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Immigration Ruling Splits Fla. Officials
It's uncertain how the ruling will be interpreted in Florida or Lee and Collier counties, said Richard Nogaj, an advocate for immigration reform and founder and president of Harvest for Humanity in Immokalee.
News reports that the court upheld the "show me your papers" requirement in the law are confusing, he said.
Board of Advisors Meetings
Mr. Richard J. NogajPresidentHarvest for Humanity, Inc.Immokalee, FL 34142
3:10 P.M. - Richard Nogaj, ...
3:10 P.M. - Richard Nogaj, author of the book "Don't Retire, Get Inspired," will speak Sunday about how a proposed tax credit for growers who pay a living wage to farmworkers is key to helping eliminate poverty that is systematic to the agricultural labor pool.
The workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Crestwell School
, 1901 Park Meadows Drive in Fort Myers.
Among other things, Nogaj
will illustrate about how free trade legislation is directly hindering farmworkers from being paid a fair living wage and how it also impedes growers from obtaining a fair price for the food they bring to the marketplace.
talks about this legislation - NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and its counterpart in another region of the Americas - CAFTA, the Central America Free Trade Agreement.
Nogaj is the co-founder of Harvest for Humanity and The Jubilation Development Corporation in Immokalee.
Education to hit home for migrant workers | naplesnews.com | Naples Daily News
Richard Nogaj, president of Harvest for Humanity, along with his wife, Florence, donated the community's existing education center to the college last month, valued at about $2 million.
MORE COVERAGE: Read more stories about International College
The college will assume the existing balance of the building's mortgage, about $500,000, Nogaj
After visiting the Dominican Republic with Habitat for Humanity in the late 1990s, the Nogajs came to Immokalee to help develop the Jubilation community, which provides low-income housing and blueberry fields in which residents can work for living wages.
"When we came to Immokalee after the Dominican, we found similar Third World conditions," Richard Nogaj
said."We decided we were going to build a new paradigm here."
The paradigm included "three legs of a table," including living wages, affordable housing and education, Nogaj
said.After accomplishing the first two, Nogaj
said plans for education fell flat.
"We just ran out of money, energy and time, and we couldn't implement the third leg," he
Activists believe Americans willing to aid farmworkers | naplesnews.com | Naples Daily News
Richard Nogaj, president of Immokalee based Harvest for Humanity, addressed the small group of Call to Action members, speaking about ongoing efforts to improve conditions for agricultural workers in Immokalee.Nogaj, a proponent of actions over ideas, moved to Collier County with his wife in the late 1990s.The Nogajs, involved in community activism in both Chicago and the Dominican Republic, built the Harvest for Humanity farm on principals based in their religion and aimed at providing farmworkers with a "living wage."
(God's) words need to translate into actions resulting in change," Nogaj
said."The conditions that exist around poverty are socially, religiously, politically and totally unacceptable."He
added that people reaching out and touching each other â€" effecting each other â€" is how change is brought about.
The struggle of farmworkers in Southwest Florida is not new.In 1960, Edward R. Murrow broadcast "Harvest of Shame" on CBS
.Filmed locally, the documentary highlighted the living conditions of farmworkers in Florida, many of whom worked for no more than a dollar a day.
"Not much has changed between now and then," said Nogaj
.A U.S. Department of Labor's National Agricultural Worker Survey in 2000 showed that American farmworkers average an annual income of $7,500, a decrease of nearly 5 percent over the past 10 years when inflation is added to the equation.Richard Nogaj, president of Harvest for Humanity, Inc. in Immokalee, addressed members of the Call to Action of Southwest Florida organization Sunday. Call to Action, a Catholic lay-organization promoting social justice through community and church involvement, has made farmworker justice and higher wages for agricultural workers its first priority.
...Richard Nogaj, president of Harvest for Humanity, Inc. in Immokalee, addressed members of the Call to Action of Southwest Florida organization Sunday.
Call to Action, a Catholic lay-organization promoting social justice through community and church involvement, has made farmworker justice and higher wages for agricultural workers its first priority.
Immokalee is Florida's largest agricultural community with more than 2,500 workers growing, harvesting and packing produce for agricultural corporations and smaller farms in the area.Collier County, one of the three richest counties in the United States, separates the rich from the poor, said Nogaj
"We have them all out in Immokalee.Out of sight, out of mind," he
said, adding that the median income in Naples is $125,000 per year while farmworkers in Immokalee average $12,000 per year.That type of poverty, said Nogaj
, is not only contrary to the quality of life associated with living in America, but not in accordance with the commands of his
"The Bible doesn't talk about giving 10 percent," he
said."It talks about living on half of what we have.If you have two coats and someone else has none, you give them one of yours."Nogaj
, however, had seen the temporary nature of handing out $20 bills, and put his
financial support behind a new solution.The issue is a systemic problem, said Nogaj
, and requires a change in the paradigm to get new results.
"It's about teaching people to fish," he
said."It's changing the status quo and taking away the need for charity.
Supporting the Fair Food America movement, Nogaj
believes that poverty can be reduced, if not eradicated, by giving consumers the chance â€" the choice â€" to pay a few cents extra to support U.S. growers.A two-year survey conducted bye Harvest for Humanity in Southwest Florida shows that 82 percent of consumers questioned would pay 5 percent more for produce labeled as grown in America by workers earning a living wage.
"A penny a pound could be translated into $3 per hour for workers and $100 million per year for the Immokalee economy," Nogaj
said.Americans pay the least of any country â€" as a percentage of their income â€" for fresh fruits and vegetables.Nogaj
said this statistic makes everyone a part of the problem, and everyone capable of being a part of the solution.He
said the concept has been proven through the increased prices consumers are willing to pay for "organic" foods.
"It has to start through awareness and education," he