California Raises Minimum Wage to 10 Dollars an Hour – California governor Jerry Brown signed a law this week that raises minimum wage to 10 dollars an hour, over the course of two years. This will become the highest minimum wage in any state of the nation. The new minimum wage is expected to be of great benefit to working families with the lowest incomes in California, From Sacramento, Araceli Martínez offers some reactions from those who will benefit the most from the new law.
San Francisco Puts the Brake on ICE Holds – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors this week passed an ordinance that prohibits police from keeping people in detention and turning them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, if they do not have a record of violent crime. The ordinance, called “Due Process for All,” is the result of long weeks of organizing and lobbying on the part of a broad coalition of immigrants, women, victims of domestic violence, and diverse community groups. Our reporter Zaidee Stavely was at San Francisco City Hall at the time of the vote and has this story.
Recovering the Tradition of Tule Canoes – When explorers from New Spain first arrived in California’s Central Valley, they found a plant that they recognized, having seen it on the outskirts of Mexico City: tule. The word “tule” comes from the Nahuatl, “tollin.” The plant filters pollution from the water and plays a crucial role in cleaning rivers and lagoons. Many indigenous cultures of North America use tule to make baskets and canoes, though many people have lost the tradition over the years. One woman from California has dedicated her life to recovering the art of building tule canoes. Our reporter Farida Jhabvala Romero visited her while she was teaching young Native American women how to build a canoe. This feature story is part of our series Raíces: Stories About Grassroots Artists.