Working with Lorenzo Torrez
In 1974, Lorenzo Torrez moved with his family to Tucson where he served as chair of the Arizona CP for more than 30 years. He also led the party's Chicano Equality Commission and was a member of the CPUSA National Committee.
He built the Arizona CP into an influential organization in all the progressive movements of Arizona. He also wrote and raised money for People's World and its predecessors.
Torrez helped establish the Salt of the Earth Labor College in Tucson, which continues today.
Steve Valencia, president of the labor college told the World, "Lorenzo changed the political landscape of Arizona. For him, the liberation of the working class and equality for the Mexican American people were inherently tied together."
In 1981, Valencia was a copper miner, recording secretary of United Steelworkers Local 6912. "Lorenzo suggested that I write a letter to AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland urging him to host Solidarity Day, which I did," Valencia said.
Other local labor leaders also urged the federation to act. More than 250,000 marched in Washington Solidarity Day, Sept. 19, 1981 to protest President Reagan's smashing of PATCO.
Valencia continued, "Lorenzo taught me how to work in the labor movement and work in coalitions. He told us to forget about our feelings of inadequacy and address problems that are shared by all workers."
"Special May Day Greetings, 1989"
From the "Special May Day Greetings, 1989" issue of the "People's Daily World" (PDW), Section B, we read the following: "Tucson's progressive community congratulates the PDW on its anniversary and sends May Day greetings to all our friends across the country. The need to struggle against nuclear holocaust, to preserve a liveable and pleasant environment on our planet, and to bring peace, justice and economic well-being to all humanity is now more apparent than ever. Join us to make a better world."
Most signatories were members of the Arizona District Communist Party USA.Signatories included Steve Valencia.
In 1991 Steve Valencia signed a Solidarity Day 2 Salute in the Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World from Tucson. Most signatories were known members of the Tucson Communist Party, Arizona District Communist Party USA..
In May 1992, the Communist Party USA newspaper, Peoples Weekly World published a May Day supplement. This included a signed greeting from "Southern Arizona's progressive community", most of who were known Communist Party USA members.
Communist Party's May Day Salute
In 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper People's Weekly World, published a "May Day salute" to the "heroes in the class war zone". More than 100 unionists/activists endorsed the call, mostly known affiliates, or members of the Communist Party.
Communist Party Labor Day call
Of the more than 100 endorsers listed, almost all were identified members of the Communist Party USA.
Salt of the Earth Labor College 2003 speakers
- September panel "learning to live without war" - with Jon Miles (Veterans for Peace), Pat Birnie (WILPF), Rev. Kenneth Kennon (anti School of the Americas activist).
- September, Adanjesus Marin, National Coordinator Young Communist League, teaching a class "organizing the unorganized"
- October, Linda Bohlke, on the "evils of privatization", AFSCME official and Tucson anti privatization campaigner
- October, Dr. Eve Shapiro, Arizona Physicians for a National Health Program, who spoke on campaigning for national health care in the 2004 elections
- November, Steve Valencia of Jobs with Justice on the Tucson local elections
Communist Party tribute
In July 2007, the Communist Party USA paper Peoples World published a tribute "We salute Joyce Wheeler" to retiring Baltimore public school teacher and Communist Party member Joyce Wheeler. Steve Valencia signed the tribute page. Most of the more than 100 signatories were identified Party members.
Jobs with Justice
In 2014 he was local chairman.
The 40th Anniversary Commemoration Committee of the Chicano Moratoriums was formed in the summer 2009 by the Chair of the National Chicano Moratorium Committee of August 29, 1970 along with two independent Chicano Movement historians whom although not of the baby boomer generation, have become inspired by the Movimiento. The organization posted a list of significant “Chicano movement” activists on its website which included Steve Valencia.
Arizona "progressive" community
- Arizona’s progressive community extends May Day and Cinco de Mayo greetings to all our friends across the country. We commit ourselves to join the struggle for jobs, equality, national health care, a fair immigration policy, and for peace and justice in the Middle East. Let’s make this planet a good place to live for all its inhabitants.
Arizona Peace Council, AZ4NORML, Campaign for Labor Rights, The Einstein Academy, Casa Maria/Catholic Worker East Valley Club Communist Party USA, Law Office of Payson & Gattone, The Latino Doctrine (TV show) Revolutionary Grounds Books and Coffee, Salt of the Earth Labor College Tucson Club CPUSA , Tucson Peace Action Coalition
Clyde Appleton, Mary Elinor Adams, Rolande Baker, Anne Brenner, Joe Bernick and Cat Stelman, Nancy Bissell, Jack Blawis, Don Buchanan, Richard Boren, Susan Clark, Rebeca Cartes, Eugenia Chilton,Jack DeWeese, Howard Druan, & DD Sande,Gregory Feesl, Ray Figueroa, Brian Flagg, Michael Flower, Sean Fowlkes, Nancy Gallen, Maggie Gerring, Michael Gray, Nancy Graham, James Hannley, Beverly Halkias, Jeff Imig, Mansur Johnson, James Jordan & Raquel Mogollon, Frank Jents, Marilyn Kramer, John Kromko, Jim Kincaid, Brandy Lintencum, Rob McElwain, Mary MacEwan, John Mackoviak, Jane Martin & Bob Vint, Jon Miles, Nancy Myers, Kathy Norgard, Richard Osburn, Ismael Parra, Nancy Pontius , Alice Ritter, Carlos Salaz, Sr., Mazda Shirazi, Rosemary Solarez, James Stewart, Brian Stevens, Olga Strickland, Donald Tewels, Dennis Tallent & Laura Tallent, Anita Torrez & Lorenzo Torrez, Carolyn Trowbridge & Keith Bagwell, Susan Thorpe, Steve Valencia & Janet Valencia, Edward Vargas, Steve Wheaton, Michael Wheeler,Susan Willis , Wendell Wilson, Deb Wilmer.
Eva Carrillo Dong reception with communists
On Wednesday, 15 September 2010, a reception in support of Eva Carrillo Dong was held Rigo's Mexican Restaurant 2527 South 4th Avenue Tucson, AZ.
Key attendess included Salvador Barajas, Sunnyside School Board Member Magdalena Barajas, Rolande Baker, Joe Bernick, Mary Carmen Donaldson, Hon. Dan Eckstrom, County Supervisor Richard Elias, Tucson City Council Member Richard Fimbres, TUSD Board Member Adelita Grijalva, James Hannley, Rigoberto Lopez, Raul Nido, Laura Portillo, Manuel E. Portillo, Tucson City Council Member Regina Romero, Albert Siqueiros, Janet Valencia and Steve Valencia. Baker, Bernick, Hannley and both Valencias were all affiliated with the Arizona District Communist Party USA.
Adelita Grijalva connection
Regina Romero connection
Regina Romero November 3, 2018 ·
At Salt of the Earth
Fred Yamashita February 3 2019:
- PW Lorenzo Torrez, copper miner, Communist leader, dies at 84, by: Tim Wheeler January 9 2012
- People's Weekly World Aug. 13 1991 p 19
- Peoples Weekly World May 2 1992, May Day supplement
- People's Weekly World May 6 1995 p 2
- People's Weekly World Sep 2 1995 p 14
- PW july 21, 2001, page 5
- PWW August 30, 2007, page 17
- We salute Joyce Wheeler, Peoples world July 27, 2007
- Jobs with Justice website: Local Coalitions (accesesed on Oct. 11, 2009)
- Chicano Moratorium website: Moratorium Participants (accessed on April 16, 2010)
- Eva Carrillo Dong facebook page, accessed September 23, 2011