Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Endorses Garcia for Chicago Mayor

Huerta, Garcia convene listening session with Latina leaders just three days before election

CHICAGO, IL – Nationally renowned labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta publicly endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for mayor this morning at La Catrina Cafe in Pilsen during an open discussion with Garcia and more than 30 Latina leaders in the business, government and the non-profit sectors.

In 1962, Huerta and Cesar Chavez co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, the organization which later became the United Farm Workers.

“Dolores Huerta has spent a lifetime pushing back against employers and elected officials who have the wrong priorities for workers and make bad choices for our neighborhoods,” said Garcia. “She understands how much Mr. Emanuel’s agenda has hurt the people of this city, and I’m deeply honored to have her support.”

The wide-ranging morning conversation between Garcia, Huerta and the Latina civic leaders dealt with topics ranging from the battle against education privatization to strategies to tackle homelessness. A key focus was the challenges that ordinary Chicagoans in the wake of four years of broken promises, bad choices and wrong priorities from the Emanuel administration, and Garcia’s lifelong track record of fighting for the needs of ordinary people.

Participants stressed the need to stop school closures and provide public schools and teachers with the resources they need to give students a strong start in life.

“We need a good public education system for all of the nation’s children,” said Huerta. ”This city’s current mayor has the wrong priorities to make that happen for the children in all of Chicago’s neighborhood.”

Participants also called for a fair and equitable system of immigration reform. “I will push forward with comprehensive immigration reform next year at the Democratic National Convention,” promised Huerta. “And I will push both political parties to embrace this issue.”

Economic issues were another top concern — including the need to ensure that all local families and kids have stable housing, an issue that Garcia first focused on in his late teens. “I’m committed to working with Chicago’s school superintendent to come up with concrete strategies that help the 22,000 students in Chicago’s public schools who face unstable housing,” said Garcia.

Huerta talked about the groundswell of excitement at the national level for Chuy’s campaign. “In California, the state is abuzz. This is a historic race not only in Chicago but also across the United States,” Huerta said.

Participants closed out the gathering with a collective commitment to support Garcia and his policies by working to get out the vote on April 7.