March 26, 2010

Power to the people

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

I am once again not at work. Why you ask? Today is Cesar Chavez Day. We do not celebrate Columbus Day at the university, and we get Cesar Chavez Day off instead. I'm pissed about it in October, but stoked in March.

So after having a cookie and Diet Coke for breakfast, I decided to do a little research to supplement my existing knowledge of this great Californian and humanitarian. Here is what I already knew: 1. He was Mexican-American 2. He did important stuff with labor, and farming 3. He marched from somewhere to somewhere really far from his starting point 4. We get his birthday off.

It was a good start but I felt like there was more, so I headed straight to Wikipedia for the undisputed facts. Please enjoy the following pieces of information:

-He was vegan
-There is a portrait of him in the National Gallery in DC
-In 1988, he fasted for 36 days to protest pesticide use
-His middle name was Estrada

Additionally, he and Dolores Huerta founded the National Farm Workers Association, which would later become the more well-known United Farm Workers (UFW). He was a community organizer who encouraged Mexican-Americans to vote and is attributed with improving conditions for union laborers all over the state and country. His efforts to support the grape pickers of Delano, CA attracted national attention, including the support of Robert F. Kennedy. He marched from Delano (near Fresno/Bakersfield) all the way to the state capitol in in 1965. He died in 1993 and was posthumously awarded the US Medal of Freedom by President Clinton.

Truly a man worth celebrating. Which is why I am totally going to Chevy's today.


  1. I used to love him, too, Stacy, but now, having fallen hard in the park at the Berkeley marina which bears his name, I'm ..... ambivalent.

  2. I love that park! On a clear day you can see all 3 bridges. Let's go sometime!