ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A mix of signs calling for voter approval of New Mexico Constitutional Amendment No. 7, which would establish a statewide holiday in honor of César Chávez, and Jobs with Justice signs, dominated the parade of over 300 people here March 30.
Participating in the parade were representatives of many unions, student groups from the University of New Mexico and community activist groups.
Daniel Rivera, executive secretary of the New Mexico AFL-CIO, led the march. Prior to the march, Rivera summarized a state AFL-CIO resolution calling for statewide support of this constitutional amendment, combined with an effort to register people to vote.
Also present were State Reps. Miguel Garcia and Rick Miera, State House sponsors of the amendment. Garcia urged listeners to exert the maximum effort to get out the vote and support the amendment.
Following the parade, a two-hour rally was held at the César Chávez Community Center, featuring a presentation of the Mayor’s proclamation by the Albuquerque Chief of Police, who substituted for Mayor Martin Chávez, who was out of the country.
A highlight of the event was a presentation by Albuquerque High School dancers Ballet Folklorico’s version of Mexican dances. Music was performed by Los Trinos and Nuevo Mexico Presente under the guidance of Chuy Martinez and Otilio Ruiz.
The audience, basking in a brilliant New Mexico sunshine, thoroughly enjoyed poems written by Rio Grande High School students and presentations by Ricky and Victoria Chávez of the LA Rappers.
One of the unique features of this year’s celebration was the fact that the Albuquerque Latino Policemen’s Association volunteered their time free of charge to maintain order during the march.
According to Coralee Holguin Anderson and Eduardo Hernandez-Chávez, co-coordinators of the event, this was the largest celebration to date.
The author can be reached at ShawEmil@msn.com