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Chavez/Huerta Day

We’ll see about this.

Houston ISD trustees are expected to vote Thursday on whether to establish a district holiday in honor of César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, two iconic labor activists who helped win greater rights for farm workers across the country.

The holiday would mirror Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, when districts across the region do not attend classes in remembrance of the civil rights leader.

HISD Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca, who brought forward the resolution to establish the holiday, said the district should recognize Chávez and Huerta for their pioneering work on behalf of Hispanics. About 62 percent of HISD’s roughly 214,000 students are Hispanic.

“We should definitely honor those who have come before us that really fought for freedom and doing what’s right,” Flynn Vilaseca said.

[…]

If approved, HISD’s holiday for Chávez and Huerta would be on the Monday that falls on or precedes March 31. It would start in 2020, as HISD already has established its 2018-19 academic calendar.

Flynn Vilaseca said she didn’t know whether HISD would add one day to its academic calendar or minutes to the school day to make up for lost instructional time.

As the story notes, other school districts including Fort Worth ISD have done something similar. I don’t have a problem with the idea – Chavez and Huerta are more than worthy of the recognition – but I do have a practical concern. Given that this wouldn’t be a holiday outside of HISD, this has the potential to leave a lot of parents without a good child care option on that day. (The same is true for MLK Day, as many businesses don’t close for it.) That doesn’t need to be insurmountable, but it would be nice to get some feedback from the public before a decision is made. I don’t know how much they’ll get if they’re voting on Thursday, but we’ll see.

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7 Comments

  1. Manny Barrera says:

    It is a mistake to honor them with such a day, wrong role models. There are plenty of other much better persons, one for instance would Dr. Hector P. Garcia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector_P._Garcia

    Me think that the HISD Trustees should read more about the Spanish Surname Americans and not rely on TV and people telling them who are heroes should be.

  2. C.L. says:

    @Manny. Chavez and Huerta were born in AZ and NM, Hector Garcia was born in Tamaulipas. Unlikely HISD would establish a District holiday for someone not born in the States.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    @CL.:

    Why not? Most of the HISD students weren’t born in the United States.

    I’ll just show myself out now.

  4. Manny Barrera says:

    While ignoring Bill, he was a U.S. Citizen who was a doctor during WWII, http://omeka.tamucc.edu/exhibits/show/soldier/item/70

    He fought for Civil Rights and created the American G.I. Forum which was instrumental in removing many of the barriers faced by people who were Mexican looking. http://latino.si.edu/virtualgallery/ojos/hisbios_Garcia.htm

    http://www.tamucc.edu/news/2014/09/091914%20HHM%20Hector%20P%20Garcia%20Celebration.html#.WyA6PCAnaUk

    He was my family’s doctor in Corpus Christi, and my father a WWII veteran was very active in the G.I. Forum They worked to help all Mexican looking people not just farm workers.

    Desegregation in schools, https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/voa01

    American culture has not sought to reward those with Spanish surnames in the past, it is much better to promote a Cesar Chavez that a Doctor Hector P. Garcia, who are the heroes in American History books or Texas books, William Travis, Sam Houston, Davy Bowie one of the only whites that was not illegally in Texas at the Alamo. I would not even suggest someone like Reies Tijerina https://www.britannica.com/biography/Reies-Lopez-Tijerina

    In fact right here in Houston, we have Maria Jimenez who is up there with Chavez and Huerta in my opinion. https://houstonhistorymagazine.org/2015/07/a-life-of-activism-maria-jimenez/

    Not that I have anything against farm workers, many of relatives were and some stlll are farm workers. I have two uncles that were very involved in the Farm Workers strike in Texas, one has the dubious record of having the most arrests. Librado de la Cruz, page 10, his younger brother is also pictured in page 9

  5. Manny Barrera says:

    Forgot to post link to where my uncles are mentioned, there are photographs of them https://libraries.ucsd.edu/farmworkermovement/ufwarchives/elmalcriado/Frankel/Strike.pdf

    But we have had many heroes who look like me, The most decorated Texan from WWI

    https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/11/30/most-decorated-texan-of-wwi/

  6. C.L. says:

    @Bill… ‘Cause the inmates ain’t running the asylum…yet.

  7. Manny Barrera says:

    C.L. your point of the inmates ain’t running the asylum is very much a Trumpian type statement. The only animals are Trump and his supporters.

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