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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hummer Road building viewed as site for day laborer center



The office building at 7700 Hummer Road.

A Mason District task force that has been looking for a place to establish a hiring center for day laborers for the past 14 years might have found one: A local businessman, Christian Kim, has offered to partner with the task force to provide space in an office building at 7700 Hummer Road.

At this stage, it’s just a topic for discussion, said Mason Supervisor Penny Gross. Lot of issues need to be addressed, such as zoning requirements, budget, occupancy, and what kind of non-profit would operate it. “Right now it’s just conceptual,”she said.

In fact, a representative of the Della Ratta commercial management company, which is trying to find tenants to lease vacant space at the Hummer Road building, said, “there is no proposal. There is nothing to discuss.”

Nevertheless, a member of the Hummer Road Task Force, which was formed by Gross in 2000 to search for a safe place for day laborers to connect with employers, is optimistic about the prospect of locating the center at 7700 Hummer Road. That building is across the street from a 7-Eleven where many day laborers hang around waiting for people to offer them jobs. It’s also close to the Little River Shopping Center, where these workers also congregate.


The task member calls the Hummer Road location “a dream come true,” saying the property won’t need to be rezoned, which would eliminate a huge barrier. The facility won’t receive government money, so other funding sources would need to be identified, such as foundations, nonprofits, corporations, or employers.

The center would be modeled on the Centreville Labor Resource Center, which opened in December 2011, and is entirely supported by grants and donations. That center has a databank of workers listing their skills and matches them employers who need people with those skills. Employers sign a contract stating they will treat workers fairly.

That’s crucial, the task force member says, because employers often take advantage of day laborers, by paying them less than what they promised, or not paying them at all, failing to provide access to drinking water, and otherwise mistreating them.

45 comments:

  1. How about funding the schools - instead of building a hut for illegals.

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  2. "A dream come true" for who? Not Annandale residents.

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    Replies
    1. Agree, what in the heck are they thinking? Annandale is already becoming an armpit of the county!

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  3. If it's not going to be funded by Government dollars, what's the harm?

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  4. This is a horrible idea. Penny Gross tried this once before many years ago and the community said no. The community needs to say "no" again. Why did John Cooke not find a location in his own District? We have enough issues in the Mason District.

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  5. We also need a building where people can safely fence and buy stolen goods.

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  6. I can see that this is going to be a real boost for our property values.............Opps, in the wrong ----(expletive ) direction!

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  7. I am ashamed and disgusted by the racism and xenophobia displayed by most of the commenters above.
    To borrow an old aphorism...the cows are out of the barn; it's to late too complain about how or why they got there. What are we going to do about it now?

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    1. Your argument is that we are racist and xenophobia. Is that the best you have, name calling? I am tired of my property value decreasing and my community looking like a junk yard and you not knowing anything about anyone uses the racist word. Great argument.

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    2. You are a bully. No one on here agrees with your "racist" argument.

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    3. Ah yes. Pull out the old "racist" card. How about instead of encouraging folks to break our laws and comes to the States illegally, by enforce our current laws and encourage legal immigration? Oh, I know. It's so that their labor can be exploited by commercial interests paying low wages and their votes can be exploited by Democrat. Maybe if we run our immigration system efficiently, enforced our borders, bought people into the country who want to wholeheartedly assimilate and become Americans, and encouraged respect for our laws, we'd all be better off?

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    4. Property values in Annandale have gone up 13% this past year, they're almost back to the peak reached before the housing bubble. If anything, we should be worrying about another bubble! What you're saying has no basis in reality. So, since your problem CANNOT be property values, what is it? I suggest it is a case of Xenophobia: Fear of the different. Different people, different culture, different language, different standard of living...whatever, it's not hurting you in the wallet. If anything, we and the migrants both owe our success to the economic growth of this region's proximity to the capital.

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  8. Is there any more that Penny Gross can do to degrade Annandale and Mason District? She is representative of the worst things that can be done to a community and she must GO, now! Resignation would be honorable, so we can't expect that.

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    1. TRUE THAT! HORRID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Lets put the day laborer building in her front yard. IF YOU BUILD IT .... THEY WILL COME. Oh wait - they are already here thanks to the GROSS welcome wagon. So glad that resources, county neighborhood services - is supporting this. I guess they need them in the area to support their social services careers.

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  9. Of course Supervisor Cook supports this - keeps them across the "border" from his district.

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    1. John Cook did nothing to help Mason District community leaders when they raised great concerns over RSUs intruding on single family neighborhoods. Please don't involve yourself in Mason District now Mr. Helper!

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  10. Why can't we simply direct these job seekers to the job center at the County's new Human Services Dept at Heritage Center in Annandale?
    Employment Resource Center:
    Heritage Center, West Wing
    7611 Little River Turnpike, Suite 300W
    Annandale, VA 22003
    703-533-5400; TTY 711
    Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Friday: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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  11. so xenophobia, such mad, wow

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  12. Everyone (crudely) knocking this plan clearly hasn't taken the five seconds and three brain cells to realize that giving day laborers the dignity of an indoor shelter is a great idea that serves the community quite well.

    I've lived in Annandale all my life ... perhaps other reading this remember the 7-11 near 495 around 2002-2005? The entire alley between the 7-11 and the Mobil was thick with sewage, because the men waiting outside for hours for the prospect of work were denied the use of indoor plumbing. Is *that* what our community needs?

    It is disappointing that some posters here are so viscerally opposed to giving these very poor and very hardworking men what is essentially a glorified waiting room.

    Reading between the lines of some of these comments, it's hard to come away with any impression other than "Round up the undesirables and ship them away!"

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    1. It is more than a gloried waiting room. According to the County now it is Ok to not pay taxes. It is Ok to pay people under the table and they are going to be the one to organize it. It is also saying we welcome everyone legal or illegal.

      They also are not denied indoor plumbing they have a choice to stand their or to go home. They have indoor plumbing at home. When I go to the beach there are signs up everywhere that say "Restrooms for Customers Only". That is the business choice.

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  13. Anonymous bloggers,
    Are you all shamed by this?
    First, nothing was confirmed or done.
    It was simple discussion forum group had.
    And it was scheduled to discuss for another next 3-4 months before anything was even get close to finalized.
    Your property value? you ask? Do you even know what you are talking about?
    Your property is within community. If your community has day workers standing outside of 7-11 or street, I am sure your property value goes up.
    Drive down to Centreville and see how many day worker you see on the street. may be one....
    Since Centreville Day labor Center opened, between 100 - 200 day works on Centrevile's street are gone.
    Day labor Center is clean, effective, and well maintained and controlled. Before any of you making comments do some research. Not just saying thing comes to your head because you ain't smart as you think.
    Now, since this has been raised to public, even nothing was researched nor discussed, chances are you will continue to have day workers standing in front of 7-11 and on your backyard.
    Good luck with your property value.
    You may lost one of best chance to raise your property value.
    Not to mention this site is right of 495, so this was very best site to make day labor worker transparent.
    You will have more and more day worker in Annandale as time goes by and it will be out of control.
    Thanks to you guys.
    Thank god I don't live in Annandale with people like you guys around.

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    1. The Centreville Center ask that you pay the illegals $50 for 3 hours of work and all under the table so no taxes no social security no Obamacare. Others who are here legally and are US Citizens do not get paid that well.

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  14. Why bother paying taxes? Just claim that they're a burden on you financially. If anyone raises a concern, tell then that they're either racist or hate poor people who are struggling. Why bother following the rules if they're clearly optional for some?

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  15. Clearly racist.
    They all says they werent and they had reason when blacks were burned. But was it?

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    Replies
    1. You may need medical attention.

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    2. Are you comparing allowing illegals to work legally without paying taxes to being a slave and being beaten or killed?

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  16. This could be a win-win for everyone. People who need some yardwork will be able to find someone with the skills they need without having to approach the crowd at the 7-11. Day laborers will be less likely to be taken advantage of. They could expect decent wages and would have some protections against abuse. Also, there will be fewer day laborers hanging out on 236 in front of Safeway and the 7-11. Best of all, it will be privately funded; no tax dollars will be used.

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  17. I'm at a loss to understand why anyone would be be against what is described in this article. The only explanation I can think of is what's already been suggested: racism and xenophobia.

    The people that this type of center would help are actual, real-life human beings that deserve the same level of respect as everyone else.

    They work hard (harder than the vast majority of us commenting on this board, I would guess) and are only trying to improve their situation. How many of you would stand out in the cold of winter and heat of summer in the hopes that you could get a job doing something few other people were willing to do, all while keeping your fingers crossed that you won't get screwed out of what you're owed at the end of the day?

    For the "how about funding our schools" comment, did you read the part in the article where it said "The facility won’t receive government money"? Do you have any kids in our public schools? If so, I guarantee you that they have classmates who are directly connected to this situation. Do you honestly think that improving the situation for these people won't help their kids succeed in school? And that the more kids who succeed in our community, the better and stronger our community will be? And the stronger our community is, the better for ALL of us (yes, including the value of our property)?

    To all the other commenters that say this will somehow diminish their property values, are you seriously suggesting that the status quo is better? If so, please explain how having a central place for laborers and hirers is WORSE than having essentially a half-mile long open-air market?

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    1. Totally agree!
      I would like to see racist make arguments on above.
      One other thing.
      I have no problem leaving my telephone no or where i live. Because i know what i am supportinf is corrext and right.
      Could you all racist can leave your contact info? Or where you live?
      Afraid. Huh!
      See thats why your arguments arent right. If someone is shame or can completely open their info or stand behind it. What does it tell you.
      Grow up and see this isnt country you lived 50 years ago

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    2. Did an 8 year old write this gibberish?

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    3. The facility is already getting government money because our government employees are out looking for a place for this to be located and working with the owners. If you really think no government money is going into this project you are fooling yourself.

      For the bully at 7:51 - the reason people do not leave their information is because of people like you who feel it is Ok to bully others by name calling and making threats.

      Let me also add that using the racist word is a strong word and you should know better than to throw that word out with out more information.

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    4. To Anonymous 2:57 PM:
      You got me there. How dare our government workers spend their time facilitating improvements to our community in a way that would otherwise not cost the taxpayers? Shame on them for doing their jobs and making life better for ALL of us.

      Sarcasm aside, if that's not a role of government, what is?

      I'll acknowledge, however, that racism is a strong word and used too casually here. I don't know anyone on this forum nor their intentions so accusing anyone something so distasteful was unwarranted. My apologies.

      But I still haven't heard any arguments about WHY this is a bad idea, especially given the current situation. Is anyone actually satisfied with the way it is now or thinks that it's an acceptable situation?

      I imagine the answer is no, so then the question is what to do about it? Crack down on those that are undocumented? Obviously that hasn't worked and it would certainly cost taxpayers more than what we would spend on this solution. And what about those that don't fall into the "undocumented" category?

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    5. I very much appreciate that you acknowledge that using the racist word was not appropriate.

      I do not think the status quo is appropriate but having our local government approving and organizing an employment agency that does not have anyone paying taxes is not legal. We are now stating it is Ok not to pay taxes for some of us and some of us are required to pay taxes. For those of day laborers that are here legally we do have employment agencies through the County and they can go there. This whole idea is illegal and inappropriate. In addition, if you look at the Centreville website it states "For general labor, the suggested base rate of pay is $50 per worker for 3 hours of work or fewer". These workers are getting paid better than many of our local legal workers and NO taxes are coming out of their pay. In conclusion hiring people and not counting them as employees and not paying taxes is ILLEGAL.

      Our County is not endorsing this Federal illegal act.

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    6. Thanks for your clarification and I definitely see your point. I guess I don't see it as the county is "approving and organizing" the place but rather voicing support for and providing assistance to those private citizens who are willing to put a solution in place. I'm okay with the county devoting some minimal resources like that to fix the issue.

      I also don't see it as an endorsement of skirting tax laws (which, after all, is what's happening now), but rather fixing the greater of the two problems (that is, getting these people off the street and helping them not get screwed-over by unscrupulous people). If anything, having a center might help the tax situation (e.g., laborers could get information and forms and possibly other support for filing taxes).

      Finally, I don't see it as a County obligation to enforce the tax laws. Leave that to the State and Federal governments. At least the County can do something to make life better for all of us.

      Thanks for reigning me in and helping me keep the dialog civil.

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    7. 10:17 and 5:03

      Let me ask simple question.
      when was last time you help out others?
      Did you ask if they pay taxes?
      Or paying taxes on time? right amount ?
      No, you help out because that is what we human does.
      Don't try to argue this over taxes or legal or illegal.
      Get it? This is not about paying taxes or not. This is about how can we help day workers on the street. Day workers are not all illegal.

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    8. Oh by the way, you 10:17 and 5:02 is same person. Funny how you go that far to make your argument convincing

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    9. 6:49:

      I know I should follow the adage that says you should never argue with an idiot because they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience, but here goes anyway...

      I am the one who wrote 5:02 and although you may not believe me, I am not the same person as 10:17. If you bothered to read my response from 5:02, you'd see that I actually agree with you that the center is a good idea. I agree with you that helping people out should be independent from them paying or not paying taxes. I'm also the one who wrote 5:23 below.

      So while you and I agree about the core concept that the center is generally a Good Idea, I don't at all agree with your diatribe and name-calling. People are entitled to different opinions. That doesn't necessarily make them racist, just like poor grammar and spelling doesn't mean a person is stupid.

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    10. Thank you 5:02 for standing up for my opinion. I do agree with you about it is Ok to have differences of opinion. I would enjoy our exchange of opinion more if it was not for others hatefulness.

      I do appreciate that you want to help the day laborers but having our County not enforcing our laws but encouraging others to break our Federal Government Laws is illegal. Just because it does look trashy to have day laborers on our streets does not mean our County should be encouraging this illegal behavior by setting up a shop.

      It is being swept under the table that many our citizens who do construction work are not being hired because construction companies can pay these day laborers under the table which is cheaper than paying taxes for employees.

      Setting up a day laborer center is just encouraging this bad and illegal behavior.

      I understand that they want to live in our amazing Country but doing it illegally is not the way.

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  18. Could some of you people please use the grammar and spellcheck functions on your computer before pressing send?

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    1. federal gubmint taek my spellchek, gived it to illegals

      THANKS OBAMA

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    2. Let me fix this for you, as I realize some people need a little help. You meant to say that the federal government took your spellcheck and gave it to the illegals. You're welcome.

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  19. Folks, How about "no loitering" - what happened to this ? I am sorry, but the houses are overcrowded, trash is on every street, schools are FULL TO CAPACITY - with the illegals kids..... and now you want to roll the red carpet out and give them a special "PASS" to break the loitering laws and give them a special place to sit around all day? How about go apply for a freaking job the way everyone else who is here is doing. UNFAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Uh, I think the loitering issue is exactly what this type of center is designed to eliminate. Sounds like you have a beef with those that are undocumented. I get it, that's a legit beef, but it's not going away any time soon. And if the choice is to have them here "loitering" vs. having them here and giving them a (non-taxpayer-funded) place to go, wouldn't you prefer they have a place to go? Even if you consider it for nothing other than purely selfish reasons (don't have to see them on the street, less trash on the street, etc.), it's a no brainer. But if you take a more moralistic view and you consider that it also helps the workers out then, it's a win-win.

      It's not a zero-sum game. Making life a little better for someone else (undocumented or not) doesn't diminish your quality of life. And it isn't quite the same thing as "rolling out the red carpet." If it was such a comfy way to make a living the rest of us would all be lining up to take those jobs.

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    2. idiot. so your idea is sit around do nothing? have you ever been to one of day labor center? do you know how it function? Before say anything stupid please do research as others suggested.

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  20. Let's not focus on all the negative things about the modern day immigrants, from what I understand these men are trying to be civically engaged in their Neighborhoods and some are willing to give back by providing volunteer work to beautify our communities. The majority of them are trying to provide for their families who do not live in a great Nation such as ours. They seem to be very humble and kindhearted individuals that work extremely hard to help build our beautiful country. I don't know too many of us born in the U.S. that are willing to work 12 long hours a day at a meager $5- (yes, believe it or not some people get paid as little as that by unscrupulous employers.) $7 an hour cleaning offices, toilets, working in landscaping, let's not forget the farm workers that cultivate our food working under the hot sun for hours. Some of these men have done it all. When I drive by construction sites sitting in my warm or air conditioned car while they're working hard in frigid or hazing temperatures, I only see those faces that resemble the day laborers, the people that you are so quick to criticize. I just simply want to ask? What makes their reasons for fleeing to this land any different than that of our own ancestors that arrived here by ship many, many years ago and took over the land of the American Indians? The true Natives of our beautiful country. Let's be grateful that these laborers are not coming over here spreading famine or killing us, the "current Natives of this land." We cannot be so submerged in our own selfishness and not share this Nation that was never ours to begin with. Please consider that every negative comment or wish you make will somehow boom right back to you. Life has a funny way of giving us back what we sow. I wish mercy upon some of the cruel and selfish minds.

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