U.S. Rep. Tony CardenasWASHINGTON, D.C. /California Newswire/ — On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) introduced his inaugural piece of legislation in the United States House of Representatives. The bill, H.Res. 132, is a Congressional resolution honoring the life and activities of Cesár Chávez, the laborer and organizer who organized migrant and farm laborers in the western United States during the latter half of the 20th Century.

“As the son of a farm worker who rose from the soil to contribute to this country and raise ten incredible children, Cesár Estrada Chávez is a hero to me,” said Cárdenas. “Chávez fought for respect and human rights for all workers, regardless of how humble their job was. Because of his fight, the son of a farm worker can grow to become a Congressman. Because of Cesár Chávez, the American Dream is alive and well, and I hope this Resolution will show the pride our nation has in his life’s work.”

Chávez is perhaps best known for founding the National Farm Workers Association, which became the United Farm Workers of America. In 1994, Chávez was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2012, President Obama declared March 31st, Chávez’s birthday, as Cesár Chávez Day and later that year directed the Secretary of the Interior to establish a Cesár Chávez National Monument in Keene, Calif.

Cárdenas’ legislation recognizes the accomplishments and example set by Chávez, pledges to promote Chávez’s legacy, encourages the people of the United States to commemorate that legacy and honors Chávez’s famous rallying cry, “Si se puede!” Spanish for, “Yes, we can!”

A companion to H.Res. 132 is being introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

“I am proud to join Tony in introducing legislation commemorating the life and legacy of César Estrada Chávez – something I have done every year as Chairman of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force,” said Menendez. “Chávez was one of the greatest civil rights leaders of our time – a man who dedicated his life to fighting for equality, justice, and dignity not only for Hispanic farm workers, but for all workers in the United States. Chávez always said: ‘the fight is never about grapes or lettuce; it’s always about people.’ His legacy serves as a source of inspiration to me and many others who believe in fairness and safety for every American worker. ”