Yesterday, President Obama honored 13 Americans with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This year's recipients included Dolores Huerta, who cofounded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez. In his speech the President said,
"Together, the honorees on this stage, and the ones who couldn't be here, have moved us with their words; they have inspired us with their actions. They've enriched our lives and they’ve changed our lives for the better. Some of them are household names; others have labored quietly out of the public eye. Most of them may never fully appreciate the difference they've made or the influence that they've had, but that's where our job comes in. It's our job to help let them know how extraordinary their impact has been on our lives. And so today we present this amazing group with one more accolade for a life well led, and that’s the Presidential Medal of Freedom."
Here’s what the President had to say about Dolores Huerta.
"Similarly, when Cesar Chavez sat Dolores Huerta down at his kitchen table and told her they should start a union, she thought he was joking. She was a single mother of seven children, so she obviously didn’t have a lot of free time. But Dolores had been an elementary school teacher and remembered seeing children come to school hungry and without shoes. So in the end, she agreed -- and workers everywhere are glad that she did. Without any negotiating experience, Dolores helped lead a worldwide grape boycott that forced growers to agree to some of the country's first farm worker contracts. And ever since, she has fought to give more people a seat at the table. "Don’t wait to be invited," she says, "Step in there." And on a personal note, Dolores was very gracious when I told her I had stolen her slogan, "Si, se puede." Yes, we can. Knowing her, I'm pleased that she let me off easy -- because Dolores does not play."
Latinos for Obama would like to congratulate Ms. Huerta for her exceptional work in our communities. "Si, se puede." You can read the President's full remarks here.