This Father’s Day weekend marks the second one without my father, my best friend, and mentor Jaime P. Martinez who would have turned 72 this year. What a life he lived! A testament to the remarkable life and journey he experienced, are the many stories shared about my father from those he organized with and touched over the last four decades at the local, state, and national levels of the labor and civil rights movement. That was his work, but most remember him as the founder of The Cesar E. Chavez Legacy & Educational Foundation, a 100% volunteer led 501c3 organization and founder of the Annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice which I currently lead alongside a dynamic group of committed individuals.
Today’s political tone presents both an opportunity and challenge. There are many challenges, but for me central to the biggest challenge is connecting with today’s generation who are so far removed from the history of La Causa, primarily because our educational system doesn’t acknowledge the accomplishments of Cesar Chavez, or Dolores Huerta. This must change.
As for the future growth opportunity of The Cesar Chavez March for Justice and CECLEF, it is predicated upon remaining true to the mission of educational outreach started by my father, and engaging the youth of our community. The mission is above any one individual, and focuses on one thing, and in our case, the community at large. Totally following in my dad footsteps is impossible, but thanks to a great father that instilled hard work and commitment to community, forging ahead with faith unshakable with the same Si Se Puede mindset of my father, that will always remain. While my father loved community, he loved God and Familia’ even more. Dad, I miss you this Father’s Day, you will never be forgotten. Adelante’ and forever Si Se Puede!