Statement by National NOW President Toni Van Pelt and New Mexico NOW State President Sharon Hart:
WASHINGTON – New Mexico state legislator Rep. Miguel P. Garcia has proposed a state holiday in honor of the late farm worker leader Cesar Chavez of California and the late New Mexico State Senator Dennis Chavez. Garcia is quoted as saying, “There are no other kinds of individuals connected to New Mexico quite like these gentlemen who regularly preached civil rights and social justice.”
Dolores Huerta is a native New Mexican, who preceded Cesar Chavez in the fight for farm workers’ rights. It was Huerta who created the organization that evolved into the United Farm Workers, more than three years before she and Chavez co-founded the UFW together. It was Huerta who was overshadowed due to her gender as a nationally recognized “face” of the farm workers, and it was Huerta whose contributions to their struggle took second place to no man.
Today, Dolores Huerta remains a tireless advocate for workers and women. She richly deserves to be honored. This must start with recognition in the new bill in New Mexico that renames the proposed holiday, “The Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez and Dennis Chavez Day.”
NOW calls on New Mexico legislators to fix this sexist oversight. Dolores Huerta is one of the state’s most illustrious, accomplished, and historically significant women.
NOW Press, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-628-8669