Events kick off to honor civil rights leader César Chavez's birt - Tucson News Now

Events kick off to honor civil rights leader César Chavez's birthday

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Hundreds of Tucson residents showed up to watch a private screening of the movie "César Chavez: An American Hero" at the Harkins Cinema off Irvington road, on Friday.

The Arizona César Chavez holiday coalition rented out a private theater and organizer Ruben Reyes said, he was pleasantly surprised to see all 390 seats sell out in less than ten days.

The coalition sold tickets for $15 a piece to raise money for their organization.

In addition to the movie night, this weekend the coalition was organizing the 14th annual César E. Chavez march and rally.  The community planned to gather at Pueblo High School located at 3500 S. 12th Avenue and march to Rudy Garcia Park on S. Nogales Highway.   Speakers, musicians, and vendors would be at the park to greet the marchers.

Ward 1 councilwoman Regina Romero said her office was organizing the first annual César E. Chávez Day of Service on Monday, March 31st. Starting at 9 a.m. the community would be partnering with students from City High School and farm managers from the Community Food Bank, and working in the fields of Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Farm, is a west side community resource that feeds the neediest amongst us, according to a press release by Romero's office.

The farm is located on the west bank of the Santa Cruz River, south of 29th/Silverlake.

"Chávez was a navy veteran, labor leader, crusader for social justice, and non-violent civil rights activist," said Councilor Regina Romero. "As the daughter of farm workers myself, our family saw the direct benefit of his advocacy for working people. His service, commitment, and legacy deserve to be celebrated, not only in our community but nation-wide. Emphasizing a Day of Service will encourage all Tucsonans, young and old, to pay tribute to the legacy of Chávez in our own community. We look forward to initiating that tradition this year," said Romero.

Following his death more than 20 years ago, California, Texas, and Colorado have already established state holidays in his honor. In Arizona, jurisdictions including Tempe, Phoenix, South Tucson, and Pima County also celebrate César E. Chávez Day.

Earlier this month, Tucson city council members voted unanimously to proclaim March 31st as a city wide holiday.  That would take effect in 2015.

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