UFW PROP 14 CAMPAIGN 1976
In 1975 the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) was formed to ensure peace in the fields by guaranteeing justice for all agricultural workers and stability in agricultural labor relations. But on April 3, 1976 the ALRB was shut down following the refusal of grower-friendly legislators to continue its funding. Recognizing the importance of the board, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers gathered 719,000 signatures to place Proposition 14 on the November 2nd ballot. The goal of the initiative was to restore the shut-down ALRB and prevent amendments weakening the farm labor law. Passage of Prop 14 would also guarantee migrant farm workers the right to vote on labor contracts. During a speech in Ocean Park in mid-September Chavez told a large crowd that farm workers from around the state would be coming to Los Angeles in late October to help get out the vote. Upon arrival and each day until the election they became "human billboards," standing on street corners with large Yes on 14 posters. At night they camped in the old co-op warehouse in West L.A. where UFW leaders, including Dolores Huerta, would inspire them to persevere. In the November 5th issue of the L.A. Free Press my photo essay ran under the banner, "Efforts of Farm workers In Vain." Although a well-financed and deceptive grower TV ad campaign defeated the initiative, it forced the Legislature to restore funding for the ALRB. And the campaign trained an entire generation of activists in voter registration drives, mass petition campaigns, intensive door to door and street outreach, public visibility events and election day get-out-the-vote efforts. Skills learned then helped former UFW Organizing Director Marshall Ganz, who led the Prop 14 effort, go on in 2007 to develop the strategies that brought Barack Obama to office.
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United Farm Workers Co-founder Cesar Chavez
(Santa Monica, CA, 1976)
UFW Co-founder Dolores Huerta (West L.A., 1976)
When Dolores Speaks (West L.A., 1976)
Proposition 14 Strategy Session (West L.A., 1976)
Inspiring the Workers (West L.A., 1976)
Viva la Causa (West L.A., 1976)
Matriarch of the UFW (West L.A., 1976)
Morning Prayers (West L.A., 1976)
Yes on 14 (East L.A., 1976)
Getting the Word Out (West L.A., 1976)