Hundreds of activists and politicians from around the city gathered on Friday at the Mission Language & Vocational School to celebrate Cesar Chavez and 50 years of the United Farm Workers Movement.
A who’s who of politicians and union leaders attended the annual breakfast, including Mayor Ed Lee, State Senator Mark Leno and some members of the Board of Supervisors.
Speakers, including Eliseo Medina, who helped organize the United Farm Workers strike in Delano in 1965 alongside Chavez, underscored Chavez’ achievements.
Medina emphasized that the fight continues today, as unionized labor — “the path to the middle class,” Medina called it — is under attack by some state governments and big corporations.
Lee, who dropped in for a few minutes, promised to implement a citywide local-hire law championed by Supervisor John Avalos.
Casa Sanchez, a restaurant on 24th Street, and Eva Martinez, the former executive director of Accion Latina, received legacy awards for their work over the years.
Marta Sanchez received the award on behalf of her family’s storied restaurant. The Sanchez family also opened the first mechanized tortilla factory in Northern California.
Eva Martinez of Accion Latina, the publisher of El Tecolote, was honored for her work at the Mission nonprofit. Martinez has also been spearheading an effort to open up El Tecolote’s archives to the public.
Proceeds from the breakfast and silent auction will go toward the Cesar Chavez parade on 24th street on Saturday, April 21.