Bonta Bill To Honor California Hero And Filipino American Labor Leader Larry Itliong Heads To Governor

Monday, June 22, 2015

AB 7 establishes"Larry Itliong Day" in California

(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) is proud to announce that his bill to establish Larry Itliong Day in California passed the Senate with unanimous and bipartisan support (37-0). The bill would require the Governor to annually proclaim Itliong's October 25th birthdate as "Larry Itliong Day" in the state and would encourage public schools to teach about Itliong's life and contributions to California. The bill now heads to the Governor's desk for his signature.

"Larry Itliong was one of the greatest labor organizers and leaders in California history. He was a hero not only to the Filipino American community, but for all Californians and Americans who fought and continue to fight for socioeconomic and racial justice in our state and nation. AB 7 properly honors his life's work as a great historical leader for our state," said Bonta.

Larry Itliong led the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), which was the first to strike for improved wages and working conditions in Delano in 1965 - launching the California farm labor movement. AWOC and the National Farm Workers Association, led by Cesar Chávez and Dolores Huerta, joined forces soon thereafter - at the urging of Itliong - to start the now internationally-famous United Farm Workers of America.

"While the farm labor movement is often seen predominantly as a Latino movement, it encompassed much more than just one ethnic group. Filipino American and Latino labor leaders built a beautiful collaborative relationship to create the farm worker movement in California, and Larry Itliong played a critical leadership role in that movement. I'm grateful to have this opportunity to recognize his contributions to California," Bonta concluded.

Assemblymember Bonta is the first and only Filipino American ever elected to the California State Assembly, and he explained that it's important to him that the story of the Filipino American experience in California - a story that up to now has been largely untold - be told.

AB 7 is supported by the Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO; Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Asian Pacific Environmental Network; California College and University Police Chiefs Association; California History Center Foundation De Anza College; California Immigrant Policy Center; City of Berkeley; Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles; Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Society; Filipino American National Historical Society, Santa Clara Valley Chapter; Filipino Senior Citizen Association; GK 1 World Foundation; Little Manila Foundation; Philippine National Day Association; Philippine Weekend, Inc.; San Francisco State University; and Yerba Buena High School.

Visit AB 7 to read the full text of the bill.

Learn more about Itliong in this Assembly Access Video.

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. Bonta Chairs the Assembly Health Committee; the Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee; and the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. He is also a member of the following committees: Appropriations, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services, Joint Legislative Budget, and Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management.