The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved adding March 31 as an annual County Holiday and Day of Service in recognition of labor leader and founder of the United Farm Workers, César E. Chávez.
Supervisors approved the ordinance at their regular meeting Tuesday and the holiday will take effect beginning in 2016.
“Given the civil rights legacy and significance of César Chávez to this region, coupled with the fact that the State of California created the holiday in 2000, it is long overdue that Sacramento County step up and honor his contribution,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Phil Serna. “The day will commemorate César Chávez's birth and very appropriately be used to promote community service and civic engagement.”
The county recently conducted a survey that showed the County of Sacramento has approximately one less holiday overall compared to other jurisdictions. With the addition of the Chávez holiday, Sacramento County will have 13 county holidays beginning in 2016.
"While he [Chávez] did a lot of organizing in the fields across the state, he did a lot of work in the capitol as well," said Serna. "He marched from the San Joaquin Valley, walking hundreds of miles to Sacramento, to bring awareness to the plight of unrepresented, and often times, exploited farm workers across the state," said Serna.
Serna estimated the cost of the added day is $1.8 million dollars.
"We're bringing Sacramento County into parity with other jurisdictions in terms of the number of holidays that we offer our employees," said Serna. "Yes, one could talk about the cost of this particular holiday, but I think you'd have to talk about the cost of all the holidays if we're going to do that."
March 31, César Chávez Day, is a legal state holiday in California.