Emilio Huerta’s Story

Emilio J. Huerta is a lifelong resident of Kern County in the central San Joaquin Valley of California, and lives in Bakersfield, California. He possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from California State University Bakersfield and a Juris Doctorate degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. As the son of Dolores Huerta who witnessed firsthand the organizing leadership of Cesar E. Chavez and Dolores, Emilio learned to appreciate the value of committing to a life of service to others. As a public-interest attorney, Emilio has dedicated his career of more than 20 years to improving the lives of working men and women. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (board chair), Self Help Federal Credit Union (board chair), The Bakersfield Aids Project, Kern Central Credit Union, the Betty Ann Ong Foundation, the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, and the California State University Hispanic Excellence Scholarship Fund.

Prior to attending California State University Bakersfield, Emilio served as a labor negotiator, representing farmworkers throughout California who won their right to organize and collectively bargain under the Agricultural Labor Relations Act.  Emilio has always believed that successful nonprofit organizations can improve the lives of low-income families. Accordingly, Emilio has served as corporate counsel for Omni Family Health (a Kern County based FQHC community based health organization serving low-income farmworker families throughout Kern County), the Cesar Chavez Foundation (formerly the National Farm Workers Service Center, Inc.), Radio Campesina, and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. He served as a Court Appointed Child Advocate (CASA), and is a national representative for the United Farm Workers union. As general counsel for the Cesar Chavez Foundation, he helped develop more than $400 million in low-income affordable housing in California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. His knowledge of real estate, nonprofit law, and public financing has resulted in the development and construction of primary health clinics in Kern County, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California.