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Cesar Chavez Day: “Si, Se Puede!”

Cesar Chavez, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, speaks at a rally in 1977.

Today we honor Cesar Chavez, an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962. Originally a Mexican American farm worker, Chavez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida.

He is also famous for popularizing the slogan “Sí, se puede” (Spanish for “Yes, one can” or, roughly, “Yes, it can be done”), which was adopted as the 2008 campaign slogan of Barack Obama. His supporters say his work led to numerous improvements for union laborers. Although the UFW faltered a few years after Chavez died in 1993, he became an iconic “folk saint” in the pantheon of Mexican Americans. His birthday, March 31, has become Cesar Chavez Day, a state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas.

We at North County Immigration work daily to continue to champion the civil rights of migrant workers in our country. Si se puede! Estamos Contigo!

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