Closures on Cesar Chavez Day

Friday is Cesar Chavez Day in honor of the civil rights and labor movement leader, and a number of local are closed.

Here’s a look at what’s closed and what’s open around town:
  • All City of San Diego Administrative Offices are closed.
  • All city libraries are closed.
  • All city rec centers and pools are closed.
  • Public buildings at Balboa Park are closed, including the Botanical Building, Casa Del Prado, Municipal Gym and War Memorial Building.
  • Parking meters and time restrictions for parking on streets will not be enforced.
  • San Diego County Superior Court is closed as well as county offices.
  • Mission Trails Regional Park’s visitor center is open.
  • Chollas Lake is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • San Vicente Reservoir is open a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.
  • Golf courses are open as scheduled.
  • The Miramar Landfill is open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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State offices, schools closed for Cesar Chavez Day

State offices, including the Department of Motor Vehicles and Los Angeles Superior Courts, will be closed today to observe Cesar Chavez Day.

Federal offices and services, including the U.S. Postal Service, will be open.

Then-Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation in 2000 creating the state holiday honoring the late labor leader credited with improving work and quality-of-life conditions for immigrant farm workers in Central California.

Chavez, an advocate of nonviolence, is remembered for spearheading a grape boycott in 1965 that went nationwide in 1968 and lasted until 1978, resulting in higher wages for farm workers and focusing national attention on their plight.

Born March 31, 1927, in Yuma, Arizona, Chavez dropped out of school after the eighth grade to help support his family by joining them in the fields as a migrant farm worker, witnessing the many adversities migrant workers faced daily.

Chavez  joined the Latino civil rights Community Service Organization in 1952, urging Latinos to register to vote.

In 1962, Chavez joined Dolores Huerta in co-founding the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.

Chavez and the UFW played an instrumental role in the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975, which made California the first state to give farm workers the right to seek union representation and
bargain collectively within an established legal framework.

Chavez died in 1993 at age 66.


Senate Republicans Refuse to Honor Cesar Chavez’s Birthday Again

On what would have been Cesar Chavez's 90th birthday, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer introduced a resolution to honor his life and legacy, the 10th year in a row they've done so.

Despite attempts by Democrats, no Republican senators agreed to co-sponsor the resolution, making it the 10th time such a proposal could not get GOP support in the Senate.

"At a moment of immense uncertainty and anxiety for the Latino community, we could not find one single Senate Republican willing to join us in recognizing the life and legacy of this great American in a bipartisan manner," Menendez of New Jersey said in a press release.

"César Chávez's countless efforts to ensure equality, justice, and dignity for all people in the United States are testament of his leadership and success," Menendez said. "We eagerly await the day when politics will no longer preclude the passage of this common sense resolution."

Chavez, born in Yuma, Arizona on March 31, 1927, founded the United Farm Workers union in 1962 along with Dolores Huerta to campaign for safe and fair working conditions, reasonable wages, decent housing, and the outlawing of child labor.

"Chávez knew that there is inherent power in the fight for justice and that though the road may be long, in the end together 'Si Se puede - Yes we can!" Schumer of New York said, quoting Chávez's famous rallying cry.

"This César Chávez Day we must draw strength from his work and follow his example as we recommit ourselves to fighting for dignity and respect for all, and to protect and ensure the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, African Americans, Latinos, immigrants and Americans overall," said Senator Schumer.

Democrats have made other attempts to honor Chavez on his birthday, including in 2014 when a movie was released about the civil rights icon. Menendez sought unanimous consent for the resolution that year but the attempt was thwarted by then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, now the U.S. Attorney General. The former Alabama senator had tried to include language about Chavez's opposition to the hiring of undocumented immigrants by growers to replace farmworkers - many who were U.S. citizens - who were on strike in protest of low wages and poor working conditions.

During his eight years, former President Barack Obama issued several proclamations honoring Chavez.

On the House side, House Democrat Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi marked the day with commentary on President Donald Trump.

"On this day, and as we confront the Trump Administration's agenda of discrimination, let us remember the words of Cesar Chavez: 'We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community,'" Pelosi of California said in a statement.

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