As an immigrant-owned and led business and as a worker cooperative, we support our workers taking part in the May 1st national Day Without Immigrants.
A Day Without Immigrants:
On May 1st (aka “International Workers’ Day”) immigrants and allies from 25 states and 50 cities across the U.S. will stay home from work and refrain from spending any money. The goal is to illuminate the U.S. economy’s dependence on immigrant labor and immigrant consumer spending. By shedding light on the economic power of immigrants, organizers seek to achieve greater rights and respect for immigrants via a shift in both public opinion and in the U.S. government’s political, economic, and social approach to immigration and immigrants themselves. May 1st will be the first of many actions, culminating in “a week without immigrants”.
Why We Support:
Contrary to popular opinion, immigrants have actually grown the U.S. economy and immigration has a positive impact on long-term economic growth nationally (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine).
At A Yard & A Half, for example, we contribute more than $600,000 to our local economy in purchases of plants & building materials at local businesses. We also employ local residents, offering competitive wages, benefits and the opportunity become a part owner. Our worker-owners share in both the profits and decision-making of our cooperative business. These worker-owners, in turn, give back to our local community each year, donating landscaping services to under-resourced schools, congregations, community greenspaces, and non-profits.
What’s more, immigrants are almost two times more likely to start businesses than native-born Americans. (The Kauffman Foundation). Since being founded by Eileen Michaels almost 30 years ago, A Yard & A Half has converted to a worker-owned cooperative, extending ownership opportunities to our employees- greater Boston residents, many without access to such opportunities otherwise.
Immigrants, businesses and native-born supporters are all welcome and encouraged to participate in the Day Without Immigrants on May 1st. Consider, also, publicly sharing your support and love for immigrants: http://www.toimmigrantswithlove.com/