Monday, March 29, 2021

Cesar Chavez Day _ Organize

The author and Cesar Chavez, 1972, 

 Cesar Chavez Day 


  Cesar Chavez Day is a state holiday in California – one of eight states to recognize the  date, and one of the few holidays  in the nation  dedicated  to a labor leader.   Sacramento and dozens of cities, counties and labor federations will celebrate the life of Cesar Chavez on March 31.

On March 26, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis honored Cesar Chavez and the UFW founders by dedicating the auditorium at the Department of Labor in Chavez’s name. 

The Cesar Chavez celebrations focus on  the struggle for union rights and justice in the fields of California.  Along with Dolores Huerta, Philip Vera Cruz, and others, César created the United Farm Workers  (UFW) the first successful union of farm workers in  U.S. history.  There had been more than ten prior attempts to build a farm workers union.

            Each of the prior attempts to organize farm worker unions were destroyed by racism and corporate power. Chávez chose to build a union that incorporated the strategies of social movements and community organizing  and allied itself  with the churches, students,  and organized labor.  The successful creation of the UFW changed the nature of labor organizing  in the Southwest  and contributed significantly to the birth of Latino politics in the U.S.

            Today, under the leadership of UFW president Teresa Romero only about 8,000  farm workers enjoy benefits on the job. Wages and benefit in farm labor have again been reduced to the pre union levels.  Unionized workers   are incorporated into California's educational, health and civic communities.  The UFW has shown unions that immigrants can  and must be organized. Today the UFW is working to pass a new immigration law that would assist farm workers.    

             Chavez and the UFW are best known helping to create instrumental role in passing the  California Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975 under then Governor Gerry Brown  which gives workers collective bargaining rights.  The law was made necessary by the assault on the UFW of the Teamsters Union.  While workers are often able to win elections under the ALRB, they seldom can win a contract.  Growers stall and delay until the workers leave the area. 

        César Chavez, Dolores Huerta,  Philip Vera Cruz, and others deliberately created a multiracial organization, Mexican,  Mexican American, Filipino, African-American, Dominican, Puerto Rican and Arab workers, among others, have been part of the UFW.  This cross racial organizing  was necessary in order to combat the  prior divisions and exploitations of workers based upon race and language. Dividing the workers on racial and language lines always left the corporations the winners.

            In the 60's Chávez became the pre-eminent civil rights leader for the Mexican and Chicano workers, helping with local union struggles throughout the nation.  He worked tirelessly to make people aware of the struggles of farm workers for better pay and safer working conditions. It is a testament to Cesar Chavez's skills and courage that the UFW even survived. They  were opposed by major interests in corporate agriculture including the Bruce Church and Gallo Corporations as well as the leadership of the Republican Party then led by  Ronald Reagan.   Workers were  fired, beaten, threatened and even killed in pursuit of union benefits . Non union  farm workers today  continue to live on  sub-poverty wages while producing the abundant crops in the richest valley, in the richest state in the richest nation in the world.  

 In response to corporate power, Cesar developed new strategies, such as the boycott, based upon  his personal  commitment to  non-violence in the tradition of Ghandi and  Martin Luther King Jr.  César  Chavez died in his sleep on April 23, 1993 near Yuma, Arizona.

             Today Mexican, Mexican American and Puerto Rican union leadership is common  in our major cities and in several  industries and Latino union leaders increasingly play an important role in local, state, and national elections.  For myself  and others, the UFW was a school for organizing.  Hundreds of activists in labor and community organizations owe their skills to UFW training and experience.    Along with improved working conditions, salaries, and benefits for the unionized workers,  training this cadre of organizers remains a major legacy of the UFW.

            César taught us that all organizations have problems, that all organizations are imperfect. In the last decade several books have been written criticizing the Chavez legacy.

            In the midst of  several life and death struggles over power against corporate agriculture and the political power of the state, the UFW executive committee did not develop democratic union structures .  Marshall Ganz’s book, Why David Sometimes Wins: leadership, organization and strategy in the California Farmworker Movement (2009) describes these issues well. 


    Frank Bardake, in Trampling Out the Vintage (2011)    spends a great deal of time on the purges of UFW activists, organizers, and volunteers  in 1977 -1981 period.  (See the review here on Talking Union). While the purges are  at times   presented as anticommunist decisions  by Chavez,  many of the dismissals were for lack of loyalty to Chavez and his decisions as the final arbiter of all issues in the union.  Some of the “purges”  were based upon left politics, and some of the dismissals were based upon other differences, including differing views of the best direction for the union.  There were dismissals and  staff leavings for a variety of  reasons.   Some of the most significant dismissals were not about left nor right, but were about issues of both policy differences and personal loyalties. 

 Building popular organizations while messy  builds people's power and democracy. In creating the UFW Chavez organized thousands into a union  and inspired millions.    Today  children in schools  study his life- although such study is prohibited in Arizona and severely limited in Texas as “revolutionary”, or anti American.    Many curriculum packages for schools  stress his emphasis on service to others.  The service side of Cesar’s work was certainly inspiring.

            The organizing side of the UFW legacy  changed the Southwest and  organized labor.   In a 1988 campaign and fast  Cesar focused attention on the many dangerous problems of pesticides used in the fields.  Artists have captured his image in hundreds of ways.  Schools, parks, and highways have been named for him.  Establishing Cesar Chavez holiday in California and other states has increased knowledge of his contributions.

            The movement led by Cesar  created a union and reduced the oppression of farm workers.  Many people, descendents of earlier generations of farm workers, learned to take a stand for justice.  We learned to not accept poor jobs, poor pay,  unsafe working conditions as natural or inevitable.  Rather, these are social creations which can be changed through organizing for economic and political power.  Dolores Huerta continues her important education and organizing work throughout the nation.

            Now, thousands of new immigrants harvest the crops and only a small percent are in unions.  The new generations of immigrants and migrant labor hardly know Chavez’ name nor his contributions.  Yet, in other regions  immigrants are being organized into unions such as Justice for Janitors, by activists who learned their organizing skills working with the UFW. And, Latino political leaders often made their first commitments on a UFW picket line.

            The generation that created the UFW is passing. A new generation of political activists, mostly within the Democratic Party, have emerged since the Chavez generations.  In the 2006 massive immigrant rights movements,  several new organizing practices emerged.   The organizing of these demonstrations was significantly assisted by persons trained within the UFW.  A new, significant Latino  union and political base has been created.

Chavez' legacy to popular struggles, to  Chicano/Mexicano self determination and to unions for the immigrant workers is significant.  The union taught us how to organize for power and for justice.  He is present in all of our work.  I plan to march on  March 31,2012    in memory of Cesar Chavez' contributions to building a more democratic society for working people. You can find our more about this remarkable leader at  And,



Chávez chose to build a union that incorporated the strategies of social movements and community organizing.  They allied the union   with churches, students,  and organized labor.  The successful creation of the UFW changed the nature of labor organizing  in the Southwest  and contributed significantly to the growth  of Latino politics in the U.S.


The Current Situation – Strategic Racism 

 The movement led by Cesar Chavez , Dolores Huerta  and others  created a union and reduced the oppression of farm workers for a time.   Workers learned to not accept poor jobs, poor pay,  unsafe working conditions as natural or inevitable.  Then the corporations and the Right Wing forces adapted their strategies of oppression. 


The assault on the UFW and the current reconquest of power in the fields are examples of strategic racism, that is a system of racial oppression created and enforced because it benefits the over class- in this case corporate agriculture and farm owners.  The current renewed oppression is a product  of strategic racism including  a complex structure of institutions and individuals from police and sheriffs, to immigration authorities and anti immigrant activists, and elected officials and their support networks.  These groups foster and promote inter racial conflict, job competition, and anti union organizing,  as strategies  to keep wages and benefits low and to promote their continuing white supremacy in rural areas.



Duane Campbell is an Emeritus  Professor of Bilingual/Multicultural Education at Calif. State University-Sacramento and the author of Choosing Democracy; a practical guide to multicultural education.  4th. edition. (Allyn and Bacon,2010) 

He is a co chair of the Immigrants Rights Working Group of DSA. 









Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Talking Socialism with Alexandreia Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her way to speak at NYC's Women's March. [Photo by Corey Torpie]


TALKING SOCIALISM | Catching up with AOC



And so it was that first meeting that I felt, ‘Okay, this is something that’s real.’ Also, in the history of New York City and in communities of color, when you have the Young Lords and you have this organizing heritage, there has historically been tension between DSA and these organizing collectives of color, whether it was Latino and Puerto Rican collectives, Chicano collectives, black collectives…. It was like, “Oh, it’s these white folks. [LAUGHS.] There was this historical fissure. But it really felt like a moment where we were coming together. And so when I would see DSA showing up providing real structural support at BLM rallies, or support for abolishing ICE, where we felt like there wasn’t this class essentialism, but that this really was a multiracial class struggle that didn’t de-prioritize human rights, frankly, I was really impressed. And I felt like it was something worth being part of.

My run for Congress, so much of it was based in coalition building. In the New York City context, I wasn’t a DSA candidate that was homegrown from the start. I went through a process of earning the DSA endorsement. And that was in addition to stitching a collective together of the movement for Black lives and the movement for immigrant rights. Our congressional district is half immigrant, extraordinarily working class and just incredibly diverse in the Bronx and Queens. Along with Senator Sanders’s campaign, which I also proudly worked on, prior to all of this, you know, all of that, I think, really contributed to this moment.

And, for me, there’s a real distinction between us saying that we’re about something and us really being about it in our actions. And it was really that distinction, in the action and in the praxis, that made it distinctive to me and made it something to be a part of.

Read the entire interview on our blog

Or on Democratic Left.



Thursday, March 18, 2021

Scholarships Available

The Lorenzo Patiño Council offers scholarships to HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS in the Greater Sacramento California area and  surrounding Counties.School Seniors



Download the application at

·     Submit by MAIL to LULAC Council 2862

DEADLINE: March 31st 2021



The 2020 LULAC National Scholarship Fund (LNSF) is currently open.  Note:  download the application at (LNSF option), then mail a complete application to  LULAC Council 2862.   Applications will NOTt be accepted at the LNESC National Office.


Grades and academic performance will serve as indicators of potential; however, an emphasismay be placed on the individual's motivation, sincerity, and community involvement. DACA students and foster youth are encouraged to apply.



Please MAIL A Complete Application BY MARCH 31, 2021 to:


P.O. BOX 162790 SACRAMENTO, CA 95816

Any Questions:


FACEBOOK - LorenzoPatiñoCouncil@LULACSacramento 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the Situation of Refugees at the Border

 Editor’s Note: On Tuesday morning, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas issued a lengthy statement about what DHS is calling “the situation at the Southwest Border.” Latino Rebels is publishing the full statement below, noting that editorially it has begun to stop using words like “surge.” Here is the full statement from Secretary Mayorkas:


Office of Public Affairs

Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas Regarding the Situation at the Southwest Border

There is understandably a great deal of attention currently focused on the southwest border. I want to share the facts, the work that we in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and across the government are doing, and our plan of action. Our personnel remain steadfast in devotion of their talent and efforts in the service of our nation.

The situation at the southwest border is difficult. We are working around the clock to manage it and we will continue to do so. That is our job. We are making progress and we are executing on our plan. It will take time and we will not waver in our commitment to succeed.

We will also not waver in our values and our principles as a Nation. Our goal is a safe, legal, and orderly immigration system that is based on our bedrock priorities: to keep our borders secure, address the plight of children as the law requires, and enable families to be together. As noted by the President in his Executive Order, “securing our borders does not require us to ignore the humanity of those who seek to cross them.” We are both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. That is one of our proudest traditions.

The Facts
We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years. We are expelling most single adults and families. We are not expelling unaccompanied children. We are securing our border, executing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) public health authority to safeguard the American public and the migrants themselves, and protecting the children. We have more work to do.

This is not new. We have experienced migration surges before—in 2019, 2014, and before then as well. Since April 2020, the number of encounters at the southwest border has been steadily increasing. Border Patrol Agents are working around the clock to process the flow at the border and I have great respect for their tireless efforts. To understand the situation, it is important to identify who is arriving at our southwest border and how we are following the law to manage different types of border encounters.

Single Adults
The majority of those apprehended at the southwest border are single adults who are currently being expelled under the CDC’s authority to manage the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to that authority under Title 42 of the United States Code, single adults from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are swiftly expelled to Mexico. Single adults from other countries are expelled by plane to their countries of origin if Mexico does not accept them. There are limited exceptions to our use of the CDC’s expulsion authority. For example, we do not expel individuals with certain acute vulnerabilities.

The expulsion of single adults does not pose an operational challenge for the Border Patrol because of the speed and minimal processing burden of their expulsion.

Families apprehended at the southwest border are also currently being expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 authority. Families from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries are expelled to Mexico unless Mexico does not have the capacity to receive the families. Families from countries other than Mexico or the Northern Triangle are expelled by plane to their countries of origin. Exceptions can be made when a family member has an acute vulnerability.

Mexico’s limited capacity has strained our resources, including in the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas. When Mexico’s capacity is reached, we process the families and place them in immigration proceedings here in the United States. We have partnered with community-based organizations to test the family members and quarantine them as needed under COVID-19 protocols. In some locations, the processing of individuals who are part of a family unit has strained our border resources. I explain below additional challenges we have encountered and the steps we have taken to solve this problem.

Unaccompanied Children
We are encountering many unaccompanied children at our southwest border every day.  A child who is under the age of 18 and not accompanied by their parent or legal guardian is considered under the law to be an unaccompanied child. We are encountering six- and seven-year-old children, for example, arriving at our border without an adult. They are vulnerable children and we have ended the prior administration’s practice of expelling them.

An unaccompanied child is brought to a Border Patrol facility and processed for transfer to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Customs and Border Protection is a pass-through and is required to transfer the child to HHS within 72 hours of apprehension. HHS holds the child for testing and quarantine, and shelters the child until the child is placed with a sponsor here in the United States. In more than 80 percent of cases, the child has a family member in the United States. In more than 40 percent of cases, that family member is a parent or legal guardian.  These are children being reunited with their families who will care for them.

The children then go through immigration proceedings where they are able to present a claim for relief under the law.

The Border Patrol facilities have become crowded with children and the 72-hour timeframe for the transfer of children from the Border Patrol to HHS is not always met. HHS has not had the capacity to intake the number of unaccompanied children we have been encountering. I describe below the actions we have taken and the plans we are executing to handle this difficult situation successfully.

Why the Challenge is Especially Difficult Now
Poverty, high levels of violence, and corruption in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries have propelled migration to our southwest border for years. The adverse conditions have continued to deteriorate. Two damaging hurricanes that hit Honduras and swept through the region made the living conditions there even worse, causing more children and families to flee.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation more complicated. There are restrictions and protocols that need to be followed. The physical distancing protocol, for example, imposes space and other limitations on our facilities and operations.

The prior administration completely dismantled the asylum system. The system was gutted, facilities were closed, and they cruelly expelled young children into the hands of traffickers. We have had to rebuild the entire system, including the policies and procedures required to administer the asylum laws that Congress passed long ago.

The prior administration tore down the lawful pathways that had been developed for children to come to the United States in a safe, efficient, and orderly way. It tore down, for example, the Central American Minors program that avoided the need for children to take the dangerous journey to our southwest border.

The previous administration also cut foreign aid funding to the Northern Triangle.  No longer did we resource efforts in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to tackle the root causes of people fleeing their homes.

And, there were no plans to protect our front-line personnel against the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no appropriate planning for the pandemic at all.

As difficult as the border situation is now, we are addressing it. We have acted and we have made progress. We have no illusions about how hard it is, and we know it will take time. We will get it done. We will do so adhering to the law and our fundamental values. We have an incredibly dedicated and talented workforce.

Actions We Have Taken
In less than two months, Customs and Border Protection stood-up an additional facility in Donna, Texas to process unaccompanied children and families. We deployed additional personnel to provide oversight, care, and transportation assistance for unaccompanied minors pending transfer to HHS custody.

We are standing up additional facilities in Texas and Arizona to shelter unaccompanied children and families. We are working with Mexico to increase its capacity to receive expelled families. We partnered with community-based organizations to test and quarantine families that Mexico has not had the capacity to receive. We have developed a framework for partnering with local mayors and public health officials to pay for 100% of the expense for testing, isolation, and quarantine for migrants.  ICE has also developed additional facilities to provide testing, local transportation, immigration document assistance, orientation, travel coordination in the interior, and mechanisms to support oversight of the migrant families who are not expelled.

Working with Mexico and international organizations, we built a system in which migrants who were forced to remain in Mexico and denied a chance to seek protection under the previous administration can now use a virtual platform —using their phones— to register. They do not need to take the dangerous journey to the border. The individuals are tested, processed, and transported to a port of entry safely and out of the hands of traffickers. We succeeded in processing the individuals who were in the Matamoros camp in Mexico. This is the roadmap going forward for a system that is safe, orderly, and fair.

To protect our own workforce, we launched Operation Vaccinate Our Workforce (VOW) in late January. At the beginning of this administration, less than 2 percent of our frontline personnel were vaccinated. Now more than 25 percent of our frontline personnel have been vaccinated.

We directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist HHS in developing the capacity to meet the surge of unaccompanied children. FEMA already established one new facility for HHS to shelter 700 children. They have identified and are currently adding additional facilities. We are working with HHS to more efficiently identify and screen sponsors for children. In two days, we recruited more than 560 DHS volunteers to support HHS in our collective efforts to address the needs of the unaccompanied children.

We are restarting and expanding the Central American Minors program. It creates a lawful pathway for children to come to the United States without having to take the dangerous journey. Under this expansion, children will be processed in their home countries and brought to the United States in a safe and orderly way.

In addition, DHS and HHS terminated a 2018 agreement that had a chilling effect on potential sponsors —typically a parent or close relative— from coming forward to care for an unaccompanied child placed in an HHS shelter. In its place, DHS and HHS signed a new Memorandum of Agreement that promotes the safe and timely transfer of children. It keeps safeguards designed to ensure children are unified with properly vetted sponsors who can safely care for them while they await immigration proceedings.

The Path Forward
We are creating joint processing centers so that children can be placed in HHS care immediately after Border Patrol encounters them. We are also identifying and equipping additional facilities for HHS to shelter unaccompanied children until they are placed with family or sponsors. These are short-term solutions to address the surge of unaccompanied children.

Longer term, we are working with Mexico and international organizations to expand our new virtual platform so that unaccompanied children can access it without having to take the dangerous journey to our border. As mentioned, we are expanding the Central American Minors program to permit more children to be processed in their home countries and if eligible, brought to the United States in a safe and orderly way.

We are developing additional legal and safe pathways for children and others to reach the United States. While we are building a formal refugee program throughout the region, we are working with Mexico, the Northern Triangle countries, and international organizations to establish processing centers in those countries so that individuals can be screened through them and brought to the United States if they qualify for relief under our humanitarian laws and other authorities.

For years, the asylum system has been badly in need of reengineering. In addition to improving the process by which unaccompanied children are placed with family or sponsors, we will be issuing a new regulation shortly and taking other measures to implement the long-needed systemic reforms. We will shorten from years to months the time it takes to adjudicate an asylum claim while ensuring procedural safeguards and enhancing access to counsel.

President Biden laid out a vision of a “multi-pronged approach toward managing migration throughout North and Central America that reflects the Nation’s highest values.” To that end, we are working with the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, and State in an all-of-government effort to not only address the current situation at our southwest border, but to institute longer-term solutions to irregular migration from countries in our hemisphere that are suffering worsening conditions. This is powerfully exemplified by the President’s goal to invest $4 billion in the Northern Triangle countries to address the root causes of migration.

The situation we are currently facing at the southwest border is a difficult one.  We are tackling it. We are keeping our borders secure, enforcing our laws, and staying true to our values and principles. We can do so because of the incredible talent and unwavering dedication of our workforce.

I came to this country as an infant, brought by parents who understood the hope and promise of America. Today, young children are arriving at our border with that same hope. We can do this.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021



Monday, March 08, 2021

American Recovery Act

2021 Stimulus  America Recovery and Re-investment  Act - context


$1.9 Trillion.


Cost of 2017 Corporate Tax cut.


 $ 1.9  Trillion over 10 years.

            ( addition to national debt 2.2 Trillion)


Cost of development of F 35 fighter jet


 $ 1.7 Trillion,  

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Lets be Clear; Bipartisanship Does not Exist



After Stimulus Victory in Senate, Reality Sinks in: Bipartisanship Is Dead

With Republicans poised to block Democrats’ top priorities, the party-line vote on the $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package showed the gulf between the parties was too wide to be bridged.


Friday, March 05, 2021

$225 Million In New Revenue: 10 Facts About the SCUSD Budget

$225 Million In New Revenue: 10 Facts About the SCUSD Budget: Fact # 1:  Since the 2012-2013 school year, the District has run a surplus every year except one:  2017-18 (2012-13 to 2018-19 Projections & 2012-13 to 2018-19 Actuals).  The District was told by the Sacramento County Office of Education it needed to make budget cuts to offset the costs of our contract settlement. Instead Superintendent […]

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Schools and the American Rescue Plan


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