About Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday
Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday was established by Los Angeles volunteers who organized and led the effort in California that won Cesar Chavez Day, the first legal state holiday and day of service and learning in honor of farm worker leader Cesar E. Chavez. The legal holiday bill introduced by then State Senator Richard Polanco (Los Angeles-D) was signed into law by then Governor Gray Davis (D) on August 18, 2000. The holiday is celebrated in California on Cesar E. Chavez’s birthday March 31st. This marked the first time that a labor leader or Latino has been honored with a public legal holiday.
The California legal holiday set into motion a wave of initiatives resulting in optional and commemorative Cesar Chavez Days in nine additional states (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.)
Cesar Chavez Day brings together hundreds of thousands who engage in celebrations, service and learning projects, and other actions that further the many causes which Cesar Chavez worked for.
The mission of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday, a public benefit organization, is to work for national recognition of Cesar E. Chavez on his birthday March 31. We are forming national, state and local coalitions; organizing volunteer committees; and providing education about the value to our nation of honoring Cesar E. Chavez.
Cesar Chavez gave our nation and each of us a unique example to live our lives by. His selfless dedication for farm worker and worker rights, economic justice, civil rights, environmental justice, peace, nonviolence, empowerment of the poor and disenfranchised, is a monumental legacy that will inspire all and the generations to come. The winning of national recognition for Cesar Chavez with holidays, service, learning and community action events, is a fitting tribute and significant way to share his life’s work as the founder and leader of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).
What is most important is that remembering and honoring Cesar Chavez inspires more people to become involved in the causes that continue Cesar Chavez’s extraordinary legacy.
Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday extends our profound thanks to our advisors for their assistance that sheds light on our journey.
- Jerry Acosta, Western Regional Director AFL-CIO
- Richard Alarcon, Los Angeles City Council Member, former CA State Senator
- Magdalena Beltran-del Olmo, Vice President of Communications, Wellness Foundation
- Antonio Gonzalez, President, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SWVREP) & William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI)
- Michael Jensen, Jensen Communications
- State Senator Richard Polanco (Ret.), Chairman, California Latino Caucus Institute &author of the California holiday bill for Cesar Chavez
- Ken Riley, Vice President, International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), Vice Pres.South Carolina AFL-CIO & President ILA Local 1422 (Charleston)
- Ken Johnson, Southern Regional Director, AFL-CIO
Partners and Founding Sponsors
Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday wishes to thank our partners and founding sponsor organizations and individuals whose support insures our journey.
- International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) AFL-CIO
- International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Coast Committee
- Utility Workers Union of America AFL-CIO Local 132
- Service Employees International Union Local 535 (CA)
- Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
- Los Angeles City Employees Chicano Association (LACECA)
- Royce Adams
- Evelina Alarcon
- Hernando Martinez
- Dan Nemmers, Web design and development
- Manny Rico
- Gary Ruffner, Natl. Secretary Treasurer, UWUA
If you would like to become a partner or founding sponsor, please contact: Executive Director, Evelina Alarcon: EvelinaAlarcon@cesarchavezholiday.org
Endorsers of a Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday (Partial List)
- National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
- League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
- National Latino Congreso
- National Education Association (NEA)
- Sierra Club
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
- Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
- Communication Workers of America (CWA)
- Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA)
- United Farm Workers of America (UFW)
- Farm Labor Organizing Committee AFL-CIO (FLOC)
- Los Angeles City Council
- Philadelphia City Council
- Board of Education of the City of Los Angeles
- Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (CA)
- San Francisco Central Labor Council (CA)
- King County Central Labor Council (WA)
- Cesar E. Chavez Foundation
- Dolores Huerta Foundation
- US Senator John Edwards
- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
- Pastor Warren Stewart, led state holiday effort for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Arizona
- Carlos Santana
- Actors– Edward James Olmos, Martin Sheen, George Lopez, Mike Farrell, Ed Begley Jr., Lupe Ontiveros, Esai Morales
- Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)
- Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW)
- Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
- Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
- Pride At Work
- and many more!
Photos of Cesar Chavez Our sincere thanks to Oscar Castillo and Bob Fitch for the use of their photos of Cesar Chavez
If you would like to become an Endorser, contact Exec. Director Evelina Alarcon at: EvelinaAlarcon@cesarchavezholiday.org