Famous speech writer remembers his friend César Chávez

Former speech writer and friend of Cesar Chavez gives insight on how Chavez would react to today's political climate. (March 6, 2017)

Sacramento State is celebrating the life of César Chávez with a week-long celebration to his commitment to civic and social justice.

The civil rights activist was a supporter of better working conditions for farm workers, eventually becoming the founder of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW).

Sacramento native Marc Grossman knew Chávez personally. Grossman was the longtime spokesman, speech writer and personal aide to Chávez. He wrote some of César Chávez' most famous speeches. Grossman is also still the communications director for the UFW. 

Inside Grossman's office turned library, history canvasses the walls. Photos of César Chávez and Grossman throughout the 24 year working relationship is everywhere.

"You know César wasn't the most powerful speaker, he didn't have a booming voice he just told stories. The speeches really were his words I just helped organize them," Grossman said.

He was began working with the union in his early 20's while he was a history major at UC Irvine. 

"A lot of people ask how a Jewish boy like me got hooked up with the likes of César Chávez and I say well I love history and I realized it would be more meaningful to be part of history than just read about it," he said. 

The most famous speech he wrote was at the Common Wealth Club in SF in 1984. This speech included the line "Once social change begins it cannot be reversed". Grossman said the speech was inspired by the impact Chávez was having in various social movements not only with farm workers. We wanted to know more, about his thoughts on President Trump's new travel ban and how Chávez would react. 

"He would have been in the midst of the fight, he always was when he was alive," he added if he were to write a speech for Chávez during this time, "I would address Trump's rhetoric and addressing particularly the vilification of immigrants, all immigrants". 

On Tuesday, March 7th, Grossman is scheduled to speak on a panel during Sac State's celebration. 

Copyright 2017 KXTV


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