March 31, 2022

Cárdenas, Menendez Introduce Bicameral Resolution Honoring the Life of César Chávez

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a bicameral resolution honoring the legacy of the renowned civil rights and labor leader, César E. Chávez.

“I rise today to honor the life and legacy of labor and civil rights leader César E. Chávez,” said  Congressman Cárdenas during a speech on the House floor. “Born in Yuma, Arizona, César worked with his family in the fields of America’s Southwest. After serving in the U.S. Navy, César began organizing for the human dignity and respect of all farmworkers — farmworkers like my father and grandfather, who did backbreaking work in the fields of California. César’s powerful message of hope and opportunity motivated a generation to stand up and demand the respect and dignity their work deserves. He taught us the importance of non-violent activism to fight for fair wages and fair treatment that helped put the American Dream within reach for hardworking immigrant families. But his legacy extends beyond agriculture. He spent his life making sure our nation lived up to its core values of freedom, justice and equality for all. His timeless vision of hope for a better world continues to inspire us every single day. Today, on what would have been his 95th birthday,  let us reflect on César’s life’s work and carry forward the legacy he set forth. Sí, se puede. Yes, We Can.”

“I am honored to commemorate the lasting legacy of César Chávez’s contributions to the history of America as one of our nation’s most important civil rights and labor leaders,” said Senator Menendez. “Today, I join New Jerseyans and millions across the country in not only celebrating César Chávez Day, but in reaffirming our unwavering commitment to the principles of universal dignity, respect, and social justice that he fought for throughout his life.” 

César E. Chávez was born on March 31, 1927, in Arizona to poor migrant farmworkers. In 1962, Chávez co-founded the first successful farmworkers union in the United States – the United Farm Workers (UFW) to campaign for safe and fair working conditions, reasonable wages, decent housing and the outlawing of child labor. Following the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Chávez committed to nonviolent protest to call attention to the terrible working and living conditions of American farmworkers. He inspired hope in these workers through his great rallying catchphrase, "¡Sí se puede!" César Chávez was a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize during his lifetime and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 8, 1994.

Cárdenas and Menendez’s resolution recognizes Chávez’s many accomplishments and pledges to commemorate his legacy. 

The House resolution is co-sponsored by Congressman Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Congresswomen Karen Bass (CA- 37), Congresswomen Nanette Barragan(CA-44), Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Congresswomen Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01), Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX- 28), Congressman Danny Davis (IL-07), Congresswomen Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03), Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ- 07), Congresswomen Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA- 34), Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Congressmen Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Congresswomen Gwen Moore (WI-04), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Congresswomen Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Congresswomen Eleanor Holmes Del. Norton (DC at Large), Congressman Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01), Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Congresswomen Linda T. Sanchez (CA-38), Congresswomen Janice D. Schakowsky (IL-09), Congressman Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Congresswomen Dina Titus (NV-01), Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51), Congressman Filemon Vega (TX-34), Congresswoman Nydia  Velasquez (NY-07), Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Congressman James McGovern (MA-02) and Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47).

The Senate resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).