AP News

1 of farmworker movement's 1st female leaders dies


FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Jessie Lopez De La Cruz, a longtime leader in the national farmworker movement, has died. She was 93.

The United Farmworkers of America says De La Cruz died in Kingsburg, Calif., on Labor Day. She was one of the union's first female members and organizers.

De La Cruz organized workers in the fields, participated in grape boycotts and testified on outlawing the short-handled hoe.

Born in Anaheim, Calif., she joined the UFW in her 40s, after Cesar Chavez visited her Parlier home to speak with farmworkers about forming a union.

Friends and family say De La Cruz was known for her humility and devotion to improving the lives of farmworkers.

Her life has been documented in books, news articles and in a 1998 miniseries titled, "A Will of Their Own."


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