Cesar Chavez

When is Cesar Chavez Day?

     Cesar Chavez Day is always celebrated on his birthday, March 31st. President Barack Obama declared Cesar Chavez Day a national holiday in 2014.

     It is not a federal holiday, but is a state holiday in California. It is either an optional or commemorative day in nine other states – Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.

     California, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin observe Cesar Chavez day by closing schools and state offices.

About Mr. Chavez

Cesar Chavez (born César Estrada Chávez, locally [ˈsesaɾ esˈtɾaða ˈtʃaβes]; March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American labor leader, community organizer, and Latino American civil rights activist.

Born in Yuma, Arizona, to a Mexican American family, Chavez began his working life as a manual laborer before spending two years in the United States Navy. Relocating to California, where he married, he got involved in the Community Service Organization (CSO), through which he helped laborers register to vote. In 1959, he became the CSO’s national director, a position based in Los Angeles. In 1962, he left the CSO to co-found the NFWA, based in Delano, California.

On organization and leadership

Chavez felt that he had to be both the leader and the organizer-in-chief of his movement because only he had the necessary commitment to the cause.[226] He was interested in power and how to use it; although his role model in this was Gandhi, he also studied the ideas about power by Niccolò Machiavelli, Adolf Hitler, and Mao Zedong, drawing ideas from each.[122] Chavez repeatedly referred to himself as a community organizer rather than as a labor leader and underscored that distinction.[100] He was ambivalent about the national labor movement.[100] He personally disliked many of the prominent figures within the American labor movement but, as a pragmatist, recognized the value of working with organized labor groups.[129]

 

On César Chávez Day, Biden calls for coronavirus protections for farmworkers

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden marked the birthday of civil rights icon César Chávez on Tuesday by calling on employers to provide protections and benefits for farmworkers exposed to the coronavirus.

While many Americans are working from home, farm laborers have been in the fields in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, sustaining the food supply, which is under strain amid the crisis.

In a statement to NBC News, Biden thanked the more than 2 million farmworkers whom he described as being “on the front lines, working to keep Americans fed and healthy during this pandemic.”

Biden called the farmworkers “soldiers in this war against an invisible and undiscriminating enemy.” The majority of the nation’s farmworkers are undocumented.

Cesar Chavez

Awards and Honors

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