Roberto De La Cruz
grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California, in one of the founding families of the United Farm Workers of America.
Roberto had worked in the fields since he was six years old, and was present at the founding convention in 1962 in Fresno, CA where he was born.
has never forgotten his
roots, committing his
working life to achieving social and economic justice for working people.
After a stint in the Navy, the values he learned early in life led Roberto back to work with the UFW, where he served for over 25 years as an organizer, negotiator, and union representative, leading organizing drives and strikes in the citrus and vegetable industries in the late seventies, including the strike in 1973 at E & J Gallo wine company, with Mexicanos and Portuguese farm workers.
travelled all over the country and in Canada on various boycott and political campaigns.
During the early '80s, he served as Political Director and Executive Board Member of the UFW.
Roberto continued working with labor, joining the Service Employees International Union in 1991.
With SEIU he
led successful organizing drives in industrial, health care, and public sectors, in Illinois, Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, and in Puerto Rico, where he
helped to pass an historic law enabling public employees to organize and bargain collectively for the first time on the island.
has consulted on many political campaigns, coordinating Field Work and union political activity in several national and statewide elections.
has worked on immigration issues all across the country, on behalf of SEIU
was one of the coordinators for the historic marches and rallies that culminated in May of 2006, one of the largest marches in the history of Los Angeles, and coordinated union activities in support of the Occupy L.A. movement.
was one of the main coordinators of the historical "Fast for Families" to bring attention to legalization with a path to citizenship in 2013, and helped with many "Mi Familia Vota" campaigns to encourage Citizenship, Civic Participation, Voter Registration and Engagement in the Latino community.
He is an expert in building coalitions all across the country and targeting key politicians to support policies that benefit immigrant communities.
occasionally co-hosts a morning talk radio show called "Despierta Ya Campesino," on the UFW radio station Radio Campesina, founded by Cesar Chavez, discussing issues of workers' rights, immigration, organizing, etc.
Roberto recently retired from his position as the SEIU California Deputy Director and Special Assistant to SEIU Secretary -Treasurer Eliseo Medina.