Since 2001, the Community Foundation has supported a vision to establish a sustainable day labor center in Graton. Grants have allowed Graton day Labor Center/Centro Laboral de Graton (CLG) to function while engaging community support, building infrastructure and creating a strategic plan. a permanent building was recently put in place with plans to have it fully operating by summer 2007.
Most of us are descendants of immigrants who left their families and homelands to seek a better life. Some left of their own accord, some were forced to leave in order to survive. As generations pass, many have forgotten what it is like to be an immigrant in a foreign country.
If you drive through Graton, you’re bound to notice groups of Latino men and women gathered around a table on the sidewalk. If it’s cold and foggy, they huddle together for warmth and company. Laughter punctuates the air and helps them forget the cold and monotony of waiting.
Between 70-100 workers gather here regularly to utilize the CLG, a grass-roots organization formed in 2000 to create and sustain a worker center that promotes tolerance, justice, dignity and respect.
Sustainability in Action: CLG is a powerful example of effective community organizing, consensus building, civic engagement and worker empowerment. more than just helping workers gain fair employment, it is a model for the future. CLG helps day laborers access health care, teaches English classes and has programs about preventing diabetes and hIV, immigration and learning the proper way to clean a house. It encourages leadership skills among the workers. They even have a soccer team and movie nights to help create a sense of family for those who are far from home.