October 15, 2018
Esau Valencia has been a UFCW Local 1245 shop steward at Kings Supermarket for 20 years. Over that time, he’s become increasingly involved in efforts to get out the vote, and this year is no exception. He’s one of the many shining examples of hardworking UFCW members honoring Hispanic Heritage Month by getting involved in their communities.
Over the last few weeks, Esau has been helping fellow members get registered to vote at his store and has volunteered his time going door to door as well. He says that “Although Hispanics are generally more politically involved in other countries, we as a people are active in the U.S., but more can still be done. It takes all of us to make change – to receive the better wages and respect we’ve earned.”
Esau believes it’s his duty, and hopes others in his community do too, to take part in the GOTV effort because as someone who is bilingual, he has the ability to reach and communicate with many people. He thinks it’s especially important for young Latinos to know about and be engaged in these “critical moments,” and recently registered a young member who will be voting for the first time this November.
“Although Hispanics are generally more politically involved in other countries, we as a people are active in the U.S., but more can still be done. It takes all of us to make change – to receive the better wages and respect we’ve earned.”
For Esau, immigration and family separation are two of the most important issues that are affecting his community this year. Additionally, health care reform and keeping Obamacare intact are top priorities. Being a union member has enabled him to take action when it comes to fighting for what matters to hard-working people:
“It’s helped me a lot,” he said. “I’ve been employed at a place where there were no stewards, but now, in my UFCW workplace, I’m able to be more engaged—I’ve been to UFCW Conventions and shared my message. It’s important for us as minorities to get involved.”