Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria grew up in a farm worker family. That legacy wasn’t lost on her on Tuesday when a well-known labor activist and civil rights leader endorsed her 2020 campaign for Congress.
In the 1960s, Dolores Huerta co-founded the organization that would become the United Farm Workers union. At a press conference in Fresno, Huerta said the San Joaquin Valley still has some of the worst poverty in the nation and she referred to Soria as a champion for disadvantaged communities. “This is like a third world country,” she said. “You know what, Esmeralda Soria is going to make it a first-rate country here in Fresno County, Madera and Merced Counties.”
Soria is challenging incumbent Jim Costa for his seat in House District 16, which includes parts of those three counties. She’s running on a platform of education and health care for all, immigration reform, and bolstering renewable energy production. “We’re not taking any corporate PAC money because we said this campaign is going to be about regular working people,” she said, though she did receive corporate donations during her campaign for city council. “That’s how we’re going to change the Valley [and] that’s how we’re going to change this nation.”
At the event, Soria was also endorsed by Madera City Councilmember Santos Garcia. This follows endorsements from unions including the Service Employees International Union, State Senator Anna Caballero and the Central Valley Leadership Roundtable.
Costa, running for his ninth term in Congress, has received endorsements from Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, as well as Attorney General Xavier Becerra.