Cesar Chavez bill becomes law

Add a feather to the cap of Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, who successfully guided a bill honoring Hispanic civil rights activist Cesar Chavez through the Nevada Legislature.

Assembly Bill 301, signed today by Gov. Jim Gibbons, sets March 31 as a day honoring Chavez. It is not a state holiday giving employees the day off (as it is in California and Texas), but the Nevada law encourages schools, businesses, other organizations and the news media to recognize Chavez’s achievements on his birthday.

At least eight other states already recognize Cesar Chavez Day. Despite Nevada’s thin ties to the late activist, the state has a large and growing Hispanic population, many of whom came here from California, where Chavez is much loved for his work on behalf of migrant farm workers. Chavez was born in 1927 and died in 1993.

After the bill was signed, Kihuen issued this statement: “Not only does this bill give the proper recognition to one of our great American heroes, but it also helps in recognizing the contributions of our Hispanic community to our state. This is a step forward for our community and the beginning of much more to come. Thank you once again to all you that made this happen.”