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Los Angeles Celebrates Cesar Chavez Day

A list of which local, county, and state government offices get a holiday today.

Although Cesar Chavez Day falls tomorrow, on Saturday March 31, government offices, courts, and the state legislature are closed on Friday in honor of the famed labor leader.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the State Legislature is not in session on Friday and has begun its spring recess early with the Cesar Chavez day holiday.

In Los Angeles, courts and government offices across Southern California will be closed Friday to honor Latino civil rights leader César Chávez.

Schools are also closed Friday.

Chávez's birthday, March 31, is celebrated as a state holiday in California and several other states. Chavez was a labor organizer and civil rights activist who sought better working conditions for migrant farm workers through nonviolent means.

He was a co-founder of the union that later became the United Farm Workers and his slogan, "Sí, se puede" (Spanish for "Yes, it can be done") remains a rallying cry for Hispanic civil rights movements.

He believed that social change could be enacted not through rhetoric, but non-violent action.

"The American public wants things fast. We want things without much work. It doesn't work that way, real life change doesn't work that way," Chávez said in one of his speeches on behalf of the UFW. "Change takes a lot of struggle, a lot of time, a lot of dedication. Look at the struggles that have really meant something in this world, look at how long they took. It doesn't happen through rhetoric. It happens when people get out their, roll up their sleeves and do the work."

Chávez died in 1993 and former President Bill Clinton posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.

On March 31, 1994 the city of Los Angeles officially changed the name of the major Eastside thoroughfare Brooklyn Avenue to César Chávez Avenue, to commemorate the civil rights leader's legacy.

Los Angeles County offices are encouraging employees to volunteer in a variety of activities. Public services will continue as scheduled.

For those who wish to use to occasion of Chávez's birthday to learn more about this legacy, the will be open on Friday and Saturday from 10-5:30 p.m. and offers many books about his life.

Click here to see a full list of books about Chavez available in the Los Angeles Public Library system.

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