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Grounds For DreamingMexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement$
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Lori A Flores

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196962

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196962.001.0001

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The Community Service Organization, 1953–1963

The Community Service Organization, 1953–1963

Chapter:
(p.108) 4 The Community Service Organization, 1953–1963
Source:
Grounds For Dreaming
Author(s):

Lori A. Flores

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300196962.003.0004

This chapter focuses on a local Community Service Organization (CSO) in the Salinas Valley and how it operated in the agriculture-centered environment of the region in the years 1953–1963. It first provides an overview of the beginnings of the CSO chapter in Monterey County, founded by Fred Ross as a platform for Mexican Americans to prove their good citizenship while asserting their right to equal treatment. It then considers the CSO's membership, goals, and trajectory as well as its impact on California's Mexican-origin population and members' attitudes toward braceros and the Bracero Program. It also highlights the CSO's successes and failures, with particular emphasis on its inability to create interracial alliances, involve the larger Mexican-origin community in specific protests, maintain stable leadership, and risk its cultivated image of respectability.

Keywords:   citizenship, braceros, Community Service Organization, Salinas Valley, Monterey County, Fred Ross, Mexican Americans, California, Bracero Program

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