Randy Shaw: The SEIU-UNITE HERE conflict also shows the peril of veteran labor leaders quietly deferring to destructive decisions by top union officials, a lesson that was supposed to have been learned from activists’ experience with Cesar Chavez and the UFW in the 1970’s.
John Delloro: Longtime labor and international activist Bill Fletcher likened the Tea Party movement to herpes—they have always been there lying dormant and inevitably re-emerge whenever the nation’s immune system goes down. Highlighting the racist overtures of this inflammation on the body politic, Bill adds that it will take more than “economic inoculation” in order to return them into a slumbering state. In other words, just addressing “bread and butter” issues will not be enough. We still need to address race.
Randy Shaw: Cesar Chavez dared to accomplish what most thought impossible, demonstrating the potential of national grassroots campaigns to win against all odds. Understanding the UFW’s success should cause activists to think bigger about what’s possible.
Joseph Palermo: Sadly, the clear winner in recent years has been the California of small things and small ideas. Through an outdated flaw in the structure of governance, one-third of the Legislature has a stranglehold on the state’s finances. The other two-thirds (the majority) knows the state is heading in the wrong direction. Yet given its lack of control over the purse strings, it’s left flailing around passing a lot of symbolic laws that go nowhere.
When Barack Obama adopted “Yes We Can” as his campaign theme, he harkened back to the “Si Se Puede” rallying cry popularized by Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers of America (UFW). As we celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, the President should consider a more lasting action to honor the UFW leader’s legacy: revising the 1935 […]
by Randy Shaw – The last day of the Democratic Convention at Mile High Stadium was an extraordinary occasion that transcended politics and became almost spiritual. I have never been part of such a public event—political or not—and doubt whether an equivalent happening has ever occurred in the United States or will soon be repeated.