I became aware of the great work Cesar Chavez and the UFW were accomplishing in the early 70s and from that day I wanted nothing more than to work for the UFW. Years later in the city of San Luis Arizona I actually got to meet and work for Cesar Chavez! Under the program “Education and Legal Defense Fund” I was interviewed by Cesar and was hired as a union representative and legal assistance. I used to have to drive to Delano for monthly trainings in different legal aspects affecting the farmworker community. I’ll never forget attending the legal trainings provided by Jack Daniels and other union staff. I remember going to dinner at a Chinese restaurant with Richard Chavez and his family, I remember going to La Paz and singing Las Mañanitas at 6am outside of Cesar’s bedroom window with a bunch of union folks.
I remember the day a group of farmworkers marched into the union office in San Luis and demanded justice after Bruce Church refused to pay them. It was this case that got me appointed to the board of directors of Community Legal Services.
Working with the UFW and meeting Cesar Chavez was a highlight in my life and influenced my activism and dedication to support the fight for justice. I name Cesar Chavez as my first mentor and as one of the greatest influences in my life.