Dolores Huerta


April 1930

Full Name:

Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta


Labor Union Activist

Co-Founder, United Farm Workers of America

President, Dolores Huerta Foundation

Political Party:

Democratic Party

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Dolores Huerta, born Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta, is a labor union activist and community organizer best known for co-founding the United Farm Workers (UFW) labor union with Cesar Chavez.

She has had close associations with community organizers like Cesar Chavez, Fred Ross, and Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky. 1 Huerta, Fred Ross, and Caesar Chavez created the Agricultural Workers Association in the 1960s. 2

Huerta is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, secretary-treasurer emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America, and a board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation. 3 Huerta is also an honorary chair of the far-left political faction Democratic Socialists of America. 4

Personal Life

Huerta was born in New Mexico in 1930.

She received a teaching credential from the University of the Pacific Delta College.

She has 11 children with three different partners. She married her high-school sweetheart Ralph Head and had two children with him before divorcing. In the 1950s, she married Ventura Huerta, they had 5 children together. She had an additional 4 children with Richard Chavez, Cesar’s brother. 5


In 1955, Huerta founded the Community Service Organization and the Agricultural Workers Association. In 1968, Ms. Huerta led a strike of agricultural grape workers with Cesar Chavez. 6 Chavez and Huerta led the “La Huelga” strike over grape workers’ working conditions.

Huerta has led several strikes in her time with the United Farm Workers and associated organizations. In 1965 Chavez and Huerta led a 300-mile march from Delano, California to Sacramento, California. Then-Governor Ronald Reagan (R) countered the grape strike making public appearances eating grapes.

In 1973, UFW officials formed a “wet line” on the U.S. southern border to prevent migrants from coming into the United States. 7

During a 1988 protest in San Francisco, Ms. Huerta was injured by the police and later received a settlement for $825,000. Ms. Huerta was outside of a San Francisco hotel protesting then Vice-President George Bush’s stance on a United Farm Workers grape strike. 8

In 2002, Huerta created the Dolores Huerta Foundation to train low-income Californians to become community organizers. 9

Political Activities

In 2006, Huerta told a classroom audience of children to start a letter writing campaign that states, “Republicans hate Latinos.” 10

In 2016, Huerta offered to provide Spanish translation services for socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a presidential campaign event when a translator was not provided. 11 Huerta is the co-chair of the 2020 presidential campaign of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA). 12

Huerta has called for ethnic studies programs to be introduced in Kindergarten classrooms. 13

Huerta has claimed that President Donald Trump’s immigration policy at the southern border is “a step up above slavery.” Huerta has also expressed frustration by the lack of name recognition her name receives in comparison to Cesar Chavez. 14

One of Huerta’s sons, Emilio Huerta, is a politician who has leveraged his mother’s connections for support: The Los Angeles Times reported in 2018 that “[Dolores] Huerta’s influence is so great that potential candidates opted against running after speaking with her because they fear risking her future support.” 15 Emilio, who had run unsuccessfully for Congress in 2016, did not ultimately run in the 2018 general elections. 16

In her criticism of the pro-life movement, Huerta has described abortion opponents as “usually all white men or they’re all men, and they are going to make decisions about what women can do with their bodies.” 17 In 2007, Huerta received the “Margaret Sanger Award” from Planned Parenthood for her work in founding the National Farm Workers Association. 18


  1. “Dolores Huerta.” Dolores Huerta Foundation. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  2. “Dolores Huerta.” Dolores Huerta Foundation. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  3. Michals, Debra, Phd. “Dolores Huerta.” National Women’s History Museum. 2015. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  4. “DSA Commends Dolores Huerta.” Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). December 21, 2012. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  5. “Dolores Huerta with Her Eleven Children, 1986.” National Portrait Gallery – Catalog of American Portraits. Accessed June 04, 2019. Artist, Victor Alemán, born 1946.
  6. Godoy, Maria. “Dolores Huerta: The Civil Rights Icon Who Showed Farmworkers ‘Sí Se Puede’.” National Public Radio. September 17, 2017. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  7. Jr., Ruben Navarrette. “The Shameless Dolores Huerta.” The Daily Beast. June 25, 2015. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  8. “$825,000 Proposed for Union Activist Injured by Police.” Los Angeles Times. January 25, 1991. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  9. “Washington and California to Celebrate First Annual Dolores Huerta Day on April 10.” Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog. April 09, 2019. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  10. Hunnicutt, Loretta. “Huerta, TUSD Principal Urge Children to Join Them at City Council Meeting.” Arizona Daily Independent. October 27, 2017. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  11. Marcotte, Amanda. “Dolores Huerta Takes on Bernie’s Base: Nevada Caucus Flap Speaks Volumes about the Frustrations of Sanders Supporters.” February 22, 2016. Accessed June 04, 2019.
  12. Habib, Yamily. “Dolores Huerta Endorses Kamala Harris.” AL DÍA News. February 18, 2019. Accessed June 05, 2019.
  13. Bernstein, Dennis J. “The Neglected Legend of Dolores Huerta.” Consortium News. September 13, 2017. Accessed June 05, 2019.
  14. Mulcahy, Bridget. “‘This Is A Step Up Above Slavery’.” POLITICO Magazine. September 05, 2017. Accessed June 05, 2019.
  15. Wire, Sarah D. “Dolores Huerta Is Working to Make Sure the Only Democrat on the Ballot Is Her Son.” Los Angeles Times. February 20, 2018. Accessed June 05, 2019.
  16. Appleton, Rory. “Emilio Huerta Drops out of Congressional Race against David Valadao.” Fresnobee. March 04, 2018. Accessed June 11, 2019.
  17. Wilson, Emily. “Dolores Huerta: Ahead of Her Time.” Women’s Media Center. August 31, 2017. Accessed June 05, 2019.
  18. “The Maggie Awards Recognize Contributions Made by the Media and Arts That Enhance the Public’s Understanding of Reproductive Rights and Health Care Issues.” PPFA Margaret Sanger Award Winners. Accessed June 05, 2019.
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