ur sincere thanks to Oscar Castillo and Bob Fitch for the use of their photos of Cesar Chavez.
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A National Call for 2008 Action
for a Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday

March, Rally, Gather Together on Cesar Chavez’s
Birthday March 31, 2008!

So far Action/Events will be held in 40 Cities in 25 States

Sign Up Today!

¡Si se puede!

Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday, the organization spearheading the national campaign to establish a national holiday and day of service and learning for farm worker leader Cesar Chavez, invites everyone across the nation to organize and participate in action/events in your city that call for a national holiday for Cesar E. Chavez on his birthday, March 31, 2008.

Over 250 organizations, leaders, elected officials, & celebrities; 53 members of Congress; and three Presidential candidates endorse the call for a Cesar Chavez National Holiday. Ten states have established Cesar Chavez Days (Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island.)

Cesar E. Chavez is one of the most important leaders of the 20th century. His legacy of workers rights, civil rights, environmental justice, equality for all, peace, non-violence, children and women’s rights, deserves national recognition. He inspired millions of people across the country of all races and nationalities to engage in social and economic justice for farm workers. His life work to empower the poor and disenfranchised is a model for all.

Organizations and labor unions in 33 cities have already agreed to hold Cesar Chavez national holiday events on or near the date of Cesar’s birthday March 31, 2008 including in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Antonio, Houston, El Paso, Tucson, Portland, Omaha, Philadelphia, Providence, Reno, Boise, Albuquerque, Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Denver, Grand Rapids, Washington DC, Lubbock, Augusta (Maine), San Diego, Kansas City and yes, Salt Lake City, Utah; Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia.

We must demonstrate that there is support for a Cesar E. Chavez national holiday in as many cities as possible to convince national policy makers to act.

You can help!
Organize a March 31 Cesar E. Chavez national holiday action/event
in your city or join one held in your area.

Sign up today to join actions planned for March 31; organize an action/event in your area; or endorse the March 31, 2008 national effort.

Click here to download the National Call for 2008 Action. Send to your friends by Email or use as a hand out leaflet.

For more information contact: Evelina Alarcon, Executive Director, Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday E-mail: EvelinaAlarcon@cesarchavezholiday.org (323) 333-7589

Don’t forget to sign the petition for a Cesar E. Chavez national holiday! Even if you have signed a petition elsewhere please sign again on our web site to insure that Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday has your name when we turn in petitions.

Sign Up Today!

¡Si se puede!

Background Information March 31 Actions

The effort to win a national holiday for Cesar E. Chavez, the founder and leader of the United Farm Workers union (UFW), will ramp up with actions planned in every region of the nation on his birthday March 31. So far organizations and unions in 33 cities in 21 states are organizing locally to demonstrate support for a federal holiday for the late labor leader.

“Cesar Chavez deserves a national holiday because he was one of the most prominent leaders of the 20th century,” said Evelina Alarcon, the Executive Director of Cesar E Chavez National Holiday, the organization spearheading the effort to win a national holiday. “Cesar Chavez’s life is a story of courage, self sacrifice and tireless commitment to social and economic justice for workers, the poor and disenfranchised. He never gave up in his quest for the rights of farm workers to be in a union and rights to health care, equality and freedom to work without deadly pesticides, child labor or sexual harassment. His passion for justice stirred millions of Americans of all races and nationalities across this nation to join him and the United Farm Workers (UFW) in a movement that won historic gains for workers. Cesar Chavez’s legacy and spirit of “Si se puede” (we can do it) presents inspiration to all,” she said.

California and the Southwest will be fully represented with events on Cesar Chavez’s birthday, but for the first time events are planned in the cities of Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon and Northern Kentucky. Organizers in Maine are planning an action at the state capitol in Augusta and those in Providence, Rhode Island will follow their recent unveiling of a public monument for Cesar Chavez with a birthday action there.

The various local events will be held on days surrounding and on March 31. Actions will include marches, parades, rallies, press conferences, forums, assemblies, cultural presentations, public service, and support for issues that represent the legacy of Cesar Chavez including workers rights, civil rights, farm workers rights, environmental justice, voter mobilization, peace, rights for immigrants and non violence. Many college campuses will support the national holiday effort during an entire week of activities in tribute to Chavez.

The national holiday effort began in East Los Angeles, California in early 1999 when community volunteers launched a campaign to win a legal state holiday for Cesar Chavez in California. The volunteers aligned themselves with then State Senator Richard Polanco (D-Los Angeles), author of the bill to establish the legal holiday. The volunteers built a statewide coalition of labor, civil rights and community organizations and a grassroots network that successfully mobilized hundreds of thousands to convince the state legislature and then Governor Gray Davis (D) to establish the holiday. The Governor signed the bill in Los Angeles on August 18, 2000 establishing the first legal holiday for a labor leader or Latino in the history of the nation. Also included with the holiday was a Day of Service and Learning with curriculum that could be used in the public schools. That victory set the precedent for what organizers want to establish on a national level.

Since then, ten states have established Cesar Chavez Days on his birthday March 31 including in California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Rhode Island. Some cities and counties have established a legal holiday on Cesar Chavez’s birthday as well, including Los Angeles, South Gate and San Fernando, California; Denver, Colorado and Pima County, Arizona.

Holiday organizers are seeking support resolutions from elected bodies. The Los Angeles City Council has done so and on the East Coast, the City Council of Philadelphia recently passed a resolution calling on the Congress and President to establish a national holiday for Chavez.

Over 250 organizations, prominent leaders, elected officials, and celebrities; 53 members of the House of Representatives; and three 2008 Presidential candidates (Senator John Edwards, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) endorse a national holiday for Cesar Chavez.

Cesar E. Chavez was born on March 31, 1927 and passed away on April 23, 1993. The United States Postal Service issued a Cesar Chavez commemorative postage stamp on April 24, 2003. President Bill Clinton presented Cesar Chavez posthumously with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 8, 1994.

For more information or to join the wave of actions planned for March 31, 2008 please contact: Evelina Alarcon, Executive Director, Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday E-mail: EvelinaAlarcon@cesarchavezholiday.org (323) 333-7589



Photos Courtesy of Oscar R. Castillo and Bob Fitch.