R 212
2019 -- H 5980
Enacted 04/10/2019

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Tobon, Shekarchi, Maldonado, Barros, and Diaz
Date Introduced: April 10, 2019

     WHEREAS, Dolores Clara Fernandez was born in the mountains of northern New
Mexico, the daughter of Juan Feranández, a farm worker and miner by trade, who became a union
activist, and ultimately won a seat in the New Mexico Legislature; and
     WHEREAS, Growing up in California, Ms. Fernandez was raised by her mother Alicia, a
strong and independent woman, widely-known for her kindness and compassion to others, who
taught the young Dolores to respect cultural diversity and admire community involvement; and
     WHEREAS, As a student, Dolores became involved with numerous school clubs, was a
member of the Girl Scouts, and ultimately earned her provisional teaching credential from the
University of Pacific's Delta College in Stockton. She married Ralph Head and together the
couple had two daughters; and
     WHEREAS, As an organizer, serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community
Service Organization, Dolores founded the Agricultural Workers Association, set up voter
registration drives, and pressed local governments for barrio improvements which eventually led
to her launching the National Farm Workers Association with César E. Chávez in 1962; and
     WHEREAS, Dolores became an expert at lobbying and negotiating. In 1963, she secured
Aid For Dependent Families ("AFDC") and disability insurance for farm workers in the State of
California, was instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975,
and consistently broke down one gender barrier after another; and
     WHEREAS, Directing the first National Boycott of California Table Grapes out of New
York, Dolores began actively challenging gender discrimination, advocating for entire family
participation in the farm movement, and expounding on the fact that women and children were
also in the fields with the men; and
     WHEREAS, Although an ardent advocate for non-violence, at the age of 58, Dolores was
struck at a protest, breaking four ribs and shattering her spleen. Following a long recovery, she
traveled the country for two years on behalf of the Feminist Majority's Feminization of Power:
50/50 by the year 2000 Campaign, encouraging Latina's to run for office, and also served as
National Chair of the 21st Century Party; and
     WHEREAS, At the age of 83, Dolores is still reaching out to others, teaches individuals
that they have personal power, speaks with students and organizations on issues of social justice
and public policy, and engages in campaigns and influences legislation that supports equality and
defends civil rights; and
     WHEREAS, The recipient of a plethora of awards and recognitions, Dolores was
presented with The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United
States, and The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award. She has had four schools named in her
honor and has nine honorary doctorates from universities throughout the United States, to name
but a few; and
     WHEREAS, For most of her life, Dolores Huerta has fought an extraordinary battle to
ensure fair and safe work places for migrant workers, provide and encourage women to have a
voice in world affairs, and teach children to become involved in civic causes and their
communities. She is a teacher, a mother, a friend, a warrior, an organizer, and a peacemaker, and
she is truly deserving of our gratitude and highest esteem; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations hereby proclaims April 10th of 2019, to be "Dolores Huerta Day" and
moreover wishes her good health and continued success in all her endeavors; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Dolores Huerta.