Labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Cesar Chavez, endorsed Rep. Karen Bass for mayor of Los Angeles Monday.
“Karen is uniquely positioned to be the leader that Los Angeles needs right now as it confronts the homelessness crisis,” Huerta said in a statement. “I’ve known Karen and her work for decades. When she’s faced with a challenge or crisis, she does what good organizers always do when they work in service to others — they bring people together, find common ground by listening to the people, and then develop solutions which make the most sense.”
Bass is running for mayor in 2022 to replace a termed-out Mayor Eric Garcetti. She will face several high-profile candidates in the June primary, including City Attorney Mike Feuer and City Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Kevin de León.
Huerta on Monday called Bass “a builder of multi-ethnic and multi-generational coalitions which stand the test of time.”
“She’s brought together Blacks and Latinos and Asians and whites; the legacies of her coalitions have had real impacts on health care, jobs and human rights in Los Angeles and beyond. She will do the same as mayor. She has been able to get results throughout her life by being a steady, patient leader who cultivates mutual respect through honesty and strength. I’m proud to support her in this fight,” Huerta said.
Huerta, 91, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. The union merged in 1965 with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to form the United Farm Workers. Huerta served as UFW’s vice president until 1999, during which time she advocated for better working conditions, organized workers and negotiated contracts.
In the 1960s, Huerta was one of the organizers for the Delano grape worker strike, in which Bass took part as a teenager, according to her campaign.
“This endorsement means the world to me,” Bass said.
“Dolores Huerta’s leadership and lifelong commitment to fighting for social and economic justice served as a model for me to emulate. She inspires people wherever she goes with her optimism and tenacity. I am honored to have earned her support and I look forward to seeking her guidance and participation as we build a citywide campaign to address Los Angeles’s humanitarian crisis.”
The primary for the 2022 Los Angeles mayoral election will take place June 7, with the top two finishers squaring off in the general election Nov. 8.
Along with Bass, Feuer, Buscaino and de León, candidates include business leader Jessica Lall, real estate agent Mel Wilson, entrepreneur Ramit Varma and marketing executive Craig Greiwe.