UFW President Teresa Romero made honorary member of Si Se Puede Car Club

Andrew Rodriguez Sr. discovered his love of cars in general and lowriders in particular through the pages of now sadly out-of-print Lowrider Magazine and his dad’s work on cars. This passion stayed with him until he was able to purchase his first lowrider, a 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix, which was his real introduction to the friendship and brotherhood that his local lowrider community offered.


Rodriguez Sr. put countless hours and all his spare money into that car, which was his pride and joy until he had his first kid in high school and was forced to drop out to support his new family through agricultural work in cotton and later as an irrigation technician. Eventually, he worked his way into better-paying and more stable jobs and bought a 1962 Chevy Impala, a car he’s still building as a tribute to his mom, whom he lost to COVID-19. Through all of this, he has found time to go back to school and is on track to get his GED this year, something of which he’s rightfully extremely proud.

To get the perspective of the UFW, I spoke to the Director of Strategic Campaigns for the union, Elizabeth Strater.

Lowrider Clubs Coming Out In Support of the UFW March

“They just waded in and got to work and stayed in touch with the organizers,” said Strater. “During the march, they would go ahead of the marchers, set up and be ready so that when the demonstrators got there, they could give them food and water. Seeing these huge, tough-looking super tattooed guys spraying sunscreen on people and offering them bottles of water was amazing.”


After the 2022 march, the lowrider club didn’t stop because it was still another month until Governor Newsom signed AB 2183, and in the interim, the UFW held a vigil. Si Se Puede provided aid there too.

“Whether it’s a lowrider car club or an internet cat, solidarity can come from unexpected places,” continued Strater. “Sometimes in labor, we can get so focused that we forget about the big tent mentality, where everyone who wants to help should be welcome. This has been a great reminder of that.”


According to Elizabeth, the average age of the UFW members skews older, but she believes that could change through the increased visibility that the UFW has been getting from people like John Oliver, Jorts the Cat and other people on social media platforms like TikTok.

“Young people are realizing that they’re working longer hours than ever but struggling to afford to rent an apartment in the city in which they live, or even in some cases to feed themselves properly, and this is making them angry.”


That anger is finding a home in the newly revitalized American labor movement, which has been seeing a bit of a boom in recent years due to several factors but none more pertinent than rampant income inequality. These young workers are angry, but Strater believes they’re also optimistic.

“We have to find a way to channel that angry optimism.”

And solidarity can come from anywhere. Take it from an outsider’s perspective or more specifically internet labor feline Jorts the Cat:

“Well, I guess it’s like a cat talking to Jalopnik reporters about farm workers. Solidarity works when people from different groups all come together for a common goal. Like, when the farm workers spoke out in support of IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada) film workers because they know what it’s like not to get enough rest.


Jorts continues, “It makes total sense to me that California car clubs have rolled out in support of farm workers. They’re a strong, friendly and highly organized group of folks who know how to get information out and are good at the logistical parts of holding an event. They’re also a group that isn’t always viewed in the best light by the structures of power and still found ways to thrive as a community.”

If the efforts of people like Strater and Andrew Rodriguez Sr and even Jorts the Cat are any indication, that channeling is working.