Sacramento, CA — Thursday, March 31 is César Chávez Day, a state holiday during which state government offices are closed.
Ahead of the holiday marking the iconic leader’s birth, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation Wednesday honoring the American farm worker, labor leader, civil rights activist, and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association. The Governor’s text follows below…
Eighty-nine years ago, César Chávez was born near his family farm in Yuma, Arizona. While he was still young, his family lost their farm in the Great Depression and became migrants following agricultural work around the Southwest. During his formative years, Chávez was exposed to the dismal working conditions that migrant workers were forced to endure.
In 1962, after working for many years as a community organizer, he founded the organization which later became the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). As leader of the UFW, Chávez organized agricultural laborers to protest and demand improvements in their working and living conditions. The UFW motto of “Sí se puede!” or “Yes, we can!” continues to resound as a timeless rallying cry to workers for social justice.
César Chávez and the UFW played an instrumental role in the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, which I signed into law in 1975. This legislation made our state the first in the nation to give farm workers the right to seek union representation and bargain collectively within an established legal framework.
Californians of every generation and background continue to be inspired by the leadership of César Chávez. On this anniversary of his birth, I ask all Californians to join me in continuing to build on his dream of a world where all workers are treated with dignity and respect.
NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2016, as “César Chávez Day.”