United Farm Workers has never endorsed a DNC chair. But these are different times, and Tom Perez is a different candidate.

By Arturo Rodriguez, president of United Farm Workers

Ernie Farley, co-owner of Crisalida Berry Farms in Oxnard, explains how strawberries grow to Peter O’Driscoll, executive director of the Equitable Food Initiative; Tom Perez; Arturo Rodriguez, president of United Farm Workers; and Rep. Julia Brownley

A true leader does the right thing when no one is looking. They fight for the dignity of all people, and believe that together, we can do the impossible.

Those are the values Cesar Chavez fought for, and I’ve seen Tom Perez fight for the same values every day. That’s why he is the leader we need at the Democratic National Committee.

Before we endorsed Tom in December, the United Farm Workers had never before backed a candidate for DNC Chair. But these are different times, and Tom is a different candidate.

When farm workers needed him, Tom has always been there. He’s fought for higher wages for some of our most vulnerable workers, and visited farms with me to see how to improve working conditions and safety firsthand. And, last year, he helped us score a huge victory by winning California farm workers the same overtime pay protections as everyone else.

Tom is also a lifelong friend of immigrants. At the Department of Justice, he took on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and fought to protect workers’ and immigrants’ civil rights. As chairman of the board of CASA de Maryland, one of the nation’s leading immigration advocacy organizations, he stood up for low-income immigrant communities to help them build power and thrive.

In the face of daily attacks from President Trump, we need a leader like Tom Perez now more than ever. Someone who can get things done — and unite, not divide, our country.

Tom’s record shows that he understands the responsibilities that come with leadership. He’s the organizer we need to rebuild the Democratic Party, and I’m proud to give him my support.

Join Team Tom to help unite the Democratic party.