La Mujer Obrera is seeking the urgent assistance of our community to avoid the loss of women workers’ hard fought efforts to develop an alternative to the chronic unemployment and abandonment on the U.S./Mexico border. Low-income workers – especially women – continue to be excluded from job creation programs and denied access to, or are taken advantage of by training programs that are not tied to meaningful employment.
La Mujer Obrera is a non-profit, membership organization comprised of low-income people living and working in El Paso, Texas, particularly displaced women. We are dedicated to community development and advocacy in defense and recognition of Mexican migrant women workers’ heritage, rights and contributions. The displaced garment workers of La Mujer Obrera have steadfastly organized to establish an education and community development center that includes an apartment complex and two social purpose businesses: Rayito de Sol Daycare and Learning Center and Mercado Mayapán, a traditional Mexican market with fresh foods, artisan goods, a community center for cultural events and a museum. Together, they form a community and economic development model that creates a pathway out of poverty. This project, called Centro Mayapán, has a long-term vision of employing workers who are not part of the new high-tech effort but who can nonetheless be a productive part of building a resilient community in El Paso. This community development model is ecological, community-led, and will lead to full community empowerment and self-sufficiency.
However, the economic downturn and continued lack of investment in economic development in the border region has severely affected our efforts. We are now facing possible foreclosure on our building. We would hope that the government’s bailout program would reach a community-lead job creation project such as ours. We have written to President Obama about our solution to the devastating unemployment and poverty along the border – now we need you to do the same. Investment in projects like ours must be part of his new American Jobs Act if he is serious about stabilizing and securing the border.
There has been substantial investment from women workers and our community. Our project is a positive model for all workers and families in the Latino community and serves as an example of a way out the poverty.
Security on the U.S./Mexico border needs investment in human capital, not militarization, high-tech equipment for the border patrol and more bridges for the multinationals to use to cross the border with their products and profits. Permanent jobs for low-income workers will create stable families and relief from severe poverty, which we all know is the only way to achieve real border security.
Please sign this petition to President Obama to remind him that low-income women workers must not be left out of his plan to put America back to work.