Raging against the machine for AB 2183, the Farm Worker Voting Rights Act

Tom Morello performing on the west steps of the capitol, September 21, 2022. Photo by Tim Foster

CAPITOL WEEKLY PODCAST: Tom Morello, the fiery, activist leader of the rock band Rage Against the Machine, brought his guitar to Sacramento last week to lend support to the United Farm Workers and their effort to pass AB 2183, what UFW spokesman Marc Grossman calls “The Farm Worker Voting Rights Act.” The bill passed both houses with comfortable majorities and is now on the governor’s desk. Gov. Newsom vetoed a similar measure last year.

The September 21 rally is the latest in a series of actions to bring attention to the bill. Beginning on August 3, supporters made a 355 mile march from Delano, California, retracing the route of UFW founder Cesar Chavez’ 1966 march. An estimated 5000 supporters marched the final leg into Sacramento on August 26.

At last week’s rally, held on the west steps of the capitol, Morello told his own story of being raised in a union household and sang protest songs, closing his short set with Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land,’ and inviting the crowd of about 500 to sing along.

We attended the rally, recorder in hand. In this episode, we discuss the bill – and its likelihood of being signed – with Grossman, and present parts of Morello’s remarks and performance.  And, as always, we tell you who had the Worst Week in CA Politics.

Show Notes:

1:13 Paul Ryan’s favorite band

2:57 Talking with Marc Grossman

3:49 Why is the UFW here today?

4:48 The opposition to AB 2183

5:41 What does AB 2183 do?

7:28 The framework

8:20 Newsom quickly vetoed a similar bill last year – is his inaction so far a signal?

12:19 The difference between 1969 and today

16:32 Let’s check out Tom Morello

17:46 “Fifty years ago, the United Farm Workers (and my mom), taught me a lesson about sacrifice and solidarity”

20:01 #WWCA

24:12 The Los Angeles mayoral debate

26:19 The Mike Curb Congregation

28:19 A union song!

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