Jul 012020
 
 July 1, 2020
UAW 4121

Mobilizing to fight the Trump administration’s xenophobic visa executive order 

Early last week the Trump Administration issued an executive proclamation suspending entry for some non-immigrant visas including H1-B, H2-B, L, and some J visas, but not F-1/OPT visas and J-1 categories typically used by postdocs.

The clear xenophobic scapegoating this action sends is chilling. A threat to international workers is a threat to all workers and we will work hard to fight this proclamation. Right now, the International Solidarity Workgroup is coordinating with the offices of the Washington state Attorney General, Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. In coordination with these elected offices, we are working to challenge the recent Trump proclamation and provide economic relief to international workers. As we liaise with these elected officials, we are collecting and sharing our stories and actively supporting ASEs and Postdocs affected by the new proclamation.

Additionally, we are preparing another information session on the impacts of this proclamation, like last week’s session organized by UAW 2865 and UAW 5810. You can also check out this FAQ. We’ll announce that event soon. Reach out to intl-workgroup@uaw4121.org if you have questions about how the executive order impacts you or want to get involved in fighting against it.

In addition, we have reached out to Governor Jay Inslee in support of the creation of a Washington Workers Fund for non-citizen populations who are facing financial hardship and are prevented from receiving state or federal assistance due to their visa or immigration status. We have also reached out to Seattle City Council urging them to pass a tax on big business to support working people, including direct aid to non-citizens whose immigration status prevents them from being eligible for federal or state support.

Postcards against policing

On July 9, Black students, faculty and staff will be providing public comment during the UW Board of Regents meeting in support of the Decriminalize UW demands. These demands, which we have also endorsed as a union, call on university administration to reimagine a safe campus, including by 1) breaking all formal and informal ties with the Seattle Police Department, 2) disarming the UWPD, 3) banning the UWPD’s use of police dogs.

Please take a few minutes today to help build momentum around these demands by participating in the Postcards Against Policing campaign organized by Divest & Demilitarize UW! Simply write on a postcard, letter, post-it, or any piece of paper why you believe the University of Washington should divest from the SPD, disarm the UWPD, and reimagine and reinvest in campus safety and collective health in ways that do not threaten Black lives. Then mail your note to a member of the Board of Regents. You can find addresses and sample statements on Divest & Demilitarize UW’s website. Statements should be life-affirming and solutions-focused.

Coffee with Candidates 

As we face a multitude of crises, from economic to public health, voting has never been more critical. Primary ballots arrive in just two weeks and we have several amazing pro-labor candidates on the ballot this year that have earned our endorsement! All UAW 4121 members are invited to join our Coffee with Candidates series, hosted by the Political Work Group, to hear directly from candidates about their priorities, ask questions, and educate candidates on the issues that affect academic workers.

Next week is our first Coffee with Candidates featuring Kirsten Harris-Talley, running for WA State Representative in 37th District, on Friday 7/10 from 9:30-10:30 am. RSVP here. You must RSVP to receive the Zoom link. The following week, we will be chatting with Sarah Reyneveld, running for WA State Representative in 36th District (stay tuned for details).

Not sure what district you’re in? Find out here. Interested in getting involved? Email: political@uaw4121.org

Tax Amazon 

We are in the final push to collect signatures for the Tax Amazon ballot initiative. Parallel legislation is moving through the city council, including a new proposal from councilmember Mosqueda which would enact a smaller tax. While Mosqueda’s proposal includes direct aid to non-citizens whose immigration status prevents them from being eligible for federal or state support, it unfortunately includes a ten-year “sunset clause.” Our International Solidarity Workgroup has sent a letter to the council urging them to remove the sunset clause and pass a robust version of the legislation without delay.

During these fast-paced developments, there are two main ways to stay connected and support the movement:

  • Sunday 7/5, Signature Gathering Megacanvass! Come out for socially-distanced public tabling to help hit 30,000 physical signatures so we can go to the ballot if necessary.
  • Wednesday 7/8, Action Conference. Come together to discuss and decide on the way forward for the Tax Amazon movement: based on how city council votes, should we continue to the ballot? All supporters are welcome.

New face covering policies

In the past week, UW administration finalized new policy requiring individuals to wear face coverings when on campus. Your department or unit should provide you with appropriate masks as needed. If you have any questions or concerns about how these policies apply to you, please don’t hesitate to contact contractenforcement@uaw4121.org. In addition, note that the state of Washington has also begun requiring individuals to wear face coverings anytime you are in public and cannot stay six feet away from others. You can read more about those state-level requirements here.

In Solidarity, 

Douglas Avella-Castro
Leandro Casiraghi
Amanda Clouser
Monica Cortés Viharo
Meg Drouhard
Max Friedfeld
Vern Harner
Dan Hart
Amzi Jeffs
Sam Kastner
Kyle Kubler
Kristin McCowan
Emily Myers
Anzela Niraula
Jacob O’Connor
Elena Pandres
Nayon Park
Marissa Parker
David Parsons
Shua Sanchez
Paige Sechrest
Solmaz Shakerifard
Sam Sumpter
Judy Twedt
Jon Witt