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Change is something everyone is scared of, especially if we have had the same system for many years. As a student organizer with Valley Forward I have learned a lot of lessons and one is in order for things to improve, we need change.

Not too long ago we saw workers at the Sun Maid plant in Kingsburg wanted change in their workplace and after countless hours of discussions internally and externally with their employer, a strike was authorized and approved by the body of workers.

Through Valley Forward, my team and I were able to give our brothers and sisters a lunch break from holding the line and join in solidarity on the fight for workers justice. They were out there in the heat knowing they had a lot to lose if they got fired but still they chose to stand up for what they believed and demanded fair pay for fair work and affordable health care.

All their hard work and standing together brought them the change they demanded. The employer and the workers agreed on a new agreement and the workers are back on the line. Seeing these workers come together for the same cause showed me that it’s OK to be scared to fight for what you believe in. If we stand strong together (even in fear) and do something for what we believe in things, we can accomplish anything.

In November we have an election coming up that can change the future of everyone in the United States and the Central Valley. On a daily basis, we see residents afraid to go out and vote but with Valley Forward I have been given the amazing opportunity to go out in the community and encourage our neighbors to vote because if we all come together we can make big changes.

To learn more about who we are, we invite you to visit our website and together we can help move the Valley Forward.

                                                                           Kimberly Gasca Esquivel


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