In today’s news and commentary: Even the best structural reforms will not succeed without organizing supported by legislative wins, and despite Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s declaration that they are “unwelcome,” undocumented workers are stepping up to rebuild after Hurricane Ian.
Even the best structural reforms will not succeed without organizing supported by legislative wins, George Goehl and Lauren Jacobs argued in the The Forge and the American Prospect last week. “We agree that organizers should use every available mechanism to help us grow our power and that power-building policies like the ones proposed can act as important catalysts for organizational growth,” write the authors. Theirs is the latest in a series of articles inspired by Ben and Kate Andrais’s article in the Yale Law Journal “proposing that organizers push for legislation granting collective-bargaining rights to tenants, debtors, welfare recipients, and other groups of poor and working-class people—facilitating the development of durable institutions that can act as countervailing powers against the power of organized capital.” The authors argue that to rebuild American democracy, “we need to win more legislation that redistributes power to poor and working people—and creates new handles for organizing and building member organizations,” following historical examples like the National Labor Relations Act and the Community Reinvestment Act.
Despite Gov. Ron DeSantis’s declaration that they are “unwelcome,” undocumented workers are stepping up to rebuild after Hurricane Ian, according to the Washington Post. “We’re not here to steal; we’re here to work,” said one worker in Southwest Florida. “This is helping.” Indeed, data show that undocumented immigrants accounted for the vast majority of the day laborers who cleaned up after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Hurricane Ida last year. And that trend is continuing. “[A]fter Hurricane Ian inflicted billions of dollars in damage, undocumented workers came to the Sunshine State to rebuild, joining tens of thousands of others who were already here.” Construction managers say they are sorely needed.