Ald. Tony Zielinski
Press Release

Cesar Chavez city worker holiday proposal to be heard by Finance and Personnel Committee

City employees would have the option of taking off on March 31 annually as a holiday observing the birthday of American labor and civil rights champion Cesar E. Chavez.

By - Mar 25th, 2014 12:29 pm

City employees would have the option of taking off on March 31 annually as a holiday observing the birthday of American labor and civil rights champion Cesar E. Chavez under proposed legislation to be heard tomorrow by the Common Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee.

The proposed ordinance – Council file #131630 authored by Alderman Tony Zielinski and co-sponsored by Alderman José G. Pérez, Alderman Bob Donovan, Alderman Nik Kovac and Alderman Robert W. Puente – will be heard by the committee at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, March 26) in room 301-B at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.

Wednesday’s meeting will be televised live on the City Channel (Channel 25 on Time Warner Cable in the City of Milwaukee), and on U-Verse Channel 99. Online viewing is available by going to

Alderman Zielinski said he believes the Chavez birthday holiday measure is an excellent way to honor the legacy “of a man who is a true hero to all working Americans.”

“It behooves us to set aside an optional employee holiday in honor of Cesar Chavez, who helped bring national attention to the unsafe and unfair working conditions of farm workers, and inspired millions of people of all races to join in the nonviolent movement for farm workers’ rights,” Alderman Zielinski.

The proposed legislation designates March 31 annually as “Cesar E. Chavez Day” in observance of the birthday of Cesar Chavez and establishes that day as an optional holiday for city employees. Upon authorization from a department head, an employee may take Cesar E. Chavez Day as a paid holiday in lieu of any other paid holiday that same calendar year.

Also, file # 131630 states that if Cesar E. Chavez Day falls on a day on which city offices are open, each department shall remain open and conduct the operations of the department and its observance does not change the total number of paid holidays granted annually to any employee, and no compensatory time-off or holiday premium pay shall be granted to any employee for work performed on Cesar E. Chavez Day.

Born on March 31, 1927, Cesar Chavez was a champion for civil rights, labor rights, voting rights, and women’s rights, and empowered workers to seek advancement in education and politics, and served as an inspiration for others working to better human rights.

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