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Montevideo, September 23rd 2023 - 18:43 UTC



A Latin woman is president Joe Biden's reelection campaign manager

Wednesday, April 26th 2023 - 03:26 UTC
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Julie Chavez Rodriguez, 45, is the granddaughter of the famed farm labor leader Cesar Chavez and labor activist Helen Fabela Chavez Julie Chavez Rodriguez, 45, is the granddaughter of the famed farm labor leader Cesar Chavez and labor activist Helen Fabela Chavez

A Latin woman and Senior White House adviser Julie Chavez Rodriguez, 45, will serve as President Joe Biden's 2024 campaign manager. She is the granddaughter of the famed labor leader Cesar Chavez and labor activist Helen Fabela Chavez.

Cesar Chavez, a Mexican-American civil-rights activist who fought to improve working and living conditions for farm workers in the 1960s and 1970s, is an icon within organized labour and leftist circles.

Since Joe Biden's first day as president, he has proudly displayed a bronze bust of Chavez on his desk in the Oval Office. The bust was personally lent to him by Chavez's son Paul. Last month, First Lady Jill Biden and Ms Rodriguez also planted a commemorative Cesar Chavez Rose in the White House Rose Garden.

Ms Rodriguez has often described being an activist from a very young age.

Raised in California's Central Valley and educated at the University of California, Berkeley, she attended rallies and did community outreach as a child, continuing her grandfather's fight for farm laborers.

According to the New York Times, Ms Rodriguez was once arrested while distributing fliers about the dangers of pesticides at a protest outside a local supermarket. She was nine years old at the time.

“I was exposed to organizing at such an early age, both as a skill set but also as an ethos,” she told Bustle magazine in 2020.

After Cesar Chavez founded the United Farm Workers labor union in 1962, its rallying cry became “Si se puede” (Yes, We Can). That phrase became one of Barack Obama's main slogans in his 2008 campaign for president.

After eight years working as the program director at her grandfather's namesake foundation, Ms Rodriguez made her first foray into Washington politics during the Obama administration.

She first served in the US Department of the Interior before rising through the White House's office of public engagement and later becoming a special assistant to President Obama.

Mr Obama is not the only top Democrat Ms Rodriguez has worked for.

In late 2016, she became state director for Kamala Harris' campaign for the open US Senate seat in California.

And when Ms Harris launched her 2020 bid for president, Ms Rodriguez served as the campaign's national political director and later as a travelling chief of staff.

Concerns have been raised about Mr Biden's advanced age - and Ms Harris, as vice-president, remains the Democrat most likely to succeed him.

Ms Rodriguez has worked for Joe Biden since 2020.

She first served as a senior adviser overseeing Latin voter outreach during his presidential campaign, then was appointed as the director of the White House's office of intergovernmental affairs.

Ahead of the 2022 midterms, she was promoted as a senior adviser to the president - making her the highest-ranking Latina in the building.

It comes at a time when some Democrats have expressed concern that the party is losing support with Hispanic voters in several key states.

Ms Rodriguez was chosen for the role of campaign manager over Jen O'Malley Dillon, who led Mr Biden's successful 2020 campaign and now serves as his deputy chief of staff. She also beat Mr Biden's sister, Valerie Biden Owens, who managed his previous political campaigns.

Categories: Politics, United States.

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