By Sheri Williams
The 19th Annual Cesar Chavez Day march once again filled Southside Park with union members, activists and families to celebrate the life and legacy of the civil rights leader.
Hundreds of people gathered on March 30 under sunny skies for a rally and march to the Capitol. The event began with indigenous dancers, as it always does, and included speeches from local leaders.
“Today is a day when we honor and celebrate one of our country’s greatest voices and a symbol of hope for millions of working people in America. Cesar Chavez dedicated his life’s work on improving other people’s lives,” said Fabrizio Sasso, executive director of the Sacramento Central Labor Council. “His legacy remains active today and it lives on in the hearts of organizers out there who are using his style of organizing to empower other people to improve their lives and improve their communities. He lives in the hearts of millions of activists like all of us here who witness economic and social injustice and feel compelled to stand up for what is right. He continues to inspire those who feel voiceless, so that everyone can have a voice. It’s the fight to create jobs that raise us up instead of holding us down. It’s the fight for inclusion, diversity, and equity. It’s the fight for truth and justice to prevail. It’s the fight to rebuild the middle class so America can be the land of promise and opportunity for everyone.”
Many of those attending said the day represented a chance for solidarity not just with unions but also across social justice issues.
“We have so many things we need to be fighting for, and against,” said Meri Simms, one of those attending. “It’s great to be here with so many people who care about our communities and our city. It gives me hope.”
On April 10, the California Museum will offer free admission for Dolores Huerta day. The legendary Latina activist who fought with Chavez remains active on multiple civil rights causes, including police reform. The museum is currently running an exhibition on her life and work called “Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields.”