Tag Archives: policy

Expanding Food Benefits for Immigrants

The United States has many social benefit programs that help people avoid hunger.  Not everyone, however, has access to these food safety net programs and many are unaware of their eligibility or face obstacles in enrolling.

Expanding Food Benefits for Immigrants by Anabel Perez-Jimenez and Nicholas Freudenberg, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute explored the eligibility of various categories of New York City’s immigrant populations, from those who have become citizens to permanent residents to those who lack legal immigration status, for the nation’s main food benefit programs.

The goal is to widen a public conversation among immigrants and their organizations, food security groups, food justice advocates and policy makers about identifying policies and practices that will make New York City a national model for immigrant access to food benefits.

Milk Cows Not Workers!

New York’s dairy production and processing industry generates $14 billion a year and is the star sector of the state’s agricultural economy.

Unfortunately, the immigrant workers who provide milking labor on which the industry heavily depends are themselves being “milked.”

The study, Milked: Immigrant Dairy Farmworkers in New York State, is based upon a face-to-face survey with 88 workers across 53 different farms located in the Central, Northern, and Western regions of New York State.

Nine out of ten workers surveyed believe that their employers care more about the cows than about workers’ well-being.

Behind the Kitchen Door: Extreme Inequality and Opportunity in Houston’s Vibrant Restaurant Economy

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Houston’s latest report is the most comprehensive examination to date of the Houston-area restaurant industry.

Behind the Kitchen Door offers a vivid picture of the state of the industry and makes recommendations to improve Houston’s economic development, public health and workplace conditions for the city’s restaurant workers.

Houston is America’s fastest-growing city and its vibrant restaurant industry has been called the “most dynamic and diverse food and drink scene in the nation.” However, research indicates that the restaurant workers whose labor makes Houston’s growth possible are being left behind. The majority of restaurant jobs in Houston remain low-road jobs defined by low wages, few benefits, and poor working conditions.

Stolen Chances: Low-Wage Work and Wage Theft in Iowa

Despite three years of heightened attention — from our work, from media reports, and from some policymakers — wage theft remains persistent in Iowa,” said Colin Gordon, author of a new report for the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project.

The report collected new data on wage complaints, based in part on a survey of low-wage workers conducted by the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, and it places Iowa’s wage theft crisis against a broad backdrop of low-wage and precarious employment.

This report shows we still need better laws, better enforcement, and greater awareness on the part of employees, employers and all policy makers.

Punishing the Poorest

Punishing the Poorest: How the Criminalization of Homelessness Perpetuates Poverty in San Francisco by the Coalition on Homelessness in San Francisco documents the effects of criminalization on the homeless residents.

Since 1981, San Francisco has passed more local measures to criminalize sleeping, sitting, or panhandling in public spaces than any other city in the state of California.

A Social Profile of Brazilian Housecleaners in Massachusetts

The Brazilian Workers Center in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts-Boston investigated the working and living conditions of Brazilian housecleaners in the major Brazilian communities of Massachusetts.

The report,  A Social Profile of Brazilian Housecleaners in Massachusetts,  informed the successful campaign for a Massachusetts Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights, and efforts to improve safety and health training for domestic workers in Massachusetts and Connecticut.