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Contact: Evelina Alarcon
Executive Director, Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday
Tel. 323/333-7589 (m)

Carlos Santana, Martin Sheen And Edward James Olmos Agree To Co-Chair Effort To Win National Holiday For Farm Worker Leader Cesar E. Chavez

Support Action for Cesar Chavez’s birthday March 31, 2008

LOS ANGELES- The Los Angeles-based public benefit organization Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday is proud to announce that three of our nation’s top entertainers, GRAMMY® Award winning musician Carlos Santana, and acclaimed actors Martin Sheen and Edward James Olmos, have agreed to serve as National Co-Chairs of the effort to win a national holiday for the late founder and president of the United Farm Workers, Cesar E. Chavez, to take place on his birthday March 31.

Santana, Sheen and Olmos supported Chavez during the historic movement to win rights for farm workers in California in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Their participation in the current effort to win national recognition for Chavez coincides with the organizing of national actions and events in support of the national holiday to be held on March 31 of this year. Organizations in forty cities in twenty-five States have already agreed to hold events.

“Carlos Santana, Martin Sheen and Edward James Olmos give the national holiday effort a tremendous boost and inspiration,” said Evelina Alarcon, Executive Director of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday, the organization spearheading the effort to win national recognition for Cesar Chavez. “These internationally recognized entertainers bring their own unique history of support for Cesar Chavez, farm workers rights and social and economic justice.”

“A national holiday honoring Cesar Chavez would secure his profound legacy, while future generations may scarce believe that such a man existed,” said Martin Sheen.

“It’s supremely important that a day be selected to honor the life of Mr. Cesar Chavez for his quality of service to all humanity. His supreme cry of si se puede will forever resonate as a positive motivator as words of light,” stated Carlos Santana.

Carlos Santana supported the effort to win a legal holiday in California in 1999 by inviting organizers to collect signatures on a petition for the holiday at concerts on his Supernatural tour; thousands of signatures were collected. The following year, the State of California’s legal holiday for Cesar Chavez was established; becoming the first time that a Latino or labor leader was honored in this way in our nation.

Edward James Olmos also supported the state holiday in California at his Family Book Fair and Festival in Los Angeles, where thousands also signed petitions. Mr. Olmos called Cesar Chavez “a gift to humanity” who “deserves to be honored with a national holiday…He, like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther king Jr., Mother Teresa and others understood the meaning of non violent social change and used it to elevate the human condition.,,We as a nation should celebrate his life at least once a year, by way of a National Legal Holiday. We ALL deserve it!”

Ten states have now established Cesar Chavez Days on March 31 including Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Michigan, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.

Over 250 organizations, fifty-three members of Congress, many elected officials and celebrities support a national holiday for Chavez. The City Council of Philadelphia passed a resolution unanimously calling for the national holiday for Chavez in December. The city of Los Angeles has done so as well.

If you would like more information about this topic phone Evelina Alarcon at (323) 333-7589 or e-mail her at EvelinaAlarcon@cesarchavezholiday.org or see: www.cesarchavezholiday.org
For interview with Edward James Olmos please contact Olmos Productions, Inc.