Chávez Day brings labor and management together in Reno
Annual event at Circus Circus March 31 will also bring together César Chávez and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
RENO, NV (March 27, 2008) Tony Mayorga has trained thousands of construction workers in his long career. Some of them now work on Fernando Leal's Montage condominium project in downtown Reno.
Mayorga's union and Leal's company are both major supporters of Monday's César Chávez Day celebration at Circus Circus.
"The life of César Chávez inspires young people to improve their skills, become better educated, pursue lofty goals and serve their communities," Mayorga says.
"César Chávez once said that 'the end of all education should surely be service to others,' and that's the spirit I try to instill in my students," he added.
Mayorga is apprenticeship coordinator for Laborers' Union Local 169 and was elected the organization's president nine years ago.
"In my 30 years in the union, we have consistently worked to upgrade worker qualifications because we know that we are improving the economies of families and the community at the same time," he noted.
Mayorga trains construction workers in concrete cutting, concrete placing, asphalt paving, asbestos removal and hazardous materials handling in addition to more generalized skills.
Mayorga's father hails from El Paso, Texas, while his mother immigrated from Mexico.
Both of Fernando Leal's parents came to the United States from Mexico. He was born in Chicago. Leal purchased the former Golden Phoenix Hotel in downtown Reno and reduced it to the frame.
With the help of some of Mayorga's workers, the Phoenix is being reborn as The Montage, a luxury high-rise condominium.
"I'm proud that workers, many of whom are Hispanic on my projects, get to see a Hispanic owner," Leal notes.
"But I'm equally proud of them. I take pride in hearing that many of the best workers in the trades are Hispanics," he added.
"Half a century ago, César Chávez emerged to provide an example to young people of what one person and hard work could accomplish and that's why we celebrate his life on March 31," Leal noted.
Doors open at the Circus Circus Mandalay ballroom at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
The evening's entertainment will include music, folk dances and remembrances of Chávez by those who worked alongside him. About a dozen Chávez family members will attend, led by his younger brother, Librado.
A special highlight will be a mythical conversation between Chávez and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The idea was suggested by Rev. John Auer, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Reno who is producing a three-day commemoration of the 40th anniversary of King's death the weekend following Chávez Day.
The top finishers in the Washoe County School District annual César Chávez essay contest will be announced. A buffet dinner will be served.
Major sponsors are donating portions of their ticket blocs so that area students may participate. General admission is $30 per person. Anyone planning to attend should call (775) 348-8850 for reservations, which are required because of limited seating.
Additional event supporters include Circus Circus, Culinary Workers Union Local 226, La Gloria Market and Norm's Auto Sales.
KNVV Univision TV-41 is airing biographical vignettes about the life of César Chávez which will continue through Monday.
Their sister station, Radio TriColor 102.1-fm, will be awarding tickets as prizes on the air.
Monday, March 31, would have been Chávez's 81st birthday. The founder of the United Farm Workers of America died in 1993. He visited Reno to speak to union members in 1986. Photos and information about that first Reno César Chávez Day and subsequent events may be found at cesarchaveznevada.com.
Mayorga electo presidente de la Unión de Obreros No. 169
7 DE OCTUBRE DE 1999 - AHORA 3
DÍA DE CÉSAR CHÁVEZ Lunes 31 de Marzo del 2008
DÍA DE CÉSAR CHÁVEZ Viernes 31 de Marzo del 2006
DÍA DE CÉSAR CHÁVEZ Jueves 31 de Marzo del 2005
DÍA DE CÉSAR CHÁVEZ Miércoles 31 de Marzo del 2004
DÍA DE CÉSAR CHÁVEZ Lunes 31 de Marzo del 2003
DE CÉSAR CHÁVEZ 15 de Julio del 1986
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