A son of migrant farm workers from Mexico, Baldemar Velasquez formed Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) in Ohio in 1967. He is a nominee for both Secretary of Labor and US Trade Representative on the Progressive Cabinet a project of the Backbone Campaign.
Velasquez has led this organization from victory to victory in subsequent years. All of FLOC's successful campaigns are too numerous to mention here, but recent victories include: a union contract with the North Carolina Growers' Association in 2004, following a 4 1/2 year boycott of Mt. Olive Pickle Company, assisting in the 1999 creation of the National Coalition for Dignity and Amnesty for Immigrants, and leading a delegation in 2002 to the White House on the Coalition's proposed Freedom Act legislation. Velasquez is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Midwest Academy Award, a Bannerman Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. In addition, he is the recipient of the 1994 Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and Mexico's Aguila Azteca Award—the highest award Mexico can award a non-citizen.