09-R124

2009 -- H 6048

Enacted 03/26/09

 

 

H O U S E R E S O L U T I O N

HONORING CESAR ESTRADA CHAVEZ (1927-1993)

     

     

     Introduced By: Representatives Diaz, Williams, Almeida, and Slater

     Date Introduced: March 26, 2009

 

 

 

     WHEREAS, Cesar Chavez, born in Yuma, Arizona on March 31, 1927, grew up in a

series of migrant labor camps in Arizona and California. After serving in the Navy from 1944 -

1945, he returned to migrant farm work; and

     WHEREAS, While working with the Community Service Organization in San Jose,

California, Cesar Chavez led voter registration drives, helped Chicanos with immigration

problems and organized CSO chapters in other cities. In 1962, when the CSO refused to create a

farm workers' union, he resigned; and

     WHEREAS, During that same year, Chavez began to organize the National Farm

Workers' Association and, by 1965, 1,700 families enrolled. Always practicing non-violent

tactics borrowed from Ghandi, Chavez invited arrest or fasted to call attention to his struggle with

the growers; and

     WHEREAS, In September 1965, Chavezí union joined migrant Filipino grape pickers on

a strike against the growers that lasted into the 1970s. Under his leadership, the union organized

boycotts of non-union farm products; and

     WHEREAS, In 1966, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial

Organizations (AFL-CIO) chartered the United Farm Workers' Organizing Committee with

Chavez as president; and

     WHEREAS, Chavez became a contemporary American hero and is an inspiration to all

who value the basic American ideals of justice, equality and freedom; and

     WHEREAS, Chavez advocated for non-violent social reform in protecting the

environment and the rights of the consumers. Ultimately, he forged an extraordinary and diverse

national coalition of students, middle-class consumers, trade unionists, religious groups, women

and minorities, including Latinos, Filipinos, Jews, Native Americans, African Americans, and

gays and lesbians; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby honors the legacy of this extraordinary and courageous American

labor leader who forever changed the lives of farm workers in America; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That March 31st will be celebrated as "Cesar Chavez Day" in the State of

Rhode Island; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy

and Progreso Latino.

     

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LC02352

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