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May 13, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, May 13, 2005

Day worker center celebrates three years Day worker center celebrates three years (May 13, 2005)

By Jon Wiener

State Assembly member Sally Lieber and City council member Laura Macias were among the nearly 150 guests on hand Saturday evening as St. Joseph the Worker Center marked its third year at the Calvary Church. The celebration featured dinner, live music and dancing as well as some political advocacy on behalf of the rights of immigrants.

The center moved to the church, located on the corner of Escuela Avenue and California Street, after its lease ran out at its former home in Los Altos. Workers spent a year and a half organizing themselves on the sidewalks along El Camino Real. Complaints from local businesses spurred a so-called "anti-solicitation" ordinance forcing them to move across the street to Mountain View. But day workers prevailed in the ensuing legal battle, coming away with a $60,000 settlement and the right to congregate on the street.

Only seven months ago, the center appeared to be homeless again, when Pastor Jim Stringer chained the doors to his church's multipurpose room, protesting the firing of center director Maria Marroquin. But the center reorganized once again, splitting from the local chapter of St. Vincent De Paul that had been running the operation and reinstalling Marroquin.
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