UFW President Teresa Romero

The Cesar Chavez Commemorative Committee/SFV (CCCC) and the locally based organization Pueblo Y Salud Inc., will honor UFW President Teresa Romero at their annual Warriors for Justice fundraising dinner on Friday, March 1, at the Cesar Chavez Learning Academies.

The organization will also honor the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA). 

The annual dinner helps raise funds for the organization’s activities that include the annual Cesar Chavez March for Justice held in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, and seeks to educate and preserve the late labor leader’s legacy. 

Romero, elected last December to succeed Arturo Rodriguez as president of the UFW, is the first Latina and first immigrant to become president of a national union in the United States. She received an unanimous vote by the UFW executive board. 

Arturo Rodriguez served as president of the union following the death of  Cesar Chavez. Chavez and Dolores Huerta founded the union that fought for the rights of farmworkers. It was expected that Huerta would be given the reins 26 years ago to follow Chavez, but she was not chosen.

Huerta is credited with a long list of accomplishments as co-founder, including negotiating the union’s first bargaining agreement in 1996 and the union’s mantra “Si Se Puede!” In an interview, following the announcement of Romero becoming UFW President, Huerta said her election was a landmark and historical moment for the UFW.  

“I am absolutely thrilled to see that we have a woman as the new president of the United Farmworkers…about half of the people that work in the fields, maybe 40 percent, are women, often they are not really recognized … but they are a very, very, very big part not only of the workforce but also of the leadership of United Farmworkers,” Huerta said.

Romero, a Zapotec Mexican immigrant who became a US Citizen, managed a family construction business and worked at a law firm that specialized in immigration and workers compensation claims before being hired by the UFW.  

She has handled a myriad of responsibilities that included, legislative and legal affairs, staff recruitment and personnel. Romero served as the Secretary-Treasurer and the Chief Administrative Officer, overseeing the financial management for the labor union.

The CCCC will also honor United Teachers of Los Angeles and its 33,000 LAUSD members who participated in a six-day strike that brought a 6 percent pay raise, fought to cap class sizes, and hired full-time nurses for every school, and librarians for every middle and high school in the district by the fall of 2020.

The union also won a significant concession from the district on standardized tests to develop a plan to cut testing by half. Next year a committee will develop a plan to reduce the number of assessments by half.

As a result of the strike, there will also be an upcoming vote calling on the state to cap the number of charter schools.

For information on the dinner, call Pueblo y Salud, (818) 837-2272, or Alex Reza by phone (661) 259-3938 or email  aareza@mac.com.   To make a donation go to:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/warriors-for-justice-annual-dinner-tickets-57256119595.