Cesar Chavez to be honored

Celebrations of the life and work of the great Mexican American labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), are being held throughout the country between now and April 3.

The year 2005 marks the 40th anniversary of the five-year-long strike against Delano-area grape growers, initiated by mostly Filipino American members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, and joined by Chavez’ National Farm Workers’ Association (the UFW’s predecessor).

The UFW’s web site, , lists many events. Call local UFW offices for more information.

Following are a few highlights:

Chicago: March 30, 8:30–10:30 a.m., Second annual breakfast, Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, Curie Metropolitan High School. Special guests: Paul F. Chavez, Paul R. Chavez and Julie Chavez Rodriguez (Cesar’s son and grandchildren). Information: (312) 814-1940.

Tallahassee, Fla.: March 30, 9:30 a.m. March to the Capitol and rally in Waller Park. Special guest speaker: UFW President Arturo Rodriguez. Information: (850) 627-2028.

San Francisco: April 3, Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Parade and Festival. Gather at 11 a.m. at the foot of Market St. for a parade at 12 noon followed by a program and festival at Civic Center at 1 p.m. Information: (415) 552-2911.

Los Angeles: March 31, 10 a.m., Fifth annual Archdiocesan Mass in Memory of Cesar Chavez, L.A. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Information: (213) 381-5611, x23.

April 2, 8 a.m., Seventh annual Cesar Chavez Benefit Walk, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez (in the soccer field), followed at noon by a festival and cultural program featuring UFW President Arturo Rodriguez and Chavez family members. Information: (323) 722-0118.

Chavez’ birthday, March 31, is a holiday in seven states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas and Utah, as well as dozens of cities and counties throughout the nation.

Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill for a national holiday.

Mbechtel @ pww.org