César E. Chavez, the founder and former President of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO, stood as one of the heroic figures of the 20th century who inspired millions in our nation into action for economic justice, civil rights and political empowerment; and
César E. Chavez led the historic “Si Se Puede” non-violent movement for farm workers’ rights which included strikes, a five year boycott of grapes which won the first labor contracts in the grape fields, personal fast in protest of the use of dangerous pesticides by agribusiness, and historic legislation including the outlawing of the back-breaking short handle hoe in 1975, and the establishment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, the first law governing farm labor organizing in the continental United States; and
César E. Chavez was dedicated to building a movement of poor working people that extended beyond the fields and into cities and towns across the nation; he trained and assisted young leaders to build grass-roots organizations based on the principles of social and economic justice for all workers; and
The legacy of César E. Chavez, like that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., serves to educate and inspire, and is a model for all Americans and the generations to come; and
The successful campaign to make César E. Chavez’s birthday, March 31st, an official state holiday in California and a day of service and learning in our public schools, has launched a national movement calling on Congress to do the same with an official federal holiday for César E. Chavez, which would be the first time in history that a labor leader, a Latino would be honored in this way; and
This movement has now won César E. Chavez holidays in Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Michigan and Utah in addition to California; and
RESOLVED: That Pride At Work will officially join the National Coalition for a César Chavez National Holiday and in so doing become an active partner alongside of Latino, labor, civil rights, interfaith, and other organizations who are working together to ensure that the legacy of César E. Chavez is recognized and celebrated throughout our nation with a federal paid holiday and a day of service and learning in our public schools.