On June 30, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Bill AB 7, requiring California to annually proclaim Larry Itliong’s October 25th birth date as “Larry Itliong Day.” The bill was authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta and was passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature.
Larry Itliong was one of the leaders of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), and a pioneer of the California farm labor movement. The AWOC, led by Itliong, was the first union to strike for improved wages and working conditions in Delano, CA.
“Larry Itliong is a hero not only to Filipino Americans and Filipinos in the diaspora, not only to all Californians and Americans who fight for socioeconomic and racial justice, but also to his surviving family,” said Johnny Itliong, one of Larry Itliong’s children and director of the Larry Itliong Foundation for Education, in a statement. “I’ve spent many years asking when people would recognize what the manongs have done….This means a lot to the countless immigrant youth who know first-hand the meaning not only of struggle but also the value of self-advocacy.”
By signing the bill, Gov. Brown guarantees that Itliong’s legacy of fighting for justice and equality will be properly honored for generations to come.
Larry Itliong is featured in Marissa Aroy’s Emmy-nominated documentary, “The Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the UFW.“