Statement on Cesar Chavez Birthday
leader is an example for all Americans'
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the recipient of the
2003 Cesar Chavez Legacy Award from the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation,
today released the following statement in honor of the 77th anniversary
of Cesar E. Chavez's birthday:
"Cesar Chavez was one of America's greatest advocates for justice
and equality, and a model of service to others. We are proud to
celebrate his legacy, and we pay special tribute to his significance
in American history and to his commitment for a prosperous America.
"I saw firsthand Cesar Chavez's tireless commitment to improving
the lives of America's farm workers. As the founder of America's
first farm workers union, the United Farm Workers, he secured their
right to organize and bargain collectively for fair working conditions.
"Cesar Chavez's efforts succeeded in achieving fair wages,
pension benefits and medical coverage for hundreds of thousands
of working families. He also demonstrated his love for his country
by serving during World War II. He showed us that together we can
make a safe and prosperous America with a strong and vibrant economy
-- an America with good jobs and good pay. Eleven years after his
death, his life's work and legacy continue to inspire millions.
"I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of Congressman Joe
Baca's legislation that would award Cesar Chavez a Congressional
Gold Medal for his distinguished service to the nation.
"As Cesar Chavez said, 'If you are outraged at conditions,
then you can't possibly be free or happy until you devote all your
time to changing them.'
"In Congress, we must continue his struggle to ensure that
every citizen has access to quality health care and every child
receives the best possible education. Working together, we can give
everyone in this nation, whether they have been here for generations
or just arrived to our shores, the opportunity to realize the American