Cesar Chavez Day of Remembrance

The South Coast AQMD hosts an annual event celebrating Cesar Chavez and his efforts to encourage community involvement and to reflect on pathways to accomplish future environmental justice goals.

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8th Annual Cesar Chavez Day of Remembrance

South Coast AQMD’s 8th Annual Cesar Chavez Day of Remembrance will be on Saturday, March 26, 2022. This annual event honors the legacy of Cesar Chavez and all those who have and are working for equity and environmental justice. This year's celebration focuses on partnering with communities to address air pollution and environmental inequalities. 

Eric ResendizEmcee
Eric Resendiz, ABC7 Journalist
Eric Resendiz is a community journalist for ABC7 Eyewitness News covering the East Los Angeles area.  Eric covers everything from breaking news to positive stories. He has a keen interest for local stories that impact community residents. Born and raised in Southern California, Eric is a proud son of Mexican immigrants who aspires to inspire through the craft of storytelling in both English or Spanish. 

Reverend Walter ContrerasInvocation & Benediction

Reverend Walter Contreras, Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)
Walter Contreras is the Vice President of National Latino Evangelical Coalition, a nationwide coalition of more than 3,000 congregations and institutions, and members of the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders. Reverend Contreras has served several roles for the Evangelical Covenant Church including as regional consultant for the State of California, Tucson and Tacoma on ‘Esperanza Trabajando’, a Department of Labor sponsored program focusing on outreach to adjudicated and at-risk youth within the United States.

Teresa RomeroKeynote Speaker
Teresa Romero, President, United Farm Workers
The first Latina and first immigrant woman to become president of a national union in the United States, Teresa Romero assumed the top role as UFW president in 2018. Under Romero’s leadership, the union achieved key victories in California, including the creation of state standards protecting farm workers from extreme heat, and the first state law in the country securing overtime pay after eight hours of work.

Before joining the UFW, Romero achieved success with her own construction management consulting business and she also managed a law firm that assisted farmworkers and others with immigration and compensation claims.

Teresa Romero is an immigrant from Mexico who is proud of her U.S. citizenship and Mexican and Zapotecan heritage. She has played an important part in many recent successful union efforts, is admired by her peers for her work ethic, calm competence, organizational skills, ability to build relationships, and Si Se Puede! Spirit.

Tony Cardenas

Recipient of Richard Alatorre Environmental Justice for All Award
The Honorable Tony Cárdenas, Congressman 29th Congressional District
Since 2013, Congressman Cárdenas has represented California’s 29th Congressional District in the San Fernando Valley.  He sits on the prestigious House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he is fighting for hard-working American families on issues relating to air quality, climate, renewable energy and energy conservation, environmental protection, and public health.

This past year, he led California’s congressional delegation in successfully advocating for the first revision to the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions standard for heavy-duty trucks in over two decades. Further, Congressman Cárdenas has demonstrated leadership on environmental issues through his “Clean Commute for Kids Act”, which directly led to $5 billion included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to replace dirty diesel school buses with clean and zero-emission technologies.

Congressman Cardenas is a passionate advocate for justice and continues to work on common-sense gun safety, immigration reform, juvenile justice, and championing solutions that will make the U.S. economy even stronger. He has been recognized and praised both locally and nationally.

Before representing California’s 29th district in Congress, Rep. Cárdenas was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1996. He went on to serve three terms in the assembly and was later elected to the Los Angeles City Council, in 2003. Born in Pacoima, Rep. Cárdenas was raised with ten brothers and sisters and still resides in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Norma, and their children.

Larry Itliong

Recipient of Richard Alatorre Environmental Justice for All Award
Larry Itliong, acceptance by Patty Itliong Serda
Larry Itliong was a Filipino American union organizer and community leader who played a leadership role in the farm labor movement.

Born in San Nicolas, Pangasinan, Philippines, he immigrated to the United States in 1929 and joined his first strike in 1930. As a migrant worker, Itliong worked and organized in Alaska and Washington before moving to California.

During the 1940s and 50s, Itliong, along with Filipino farm workers across California, led the way in unionization efforts. In 1957, he was elected president of the Filipino Voters League in Stockton. He served as assistant director of the United Farm Workers and in 1970 he was appointed the United Farm Workers' national boycott coordinator.

After leaving the United Farm Workers, Itliong worked towards building a retirement facility for UFW workers, known as Paolo Agbayani Retirement Village, and continued to support others in the organized labor movement. He also served as a delegate at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

In 1977, Larry Itliong passed away in Delano, CA at the age of 63. In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the law, making October 25th Larry Itliong Day in recognition of Mr. Itliong’s activism and commitment to social justice.

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2021 Event - “Yes We Can, United We Will Fight for Clean Air”

South Coast AQMD’s 7th Annual Cesar Chavez Day of Remembrance was held March 27, 2021. For the first time, the event was hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event’s theme, “Yes We Can, United We Will Fight for Clean Air (Sí se puede, unidos lucharemos por aire limpio),” encourages community involvement and local businesses to continue the fight for improved air quality. Mistress of ceremonies Lesley Marin reflected on the work South Coast AQMD has done and discuss pathways to accomplish future environmental justice goals.

Prior Events:

  • Cesar Chavez Day of Remembrance - March 2019
    An inspirational day on the environment and air quality.
    More Information (PDF)


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