Honoring Cesar Chavez

by Dolores Huerta; 03/31/2008; HillaryClinton.com

When I look to the strength of our country, I look to the mothers and fathers who built homes and raised families, and to the working men and women who were and are this nation’s lifeline. All during my childhood, it was my mother who kept our family going. She worked two jobs as a cook to support our family through the Great Depression and through her hard work, bought her own business, two hotels that she would run herself.

But my mother did more than make sure there was food on the table, she taught us to hold our heads high and work hard for a better future. When I came home with a ‘C’ because my teacher assumed no Latina could have written my essay, and when my brother came home bruised and beaten because he dared to wear a suit, my mother helped us to keep strong.

It was her influence that led me to start organizing. I began my career working as a teacher but quickly realized that I could do more by organizing their parents than by trying to teach hungry children. Blazing a new path for my students meant standing side by side with their parents; it meant forcing change in this generation, not just hoping for change for the next –and Cesar Chavez was there leading that movement with us. On March 31st we honor Cesar’s legacy and remember his commitment to justice and change.

Cesar made ensuring well-being for others an intrinsic part of his life – something that trickled down to thousands, including myself, triggering us to become part of something larger than ourselves. It was then and there — at that given point in time — that I helped Cesar found the United Farm Workers of America. His lifetime of service has paved the way for many, and provided inspiration for countless others.

Throughout her life, Hillary has refused to wait for change to come. She has pushed for change with the full weight of her body and soul, and she has done so all over the world, from Arkansas to China to Washington, D.C and New York. She has fought for equal pay, a living wage, and health care for our children, and security for our families.

We need a president who will help us answer the call for change, who will help us to make the world better, and who won’t shy away from the hard fight. Hillary is that leader, and I know she’ll stand with us, just like Cesar did.

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