Remembering Our Long Time Friend, Senator Edward Kennedy

Senator Kennedy was a champion for farm workers.  The Farm Worker Movement expresses our deepest condolences to the Kennedy Family. Click to read resolution from UFW’s August 2008 Convention honoring our longtime friendship.

Please share your personal memories of  Senator Kennedy by leaving a “reply” below. Viva Kennedy!

United Farm Workers of America:
Why we loved Sen. Ted Kennedy

By UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez and
Paul F. Chavez, President Cesar E Chavez Foundation

Since Sen. Edward M. Kennedy championed the cause of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement after picking up the mantle from Sen. Robert F. Kennedy following his assassination in 1968, no national political leader has more effectively and selflessly embraced the farm workers’ cause.

Year after year, Sen. Kennedy stood shoulder to shoulder with the farm workers in good times and bad during marches and rallies, political campaigns and legislative battles from the halls of the United States Senate to the dusty farm fields of California.

As United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta once said, Robert and Ted Kennedy “didn’t come to us and tell us what was good for us. All they said was, ‘What do you want? And how can I help?’ That’s why we love them.”

From helping convince Congress to end the infamous Bracero Program in 1964 to becoming the driving force in recent years behind the United Farm Workers’ historic AgJobs immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Kennedy never failed to respond to the farm workers’ call for help.

In the last several years, Sen. Kennedy was a leading author of the landmark AgJobs bill, negotiated by the UFW and the nation’s agricultural industry to allow undocumented farm workers in this country to earn the permanent legal right to stay by continuing to work in agriculture.

The best way to honor Sen. Kennedy’s commitment and selflessness is to continue advancing the farm workers’ cause he unequivocally supported.

Comment by UFW Co-Founder Dolores Huerta

This is a great loss for the Latino community because Senator Kennedy was such a steadfast advocate and supporter of the the Latino community and farm workers specifically.

We should honor his memory by joining in the fight for universal health care and immigration reform.

Viva Ted Kennedy!

21 Responses to Remembering Our Long Time Friend, Senator Edward Kennedy

  1. Patty says:

    Ted Kennedy was a great leader. He will be missed.
    Viva Ted Kennedy!

  2. Christy Lafferty says:

    Senator Ted Kennedy should be an example and an inspiration to us all. With an unwavering commitment to the fight for justice for farm workers and many other important causes focused on benefitting those least privileged in our society, he will be greatly missed.

    God Bless Ted Kennedy. Que viva Ted Kennedy!

  3. Jocelyn Sherman says:

    I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy. Senator Kernnedy has always been there fighting for farm workers and other working people. The American people lost a true leader.

  4. Juana Gutierrez says:

    Estamos muy tristes por esta perdida tan grande
    siempre lo vamos a extranar y recordar con todo nuestro carino Senador Ted kennedy Muchas gracias por todo lo que hiciste por toda la minoria

  5. […] at Walter Reed hospital, unpublicized, and he is memorialized by great leftist leaders like Dolores Huerta, Republicans like Orrin Hatch and in a tearful speech, Vice President Joe […]

  6. Senator Ted Kennedy was a champion for many people, including those who could not speak for themselves. His work in support of public education continues to positively impact the lives of millions of children in this country. His legacy will live for generations to come through their accomplishments now and in the future. God bless this amazing man. Si Se Puede!

  7. Esther Uranday says:

    I remember Senator Kennedy from the UFW march in May of 1969 when I first met him and I also remember him from the 1973 UFW’s First Constitutional Convention when he addressed the delegates.I remember his words on his closing speech” I come here today to honor your courage, your committment & your cause. Your struggle is the struggle for human dignity $ freedom. Your struggle is the struggle of America to reclaime it’s promise. It is the struggle that must be won if we are to reach our 200th anniversary. You stand for the best of America. You stand for the ideals of our past and the hope for our future. I have come to stand with you before and come to stand with you again and I shall keep coming until victory is yours”. He has passed on but this great man will never be forgotten. My condolences and prayers to all of his family.

  8. […] think that Edward Kennedy has as deep of a connection to migrant workers as his brother? Turns out I was wrong. Via the UFW blog: Since Sen. Edward M. Kennedy championed the cause of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement […]

  9. Francisco Martinez says:

    Siento la perdida de Ted Kennedy. Tuve el honor de conocer a Ted en la primera convencion d UFW en Fresno California como uno de los primeros delegados. Yo personalmente me di cuenta cuando Ted ofrecio dar apoyo y ayuda para el boicot en contra de la lechuga y las uvas. Hemos perdido un gran amigo que lucho para la causa de la Union de Campesinos. Que Dios lo guarde en paz.

  10. Alberto Escalante says:

    Edward M. Kennedy was our friend. Teddy was a man born to priviledge, yet he chose to be our champion. He was deeply committed to the cause of overcoming the ills of our society. He battled the inequities and all of the injustices. Not for money because he never took a paycheck for all his years of public service, but because of the love of his fellow man. Yes we all lost a warrior with the death of Ted Kennedy but moreso we lost a brother! Que Viva Teddy Kennedy!

  11. Alicia Sandoval says:

    Edward Kennedy was an inspiration to us all. He was a friend to farm workers and to everyone. He reminded us that we can keep our dreams alive and continue to have hope. He fought for us in the Senate for many many years. For those of us who have fought for social justice, farm workers basic rights, under represented populations we strive for a better tomorrow. Growing up, the Kennedy’s legacy has always been part of my life. I had the opportunity to meet Ted Kennedy 15 years ago when I worked in his campaign in Boston… His legacy will live on in each of our hearts! He is our hero! You will be missed dearly! Que Viva Ted Kennedy!

  12. An end of an era, but his friendship and actions on behalf of farm workers y los Latinos/Latinas as a whole lives on forever!

  13. […] – posted a memorial on their blog in honor of Kennedy's friendship and support, entitled “Remembering our Long Time Friend, Senator Edward Kennedy“, saying: Year after year, Sen. Kennedy stood shoulder to shoulder with the farm workers in […]

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