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Thursday, Jan. 12, at 11 a.m.: United Farm Workers offers early endorsement of President Obama with L.A. rally - Event kicks off series of union planned events across the country backing Obama's re-election
01/10/2012

Thursday, Jan. 12, at 11 a.m.
United Farm Workers offers early endorsement
of President Obama with L.A. rally
Event kicks off series of union planned events
across the country backing Obama's re-election


LOS ANGELES, CA -  President Barack Obama's re-election campaign receives an early endorsement from the United Farm Workers of America, the nation's largest and oldest farm workers union, during an 11 a.m. rally on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the UFW's Los Angeles offices, 4545 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. in East L.A. The rally kicks off  a series of union-sponsored events and rallies throughout the nation supporting the President.

"We are proud to endorse President Obama in this historic year during which the UFW celebrates its 50th anniversary," said UFW President Arturo Rodriguez. "President Obama stands with farm workers and immigrants. His administration is fighting against mean-spirited partisan legislation and gratuitous attacks by Republican politicians against hard-working, tax-paying immigrants who are among the most vulnerable people in our society."

Under U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, the administration reversed former President George W. Bush's last-minute changes to the nation's agricultural guest worker program that would have reduced wages and protections for both foreign and domestic farm workers.

The Obama administration also moved promptly to block SB 1070, the Arizona's anti-immigrant law that discriminates against Latinos and encourages racial profiling, and the administration is challenging similar legislation in Alabama and Georgia. Just last week, President Obama announced changes to federal immigration rules that would let relatives of U.S. citizens remain with their families while they work to adjust their immigration status.

"The theme of the 2008 Obama campaign reflected Cesar Chavez's famous cry of 'Si Se Puede!'," Rodriguez said. "In 2012, we can proudly examine our progress and say, 'Yes we can' ensure that the rights, wages, benefits and living conditions of the women and men who put food on our tables are enhanced and not diminished.

"We have taken many important steps forward over the last four years. We need President Obama leading the nation for the next four."

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Remarks by Arturo S. Rodriguez, President
United Farm Workers of America
Endorsing President Obama’s Reelection
January 12, 2012—East Los Angeles, Calif.



Today, the United Farm Workers of America issues an early endorsement of Barack Obama's re-election campaign and kicks off a series of rallies and events for the President across ten states between now and the end of January.

The UFW is organizing events in California’s Central Valley, Central Coast and North State Wine Country and Southern California. We are also organizing rallies or joining with supporters and sister farm worker groups in Oregon, Washington state, Arizona, and Texas; and in the key swing states of Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

We are proud to endorse President Obama in this historic year during which the UFW celebrates its 50th anniversary. We are proud to stand with President Obama because he has stood with farm workers and immigrants over the last three years.

His administration is fighting against mean-spirited partisan legislation and unjustified, intolerant attacks by Republican politicians against hard-working, tax-paying immigrants who are among the most vulnerable people in our society.

As soon as President Obama took office, he reminded us that elections do matter. Under Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, the administration reversed George W. Bush's last-minute changes to the nation's agricultural guest worker program that would have reduced wages and protections for both foreign and domestic farm workers. For more than 60,000 farm workers, this meant a pay increase of as much as $2 per hour.  Among the labor protections President Obama restored is the principle that U.S. farm workers be hired before foreign labor.

Congress still must remedy the nation's need for a legal and stable work force by enacting the historic, bipartisan AgJobs bill and immigration reform that President Obama supports. Negotiated by the UFW and the nation’s growers, AgJobs would let undocumented farm workers stay in this country by continuing to work in agriculture.

The Obama administration also moved promptly to block SB 1070, Arizona's anti-immigrant law that discriminates against Latinos and encourages racial profiling. The administration is challenging similar laws in Alabama and Georgia. The Obama Justice Department recently moved against Phoenix’s anti-immigrant sheriff, Joe Arpaio, over his discriminatory policing targeting Latinos.

Just last week, President Obama announced changes to federal immigration rules that would let relatives of U.S. citizens remain with their families while they work to adjust their immigration status.

Over entrenched opposition, the President’s landmark health care reform law will cover tens of millions of uninsured Americans, including many working Latinos.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar honored the legacy of Cesar Chavez by making the farm worker movement’s “Forty Acres” complex in Delano a National Historic Landmark.

Among the President’s appointments of outstanding Latinos and Latinas have been cabinet Secretaries Salazar and Solis, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The theme of the President’s 2008 campaign borrowed from the words of Cesar Chavez’s 1972 fast in Arizona, “Si Se Puede!”—or “Yes We Can!”

In 2012, we can examine our progress and say with certainty, “Yes we can” ensure that the rights, wages, benefits and living conditions of the women and men who put food on our tables are enhanced, and not diminished.

We have taken many important steps forward during the last three years of the President’s first term. We need President Obama leading the nation for the next four years of his second term so we can score further gains in the Latino and immigrant community.

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Click to see press conference photos . Copyright Jocelyn Sherman, UFW.