In 1952, Fred Ross Sr. was combing the Latino barrios of San Jose, California, for places to hold house meetings. He was trying to build up a local chapter of the Community Service Organization (CSO), a grassroots effort aimed at empowering minority workers through everything from voter registration drives to lobbying campaigns. A nurse at one public health clinic in town suggested that he meet a then-relatively unknown labor organizer named César Chávez. He might be able to help, she said.
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