News

Neighbors embrace Day Worker Center

City extends hours of new building on Escuela Avenue

After a year of operation, the Day Worker Center of Mountain View has not drawn any complaints from the neighbors about its new building at 117 Escuela Avenue, spurring city staff to authorize extended operating hours.

"My wife and I were the original opponents for having the Day Worker Center move into the neighborhood," said Escuela Avenue resident Vince Raciti. "They have been good neighbors. I haven't had any problems."

Zoning Administrative Peter Gilli approved the request April 25 to extend daily operating hours by four hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to allow classes to be taught at the center until 9 p.m. Workers there currently learn English and job skills such as sewing, and volunteer teachers and workers will have an easier time making it after regular business hours, said director Maria Marroquin.

Gilli also approved a request to hold four garage sales a year, allowing the center to raise funds by selling donated goods.

City planner Nancy Minicucci said that the center's operating permit has been reviewed quarterly since it was first approved in late 2011, and "city staff has not received any negative input from the community."

"I think it is very telling that after the first year of operation nobody in the audience has any complaint about the Day Worker Center," said Gilli. "That is very positive."

There were a few minor concerns, however. Raciti mentioned seeing a few people loitering in front of the center on Sundays, and another neighbor said the smell of cooking in the kitchen could be pretty strong. Gilli said police could make the center a regular patrol location on Sundays to deal with the loitering.

Gilli approved the request on the condition that the nighttime hours would not be used for employee placement.

The Center is also in the midst of a three-month jobs drive.

"The workers at the Center are extremely under-employed and can barely get by financially," said Craig Sherod in an email pitch for the drive. "A worker who comes to the Center daily is likely to receive eight hours of work a week, and at $12 an hour, that works out to less than $500 a month. Rent is typically $300 a month so you can see what I mean by 'barely getting by.' And for workers who have loved ones back home needing support too, that's clearly impossible with the current number of jobs at the Center."

The goal of the drive is to increase the number of jobs by 50 percent between April 15 and July 15.

"Currently, we have about 60 to 70 workers a day vying for about 20 to 25 jobs a day at the Center," Sherod wrote. "That means we need an additional 10 to 12 jobs a day at the Center."

The Center is asking the community to help in a variety of ways, not just by hiring workers to do a project, but also to spread the word by arranging speaking opportunities for the workers or by posting testimonials on Yelp and neighborhood email lists. Sherod adds that there are many types of "piece work" that can be dropped off at the center, such as envelope stuffing, sewing and upholstery.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Don Draper
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

Here we go....


Like this comment
Posted by Joe the Plumber
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm


"Currently, we have about 60 to 70 workers a day vying for about 20 to 25 jobs a day at the Center," Sherod wrote. "That means we need an additional 10 to 12 jobs a day at the Center."

Ok, so everybody head down to the Day Worker Center and be prepared to break the law. It's illegal to hire undocumented workers.

Oh that's right they want jobs to pay $300 in rent. Rent to whom? What conditions of squalor does this center support? And then they need to send money back home. Where? To relatives in Arkansas? Wyoming?


Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Castro City
on May 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I live one block from the Day Worker Center and it is quiet, clean and nicely landscaped. I support the work they do for our neighbors from other countries who are working on becoming citizens, hence the need for additional classes. Would all of you narrow-minded people LOOK at the good rather than making stuff up that isn't true. MOST people in this country came from somewhere else originally so let's give these hard-working folks a chance.


Like this comment
Posted by ByTheBook
a resident of Castro City
on May 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Yes, they are well behaved people living here illegally, and if you hire undocumented workers you too are breaking the law.
Its like MV is saying "Hey, its fine to speed on 101 between Shoreline and San Antonio" But the highway patrol would tell you otherwise.

If MV is so anxious to support this illegal labor force hub, ask
how many workers from the Day Worker center the city is regularly utilizing.
My guess is that they cannot hire them because they would be in violation of law, but then they turn around and encourage others to hire them.

I will fully support the DWC and would probably even make donations to it if they would only guarantee the laborer I am hiring is legal for me to hire, and will not jeopardize own freedom simply by hiring them. A 200 dollar job should not assume all the risk that one must take when hiring undocumented workers. It seems a simple enough request.


Like this comment
Posted by Irish Lass
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I would like to ask Joe the Plumber where your family came from originally...and By the Book, doesn't it all depend on which book you go by, the laws of the land or the laws of humanity? Everyone has so much worry and anger and fear. Just for one moment a day open your 'books' your minds and your hearts to the world around you and not just your own back yard. Which if you look around it, could probably use some honest hardworking Day worker to help you get the weeds pulled, the mulch spread out, the garden planted and the irrigation system in place. A win win for everybody - Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a world that what you put out into it you got back. Oh wait that is where we live, unfortunately there are just too many people that put out negative, selfish perspectives and that is what we keep getting back. If you can just change one negative feeling a little bit everyday - step out of your comfort zone and try to step into someone else's shoes - then your perspective might widen. Like my mother always said, If you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all -
The proud daughter of Irish immigrants!
Here's hoping...


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Not pretending to represent any neighbors of the day worker center, just pointing out: There is an ENORMOUS difference between embracing something and choosing to not register a formal complaint about it.


Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Hey, let's write an article that spotlights all the great things the Day Worker Center does. This is not news, this is propaganda, one-sided journalism and free advertising for illegal activities at best.


Like this comment
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm

There should be a way for employers (like me needing AFFORDABLE home repairs) to sponsor a temporary work visa for someone at the center. I can't tell you how many times I have waited around for home contractors who either (1) never show and (2) if they do, quote me an incredibly high estimate for simple repairs and remodels. There are not enough trade workers in this area. The ones on the Peninsula are too busy remodling mansions in Atherton and Palo Alto to return my calls. The companies in San Jose think Mountain View is too far a commute. We need more workers around here and these guys are just sitting around needing work. Trouble is I know nothing about them. Are they skilled? Do they have a criminal record? Can I describe my job to them in English? ... And will I break the law by hiring an undocumented alien? I am not here to debate this issue but to underscore the need for more trade workers in this area and the parallel need for a system which can quickly legitimize a connection between these day workers and potential employers like me.


Like this comment
Posted by Mr. DePortum
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Concerning hiring workers, they all will claim to know how to do anything, and that they understand you. It's a macho thing, they don't want to appear stupid and you can't show them either. In my opinion save
some grief and hire a qualified worker.


Like this comment
Posted by Law Abiding Citizen
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Mountain View supports illegal immigrants while turning it's back on those of us who respect and obey the law. My Grandparents waited for the opportunity to immigrate to the U.S. legally. Why can't the millions who are here illegally do the same?

I pay taxes, have a drivers license and have auto insurance. I am tired of being a second class resident!.


Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 4, 2012 at 1:06 am

I want to take my Social Security and move to Mexico, but I can't do that because of their tight immigration restrictions. Who's the most racist when it comes to immigration in North America? MEXICO, hands down.


Like this comment
Posted by Mountain Viewer
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 4, 2012 at 4:47 am

Between Google on one end of town, the Day Worker Center on the other, and an activist City Council, we are screwed.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 4, 2012 at 7:02 am

"The workers at the Center are extremely under-employed and can barely get by financially," said Craig Sherod in an email pitch for the drive. "A worker who comes to the Center daily is likely to receive eight hours of work a week, and at $12 an hour, that works out to less than $500 a month. Rent is typically $300 a month so you can see what I mean by 'barely getting by.'"

Why does the Day Worker Center lure hard working men and women to leave their homes and families in Mexico, to make a dangerous trip and live in fear of being arrested, with the promise of the American Dream, when there are so few opportunities that they are 'barely getting by'?


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 4, 2012 at 7:05 am

@Frustrated

"There are not enough trade workers in this area."

It's difficult to complete with the black-market. No license, no insurance, no taxes.


Like this comment
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 4, 2012 at 7:31 am

Anyone ever tried to work in Mexico? I know several people and the Mexican government makes it impossible for non-citizens to work there.

But their President complains to our President that we're making it too hard for Mexicans to migrate and work in the United States.

Seriously.. we're that stupid. I'm not saying a flood of Americans will want to go work in Mexico but I say we make them practice what they preach.


Like this comment
Posted by sean
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm

sean is a registered user.

I can't believe the city supports this, Home depot seems to be working just fine as a "Day Worker Center". Can someone who has used this service explain to me how the process works and what kind of "work" you had done. Thanks.


Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

James is a registered user.


Interesting article in Bloomberg: Web Link


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