‘March for the Governor’s Signature’ to strengthen farm worker voting rights
Today marks the end of the 24-day, 335-mile journey of farm workers and their allies who have marched from Delano up the Central Valley in the summer heat to convince Governor Gavin Newsom to sign AB 2183, the United Farm Workers’ bill making it easier for farm workers to vote in a union free from intimidation by grower foremen, supervisors and farm labor contractors.
Friday, Aug 26, the marchers will reach their destination for the march on the state Capitol. Among those joining them will be UFW President Teresa Romero; civil rights icon Dolores Huerta; California Labor Federation head Lorena Gonzalez; labor, Latino, and LGBTQ leaders and activists; lawmakers; and hundreds of lowriders and classic car club members from throughout California.
Permanent farm worker peregrinos (pilgrims) endured the entire length of the peregrinacion (pilgrimage or march) foregoing income, time with family, and the comfort and security of home to embark upon this burdensome journey—in temperatures frequently exceeding 100 degrees—that sorely taxed them physically and emotionally.
Community enthusiasm across the state built as hundreds greeted marchers along the route and joined end-of-day rallies in valley farm towns. Committees in each town through which the march moved provided food, water, cold drinks, shoes and other supplies, plus housing. Nurses and medical students tended to the marchers. Supporters from near and far turned up on rural roadsides to hand out water, drinks, and food as the peregrinos passed by.
There has been broadening public support for the UFW drive and sacrificial march, including solid backing by the California labor movement as well as union, religious, and community leaders, activists and organizations.