Event photos, new board members, trainings and prescribed fires
Event photos, new board members, trainings and prescribed fires

July Newsletter

Thank You For Joining Us!

Our anniversary celebration on June 1st was a great success. The weather cooperated wonderfully, the guests enjoyed themselves, ate well, and gave our Health and Safety Heroes the applause and appreciation they deserve, and of course we gained much needed inspiration and raised funds to aid us in our fight in the coming year. 

Thank you to all who were able to attend this year, to those who attend and support year after year, to the excellent vendors, and of course to our wonderful sponsors! We’ve updated the program to reflect some of the contributions and messages that came in after the print deadline. You can access both the program and the photos from the evening here

Introducing New Board Member Kim Savage

Worksafe Board Member Kim Savage provides legal representation, technical assistance, and training in the areas of land use and zoning and civil rights for non-profit affordable housing developers and program providers.  Ms. Savage also assists housing providers in reviewing management practices, procedures and policies for compliance with civil rights and other laws.  Clients include a wide range of housing and program providers, those developing or operating state licensed residential programs, shared living arrangements for recovery and supportive and transitional age youth housing. She also consults on land use and zoning policy development and review. 

Prior to starting her own practice, Ms. Savage was for eight years a senior attorney at Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS), in Los Angeles, a public interest law office providing legal services to individuals with disabilities.  Ms. Savage’s legal experience also includes working at Justice In Aging, a national back up center for legal services attorneys, and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.  Ms. Savage graduated from UC San Francisco Law and she holds a mediation certificate from UC Berkeley Extension. She was an active member of the State Bar’s Legal Services Trust Fund Commission for the previous ten years. 

Q: What interests you about worker health and safety?

KS: Worker safety, along with housing, healthcare and food sufficiency are essential in a country that promotes opportunity for all.   We must ensure that those working can earn a decent living to support themselves and their families and do so without risking their health and their lives.

Q: What do you like about being on the Worksafe board?

KS: I look forward to the opportunity to work with other board members to strengthen a unique organization that addresses through a wide range of activities worker safety and pushes to the forefront critical California labor issues.  

Q: What is the most pressing issue facing California workers in 2023?

KS: There is not a singular pressing issue but many barriers to California workers securing the protections they need – employment stability, health care benefits, workplace safety and child labor law enforcement, to name just a few.

At our Anniversary Event

Introducing New Board Member Jennifer Duncan

Jennifer Duncan is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a BS in Psychology/chemistry and a Master’s degree in public health from Walden. Jennifer has worked in the human services field for over 20 years with work ranging from front facing care and case management, to Management of large programs spanning multiple sites. She has worked with the developmentally disabled, mentally ill, hospice, forensically encumbered, and substance abuse clientele for underserved areas in New Mexico, Hawaii, and California. She is deeply committed to public health initiatives and connecting with community members to better serve Alameda County. Jennifer has experience running substance use programs for the largest FQHC in northern California, ran syringe support services, worked with youth around prevention, and in residential treatment.

Introducing New Board Member Alejandra Domenzain

Alejandra Domenzain is a Program Coordinator at the Labor Occupational Health Program at the University of California, Berkeley. There, she develops projects to improve the working conditions of immigrant, low-wage workers in a variety of high-hazard industries through education and leadership development of workers, capacity building of organizations, policy advocacy, and community-based research. She has worked with the National Council of La Raza, the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, the Garment Worker Center, and Sweatshop Watch. Alejandra has also been a public school teacher and is the author of For All/Para Todos, a bilingual children’s book about immigrant and worker rights. She has a MA in Urban Planning and in Latin American Studies from UCLA and a Bachelor’s in Science of Foreign Service from Georgetown University. 

NAS Training

On June 20th and 21st, Jora Trang joined the National Academy of Sciences, for their Workshop on Communities, Climate Change, and Health Equity – Lessons Learned in Addressing Inequities in Heat-Related Climate Change Impacts to share the decade-long fight to address outdoor and indoor heat.

The workshop invited environmental justice advocates to share stories from grassroots work about the effect of climate justice and achievable action steps toward addressing extreme heat. Jora shared our successes and our challenges with the Warehouse Workers Resource Center in addressing extreme heat that warehouse workers face in the Inland Empire. 

Legal Ethics & Community Lawyering Brownbag

On June 26th we co-hosted a brownbag discussion on Legal Ethics for Worker Advocates with Ruth Silver Taube, Supervising Attorney at Alexander Community Law Center, and Leigh Ferrin, Director of One Justice. It was well attended and covered a wide range of topics, from Clients with Diminished Capacity to the bounds of duties to former and prospective clients.

Due to interest at the CLIWA (Coalition of Low-Wage and Immigrant Worker Advocates) retreat, Rachel and Jora wrote a blog post about avoiding unauthorized practice of law. 

Please feel free to request the slides from the discussion if you’re interested in learning more about the other topics that were covered!

Jora Trang, Ruth Silver Taube, and Leigh Ferrin
Protect Outdoor Workers with Prescribed Fires
This year Worksafe supports SB 310 (Dodd) Cultural Burning. SB 310 (Dodd) is sponsored by the Karuk Tribe and helps restore sovereignty to California Tribes by allowing federally recognized tribes to use beneficial fire for cultural purposes without applying for permits from California agencies.

Please head on over to our blog to learn why cultural fires can lead to better health outcomes for the public and outdoor workers in particular.
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