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Release: “Fast for Families Across America” Touches the Farm Community in Bakersfield and Local Activists in Vista

By February 27, 2014No Comments

Press Release

Immediate Release:
February 26, 2014
Emily Kessel, NAKASEC,,
Beatriz Lopez, SEIU,,

“Fast for Families Across America” Touches the Farm Community in Bakersfield and Local Activists in Vista

Washington DC – Today, the Fast for Families Across America Tour drives further into California with the southern bus visiting Vista and the northern bus stopping in Bakersfield.

The northern route participated in a morning press event with the Bakersfield community in front of Representative Kevin McCarthy’s office — an office that has been close to the public for 26 workdays consecutively according to local residents. Speakers included: Dolores Huerta (Dolores Huerta Foundation), Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon (NAKASEC), Rudy Lopez (FIRM), Vincent Pan (CAA), Arturo Rodriguez (President, UFW), Connie Hudson (local faster), Ernest Harris (Regional Director, SEIU 521), and Roberto Bustos (Tulare Coalition for Families).

Kern County residents in Bakersfield came together to recommit themselves to the necessity of immigration reform, while at the same time expressing their frustration with the inability to be heard by elected leaders. Over half of the nation’s 2 million seasonal workers working in U.S. farms and ranches are undocumented. California’s farming community is heavily affected by the broken immigration system. The Fast for Families and the issue of immigration hits at the heart of California’s farming community: the birthplace of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. Residents and Fast for Families bus riders called on Rep. McCarthy to open his heart and respond to the calls of his constituents.
Vincent Pan (CAA)

The southern route joined local activists in Vista today to call for immigration reform outside Representative Darrell Issa’s office. Speakers included Fast for Families leaders Eliseo Medina (SEIU) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota), Pedro Rios (AFSC), Rev. Beth Johnson (Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship), and Rev. Madison Shockley (Pilgrim United Church of Christ).

Campaign Overview

On February 24, 2014, the “Fast for Families Across America,” kicked off its two-bus nationwide tour in Los Angeles. “Fast for Families” leaders DJ Yoon (NAKASEC) and Rudy Lopez (Fair Immigration Reform Movement) will travel on the northern route while leaders Eliseo Medina (SEIU) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) will travel on the southern route for the entirety of the tour. Stopping at more than 75 districts with daily events calling for Congressional action on immigration reform, the two buses will meet in Washington DC in April.

“Fast for Families” reignited the immigration debate last November when Eliseo Medina (SEIU), DJ Yoon (NAKASEC), Rudy Lopez (FIRM) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) —abstained from all food, except water for 22 days in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall. The campaign calls for Congressional action for just and humane immigration reform.

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