Resolution honors Chavez's life and legacy
Today, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall joined 10 other Senators in cosponsoring a resolution honoring Cesar Chavez’s commitment to social justice and his work to better the lives of farm workers in America.
“Through his commitment to nonviolence, Cesar Estrada Chavez brought dignity and respect to organized farm workers and became an inspiration to and a resource for individuals engaged in human rights struggles throughout the world,” the resolution reads (for full text of resolution, click here).
“Throughout his life, Cesar Chavez made invaluable contributions to workers’ rights, Latino rights, and human rights causes around the world,” Bennet said. “His dedication to ensuring that everyone had the opportunity to realize the American dream is a reminder to us all of our shared commitment to the principle of equality. It’s with great respect that we honor him with this resolution.”
"Cesar Chavez showed us that through shoe-leather organizing and sharing the stories of our common history, we can achieve real political and social change. His legacy of resilience and justice lives on in Colorado's hardworking families today," Udall said. "I am proud to honor Cesar Chavez's commitment to human rights and the American dream with my ongoing work to ensure all of Colorado's families have equal access to opportunity. While we’re still climbing many of his mountains today, his birthday is a chance for all of us to celebrate his life and redouble our commitment to equality and justice.”
Chavez was born in 1927 and began working as a farm worker at the age of ten. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he returned to California and began advocating for safer working conditions and reasonable wages for farm workers and for outlawing child labor. He became National Director of the Community Service Organization, a Latino civil rights group, and later established the National Farm Workers Association which would become the United Farm Workers of America.
Through non-violent protests Chavez successfully fought for pension benefits, health care coverage, and fair wages for workers and became an inspiration for human rights causes globally. Chavez was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize in 1974 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously, in 1994.
President Obama declared March 31 – Chavez’s birthday – as Cesar Chavez day in 2011. It is an official state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas.