NBJwJ Announces Release of New Report:

“The State of Working Sonoma 2018: A Profile of Income and Racial Inequality, Poverty, and Low-Wage Employment”


On Monday November 19th North Bay Jobs with Justice will release this report by Jesus Guzman, MPP.

Despite the prolonged recovery from the 2007-2009 Great Recession, inequality in Sonoma County has soared, median household income has stagnated, and wages have fallen for the bottom 60 percent. The number of families in the county who are working poor has increased since 2005, and the crisis of affordable housing has deepened as renter wages and incomes have not kept pace with skyrocketing rents.

Image result for low wage jobsHighlights of the report include:

*One in four Sonoma County residents live in families receiving annual incomes of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line or about $50,200 for a family of four;

*One in five county residents live in working poor families earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line with at least one member reporting income from work;

*Women, Latinos and other people of color experience the highest rates of poverty and disproportionately comprise the working poor;

*A living or self-sufficiency wage for Sonoma County is $23 an hour but about three-quarters of the new jobs created between 2014-2024 will pay less than a livable wage.

*Nearly one in two Sonoma County renter households are rent burdened and pay more than 30 percent of their gross monthly income for rent; one quarter are severely rent burdened and pay more than 50 percent for rent.

*Between 2000 and 2016 median rents increased by 25 percent in the county while median renter incomes rose by only 9 percent; 

According to researcher Jesus Guzman who authored the report: “The recovery has left behind a majority of working people in the county and the persistence of class and racial disparities has led to widespread economic insecurity.”

Guzman will present a summary of the report at a forum sponsored by the Alliance for A Just Recovery on November 19th from 6 pm to 7:30 pm at Christ Church United Methodist, 1717 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa.

The report (pdf format) can be downloaded HERE.

In addition, please see the Close to Home article by NBJwJ Co-Chair, Marty Bennett, published by The Press Democrat on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.
You can access the article HERE.

Raise the Wage! Campaign Update: 

Study Session on Minimum Wage 

Sebastopol City Council 

Tuesday, November 13th 6:45pm 


Using this report from the UC Berekely Labor Center that we commissioned earlier this year, the Sebastopol City Council will examine the impacts of moving to a $15/hour wage in Sebastopol in hopes of passing our Minimum Wage Ordinance to ensure employers with 50 employees or more pay $15 hour by or before Jan of 2020 (with a cost of living every year after and paid sick days). 

Please come Tuesday night to Sebastopol City Council to hear the presentation! 

Sebastopol Youth Annex
425 Morris Street, Sebastopol


This is part of our regional Raise the Wage! campaign where city councils across Sonoma and Marin counties are using our study to help raise wages. Sonoma City Council and Santa Rosa City Councils have already committed to moving forward with our study session, and we are working with Petaluma and Novato City Councils as well. If you think your city council needs to be included or you want to help ensure this ordinance is passed in your city email us at northbayjwj@gmail.com 

The Alliance for a Just Recovery presents

Looking Forward: A Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery for Sonoma County


Monday, Nov. 19th

6:00 – 7:30 PM

(Doors open at 5:30 pm)


Coffee and light refreshments served.


Christ Church United Methodist

1717 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa


Please join us for a forum that will consider:

  • The impacts of the Tubbs fire on low and moderate-income households and new policies to address the needs of working families.
  •  The root causes of the fire including urban sprawl and global warming-–and specific policy to mitigate the impacts of future fires.
  •  A report about inequality, income distribution, and the working poor: “The State of Working Sonoma 2018” that will be released at the forum.


FREE and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible.

Spanish translation provided.


For more information contact:

Email: NorthBayJwJ@gmail.com

Phone: (707) 293-2863
Website: NorthBayJobswithJustice.org

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nbjwj/


*Event Co-sponsors and Alliance for a Just Recovery member organizations include: North Bay Jobs with Justice, North Bay Labor Council, North Bay Organizing Project, Sonoma County Conservation Action, 350Sonoma, Democratic Socialists of America North Bay, Sonoma County Transportation and Land Use Coalition, Transition Sonoma Valley, Graton Day Labor Center, Sonoma County Democratic Party, Greenbelt Alliance, Christ Church United Methodist, Sonoma Valley Housing Group


Statement on Santa Rosa Measure N - Housing Bond 

October 11th, 2018

North Bay Jobs with Justice has decided to take no position on Measure N, the affordable housing bond for Santa Rosa. Recently, the ballot initiative was thoroughly discussed by the leadership and affiliates of Jobs with Justice. The majority of the affiliates do not oppose nor do a majority support the bond, and several have remained neutral or abstained. Given this division within the organization, Jobs with Justice will take no position on Measure N.

We strongly support the labor provisions, proposed for the housing bond recommended by the building trades and the labor council, that include prevailing wage and a workforce of 20% union apprentices and 10% union journeymen and women to ensure the highest State standards of safety for all workers rebuilding. Prevailing wage was included in the measure but the other two were not.

Should this housing bond pass, we call on our elected officials to do the necessary work to address these shortcomings, and we call on our community stand with us.

North Bay Jobs with Justice believes that all new construction should be built in a way that ensures our community recovers: with livable wages, accessible health benefits, and with contractors that follow the law on safety and labor regulations.
• We worked to ensure a project labor agreement for renovation and new construction at Santa Rosa Junior College funded by Measure H
• We worked with local and state elected officials and the building trades to require the highest possible labor standards during the debris clean-up for        the Tubbs fire
• We have engaged in public education and outreach to solicit applications from community members and students at SRJC for the building trades 120-      hour pre-apprenticeship program (Trades Introduction Program)
• As part of the many efforts that will come from our Alliance for a Just Recovery, we are working to fight for $15/hr by 2020 and we will be taking on the work of addressing wage theft of local workers with the Graton Day Labor Center.

North Bay Jobs with Justice will continue to advocate for raising labor standards in the construction industry and to protect worker’s rights¬–particularly for immigrant and undocumented workers employed during the rebuild. We call on our community and elected representatives to join us, and ensure we do not follow the same path so many communities have who saw increases in unemployment, underemployment and worker exploitation post natural disaster. We can change that pattern here in Sonoma County, but it begins with listening to the community and putting local workers and families first. And North Bay Jobs with Justice will be here to help lead the way.

For more information about our campaigns to raise labor standards and to deter wage theft with us please click "Get Involved" at the top right to get onto our mailing list


 Just Cause: Grassroots Alliance Announces Plan for Inclusive, Just, Wildfire Recovery

By Brandon McCapes 
North Bay Bohemian
July 26, 2018

More than 20 labor, environmental and social- and economic-justice organizations banded together July 19 to endorse the Alliance for a Just Recovery’s 25-point plan to ensure a “just recovery” following last October’s unprecedented wildfires.

The self-described grassroots organization called for unity and action from community members and politicians to address problems plaguing Sonoma County, such as lack of affordable housing, good jobs, living wages, environmental sustainability and equality across language divides. Local city councilmembers and representatives of Congressmen Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman joined more than a hundred other attendees in Santa Rosa’s Christ Church United Methodist multipurpose room, where chairs were added to accommodate the crowd.


The Alliance for a Just Recovery

In the wake of the terrible firestorm that hit Sonoma County in October of 2017, North Bay Jobs with Justice quickly mobilized community, environmental, housing and labor organizations to meet and form the Alliance for a Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery (Alliance for a Just Recovery, or AJR, for short). The Alliance for a Just Recovery meets the first Thursday of every month to review current issues facing our community in regards to the rebuild, and has been working since November of 2017 to put together a policy platform with which individuals and organizations can use to help ensure our community recovers not just for some but for all. 

So what IS a Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery? 

Our Alliance believes that a truly just recovery from any natural disaster requires a holistic approach, and that: 

  • Structural issues of inequality, climate crisis, and racial and environmental justice are part of the recovery and rebuilding process;

  • The most impacted community must have a meaningful voice at the table of all decisions made;

  • All recovery and rebuilding processes are transparent, inclusive, and create economic opportunity for low-income communities and eliminate environmental disparities across communities;

  • Combine our strengths as independent organizations, groups, places of worship, and labor unions to touch on four major areas of recovery and rebuilding: Good Jobs, Affordable Housing, Sustainable Energy and Green Construction, and Community Engagement/Democratic planning.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES AND AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD: "Voices from the Grassroots"  This report includes AJR's "Common Agenda" for the recovery, as well as the full text of the entire July 19th forum presentations.
Click HERE for the full VIDEO of the July 19, 2018 Just Recovery forum.

Still Reeling: What Does a Just Recovery Look Like?
By Mara Ventura and Martin J. Bennett

North Bay Bohemian
July 10th, 2018

Eight months after the most destructive wildfire in California history, many Sonoma County residents are still struggling to recover. Long before the Tubbs fire, widening inequality, increasing poverty, and the expansion of low-wage work had undermined economic security for low and middle-income residents. Moreover, building in high fire risk areas­, one of the major causes of the fire­, will continue and will increase the risk of another devastating fire...

...A just recovery must include public policy to raise the wage floor, make housing more affordable, and create good living wage jobs...


Give Santa Rosa Renters A Floor and A Ceiling
by Martin J. Bennett
The Press Democrat
July 6, 2018

The county’s affordable housing crisis which was challenging prior to the Tubbs fire, is now on the verge of catastrophe. The county and all cities must adopt new emergency measures and a multi pronged approach to avert the displacement of low- and moderate-income renters.

A 2017 report by the California Housing Partnership Corporation (CHPC) outlines the scope of the crisis. Between 2000-2015 inflation-adjusted median rent in the county increased by 16 percent while median renter income declined by 6 percent. Then, according to the web site Zillow.com, median rents jumped by 36 percent after the October 2017 fires. The CHPC report also indicates that since 2008, federal and state funding for affordable housing in the county dropped by 87 percent.

Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature approved a package of bills last year to increase funding for affordable housing including a $4 billion bond measure that the voters will consider in the November general election. Santa Rosa may also place a housing bond measure on the ballot. However, even if both bond measures are approved, construction will take several years.

The county’s housing and displacement crisis requires immediate action and is compounded by the high cost of living in coastal California and the explosion of low-wage employment.


Dumped On: Republic Service's Union-Busting Tactics Didn't Work

By Martin J. Bennett
North Bay Bohemian
May 23-29, 2018


On April 18th workers at the county landfill and transfer stations voted to affiliate with Teamsters Local 665 in an election certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

The landfill is operated by Republic Services, the second largest company in the waste management industry with 190 landfills in forty states. The union victory is important for the workers and the entire community.

When the landfills were contracted out in 2013, Republic cut wages by $3 an hour and workers lost their pension benefits.


*Congratulations to Sebastian Mendoza, for his award this year in starting this walkout/march:
Protesters Show Support for Undocumented Immigrants in Santa Rosa March

By Martin Espinoza
The Press Democrat
March 6, 2018 


More than 1,500 immigrants and their supporters marched through downtown Santa Rosa on Monday as part of a national campaign calling on President Donald Trump and Congress to bring permanent relief to undocumented immigrants.

The march, which started at Santa Rosa Junior College, was held on the day the president had hoped to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — an executive order under former President Barack Obama that granted temporary relief from deportation to those illegally brought to the United States as children.



Also check out this great video news clip from Univision: https://www.univision.com/san-francisco/kdtv/dreamers-protestan-en-las-calles-de-santa-rosa-video

And don't forget to check out our Facebook page for more great photos and video clips from the march!



North Bay Jobs with Justice works with Community Partners to launch Fire Relief Fund for Undocumented Community in Sonoma County

Clean Up and Recovery from the fires is now underway, but the need is still great. NBJwJ is committed to ensuring that our community's recovery is a just and sustainable one for all workers affected by the fires, especially the many undocumented workers who will be unable to apply for resources. To that end, we partnered with NBOP and the Graton Day Labor Center to start a fund with Grant Makers for Immigrants and Refugees to support undocumented children, families and community that have also lost either their homes or places of work. We established UNDOCUFUND.ORG to raise funds for this vulnerable group of workers. Please consider giving generously.

Donate here online: UndocuFund.org or send a check to: UndocuFund c/o GCIR, P.O. Box 1100, Sebastopol, California 95473-1100

If you or someone you know could benefit from this fund, please go to Undocufund.org for information. Or contact: Omar Medina at omedina@undocufund.org