Tag: New York City Council

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A First for New York – Mexican-American Headed to City Council

Carlos Menchaca made history this week, beating incumbent Sara González.

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Could Voters in a Heavily Hispanic District Elect the First Arab-American to the New York City Council?

Zead Ramadan could make history, but is considered an underdog in the race in upper Manhattan.

Immigration NewsImmigration ReformNew York

NYC Cooperation with ICE on Immigrant Detentions Angers Council Members

A heated exchange between the Bloomberg administration and its critics over federal access to immigrant inmates at the city’s Rikers Island prison.

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Advocates Press Obama to Issue Executive Order on Immigration Reform

Advocates in New York are symbolically mailing pens to President Obama, urging him to use his executive powers to reform the federal immigration system.

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Census Drives Hope in New York’s Chinese Immigrant Neighborhoods

Recent victories by Chinese candidates are helping the census drive this year, but New York’s Chinese community has already seen how the census count has helped to shape its political power in bitter and joyful ways.

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Small Business Employees in New York, Many of Them Immigrants, March to Demand Paid Sick Time

By Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes, FI2W Contributor
Guillermo Barrera says he was firedafter he asked his boss for a day off due to illness. (Photo: Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes)

Guillermo Barrera says he was fired after he asked his boss for a day off due to illness. (Photos: Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes – Click for more)

Hundreds of workers marched over the Brooklyn Bridge last Thursday calling on New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to support a bill that requires local small businesses to provide paid sick days to employees.

The bill would address cases like that of Guillermo Barrera.

Barrera, an immigrant from Mexico and a father of two, was showcased by the organizers as the quintessential example of what workers without sick-day rights endure.

He said he was fired September 18th from his job of seven years as a cook at a Brooklyn restaurant, because he felt too sick to work and asked his boss for the day off.

“Many workers like myself cannot miss a day of work or get sick because of fear of losing our jobs,” Barrera said. “Especially in the current economy, many workers suffer mistreatments from their bosses.”

In New York City, organizers said, over 900,000 workers, many of them immigrants, do not get a single paid sick day, either for themselves or to care for a sick child.

The lack of regulation in this area has caused many workers to be fired, suspended, or threatened by their employers. The proposed legislation, sponsored by Manhattan City Council Member Gail Brewer, would give workers the right to nine paid sick days a year.

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