SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A band of farmworkers rallying at the state Capitol got a new member Wednesday in the form of Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.
Supporters said it's a cause that can't be ignored.
“Why is Tom Morello coming to Sacramento? I said because United Farm Workers are making history again in Sacramento, and I don’t wanna miss it!" Morello said.
Morello described himself as "union man," adding that he comes from a family that supports farmworkers and that it's a cause he has been involved with since he was a boy.
Morello and supporters are pushing for Gov. Newsom to sign AB 2183, which would allow farmworkers to vote in union elections by mail as opposed to voting at physical voting locations.
"I can't explain his rationale for not signing this bill. He is a grower himself and maybe he's embarrassed. He's going to be embarrassed at Thanksgiving dinner when he sits around with the other millionaires and billionaires and say 'Why did you sign that bill, so now my workers are organizing,'" Morello said.
UFW said voting in-person can be intimidating and has led to some deportations. This is the second year the bill has passed the legislature after Newsom vetoed it last year.
“He should be ashamed of himself and sign the bill,” Morello said.
Farmworkers marched across the state earlier this summer from Delano to Sacramento to rally support.
“They didn’t quit during the heatwave, and there’s no way they’re gonna quit now,” said Liz Lopez, a supporter and participant in the march.
She comes from a family of farm workers and said the bill is for their basic rights. She said there's a need for more amplified voices that shouldn't be ignored.
“I just wish that more people would take it seriously, literally our sustenance, the food that we eat is reliant on farm workers," Lopez said. "So why cant we just give them that... one thing that they’re asking for right now.”
The Governor's Office said they don't typically comment on pending legislation, but noted that the governor has until the end of the month to take action on the bill.