As the League of United Latin American Citizens, Council 1057 kicked off the Cesar Chavez Holiday weekend by hosting their 26th Annual Youth Leadership Conference at Pima Community College's West Campus we must not forget the legacy left by him such as his determination to improve the quality of life for all.
He was an educator, environmentalist and a civil rights leader. One of his most famous saying was "We can not seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own."
For the past 26 years LULAC Council 1057, in partnership with the Southern Arizona Institute of Leadership have been actively involved in our community providing educational assistance to our youth and motivating them to realize education is the key to success and that their number one goal should be to graduate. Education is a great equalizer.
Latino's are now the largest racial and ethnic population, affecting the cultural and political landscape and changing the way America does business. The presence and influence of Latinos has increased significantly in the United States through remarkable growth over the past 20 years. But according to recent polls, Latinos in the United States see education as the most important issue facing their community. Over 50% of Latinos equate sending their children to college with achieving the American dream. I thank LULAC and all the organizations that work hard to educate our youth and to get them to obtain their diplomas and college degrees.
Latino's have a rich heritage of educational innovation and achievement. The Spaniards established two universities in Lima and Mexico in 1541, and a total of seven universities in the new world before Harvard opened its doors. I believe Cesar Chavez, would tell us today that we need to recover their spirit and create our own renaissance in education. He said, "It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. it is an awesome opportunity."
On this first holiday, I want to thank my colleagues on the Council and the many organizations who supported the Council’s vote for the Cesar Chavez holiday in 2014. His selfless dedication for farm worker and worker rights, economic justice, civil rights, environmental justice, peace, nonviolence, empowerment of the poor and disenfranchised, is a monumental legacy that will inspire all and the generations to come. What is most important is that remembering and honoring Cesar Chavez inspires more people to become involved in all the causes which continue his extraordinary legacy.
(Editor's Note: Richard Fimbres is Vice Mayor in Ward 5 – City of Tucson)