Continued from home page
Councilmember Richard Alarcón said, “The history and accomplishments of Cesar Chavez alone are deserving of national recognition, however, it is the energy and enthusiasm, which Cesar so naturally inspired, that continues to fuel our faith, our passion, and our sense of empowerment that together, we really can accomplish change, for any cause we feel is right. Fifteen years after his passing, it is the spirit and essence of Cesar Chavez's message of "si se puede" - yes we can - that continues to connect and inspire our country.”
The family of Cesar Chavez expressed their solidarity with holiday organizers. Christine Chavez, the grand-daughter of Cesar Chavez, said: “Our family commends the hard work of the coalition for honoring the legacy of my grandfather. There are still many issues that need to be addressed to improve the lives of farmworkers and their families. We know his legacy will be furthered by having a national day of public service in his honor. This is about giving back to others and what a great honor for all communities to have an opportunity to give back to their communities."
Speakers and attendees at today’s press conference were City Council Member Jose Huizar, former Majority Leader of the State Senate Richard Polanco who authored the California Cesar Chavez Day legislation, Dr Geraldine Washington, President of the NAACP Los Angeles Chapter; Irv Hershenbaum, Vice President of the UFW; Jim Hard, President of Service Employees International Union Local 1000, Glen Arnodo, Staff Director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and Norma Vega representing the Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Today’s event in Los Angeles kicks-off a series of events that will be held in support of a Cesar E. Chavez national holiday. Events will also be held for the first time in Atlanta, Charleston, Birmingham, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, St. Paul, Olympia, New York and many other cities on the East Coast, in the Midwest and Northwest in the widest ranging commemoration of Cesar Chavez’s birthday ever.
Governors in the states of Kansas, Maine and Nebraska will proclaim Cesar E. Chavez Days in their state this coming March 31. That brings the total of states that will have official Cesar Chavez Days to thirteen. The California Cesar Chavez legal holiday established on August 18, 2000 launched a wave of nine more state holidays for Chavez in Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Rhode Island. Resolutions for the national holiday are heading to City Councils and County Boards nation wide as well.
For the first time, a coalition of Latino, civil rights, labor and community groups of Georgia will meet at the Capitol in Atlanta on March 31 for a rally in support of a resolution before the legislature that if passed would put the body in favor of a national holiday for Cesar Chavez. A resolution in support of the national holiday is also headed to the California state legislature.
Rep. Joe Baca, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic will hold a press conference in Washington DC on April 1 calling for support of HR 76, a resolution that will encourage Congress to establish the national holiday. There are 60 members of Congress that support the resolution. National organization including the AFL-CIO, League of United Latin American Citizens and the Sierra Club will join many Members of Congress.
The City of Los Angeles has supported the national holiday for the farm worker leader since 2002. Today Councilmember Richard Alarcón will be introducing a resolution to the Los Angeles City Council that reaffirms that support of the National Holiday and welcomes the nationwide actions.
To interview Evelina Alarcon, Executive Director of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday about Cesar Chavez holiday effort, please call: (323) 333-7589 or Email: EvelinaAlarcon@cesarchavezholiday.org.