Convention Resolution

Resolution 52: Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday

Submitted by the Utility Workers Union and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

WHEREAS, the success in making Cesar E. Chavez’s birthday, March 31, an official paid state holiday in California and a day of service and learning in its public schools, has launched a national movement calling on Congress to do the same with an official federal holiday for Cesar E. Chavez; and

WHEREAS, the California victory started a wave of more Cesar E. Chavez state holidays now won in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas and Utah; and

WHEREAS, a Cesar E. Chavez national holiday would be the first time that a labor leader ever received this honor; and

WHEREAS, this holiday would encourage all people to model Cesar E. Chavez’s legacy by engaging in action for workers’ rights, civil rights, environmental justice, nonviolence and empowerment of the poor and disenfranchised; and

WHEREAS, Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday! is a national organization based in Los Angeles that is spearheading the effort to win a national holiday and state and local holidays and is coalescing organizations, communities and individuals throughout the country; and

WHEREAS, the CBTU, LCLAA, APALA, AFSCME, SEIU, ILWU, UWUA and other unions have called for a federal holiday for Cesar E. Chavez and resolved to join the Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday! coalition; and

WHEREAS, organized labor is a natural ally of this effort to tribute Cesar E. Chavez, one of labor’s own leaders, the founder and former president of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO calls on President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress to establish an annual legal public federal holiday and a day of service, learning and action in recognition of Cesar E. Chavez, an internationally recognized Mexican American labor leader, on his birthday, March 31; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO will officially join the Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday! coalition and in so doing become an active partner alongside of Latino, labor, civil rights, interfaith and other organizations, leaders, elected officials and celebrities who are working together to insure that the legacy of Cesar E. Chavez is recognized, celebrated and emulated throughout our nation.