Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Assembly Bill Killed By GOP Legislators For Lack Of Support

Cesar E. Chavez, JoCasta Zamarripa and Yesenia Eldermira "Jessie" Rodriguez

Not one Republican Assembly Representative, including Rodríguez supported or voted to pull the Chavez bill from committee to recognized March 31st as an optional Cesar E. Chavez Holiday in Wisconsin, according to Representative Zamarripa (D).

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 18, 2014

Madison, WI - On Tuesday,  South side State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milw.) announced that she attempted to pull Assembly Bill 783 (AB 783) from committee to recognize March 31st as a Cesar E. Chavez state optional Holiday in Wisconsin. Representative Zamarripa said, that "Not a single Republican voted" for the bill, thus making it moot.
A lack of GOP support in the state Assembly shows the lack of recognition and accomplishments of the late United Farm Workers labor leader, Chavez.
Not even the newly elected Hispanic Republican Representative Yesenia Eldermira "Jessie" Rodriguez supported the Chavez bill. 
Zamarripa said, that she approached Representative Rodríguez in January to sign into the bill as a supporter of the Chavez bill, but she declined. Rodríguez on to Tuesday voted against the Chavez bill, Zamarripa confirmed.
Zamarripa expressed disappointment that the GOP have been attempting to attract the Hispanic vote, but failed to recognize the achievments of Wisconsin's Hispanic population and its leaders.
Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) attempted to reach Republican Representative Rodríguez for comment on the Chavez bill, but was not successful. 
In brief, since the early 1970's, the Hispanic population has struggled to overcome discrimination and barriers in Wisconsin. The Hispanic activists and leaders, including the community have been an integral part in changing laws, opening the educational doors of education for all Wisconsinites, despite their economic status and ethnicity. 
The Chavez holiday bill is one of three that Representative Zamarripa is trying to introduce in the Assembly. The other two bills are an in-state tuition bill that allow state DREAMers to pay residence tuition and a bill to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's license permits. Both bills face the same fate at the Chavez bill due to a Republican control legislature in the Assembly and state Senate.
In October, Governor Scott Walker (R) recognized the economic influence Hispanics have in the state and the projected growth in the near future. "Mexico is Wisconsin's second largest export market. Hispanic-owned businesses in Wisconsin are growing at a rate of 7.6 percent, accounting for $2.4 billion in sales and employing 11,000 people.
If Governor Walker is serious about reaching out to the Hispanic population and acknowledges its contributions to state growth and economic boost, then he should declare March 31st Cesar E. Chavez Day in Wisconsin.
The U.S. Census reports that 355,468 Hispanics reside in the state or 6.2 percent of the total population in 2012.
In Milwaukee County alone, about 13.9 of the County population is Hispanic.

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