Alejandro Chavez honors legacy of his grandfather César Chávez

Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 10:32 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The nation celebrates the life and legacy of civil rights and labor movement activists Cesar Chavez. The legendary Mexican-American dedicated his life’s work to advocate for farm workers in the United States to improve their working and living conditions through organizing.

Chavez founded the United Farm Workers Association and won several victories including raising farm workers pay in the 1970s. One of his grandchildren living in Arizona, Alejandro Chavez, honors his hero and shares why he continued in his grandfather’s steps.

“We saw during the pandemic what happens when people are worried about food and yet farmworkers were never given frontline opportunities,” he said.

Through the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 Chavez believes his grandfather’s plight would be fulfilled. He added that it’s a big step towards humanity and a long-awaited battle for the labor movement.

“It’s the least we can do to say, ‘Hey, you make sure that we have the food on our tables, continue our food supply chain... the least we can do is offer you a path to citizenship to continue that work, and also give your children an opportunity,’” said Chavez.

And although the immigration bill that is now in the hands of congress is a huge step forward, Chavez says there’s still work left to be done.

“Farmworkers need to get overtime across the board, given 401k opportunities, all the same opportunities we would give to a businessman and a businesswoman,” he said.

Alejandro was 15-years-old when Cesar passed away. He said he carries the passion of his grandfather to remind generations of tomorrow that his legacy will never be forgotten. “It embodies who he is, he was a farmworker, he was proud to be a farmworker, there was great dignity in being a farmworker.”

Cesar Chavez was 66-years-old when he passed on April 23, 1993

As for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021, it passed the house earlier this month with 30 republican’s siding with all democrats except for one in support of the bill.

Arizona’s representative voted along party lines, democrats in support of the bill and republicans against the bill.

It now goes to the senate for consideration.

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