Cesar Chavez National Holiday Push

March 31, 2008 9:28:19 PM PDT
Democrats in congress have renewed their call for a federal holiday in honor of Cesar Chavez.California is just one of eight states which recognizes Cesar Chavez Day. Cesar Chavez would have turned 81 Monday.

Assemblyman Juan Arambula grew up listening to inspirational talks by the UFW co-founder. Those lessons continue to be taught.

Kids at Carver School in west Fresno carried signs and marched to honor Cesar Chavez.

"Being of service is not enough you must be a servant of the people."

Claudette Leffall made sure the lessons of Chavez' life were not lost on her students.

"Just because you work in the fields does that mean you're not as important as a teacher or the principal? You have rights its human rights that he fought for."

The kids at Carver learned how Chavez' fight involved boycotts and peaceful demonstrations.

"We'll give him a fight. We're not gonna stand for any kind of nonsense."

"Fight for human wages and the fight has just begun."

The traditional Garlanding Ceremony took place at the Fresno Adult School which bears the name of Cesar Chavez. Assemblyman Juan Arambula grew up in Delano in the 60-s and remembers Chavez inspiring people to believe in themselves.

Assm. Juan Arambula: "I miss him very much we could use him now but he did open many doors. And now those of us who have walked through those doors have an obligation to keep those doors open for the next generation."

As for the next generation most of them don't get the day off on Cesar Chavez Day.

Jose Luis Barraza: "The day off is nice but that is not the intent. The intent for this holiday is to remember social justice and give time to that social justice by volunteering your time and energy."

Retired Fresno State Professor Sudarshan Kapoor believes more than just eight states should recognize Cesar Chavez Day.

Sudarshan Kapoor: "I feel very strongly Cesar's birthday should be a national holiday. When it will be I don't know but we have to keep working on it."

Presidential hopefuls didn't skip a beat. Senator Barack Obama joined the call for a national Cesar Chavez holiday. Senator Hillary Clinton secured the endorsement of United Farmworkers earlier this year.


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