WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released the following statement today after Senate Republicans objected to their resolution to honor and commemorate civil rights leader César Estrada Chávez. This is the eighth consecutive time the Resolution has been introduced and blocked.
"Frankly, I don't understand Republican reluctance and obstructionism," said Senator Menendez. How can they look back at the sacrifices Cesar Chavez made for our country and fail to recognize the accomplishments of this great American Hero? Cesar Chavez was a man before his time and he deserves proper recognition. He dedicated his life to fighting for equality, justice, and dignity - not only for Hispanic farm workers, but for ALL workers in the United States. I will continue fighting to ensure Republican obstructionism does not rebuke the historical contributions of Latinos to our nation and the legacy of Cesar Chavez is not denied the dignified recognition it deserves."
"I'm proud I joined Senator Menendez in paying tribute to an American hero and iconic civil and labor rights leader like Cesar Chavez. However, I was deeply disappointedmy Republican colleagues blocked this resolution that sought to honor a great American who fought for fair pay and humane working conditions," said Senator Harry Reid. "Cesar Chavez is no longer with us, but we must carry on his legacy by creating jobs for the middle class, restoring long-term unemployment insurance for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and stopping the separation of families by passing immigration reform. It saddens me my colleagues decided to obstruct something so meaningful not only to Hispanics in this country, but all workers in our nation."
The full legislation can be found here.This resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Boxer, Heinrich, Bennet, T. Udall, Feinstein, Leahy, M. Udall, Stabenow, Levin, Durbin, Warren, and Gillibrand.
About César Estrada Chávez:
César Chávez was born March 31, 1927 and was the founder of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), the first successful farm workers union in American History. For more than three decades Chávez led the UFW to achieve dignity, respect, fair wages, medical coverage, pension benefits, and humane living conditions, as well as countless other rights and protections for hundreds of thousands of our nation's farm workers. His leadership on behalf of workers helped achieve the first industry-wide labor contracts in the history of American agriculture and brought about the passage of the groundbreaking 1975 California Agriculture Labor Relations Act.
Organizations endorsing the resolution include:
AFL-CIO; American Federation of Government Employees; American Federation of Teachers; Aspira; Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Cuban American National Council, Inc. (CNC); Farmworker Justice; Friends of the American Latino Museum; Hispanic Federation; Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU); International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW); Latino Justice PRLDEF; Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA); League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association; Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); MANA, A National Latina Organization; Minority Business RoundTable; National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC); National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund; National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives (NAHFE); National Council of La Raza (NCLR); National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC); National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL); National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA); National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC); National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA); National Institute for Latino Policy (NILP); National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH); National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association; SER Jobs for Progress National, Inc.; Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP); U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI); and the US Mexico Foundation.