Friday, September 26, 2008

A day's work

I'm alone in my office for most of the day today. The two other full-time staff are in Chicago for a wage theft convening, and the other two staff are part-time and not working right now. You would think not having people around would make it easier to focus, which it does in a way, but it also means I feel a lot less guilty if I'm checking news websites or blogs every few minutes. I need to concentrate!

Tasks for the day:

1. Stop procrastinating.
2. Get over my aversion to using the telephone.
3. Do follow-up calls to congregations that participated in Labor in the Pulpit. Thank them and ask them if they're offering any post-hurricane resources that we could connect workers to.
4. Research food pantries, rent assistance, and other post-hurricane services that are available to people regardless of immigration status.
5. Go through outreach materials on the server and organize them!
6. Psych myself up for making terrifying phone calls in Spanish to check on the status of cases.
7. Make those terrifying phone calls (at least some of them).

In other news, our house finally got electricity yesterday morning, after nearly twelve and a half days. That means no light but candles and flashlights, no refrigerator, no oven, no stove except a one-burner butane stove loaned to us partway through this blackout, and no air conditioning. We are all much happier now. :-)

And finally, McCain has announced that he is going to participate in the debate tonight, so I have something to look forward to this evening. Hooray!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Article about day laborers post-hurricane

We've been doing a lot of outreach to day laborers since the hurricane because there's going to be a lot of work for them, but also a lot of opportunity for exploitation. A journalist from the AP got in contact with us and wrote an article:

Legal and illegal, Latinos labor to rebuild Texas

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm still alive!

Sorry I've been so bad about posting! I'm doing fine, but our house is still without power. I'm crossing my fingers that it will be on when I get home from work this evening. I'm at work right now, and I didn't write an entry ahead of time, so I'm going to write this throughout the day. It may be random and disjointed.

My office is also without electricity, so a friendly anti-human trafficking organization has taken us in, and we're sharing space with them.

This last weekend was lovely because the supervisor of one of my roommates was away and offered us her house for the weekend. Not only does she have electricity, but wireless internet and cable TV. It was pretty magical.

So, I stumbled upon the Texas constitution, as I was researching state labor laws, and I thought
it was worthwhile to skim parts of it. I discovered in article 1, section 4, that atheists can be excluded from public office here:

Article 1 - BILL OF RIGHTS
No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.

This is Texas, my friends.

I'll write with more substance later. :-) In the meantime, here's a picture of me with some of my roommates when we went to an Astros game.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Post-Hurricane Ike

I'm alive! We're still without power and drinkable water, but we're managing. I only have a few minutes to write - we're at JVC's office using their electricity - but I wanted to let everyone know that I'm okay.

I'll write more later. Thanks for your prayers and support!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane Update

I'm sorry I haven't posted more recently - I've written a couple entries that I never got a chance to post. I just wanted to write a quick update about Hurricane Ike. As of now, it looks like we won't be evacuating. There are set zones from the coast to Houston, and Zones A and B are evacuating, and I live in Zone C. There's still a possibility, but for now I think we'll be "hunkering down," as the Harris County Judge recommended this morning. If we do evacuate, we'll drive to San Antonio and stay with the JVs there. In the meantime, we're going to buy some extra food and water this evening. It sounds likely that the power will go out, but that's what books, board games, and conversation are for. :-)

Please pray for people in this area, especially closest the coast.