.59, the budget resolution.

 Under the rule, the filing deadline for second degree amendments to the motion to concur in the House message with respect to H.J.Res.59 is 9:00am on Tuesday.

 As a reminder to all Senators, on Sunday, December 15th, Senator Reid filed cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the budget resolution and the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.R.3304, the Defense Authorization bill.

 During Monday’s session, Senator Reid filed cloture on the following nominations, in the following order. The number of hours of post-cloture debate is in parenthesis next to each nomination.

-          Executive Calendar #456, Alejandro Mayorkas, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #459, John Andrew Koskinen, of the District of Columbia, to be Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #382, Brian J. Davis, of Florida, to be United States District Judge for the District of Florida (2 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #452, Janet L. Yellen, of Callifornia, to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (30 hours)

-          Executive Calendar #455, Sloan D. Gibson, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #445, Sarah Sewall, of Massachusetts, to be an Under Secretary of State (Civility Security, Democracy, and Human Rights) (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #371, Michael L. Connor, of New Mexico, to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior

-          Executive Calendar #457, Sarah Bloom Raskin, of Maryland, to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #356, Jessica Garfola Wright, of Pennsylvania, to be Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #189, Richard Engler, of New Jersey, to be a Member of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (8 hours equally divided).

At 10:00am, there will be roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act.

At 10:00am, there will be roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act.

10:04am The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act;

Invoked 67-33

There will now be up to 30 hours for debate of post-cloture debate on H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act.

The Senate will recess from 12:30 until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. The time during the recess will count post-cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, the Bipartisan Budget Act.

Senator Sessions asked unanimous consent to set aside the pending motion to concur with a amendment #2547 (date change) in order to make a motion to concur with Sessions amendment #2573 (the amendment would eliminate a wide variety of deficit-neutral reserve funds that could be used to facilitate future consideration of legislation that would address certain high priorities)

Senator Murray made a brief statement and objected.

Senator Sessions then made the following parliamentary inquiry: Is it correct that while the majority leader’s motion to concur in the house amendment with an amendment to which the majority leader has also offered a second degree amendment is pending, no senator is permitted to offer an amendment to the House-passed Budget bill?

Chair: the senator is correct.

Senator Sessions made a further parliamentary inquire: if a motion to table the majority leader’s motion to concur with an amendment is successful, would there be an opportunity for me to offer a motion to concur with my amendment #2573?

 Chair: that is correct

 Senator Sessions then moved to table the motion to concur with an amendment, offered by the majority leader.

At 5:24pm, the Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, with amendment #2547 (date change);

Not tabled: 46-54

The Sessions motion to table the motion to concur with amendment was not agreed to 46-54. The Senate is now in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each, with the exception of Senator Grassley for up to 20 minutes. The time will count post-cloture. There will be no further roll call votes.

By unanimous consent, the Senate passed H.R.3588, to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to exempt fire hydrants from the prohibition on the use of lead pipes, fittings, fixtures, solder, and flux.

WRAP UP

Roll Call Votes

1)      Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the bipartisan budget act; Invoked: 67-33

2)      Sessions motion to table the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59 with an amendment; Not Tabled: 46-54

Additional Legislative items

Passed H.R.3588, the Community Fire Safety Act.

Discharged the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee and passed S.947, to ensure access to certain information for financial service industry regulators, and for other purposes.

Passed S.1847, to provide for the redesignation of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies as the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

Passed H.R.185, to designate the United States courthouse located at 101 East Pecan Street in Sherman, Texas, as the “Paul Brown United States Courthouse”.

Discharged the Environment and Public Works Committee and passed H.R.2251, to designate the United States courthouse and Federal building located at 118 South Mill Street, in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, as the “Edward J. Devitt United States Courthouse and Federal Building”.

Began the Rule 14 process of S.1845, Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. (Reed)

Began the Rule 14 process of S.1846, Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. (Menendez)

No Executive items

===================================================

Last Floor Action:12/16
11:03:15 A.M. – The Speaker announced
that the House do now adjourn pursuant to H. Res. 438.

The next meeting is
scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on December 19, 2013.

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