Huerta, Garcia convene listening session with Latina leaders just three days before election
CHICAGO, IL â€“ Nationally renowned labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta publicly endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesus â€œChuyâ€ 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.
â€œDolores 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,â€ said Garcia. â€œShe understands how much Mr. Emanuelâ€™s agenda has hurt the people of this city, and Iâ€™m deeply honored to have her support.â€
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 Garciaâ€™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.
â€œWe need a good public education system for all of the nationâ€™s children,â€ said Huerta.Â â€This cityâ€™s current mayor has the wrong priorities to make that happen for the children in all of Chicagoâ€™s neighborhood.â€
Participants also called for a fair and equitable system of immigration reform. â€œI will push forward with comprehensive immigration reform next year at the Democratic National Convention,â€ promised Huerta. â€œAnd I will push both political parties to embrace this issue.â€
Economic issues were another top concern â€” 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. â€œIâ€™m committed to working with Chicagoâ€™s school superintendent to come up with concrete strategies that help the 22,000 students in Chicagoâ€™s public schools who face unstable housing,â€ said Garcia.
Huerta talked about the groundswell of excitement at the national level for Chuyâ€™s campaign. â€œIn California, the state is abuzz. This is a historic race not only in Chicago but also across the United States,â€ 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.