I was in my first year of college and also in the convent in 1968-1969 in Cincinnati Ohio. There had been no mention of the boycott of lettuce and Gallo wine any where! But one day, Sister Jackie Martinez (may she rest in peace) called me and told me about the lettuce and Gallo wine boycott and that she and some of the other sisters plus some lay people were going to a Kroger Grocery to let people know about the boycott and have a small rally. I told her count me in!
We met on the following Saturday and had placards telling people to boyocott the store if it did not have union lettuce. At the same time,and we never learned how they knew we were coming was the John Birch Society! It was peaceful, we went in a circle and they had there circle. I did talk to one of them and learned that he thought that Socialsm and the Third World Order was trying to take over the country through this boycott. There was no way to persude him otherwise and so we stopped talking. It was my first boycott for UFW but certainly has not been my last.
My father, Tim G. Flores, was the Assistant to the Preisdent of the AFL-CIO, Herrick Roth (may he rest in peace) during the boycott. He had both Cesar and Dolores Huerta come to Coloardo to speak. It was than I had the honor to meet Cesar Chavez and later Dolores. Cesar was so humble, but his message strong! Also, Dolores Hureta and I have passed paths through the year. The last time was at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She spoke at the Hispanic luncheon and again, she was dynamic and spoke to make people a little uncomfortable, so that they would have new energy to go out not only for the President, but also for our community. I talke to her at the Hispanic Cacus and she always remembers my dad as a person who strove to be a union activist for our community. He never forgot where he came from, he was a farmworker when he was growing up and attain status as a person who worked for the voiceless for those in Colorado. He died in 1988. There was of course a woman next to him, my mother, Gudalupe (Lupe) Flores. She went to rallies too and even after two strokes never missed a chance to help out union rallies. She died in 2008.
The fight still continues and I will be there! April 6, Saturday, there will be a Cesar Chavez March and Cesar Chavez Awards for those who exemplive Cesar’s values in the Denver metro area. We will have a mass to begin with in honor of Cesar and than march from there to the Cesar Chavez Par which has been renovated. In the evening, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) will hold a fundraiser and honor three awardees for their contribution to the Cause will be receiving a Cesar Chavez Award. And next year we hope to have a Tim G. Flores, scholarship award to a child of union member to help with their college education.
Cesar Chavez will never be forgotten as long as we have struggles to meet - immigration, jobs, and education, etc. - we just have to remember that Cesar’s work did not happen in a day and it was relating to the all people to bring people together in a non-violent manner to bring our dreams come true.
Si Se Puede!