Archive | Cesar Chavez

An Historic Day for Labor

Labor Day falls this year on the anniversary of a truly historic labor victory. Forty-eight years ago today, workers gathered in a hall in Delano, California, nervously awaiting the results of the first election in the fields: The fight to represent farmworkers who picked grapes at giant DiGiorgio Company. It was an election, Cesar Chavez later said, that […]

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Health Care for Farmworkers, or an infusion for an ailing union?

  The Robert F. Kennedy health insurance plan illustrates two extremes of Cesar Chavez’s legacy for farmworkers. In the early 1970s, the UFW-sponsored plan provided much-needed health care for farmworkers and epitomized the audacious triumphs that grew from Chavez’s soaring vision. But within a decade, the insurance program came crashing to earth in a bureaucratic mess. Staffed […]

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Crusades of Cesar Chavez, Week One

It’s been a whirlwind first week! I’ve done about 25 interviews with local and national print, radio and television media — in studio, skype podcasts, and phone interviews. The conversations have been thoughtful and thought-provoking, touching on issues including immigration, movement-building, and of course, details of Chavez’s life. I’ve also written a couple of pieces, […]

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A terrific movie

Sometimes truth is more dramatic than fiction. If you want to watch the best movie made about Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement, all you need is an internet connection. Several old movies now online capture the spirit and action of the times — not to mention the vintage cars, hairstyles, dress, and music – […]

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An Iconic Image

  Forty-six years ago today, Cesar Chavez broke a 25-day fast in Delano, California, with Senator Robert F. Kennedy by his side. The picture of the rising political star and the weakened but equally charismatic farmworker leader became probably the most famous and enduring image of the movement. The photo has been used repeatedly throughout […]

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Why March 28 Matters So Much…

…to the producers of the Cesar Chavez biopic. Opening weekend is a make-or-break time for a movie, a trend that has accelerated in recent years. In the 1980s, opening weekend accounted for only about 15 percent of a movie’s box office; now it can be more than twice that much. “A bad opening will usually […]

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