Biden is in California for Cesar Chavez Day. She, along with Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, visited The Forty Acres to take part in a Day of Action alongside the Cesar Chavez Foundation and the United Farmworkers Foundation.
The Forty Acres is the former headquarters of the United Farm Workers union, which was founded by Chavez.
Members of the Chavez family, including his son Paul, greeted the first lady. Julie Rodriguez, the Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the granddaughter of Cesar Chavez, traveled with Jill Biden to California and led the introductions.
Mariachi music played as farm workers waited for the first lady to make her remarks outside on a beautiful, sunny, California day. The crowd was friendly, shouting ‘We love you governor’ and ‘we love you FLOTUS’ when Biden and newsom came out to speak.
In her remarks, Jill Biden praised farm workers as essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘As millions of Americans were isolated at home, we depended on those who kept going in to work, every single day,’ she said.
‘Without the farm workers who kept harvesting our food, or the factory workers who packaged it, the grocery store clerks who stocked shelves, no one would have made it through this year,’ she noted.
She also touted her husband’s work for labor and his immigration policy.
‘He believes that our work must always be guided by justice and humanity,’ she said of President Biden. ‘And that’s exactly the kind of immigration policy he’s working to build—one that treats children and families with dignity and creates fair pathways to citizenship, including for essential workers.’
The first lady will also meet with farm workers and tour a COVID vaccination site during her visit.
The White House has been deploying Jill Biden to help with its agenda – whether she’s touting the benefits of the $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan or, as she is on Wednesday, paying homage to an important Democratic voting bloc with her visit to union workers.
Jill Biden arrived in California on Wednesday to tout the White House’s ties with labor
Jill Biden is celebrating Cesar Chavez Day at the historic Forty Acres
Jill Biden praised farm workers as ‘essential workers’ during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cesar Chavez was a civil rights activist that fought for equality, fair treatment and fair wages for many farmworkers. He remains a hero to many in the labor movement.
President Joe Biden, who has strong ties to the labor movement, has a bust of Chavez in the Oval Office, visible on the table behind the Resolute Desk.
‘I was proud to place a bust of César Chávez in the Oval Office, so that no one who enters that historic room may forget the powerful truths his farm worker hands imparted,’ he said in a statement on Wednesday. ‘On César Chávez Day, let us recommit ourselves to the duty we have in service to one another to work toward equity and justice across our communities.’
As the first lady was on the West Coast, President Joe Biden was in Pittsburgh, where he announced his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which will be paid for by a tax on the wealthy.
‘No one making under $400,000 will see their federal taxes go up, period,’ Biden said, reiterating a campaign promise and creating his own ‘read my lips’ moment.
‘This is not penalizing people. I have nothing against millionaires and billionaires. I believe in American capitalism. I want everyone to do well,’ he added.
President Joe Biden has long ties to labor and placed a bronze bust of Cesar Chavez in the Oval Office, visible on the table behind him
Jill Biden speaks with members from the Cesar Chavez family upon arrival at The Forty Acres, the first headquarters of the United Farm Workers labor union
The White House has been deploying Jill Biden to help with its agenda – whether she’s touting the benefits of the $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan or, as she is on Wednesday, paying homage to an important Democratic voting bloc with her visit to union workers
Unions supported Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign and he repaid their loyalty by hosting labor leaders in the Oval Office in February
President Barack Obama made Cesar Chavez Day a federal holiday in 2014.
The labor movement rallied behind Joe Biden early in the presidential primary process. The president often stresses his blue-collar roots and his birthplace of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Labor groups gave $27.5 million to Biden’s campaign, according to OpenSecrets, a non-profit that tracks campaign spending.
And labor leaders have called Biden the most union-friendly president of their lifetime.
The president has repaid their loyalty. One of the first groups he hosted in the Oval Office as labor leaders, who he brought in to discuss his COVID relief plan in February.
And Biden picked Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a former top union leader, to be his labor secretary.
It is Jill Biden’s second visit to California this month. She visited with military spouses and children based in Twentynine Palms Marine base three weeks ago as she prepares to relaunch Joining Forces, her military initiative with Michelle Obama.