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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

Rep. Green Celebrates Cesar Chavez Birthday

March 31, 2004
Press Release
Washington, DC - Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston) today joined millions of Americans across the country in celebrating the anniversary of Cesar E. Chavez birthday. Green also praised Chavez for his dedication to equal rights and service to his country.
            We are proud to honor Cesar Chavez, one of Americas greatest civil rights advocates for justice, equality, and service to others, said Green. Today, we celebrate 77 years of Cesar's legacy.  And we pay special tribute to his significance in American history and to his commitment for a prosperous America. 
            Cesar Chavez worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Americas farm workers by securing their rights to organize and bargain collectively for fair working conditions, continued Rep. Green. He founded Americas first farm workers union, the United Farm Workers. His efforts succeeded in achieving fair wages, pension benefits, and medical coverage for hundreds of thousands of working families. He also demonstrated his sacrifice to his country by serving in the Navy during World War II.
            Chavez showed us that together we can make a safe and prosperous America with a strong and vibrant economy - an America with good jobs and good pay. Eleven years after his passing, his lifes work and legacy continue to inspire millions, concluded Green.
            Cesar Estrada Chavez was born on March 31, 1927, near Yuma, AZ. and moved as a child to California. In California, the Chavez family became part of the migrant community, traveling from farm to farm to pick fruits and vegetables during the harvest.  Once Chavez completed the eighth grade, he quit school and worked full-time in the vineyards.
            In 1944, Chavez joined the Navy and served in World War II.  After completing his duty two years later, Chavez returned to California and again worked in the fields. In 1962, he formed the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). He became a lifelong activist for workers' rights, protesting, organizing, and even fasting to draw attention to the plight of farm workers.  Cesar Chavez died on April 23, 1993.
            Representative Green has cosponsored legislation that would recognize the accomplishments of Cesar E. Chavez by establishing a public holiday in his honor and providing for public school instruction on his life and work.