Arizonas second biggest county wins Chavez holiday

PIMA COUNTY. Ariz. – Bowing to a well-organized campaign and public pressure, the Pima County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 13 approved a Cesar Chavez paid holiday by a vote of 3 to 2.

The United Farm Workers’ founder was born in Arizona, which currently observes March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day, but not as a paid state holiday.

The Cesar Chavez Holiday Coalition spent months organizing for the holiday by petitioning holding interfaith services, and marching. Salomon Baldenegro, leader of the coalition credited community action for the victory.

“This truly was a community movement that proved once again that ‘Si Se Puede,’” he said. “All of us should be proud.”

Fifty-four organizations made up the Chavez coalition including the Coalition of Labor Union Women, Jobs With Justice, Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees, the NAACP, Urban League, Sierra Club and the Catholic Diocese of Tucson.

The coalition is now gearing up to win the holiday for the city of Tucson, various school districts and the state of Arizona.