Rally for Farm Workers’ Rights, Stop Methyl Iodide, and Take Back California
We are approaching a time in our democratic history where new leaders must arise out of the ashes of our recession, for left behind is a void to be filled with unknown leaders who still lurk in the shadows of this country, waiting for someone to bring them out, or to be brought out when the moment is ripe.
Republicans have an advantage because they are militant about their form of economic prowess. A militancy that only accounts for a fiduciary responsibility, a bottom line, to the elite in society that are so incubated from the struggle of the common man that their comfort and opulence comes at the price of the middle class and the poor.
As a Democrat, I do not share the same bottom line with my fellow republicans. They are motivated and rewarded by protecting the upper echelons of society, who claim to drive our economy forward and keep the masses dependent upon them for their very survival.
The time has come for Democrats to stand untied under a “bottom line” that defines the fate of our future and our nation. The luxury to faction into environmental and human rights groups must come to an end. We must unite under one banner, or it will kill us and destroy any movement we seek to empower.
The time has come for Democrats alike to unite under one agenda and one banner – to build power for those who will in turn create new leaders and champions that will overturn the tide of economic exploitation that has caused our precious corporate backbone to break into a thousand pieces and export them to foreign nations far and wide.
It is too often that republican counter parts give Democrats a slice of whatever small piece of the pie to satisfy a few of those who have become so disillusioned in our system of democracy that they become like bottom suckers obedient to their fiduciary responsibility in order to ensure a fleeting and seemingly meaningless re-election.
Democratic militancy will arise when the bottom line imposes such a rigorous form of oppression and exploitation that the middle class becomes entwined in a struggle for their survival and the threat of poverty looms overhead like a prophetic dark cloud thundering with the threat to strike upon the very backbone of our country.
Friends, the middle class is suffering and our way of life is no longer sustainable. For the first time in history of this country, our children will be worse off than us.
The middle class is fragmented and weakened by the staggering economy and yet our precious unions are being attacked by the very same force that strikes at the heart of our democracy and threatens a fascist regime of immoral capitalism that is no longer consistent with the democratic values set forth by our founding fathers.
The Democratic Party is plagued with factions, differences of opinions, and dare I say wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. And for those who play to your own ambitions need a reminder from a man who sacrificed his life to teach us that this day would come, where we must put aside our differences and unite once again if we are to take back our country – “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
There are many issues we must work on.
First, we must create jobs in our own communities and reform our educational system, ensure our environment is being protected while simultaneously relying upon sustainable and environmental practices that are proven to create jobs and begin the arduous process of reversing the deleterious effects our institutions have imposed upon our planet.
These changes will not come easily. These changes will require us all to sacrifice a lifestyle we have been used to in order that we can guarantee our children will not have to digress into a world where unemployment remains high and our educational system renders robots capable of regurgitating a history that promotes more ignorance about the realities facing our world today.
The Democratic Party needs more power and more troops in order to turn back the tide of ill economic policy that has favored a miniscule minority of industrialists who dictate exploitive policies and have dominated our educational institutions, our media, and our legislative institutions. Now is the time, my friends, to launch a united front against the same powerful interests that have abandoned Americans for an oversea paradise that will only prove to be a plague of more exploitation and generated hate for America.
The Democratic bottom line must be defined just as the Republicans have defined theirs, and Democrats must build power under a united front with leaders that have the power to unify the unions, and the Party, into a force that will make our republican counterparts tremble as they see their bottom line fall while our standards of living begin to rise once again. I tell you friends, their bottom line and GDP does not define how we live our lives.
We are the people and we have the power to innovate, dream, and create the future that our founding fathers envisioned for our country. As Cesar Chavez once wrote, “Money is not going to organize the disadvantaged, the powerless, or the poor. We need other weapons. That’s why the War on Poverty is such a miserable failure. You put out a big pot of money and all you do is fight over it. Then you run out money and you run out troops.”
Now is the time for our Democratic leaders, lurking in the dark, waiting for this moment to arise, to come out from the shadows and take control over our agenda to take back our country and force the republicans to listen to the masses who will not tolerate conditions that deny basic human rights and fare wages for all workers, especially the farm workers.
For the last 5 years, the UFW has been tirelessly working to stop the use of methyl iodide, a cancer causing pesticide that scientists call, "one of the most toxic chemicals on earth." In March of 2010, the UFW even took legal action joining with other environmental groups.
Just this past year, the Democratic Party united under one banner and passed a resolution urging Governor Jerry Brown to reverse the registration of this highly toxic pesticide. Still, he does not listen to our voice.
Two months ago, Governor Brown vetoed the Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act, a bill that would have made it easier for farm workers to join a union and speak up for their rights. More than 1,000 farm workers visited the Capitol during the 12 days Governor Brown deliberated on the bill.
Now is the time for Democratic action to strike fiercely and look into the eyes of corrupt government gone awry. The foundation upon our party is our ability to organize into a unified force and build power through sheer determination and with the conviction that we have the Truth on our side.
We ask you, fellow Democrats, to join us in organizing a unified front by building power within our respective unions to get behind the UFW and help them win this battle for fair treatment for farm workers. This is a symbolic as well as a very real movement that cuts to the heart of a greater movement that will begin the shift toward greater power and force to begin taking back our country from those who only see America as a corporate subsidiary for harnessing the blood and toil of the masses for their pure self- interest and economic gain.
Enough is enough!
Join us in a united front to build the power we need and facilitate the development of leaders and elected officials that will sacrifice their own ambitions to include the greater good of our people into that equation.
On Sunday, August 29th there will be a rally at the capitol to celebrate the end of a 165 mile march that will mirror the 2002 10 day march where 5,000 people gathered to urge then Governor Gray Davis to sign the United Farm Workers-sponsored bill granting field laborers mediation and arbitration to win union contracts when growers drag out negotiations.
We urge you and your respective Democratic clubs to come and support the UFW and unite under one banner as we once did during the 70’s after Cesar Chavez founded the UFW. Let us learn from history and take back what is rightfully ours. Identify key leaders within your own clubs who are willing to step forward and become champions for a cause that will lead them to greater glory and power to turn the tides of history in our favor.
Si se puede!
Disclosure: Asael Sala is a community organizer with statewide environmental justice/human rights coalitions, a community advisory board member for a local health system, and Chair of Campaign Services for a local partisan civic engagement club.