I was a child in Los Angeles during the 1970’s, growing up with the boycott of table grapes from California. Unlike many young people today, my father, who was a single parent, encouraged us to watch television news and read the Los Angeles Times every day.
The grape boycott was my first exposure to collective action. Although my father loved grapes as a nice treat on warm days year round, my more socially conscious neighbors talked to me about the boycott and were staunch supporters. They eventually got my father to boycott as well, and we did not eat California table grapes until the end of the boycott.
This led to other political action and now to my choice to be an active member of my own union, United Teachers Los Angeles. I consider Cesar Chavez an inspiration and the UFW a trailblazing union bringing collective work to many areas that had not been even thought of organizing before.