PCUNista’s. In the midst of devastation, grief, and loss during COVID-19 and extreme wildfires – we’d like to pause to take a moment to honor one of ancestors, Cipriano Ferrel.
Today, PCUN is fighting harder than ever to ensure agricultural workers – and working class people- are treated with dignity and respect. 34 years ago, Cipriano and 80 farmworkers realized a dream to start a union of their own. Despite not having collective bargaining rights… defying odds, and with a “si se puede” attitude, these workers (many with little to no formal education, and with little money) started what today is PCUN, Farmworkers and Latinx Families United.
Today on September 13th, 2020 it has been 25 years since Cipriano’s death shocked all who knew him. He died of a heart attack at his apartment in Salem, about three weeks short of his 47th birthday. He became an ancestor 25 years ago – some say they can feel his spirit at PCUN still today. We believe it’s true, because frankly – the energy of “si se puede”, fighting for workers, and for a better tomorrow is present in every corner of our building.
Today, PCUN continues the struggle to improve the collective lives of agricultural workers, and low-wage workers across the state. By advocating for pro-immigrant and pro-farmworker policies; building strong multicultural coalitions; and advancing an unapologetically political electoral program that turns out Latinx voters – we’ve built one of Oregon’s longest standing Latinx organizations.
Today, his legacy continues in the womxn, men, and gender non-conforming leaders in the Alianza Poder movement.
We simply wouldn’t be who we are without Cipriano. Rest in Power Cip.
Check out Cipriano’s Poem, and his updated biography in the links below.