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Friday 31 March 2017

Cesar Chavez Day in California and Texas

During a 25-day fast in 1972, Chavez and Huerta coined the slogan "Si, se puede," Spanish for "Yes, it can be done." It became the United Farm Workers of America (UFW’s) official motto and a rallying cry for Latino civil rights in general, and later inspired the phrase "Yes, we can" for President’s Obama’s 2008 election campaign.
Cesar Chavez was born on March 31st 1927 and his birthday became a state holiday in California starting in 1995 in honor of his legacy as a civil rights activist, environmentalist, and educator. In Texas, Cesar Chavez Day is established by Senate Bill 107, 76th Legislature Regular Session. Chapter 521 Approved June 18, 1999 and Effective September 1, 1999 as an optional holiday (added in section 662.013).
“...As president of the United Farm Workers, Chavez shined a national spotlight on the plight of farm workers, working to promote fair wages, decent working conditions and protection from pesticides. He reminded us that every job, every worker and every person should be valued.
Chavez embodied our belief in equality and justice and a life lived in service to others. Today, we continue the work he began, with efforts to increase the minimum wage, to address poverty, income and gender inequality, and to advance the rights of immigrants and workers...” - State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), March 31, 2016.
President John F. Kennedy reportedly offered in 1962 to make Chavez head of the Peace Corps for part of Latin America, but Chavez declined so he could continue trying to organize farm workers. That was the same year he and Huerta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association.
Under Chavez, the UFW helped secure union contracts that prohibited the use of DDT, required protective clothing to reduce workers’ exposure to other pesticides and prevented spraying while workers were in the fields.
Source: ca.gov | texas.gov | ufw.org
Friday 31 March 2017
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