Federico “Freddy” Chavez was raised in Delano, California, where as a youngster he was introduced to labor organizing and social activism by his uncle, Cesar E. Chavez, his father, Richard Chavez, and other initial founders of the UFW. Helping to distribute leaflets throughout the Central San Joaquin Valley during the earliest days of the farm workers’ movement and coming into direct contact with the extreme poverty of farm workers, forged Federico’s lifelong commitment to fight for economic as well as social justice.
Federico graduated from UCLA in 1975 with a major in History. From 1975 to 1978, he attended University of California Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law earning his Juris Doctorate in 1978.Federico began his legal career as a volunteer staff attorney with the Legal Dept. of the United Farm Workers and worked with the UFW’s Legal Dept. until 1984.Prior to entering state service as a Workers’ Compensation Judge in 1987, he worked in Stockton, CA as an attorney for the California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and as a public defender for San Joaquin County.In 1993, he was appointed to work as an Administrative Law Judge with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. He presently works for that state agency in Oakland.
He was the Berkeley Mayor’s appointee to the Parks & Recreations Commission for six years and has been on the Boards of many non-profit organizations, including the Albany-Berkeley Youth Soccer Club, and the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. Federico is also a member of the East Bay Farm Workers Support Committee, Latinos Unidos de Berkeley, and United in Action (a coalition of parents of color and other community members concerned with the achievement gap, graduation rates, and other public education issues disproportionally impacting students of color).