Accepting the Bay Area Local Heroes Award from KQED

Thanks for this incredible award to KQED and Union Bank. I accept it, online not for myself, buy but for the whole day laborer community.

Day laborers are incredible and an example of the best humanity and best of our community.

They’re people who have brought their families to a new home in order to search for a better future or who had to leave their families behind and work for their well-being, without being present for their children’s first teeth and first steps. Without being by the bedside of their own parents in their last days…

Yet working for those very people whose love keeps them going, building and improving communities.

Despite many emigrating from other places, day laborers have become an integral part of the community and people see that, even with so little, they give so much, they’ve become an inspiration to many.

I know I’m inspired by people I get to working with every day, people like Marco Cedillo who came to the Day Worker Center 10 years ago, now he works at the local store, . Like all the day laborers, I consider Marco an “Original Dreamer” He works day in and out, so his three children can study and follow their carriers without being able to be there to see them graduate. He is a red cross volunteer and this past spring he and I spent 11 days in a spiritual fast hoping for a change to our immigration policy.

It’s people like Marco that fill the Day Worker Centers every day. It’s a place that attracts anyone who wants to make a community and, by bringing them together, serves as a glue that makes us a richer and better community.

So for all of us at the DWCMV I’m proud to accept this award but I don’t accept it only as a part of the Latino Heritage month because the work we do transcends race and ethnicity. We work on human issues and what we face calls for unity far and wide.

We are all part of each other and the Day worker centers are a good example of that, there we learn, share and live alongside each other.

But even as we build a better community together here in Mountain View the future of our world is entirely uncertain.

Too many people are being taken away because of their documentation status. Too many people are being deported.

To be a leader is to sometimes say the uncomfortable but to always tell the truth. The truth is we all have a responsibility to each other, to our ancestors and to those who will come after us.

And we have a lot of power in our own hands.

I would not be who I am if I did not also take this opportunity to ask you to go to and sign every petition there and spread the word about it. Your signature can make the difference between a child growing up with their mother or maybe never seeing her again.

Every day the day laborers show me what more I can do to make myself and our community better.

I’m honored to receive this award and very honored to be walking this road together with all of you.

Thank you.