Today, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that encourages the fourth Friday of every March to be observed as "Cesar E. Chavez Day."
"The struggles Cesar Chavez was engaged in and the victories he achieved for civil rights, labor rights and the environment helped people throughout our nation," said Rep. Baca. "Encouraging the establishment of a day of recognition is the correct way to remember this man who defines respect, dignity, and hope for so many Americans."
Cesar Chavez was the founder of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), the first successful farm workers union in American history. For more than three decades, he led the UFW, achieving dignity, fair wages, medical coverage, pension benefits, and humane living conditions, as well as countless other rights and protections for hundreds of thousands of farm workers, especially migrant workers who engage in demanding labor.
"For years, I have fought to raise awareness and better educate more Americans about the life of Cesar Chavez," concluded Rep. Baca. "In these times of economic hardship and strife around the world, it is essential that Cesar's legacy continues to inspire others to work for the fair and just treatment of all people."
Cesar Chavez was a humble leader who fought for social change by employing the principles of non-violence practiced by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. including peaceful demonstrations, boycotts, strikes, and pilgrimages. His leadership on behalf of workers helped achieve the first industry-wide labor contracts in the history of American agriculture and brought about the passage of the groundbreaking 1975 California Agriculture Labor Relations Act.
Cesar Chavez Day, March 31, is already celebrated as a holiday in ten states (AZ, CA, CO, IL, MI, NM, RI, TX, UT and WI).