Larry Tramutola was Cesar Chavez' assistant and has a long history as a community organizer and social justice advocate. His roots as an organizer come from the Fred Ross Organizing Tree, whose branches include Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Gilbert Padilla, Marshall Ganz, Eliseo Medina and many others.
“I began organizing fresh out of college. I was full of idealism but lacking any practical experience or the discipline necessary to be effective. I was eager to make a difference in the world, but I had no idea where to start. It wasn’t until I met Fred Ross and volunteered to help the United Farm Workers union (UFW), led by Cesar Chavez, that I really learned the skills and developed the discipline necessary to make change. The lessons I learned in the UFW from Fred Ross and other organizers provided the foundation for my career as an organizer.
"When I joined the UFW, it was struggling for survival in its attempt to improve the lives of America’s poorly paid agricultural workers. My contribution to the cause in the first few months was standing out in front of grocery stores asking people not to purchase grapes or lettuce."
Larry is an expert on tax elections, grass roots organizing, and political strategy. His work has led to the passage of billions of dollars in additional local funding for public schools, colleges, parks, libraries and hospitals; recent landmark victories against Big Soda and Big Tobacco with the passage of the first in the nation successful taxes on sugar sweetened beverages and the first in the country prohibition of sales of flavored tobacco products; and the election of hundreds of candidates from school boards to national elected offices.
Larry is the author of three books on organizing and is the founder of The Organizing and Leadership Academy (TOLA), a rigorous “hands-on” training program for individuals interested and motivated to pursue a career in organizing. TOLA is built around the organizing lessons of Fred Ross, applied to current and real life problems.