Because of seeing the tragedy of mesothelioma strike so many dedicated hardworking people who were just at their jobs doing what they were supposed to do and giving it their best, I realized that more needs to be done to protect people in the workplace. Especially to protect people who have few resources and do not have the means to protect themselves. Helping people who are unable to help themselves is a core value of our firm, a driving force behind the work we do, and one of the most compelling reasons that helps all of us maintain our focus. One of the mechanisms that allows us to continue to fight against the scourge of asbestos production and usage throughout the world, is the work we are able to perform through our charitable foundation.
That is why at Kazan Law, the stated goals of our charitable foundation include trying to:
- Increase and improve public awareness about work-place health and safety
- Enhance access to, participation in and education about the legal system and governmental processes
To fulfill these goals we identify and support nonprofit organizations that are effective at providing help in these areas where and to whom it’s most needed.
One organization we are proud to support is California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRALF). For over 30 years, CRLAF has worked with California’s farm workers, migrant workers and the rural poor to protect their rights and health. CRALF gives a voice to Californians in low-income and marginalized communities and provides them with essential legal services.
Just last Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper had a front page article highlighting the effects of pesticides on generations of field workers in the Salinas Valley. Although pesticides are different from asbestos, the overriding similarities – workers exposed without their knowledge or consent to potentially life-threatening lethal toxins – that make this is a cause that I wholeheartedly support. .
I am proud of CRLAF’s Pesticide and Work Safety Project and its efforts to encourage stricter enforcement of existing pesticide laws and regulations, better regulations and increased use of safer pest control alternatives. They recently created a pesticide exposure prevention and response video for farm workers and have helped author reports such as Fields of Poison and Second Hand Pesticide: Airborne Pesticide Drift in California.
To help support CRLAF, Kazan Law is helping to sponsor a fundraising event on Friday night, October 4 at the California Museum in Sacramento. The event Luchando por Justica (Fighting for Justice) will honor Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Emily Vasquez, California Labor Commissioner Julie Su, and farm worker and women’s rights advocate Guadalupe Negrete Rendon. Justice Cruz Reynoso, the first Hispanic to serve on the California Supreme Court and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000, will be the keynote speaker. If you can, I hope you will consider joining us there.