WHEREAS: Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farmworkers of America, was one of the heroic figures of the 20th century, leading a five year boycott of grapes which led to the first union contracts for farm workers and the passage of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act, and

WHEREAS: Chavez is a beloved hero of the Mexican American people, the labor movement and, indeed, of all people who believe in justice, and

WHEREAS: Chavez’ March 31 birthday is a celebrated holiday in many states, and

WHEREAS: The state of California made it a paid holiday and day of service and learning in the public schools, and

WHEREAS: Our nation would be well served to pass legislation similar to California’s which would establish an official national holiday in memory of this great leader, and

WHEREAS: Many lessons can be learned from the life of Chavez, who like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was an adherent to non-violent civil disobedience and led many strikes and boycotts for his righteous cause, and

WHEREAS: Chavez was also an early environmentalist, warning the public of the devastating effects of pesticides on both farm workers and consumers, and

WHEREAS: Chavez fought for the rights of immigrants, refusing to let the forces of agri-business and racism scapegoat immigrant workers, now therefore be it

RESOLVED: That we, the undersigned, honor Chavez and want to send a clear message to Bush, Ashcroft and other ultra-right forces that we refuse their attempts to polarize our nation using anti-immigrant racism and increased racial profiling in the wake of Sept. 11, and be it finally

RESOLVED: That we demand amnesty for all immigrants, a national paid holiday honoring Chavez and that all candidates running in the 2002 elections reject racism and all forms of racial profiling.

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