Don Edwards Literary Memorial

May 31, 2010


As a young teaching religious brother in a Catholic high school in the late 1950s, I made up my mind never to expect gratitude –  even a thank you – for my efforts, and I have not been disappointed.

A teacher (or an organizer) could live a couple of lifetimes and never receive a thank you, or even an acknowledgement,  from those who benefited from the dedication and hard work – not a complaint, just one of life’s realities.

However, when an unexpected expression of gratitude does float by,  grab it! You are not likely to see another.  

(With permission), here is a response to my thank you note for a contribution made to my Farmworker Movement Documentation Project.


It means a lot to me too.

Look at what my life is and has been all of these years.

* I was part of the team that made the decision to have AARP file an amicus court brief that stopped the state of California from kicking hundreds of thousands of people off of their Medicaid. We were part of the winning side on that.

* I was part of the team nationally that organized the campaign to stop the privatization of Social Security.  From the late 1990’s through 2005 dozens of us within my organization worked on the issue briefs, the campaign themes, the basic organizing that made this successful campaign a reality.   We were able to move people, resources, political messages that framed the strategy that won that fight.

I can name a thousand other political efforts, campaigns, issues that helped specific people as well as big ideas that I have had the honor and opportunity to be part of, to lead, to organize, to contribute to and build.

Sorry to be so corny but I owe you. Every Monday morning you talked to all of us about Cesar, fighting for the poor, winning justice. I listened to every word and every message and every lesson, both ideological and technical that you gave that room full of activists. I learned discipline, organizing, political analysis and the science and art of change.

So, I chose this life and you taught me, you and Chris, what to do and how to do it. And, on a personal note, through all of this and all of the memories and work and sacrifices, I am a very happy person. Not many people can say they were able to be part of their dream. I can and I am not even near finished doing so.

No, LeRoy, I thank you,


Filed under: LEROY POSTS — LeRoy @ 6:46 pm

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