Dolores Huerta, an icon of the feminist and labor movements, was appointed yesterday to a five-month term on the University of California Board of Regents. Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) with Cesar Chavez, is famous for organizing with Chavez the grape boycotts in the 1960s that won the farm workers national support, and she was key in subsequent lettuce and Gallo wine boycotts in the 1970s. She is a Feminist Majority Foundation board member. “Dolores is a true leader for labor, Latino and women’s rights,” said FMF President Eleanor Smeal. “We are lucky to have such an inspiring and dedicated leader working with the feminist movement.”
Huerta was appointed after a political flap between Gov. Gray Davis and state Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles). Romero had protested Davis’ re-nomination of broadcast executive Norman Pattiz to a full 12-year term on the Board of Regents, arguing that Davis needed to appoint someone who reflected California’s diversity. “You look at that list of regents, it’s like a who’s who of donors in California. It’s like a who’s who of wealthy white men in California,” Romero told the LA Times. Romero told the Times that a vote for Pattiz would be “appropriate” in the future if Davis works to increase the diversity of the board.
Huerta is a founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation. She was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and in 1998 was named one of three Ms. magazine “Women of the Year” as well as one of the Ladies Home Journal’s “100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century.” She was presented with the second annual Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship last December.