Bishop Brennan joins UFW march
For mail-in ballots in union elections

2022-08-19T21:59:05-07:00August 20th, 2022|Bishops and church leaders|

Bishop Joseph Brennan of Fresno joined the United Farm Workers last week for a portion of the union’s march through California’s Central Valley to support a union voting rights bill.

The more than 300-mile march from Delano to Sacramento is in support of Assembly Bill 2183, the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act. The bill would allow farmworkers to use mail-in ballots for union elections.

The march passed through Fresno Aug. 11. Bishop Brennan, along with his predecessor, Bishop Armando Ochoa, joined the march at St. Anthony Mary Claret Church, and then spoke at a rally at Calwa Recreation & Park District, where Bishop Brennan also gave a blessing to the marchers.

“Our diocese is almost all agricultural land … and many people, many of the faithful here within our diocese,  people sitting in the pews, have some ties to farm workers or to agriculture,” Chandler Marquez, communications director for the Diocese of Fresno, told CNA.

“Farmworkers here and their rights are very important because they’re the ones who make the harvest happen for us.”

The Fresno diocese has long had warm relations with farmworkers, Marquez added. After the 1948 crash of a DC-3 killed the 32 persons aboard, most of whom were migrant farm laborers, the diocese covered their burial costs, and in 2013 aided in erecting a memorial with their names.

Regarding AB 2183, Marquez explained that “right now, the way the farmworkers vote [on unionizing] is on grower land, which could cause some intimidation, from performance supervisors and so forth. So this bill would actually just let them vote in the comfort of their own home without fear of that retaliation.”

He added that the California Catholic Conference “decided that they were going to support, back this bill to further the vote union voting rights of the farmworkers here in California.”

When the UFW was founded by Cesar Chavez in the 1960s, their marches “almost always led with an Our Lady of Guadalupe flag,” Marquez said.

“And so because farmworkers are primarily Hispanic, and Catholicism is so prevalent within the Hispanic and Latino communities, the two, the Church and and the farmworkers, are kind of organically linked in that way.”

Each day, the march begins with Mass or a blessing from a cleric….

She said 30 farmworkers had committed to walking the entire march, which lasts Aug. 3-26, and that daily numbers of participants vary widely from day to day, but that 250 or 300 were participating in the Fresno area….

A bill similar to AB 2183 was vetoed last year by Governor Gavin Newsom, who wrote to the state Assembly that it “contain[ed] various inconsistencies and procedural issues related to the collection and review of ballot cards.”

The above comes from an August 18 story on the site of the Catholic News Agency.




  1. Deacon Craig Anderson August 20, 2022 at 10:48 am - Reply

    I sincerely and deeply have supported the ideals of the original United Farm Workers. Cesar Chavez was a devout Catholic (in the true sense of the word, not the President Biden or Speaker Pelosi sense). (And, I am a retired member of a labor union.) However, Dolores Huerta is an abortion extremist who led the union drastically to the left. Look at their political endorsements. Can you find even one who values the lives of the most vulnerable, defenseless babies? We should value all lives; babies, mothers, farm laborers, and all.
    In case you’re wondering:

  2. fraud August 20, 2022 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Mail-in ballots are highly susceptible to fraud, as we saw in the last general election.

    • Bob One August 21, 2022 at 11:21 am - Reply

      There is no evidence, in any of the fifty states or in the territories of fraud with the mail-in ballots. None! Stop spreading lies. Deal with facts. In state after state the votes were counted two or three times and there was no fraud. Don’t buy into the “big lie.”

      • bohemond August 22, 2022 at 6:26 am - Reply

        The regime is still going after Trump because they are terrified of him and the populist uprising.

    • Bay Area Catholic August 21, 2022 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      It seems some don’t realize that mail in ballots are not the same as the long-standing absentee ballots. Absentee ballots had safeguards that mail out/mail in ballots simply don’t. There are numerous problems when you mail ballots out to everyone. In more than one election, we’ve received ballots for adult children of ours who moved out of state and re-registered in their states years ago (and obviously hadn’t voted in our county in years). We even received one here to vote in another state. If I were dishonest, I could have voted six times one year! We shredded them. Previously, I wrote in large red letters with a sharpie, “Return to sender. This person no longer lives here.” Yet, they still kept sending ballots. I have no problem with absentee ballots for those traveling or homebound, but that’s different than scattering ballots abroad to people who’ve left or don’t care enough to take responsibility for their vote.

  3. that picture August 20, 2022 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    so much is wrong with that picture

  4. FHKJ August 20, 2022 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Deacon Craig: Dolores Huerta must have not been too pro-abortion, she had 11 children.

    • Deacon Craig Anderson August 20, 2022 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Listen to what she says or read what she has written. She is opposed to any protection for preborn babies (except for maybe her own). I linked a recent talk of hers in southern California to my previous post. I wish it wasn’t so, but, it is. While she had two children with her first husband, five with her second and four out of wedlock; It seems most of her children were born when abortion was still illegal. Maybe laws did influence her on the issue.

      • Brennan and pew cards August 20, 2022 at 8:33 pm - Reply

        Oh, but the pew cards show that Brennan is against abortion.

        • Deacon Craig Anderson August 21, 2022 at 8:52 am - Reply

          As you likely know, it will take a lot more than pew cards. Woe to us deacons and priests if we fail to preach against unprecedented evil.
          And, do more than preaching.

  5. Laguna Seca August 20, 2022 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    it will all be a moot point
    when the water dries up

    thank Gavin’s Dept of Water Resources
    and Brandon’s Bureau of Reclamation

    and a little geo-engineering thrown in for good measure

  6. El Padre August 21, 2022 at 9:25 am - Reply

    This is how Cardinal Mahony made a name for himself…Marching with these folks. That said, the situation was quite different then. In the early late 60’s and early 70’s, farm workers made almost nothing and had very poor working conditions. That has changed. Now, farm laborers make a fair living and have all sorts of protections built in to the labor. Not saying it’s easy, but neither is roofing, auto repair, construction, digging ditches, or other forms of manual labor. Farm workers now make a minimum of $15 per hour, or about an average of $45,000-50,000 (full-time, with average OT) with generous overtime, safety and heat measures. Not bad if you only have a grade school education. (To contrast, the average farm worker in Mexico makes about 3-5k per year under the best conditions.) The average Mexican fellow is going to make about 10 to 15 times what he or she will in Mexico. Plus, there are special OSHA and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) enforcers all over the place checking in on a weekly basis for code enforcement. And, 50% of farm workers are undocumented, almost all from Mexico in the State of California. Are there still abuses? Sadly yes, but there are abuses in every sector: ag, construction, teaching, health care, etc. For more info, go to

    • Chavez August 21, 2022 at 2:31 pm - Reply

      Martin Sheen marched with them too. Who was that famous guy? Oh, yeah Cesar Chavez. He marched too. Why not a cause for canonization for Cesar? Brennan could start that in his diocese.

  7. work of Satan August 22, 2022 at 7:01 am - Reply

    They are Democrats. Catholics should not be supporting them. Democrats are doing the work of Satan.

  8. The Reality of It All August 22, 2022 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Three of the people I consider truly prolife in that whole group is Helen Chavez, Caesar’s wife; Rae (spelling) Fernandez, John Xavier’s wife and Helen (?) Ramirez. Not sure of the latter’s first name anymore. These women seemed to be faithful to their husbands and had many children and lived a good Christian life. Many of the others got the glory, but spent too much time getting drunk and philandering. They all know who they are, no need to name names.

  9. Hymie August 23, 2022 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Fake Catholic Cesar Chavez was an acolyte of Saul Alinsky. UFW was corrupt and violent from inception. Friend and fan of the Synanon Cult, he used their attack game to keep his own staff in line.

    When not siccing Immigration on seasonal migrant workers, his goons were assaulting them.


  10. Ross not Alinsky August 24, 2022 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Fred Ross not Saul Alinsky but Ross learned from Alinsky. (This according to internet sources) I never knew any of them.

    • Hymie August 24, 2022 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      Ross worked for Alinsky when mentoring Chavez but was an organizer before conspiring with Alinsky.

  11. FDR August 24, 2022 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Delano was a pre-planned media event;
    just like today. Yah, Mahony was there.

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