Non-profit

Heartland Workers Center

Website:

www.heartlandworkerscenter.org/

Location:

OMAHA, NE

Tax ID:

27-1709471

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,320,647
Expenses: $876,727
Assets: $1,222,358

Formation:

2010

President:

Ricardo Castro

Heartland Workers Center is an organization founded in 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska as an advocacy group for Latino immigrant workers. [1] The Heartland Workers Center serves as an advocacy organization for left-of-center programs and policies in Nebraska, including participating in voter activation of left-leaning demographic groups and pushing for legal status for illegal immigrants.

Heartland Workers Center receives much of its funding from major left-of-center organizational funders, among them to the Buffett-family-associated Sherwood Foundation.

History

Sergio Sosa, a left-of-center activist and current Executive Director of the Heartland Workers Center, launched the Center in 2009. The IRS granted tax-exempt status to the Center in 2010 as a 501(c)(3) organization. [2]

Though the Center brands itself as a workers’ rights organization, Sosa founded the Center after organizing an Omaha demonstration to protest Immigration and Customs Enforcement searches for illegal immigrants in 2006. [3] After leading the march, Sosa developed a permanent organization: the Heartland Workers Center.

Since its foundation, the Center became involved in a network of left-of-center organizations, including becoming a founding member of the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table (NCET). The NCET is an organization which mobilizes left-of-center voting blocs. [4]

Activity

The Heartland Workers Center focuses activism in three major areas: labor, voter mobilization, and expanded immigration.

Labor

The Center focuses on labor organizations and workers’ rights, running numerous programs from topics like sexual harassment in the workplace to leadership seminars. Alongside these programs, the Center offers counsel in certain employer-employee legal disputes. The Center is pro-unionization, putting together training seminars which educate workers on how to form and maintain a labor union. [5]

Voter Mobilization

The Center has gained a reputation, and media attention, for its voter mobilization techniques, including knocking on doors of Latino voters in Nebraska to try to get them to vote in midterm elections. [6] Though a technically “nonpartisan” organization, part of the organization’s mission is “turning demographic change into political power,” referring to converting the increased Latino population in Nebraska into left-of-center policies. [7]

Aside from direct efforts to register new immigrant voters and convince registered voters to show up on election day, the Center spent over $150,000 on lobbying in 2017 alone. [8]

Immigration

Immigration is at the core of the Heartland Workers Center’s activism, given that the organization is expressly designed to serve Latino immigrant workers and refers to itself as a “Nebraska immigrant advocacy” organization. [9]

The organization has taken strong stances against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. [10] Even in its push to register new voters, the Heartland Workers Center has taken an explicitly anti-Trump stance, with the chief of strategy reporting that she convinced one immigrant Latino citizen to register “just to be able to vote against Trump.” [11]

Several projects organized by the Heartland Workers Center are targeted at left-of-center immigration reform with strong biases against conservative policies. One of these programs, the Young Nebraskans in Action program, “educates others about Dreamers who found protection under…Obama’s federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program now under threat by President Donald Trump’s administration.” [12] Heartland Workers Center officials have also made comments against the Trump administration directly, saying that Trump policies have incited mass panic among illegal immigrants for the first time in a decade. [13]

The Heartland Workers Center’s efforts have been acknowledged by Democratic Nebraska legislators Tony Vargas and Megan Hunt, who called on citizens to support the Heartland Worker’s Center in pushing for left-of-center immigration reform. [14] Though claiming not to be aligned with any particular candidates or political parties, the group has refused any opportunities to engage with right-of-center thinkers on immigration. Sosa, the Executive Director of the Heartland Workers Center, was supposed to participate in a panel at Creighton University, alongside other left-of-center and right-of-center leaders. Sosa and the other left-of-center panelist dropped out of the panel three days before the event, saying they would be “happy to host a conversation by community groups on incursion” instead of participating in the event. [15]

People and Funding

Sergio Sosa is the Founder and Executive Director of the Heartland Workers Center. [16] After immigrating from Guatemala in 1997, Sosa began organizing the Latino community in Nebraska. Sosa is a pro-union leader and supporter of other left-of-center policy. [17]

The Heartland Workers Center gets its funding from a combination of private and community donations, with large sums coming from other left-of-center grantmaking organizations. The Sherwood Foundation, run by Warren Buffett’s daughter Susan, has been funding the Heartland Workers Center for the past seven years and has extensive ties to left-of-center fundraising networks. [18]

Heartland Workers Center also lists the Common Counsel Foundation as one of its supporters. [19] The Common Counsel Foundation is a member of the Environmental Grantmakers Association that has received funding from NEO Philanthropy, a powerful funding source on the left. [20]

References

  1. Heartland Workers Center, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Section A. ^
  2. Gonzalez, Cindy. “‘A Rare Type of Leader’: Sergio Sosa’s Work in Nebraska’s Latino Community Inspires Common Folks to Take Charge of Their Destiny.” Omaha.com. November 27, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.omaha.com/money/a-rare-type-of-leader-sergio-sosa-s-work-in/article_5fa41c3b-40fb-5d5c-916f-58aec3504925.html ^
  3. Bacon, David. “Latino Immigrants Are Changing the Politics of … Nebraska!” The American Prospect. October 21, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://prospect.org/article/latino-immigrants-are-changing-politics-…-nebraska. ^
  4. “Collaboration : Our Members.” Nebraska Civic Engagement Table. 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.nebraskatable.org/collaboration/members.html. ^
  5. “Request a Training.” Heartland Workers Center. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.heartlandworkerscenter.org/request-training. ^
  6. “Collaboration : Our Members.” Nebraska Civic Engagement Table. 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.nebraskatable.org/collaboration/members.html. ^
  7. Bacon, David. “Latino Immigrants Are Changing the Politics of … Nebraska!” The American Prospect. October 21, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://prospect.org/article/latino-immigrants-are-changing-politics-…-nebraska. ^
  8. Heartland Workers Center, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Part Two,Section A. ^
  9. Bahr, Jeff. “Raids Leave Jail with 17 New Detainees.” The Grand Island Independent. August 10, 2018. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.theindependent.com/news/local/raids-leave-jail-with-new-detainees/article_3db99d88-9c39-11e8-8159-4315ec7530a4.html.. ^
  10. Bacon, David. “Latino Immigrants Are Changing the Politics of … Nebraska!” The American Prospect. October 21, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://prospect.org/article/latino-immigrants-are-changing-politics-…-nebraska. ^
  11. Bacon, David. “Latino Immigrants Are Changing the Politics of … Nebraska!” The American Prospect. October 21, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://prospect.org/article/latino-immigrants-are-changing-politics-…-nebraska. ^
  12. Gonzalez, Cindy. “‘A Rare Type of Leader’: Sergio Sosa’s Work in Nebraska’s Latino Community Inspires Common Folks to Take Charge of Their Destiny.” Omaha.com. November 27, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.omaha.com/money/a-rare-type-of-leader-sergio-sosa-s-work-in/article_5fa41c3b-40fb-5d5c-916f-58aec3504925.html. ^
  13. Gonzalez, Cindy, and Barbara Soderlin. “Immigrants in Nebraska Fear the Unknown, and Known, in Trump’s Reform Plans.” Omaha.com. March 06, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.omaha.com/news/metro/immigrants-in-nebraska-fear-the-unknown-and-known-in-trump/article_23638813-c2fc-5837-8089-5126d1bd964c.html. ^
  14. Vargas, Tony, and Megan Hunt. “Midlands Voices: What Nebraskans Need to Know about Immigration.” Omaha.com. June 26, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.omaha.com/opinion/midlands-voices-what-nebraskans-need-to-know-about-immigration/article_0338e0ff-f988-5d3e-acb8-9124a4ad7836.html. ^
  15. McCormick, Grayce. “Immigration Panelist Causes Backlash.” The Creightonian. April 15, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.creightonian.com/news/article_05c08696-5668-11e9-84dd-334368b14328.html. ^
  16. Gonzalez, Cindy. “‘A Rare Type of Leader’: Sergio Sosa’s Work in Nebraska’s Latino Community Inspires Common Folks to Take Charge of Their Destiny.” Omaha.com. November 27, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.omaha.com/money/a-rare-type-of-leader-sergio-sosa-s-work-in/article_5fa41c3b-40fb-5d5c-916f-58aec3504925.html. ^
  17. Bacon, David. “Latino Immigrants Are Changing the Politics of … Nebraska!” The American Prospect. October 21, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://prospect.org/article/latino-immigrants-are-changing-politics-…-nebraska. ^
  18. Bacon, David. “Latino Immigrants Are Changing the Politics of … Nebraska!” The American Prospect. October 21, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://prospect.org/article/latino-immigrants-are-changing-politics-…-nebraska. ^
  19. “Supporters.” Heartland Workers Center. 2018. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.heartlandworkerscenter.org/supporters. ^
  20. “Supporters.” Heartland Workers Center. 2018. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.heartlandworkerscenter.org/supporters. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2010

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,320,647 $876,727 $1,222,358 $3,687 N $1,300,980 $17,439 $2,228 $105,500
    2016 Dec Form 990 $951,187 $718,413 $777,478 $5,635 N $945,412 $5,775 $0 $148,484
    2015 Dec Form 990 $606,793 $483,410 $552,935 $13,866 N $589,824 $16,969 $0 $76,507 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $555,238 $249,273 $447,041 $6,018 N $516,781 $38,457 $0 $61,754 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $212,122 $153,855 $138,634 $3,598 N $115,628 $96,494 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990EZ $139,559 $139,777 $76,769 $86,121 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990EZ $82,623 $135,757 $77,301 $130,435 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Heartland Workers Center

    4923 S 24TH ST STE 3A
    OMAHA, NE 68107-2763