UFW endorses Perez to head DNC, citing ‘a different kind of candidate’ who ‘is not afraid of a fight’
United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez announced the UFW’s endorsement of U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez to lead the Democratic National Committee in a statement issued today from the union’s Keene, Calif. headquarters.
Tom Perez is a civil rights leader, a labor champion and an organizer who has successfully run large organizations. That is why the United Farm Workers endorses him to lead the Democratic National Committee. This is the first time the UFW has ever backed a candidate for chair of the DNC, but these are different times and Tom Perez is a different kind of candidate.
Tom Perez knows how to organize—chairing the board of CASA de Maryland for five years where he helped build a seat at the table for immigrants in his home state of Maryland. He has been a lifelong friend of labor and immigrants. When farm workers needed him, Tom Perez stood up and fought. He understands the value of hard work starting from his days laboring on the back of garbage trucks to help put himself through college. He used his education to advance civil rights and justice, dedicating his entire life to leveling the playing field for all. Over the last eight years, Tom oversaw enforcement of civil rights laws at the Department of Justice after years of inactivity, taking on Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for discriminating against Latinos and immigrants, and using the tools and leadership of the Department of Labor to improve worker wages. He played a key role in helping farm workers in California win the same overtime pay protections as all other workers, and in doing so is helping end 78 years of race-based discrimination. Tom’s record proves he is not afraid of a fight and he understands the responsibilities that come with leadership.
We need a leader who can get things done, not one who will divide our country. We need a unifier who has stood for the very values for which Cesar Chavez fought. That person is Tom Perez.