Breaking News: UFW Endorses Senator Dean Florez in Lt. Governor Bid

Just minutes ago an endorsement that may well carry with it a huge advantage was made in the 2010 race for California Lt. Governor.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter) was proud to receive today the endorsement of the United Farm workers AFL-CIO (UFW) in his race to be California’s next Lieutenant Governor.

The endorsement was announced by the UFW today at its complex at 40 Acres in Delano, California.  UFW President Arturo Rodriguez said,

Brave! That’s the word to describe Dean Florez. Farm workers have never had a braver, stronger, bolder friend than Dean Florez. We appreciate the support we get from progressives who get elected from progressive communities. But we admire people who support us when they represent areas where big agri-business calls all the shots. We admire Dean Florez. And if you care about farm workers, you will support him for Lt. Governor.”

Majority Leader has been long-time, staunch advocate for farm worker protections

In his decade in the California Legislature, Florez has successfully fought for many protections for those who toil in the California fields to provide the food we all rely on.

As an Assemblymember, Florez passed legislation requiring seatbelts and forward-facing seats in farm labor vehicles. This did away with the long-held but deadly practice of replacing manufacturers’ seating with parallel wooden benches that maximized capacity without regard for safety. The California Highway Patrol credited the change with a dramatic decrease in needless fatalities.

More recently, Senator Florez passed a measure to protect farm workers from pesticide drift, requiring counties to have emergency procedures in place and ensuring victims have access to proper medical care.

For several years now — since he held the eye-opening “Meeting in the Sun” — Florez has stayed on top of the Administration to ensure workplace heat regulations are in place and are enforced with regularity. The regulations call for basic measures such as access to shade and fresh water, to prevent the needless deaths seen each summer when Valley temperatures soar.

“Farm workers for too many years did not receive the same basic protections most of us take for granted. As a legislator with a personal understanding of this history, that status quo was unacceptable to me,” said Florez. “I am honored and humbled to be recognized for work which, to me, represents no more than the basic humanity we should all show toward each other.”