Biden proclaims March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day

American labor leader Cesar Chavez (1927 – 1993) in a photo captured in the 1950s.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

President Joe Biden designated March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day in the United States. and urged Americans to take this date for service and learning on the legacy of the leader of the peasant workers.

“Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez, champion of social justice and defender of the hard-working people who build and sustain our nation,” Biden said in the proclamation released Wednesday.

He added that this commemoration honors César Chávez and his life of work “for making our country freer, fairer and more equal” and reaffirming the belief that “those who love their country can change it.”

Chávez (1927-1993) was a workers’ rights and civil rights activist who led the largest farmworker marches in the United States. Together with Dolores Huerta, he founded the United States Farm Workers Association (UFWA), which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW).

March 31 is the birthday of César Chávez. The date began to be commemorated at the national level since 2014, when the now former president Barack Obama made the first designation of that date as a national day in honor of the peasant leader.

Cesar Chavez Day is also a state observance in California, Texas, and Colorado.

Biden noted that Chavez witnessed firsthand the inequalities of an economy that only served those at the top and left millions of hard-working Americans behind.

The president used the example of the workers’ leader to advocate for the approval in Congress of the Law for the Protection of the Right to Organize and the Law for the Modernization of the Agricultural Labor Force, so that the peasants can bargain collectively and have better conditions of work.

He also advocated giving undocumented farmworkers and workers a path to citizenship.

He concluded by calling on all Americans to “take this day as a day of service and learning, with appropriate educational, community, and service programs to honor the enduring legacy of Cesar Chavez.”

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