Tucson city council unanimously approves Cesar Chavez holiday - Tucson News Now

City council adds Cesar Chavez paid holiday

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

More than forty years after she and Cesar Chavez fought for the rights of farm workers, Dolores Huerta spoke up to the Tucson city council in favor of a new paid city holiday in his name.

"When it might cost a little bit of money, when you think about the kind of dignity it brings to the city and to the working people here, it's really worth it," Huerta said Tuesday night.

She as well as Alejandro Chavez, his grandson, said that such a day honors the rights of workers, which are still in need of better treatment.

"I ask you please, vote yes, and empower the people of this city, the employees of this city to be that which Cesar Chavez embodied," he said.

Concerns have been made in social media about the half-million dollar cost.  But no one spoke against it in call to the audience Tuesday.  City manager Richard Miranda said that the city has made sure that it can cover it.

"The fiscal cost of this holiday would be with that condition that we think Cesar Chavez would have put on us.  This cost will be absorbed within our budget, that we're not going to delete any budgets, take anybody's job away or delete any services to our community," he said.

After his endorsement, city council voted unanimously in favor of the holiday, and considered it to be an investment in the city's image.

"When they say that this is going to pay off, the city of Tucson has always been proud of its mayor and council for standing differently than the rhetoric that we've heard from the state of Arizona," said Ward One council member Regina Romero, who brought the proposal to the council.

Tucson's first Cesar Chavez holiday will be March 31, 2015.

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