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Fronteras: César Chávez — ‘La Causa Sigue,’ the cause continues in San Antonio

César Estrada Chávez is perhaps the best known Latino civil & labor rights activist in the U.S.

Chávez and Dolores Huerta founded the organization that came to be known as the United Farm Workers.

Arturo Rodriguez became president of the UFW after Chávez’s death. He served for 25 years and is now its president emeritus.

Chávez is honored by some states and municipalities with a holiday, but Rodriguez said Chávez is deserving of a federal holiday.

“We're hopeful,” he said. “But as César always said, ‘You only lose when you stop fighting.’”

Ernest Martinez is chair of the César E. Chávez Legacy & Educational Foundation, an organization founded by his father, Jaime Martinez.

CECLEF has honored the labor rights leader with the César E. Chávez March for Justice for the last 26 years.

Martinez said this year’s theme, La Causa Sigue (The Cause Continues), embraces many causes and struggles, but ultimately, the event on March 26 is about unity. “When we talk about the spirit of la causa and the mission, it's above any one individual,” he said. “It's about a collective effort of people coming together for one common purpose, one common goal.”

San Antonio activists have fought for recognition of Chávez since his death in 1993. A street was successfully renamed “César E. Chávez Blvd” in 2011, and the City of San Antonio voted in 2021 to formally recognize César Chávez Day as a municipal holiday.

ernestMartinez-ronNirenberg-holidayVote.jpg
Courtesy of Ernest Martinez
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Ernest Martinez, chair of the César E. Chávez Legacy & Educational Foundation, and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg celebrate the passage of a resolution to make César Chávez Day, March 31, an official city holiday. Sept. 16, 2021.
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Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1