Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
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Dolores Huerta, seen being awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by University of the Pacific in Stockton, will be one of 13 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients this year. CALIXTRO ROMIAS/Record File 2010
Dolores Huerta, a civil rights leader who has advocated for Coachella Valley farm and casino workers, will receive the country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Needless to say, we’re all very proud,” said daughter Lori de Leon, who’s also business manager for the Bakersfield-based Dolores Huerta Foundation. “I’ve spent most of my life working with my mother and with César (Chávez) with the UFW. … She is the hardest worker I’ve ever met.”
César Chávez, who received the Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1994, once called Huerta ‘completely fearless, both mentally and physically,’ according to the joint statement.
The 82-year-old plans to speak at trash sorters and haulers’ May 1 protest in Los Angeles, said de Leon, who doesn’t believe her mother will be slowing down anytime soon.
‘Once César passed (in 1993) she went into double- time,’ de Leon said.
‘Now that she’s getting up there in years and realizing that the older she is, the less time she has, she’s gone into triple-time, so to speak.
‘Even young people can’t keep up with her.’
A sidebar at the link lists this year’s other Medal of Freedom recipients.