Frederick Douglass

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them..." Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jerry Brown’s Betrayal of Cesar Chavez, UFW Stains His Legacy

For all of his lurches to the right, disdain for public input, and refusal to work collaboratively, California Governor Jerry Brown has always been defended by those who appreciated his support for Cesar Chavez and the farmworkers movement. Brown signed the landmark Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975, and only Robert Kennedy rivals him as the UFW’s greatest political ally. Brown admired Cesar Chavez and sought his approval; the UFW responded by providing key staff support for his 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns, and by building Latino support for all of his California races. Despite this legacy, on June 28 Brown vetoed a farmworker organizing bill that his Republican predecessor had vetoed four times, and which had broad Democratic Party support. Brown’s alignment with wealthy growers against indigent workers picking crops in the fields surely has Chavez turning over in his grave, and shows that the Governor views the UFW as just another group he is willing to betray.