In the early 1980’s, I had the honor to work with the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez, during the boycott against JEWEL Food Stores; in the Chicago, IL boycott office. I first heard of the UFW, during my senior year of high school in Chicago and felt a strong desire to help right the wrongs and injustices against our nation’s farm workers. My supervisor in Chicago was, Frank Ortiz and I had been recruited by Irv Hirshenbaum, two of the finest from the UFW. I participated in protests outside of JEWEL, distributing leaflets and meetings with other unions to spread the word of the Boycott against JEWEL and garner support for the union.
One of my favorite memories of a planning meeting/retreat with Cesar Chavez, Frank Ortiz and the Chicago Staff, which produced the main ingredients for the National Campaign against Pesticides. Cesar was very committed to protecting farm workers, but also new how to unwind and have fun with staff. My fondest memories is of the baseball games and mealtimes we all shared.
I often think of Cesar and will always be thankful for the time, I spent as a staff member of such a strong and powerful union. Last year, I was blessed to be able to attend the dedication of the UFW compound, FORTY ACRES, as a National Park and to attend the Candlelight Vigil and Rosary for Richard Chavez and share both events with my 22 year old daugther and my little granddaughter. I will always be glad that I was able to live and experience history. SI SE PUEDE!