31 MAR 09: C.C. or No-No?
Today is NOT a national holiday, or even a Georgia state holiday - but in a few years, it could be. It's the birthday of farm union organizer Cesar Chavez. But before you get the wrong idea - no, you are NOT supposed to eat a "Cesar salad" in his honor.
A rally is planned at the Georgia state capitol to mark Cesar Chavez Day. It's being organized by GALEO, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials -- whose home page appears to show Columbus Councilor Mimi Woodson at the top. Strangely, she's the only "GAL" shown there....
If this topic seems familiar, you're probably a regular blog reader. Last October, Columbus Council approved a resolution endorsing a Cesar Chavez state and national holiday [8 Oct 08]. It called for marking "a day of service, learning and action" - as opposed to sitting inside El Carrizo from 1:00 p.m. on, drinking Coronas and margaritas.
We noted last October that Columbus Council merely approved a resolution to honor Cesar Chavez. It did NOT make this day a city holiday - so a group even lower than farm laborers will be out working today. You know, the prison inmates who pick up garbage....
But only five months after that resolution was approved, something stunning is happening in Columbus on this Cesar Chavez Day. That something is.... nothing. No city events are planned to mark the day. In fact, I don't know of anyone marking the day in this area -- unless a poultry plant is doing something quickly during the lunch break.
Columbus Council is meeting today, but it's a "work session" on other topics. So we checked the agenda for the last "proclamation day" 3 March, and found Cesar Chavez Day wasn't mentioned at all. But let's be fair - four weeks ago, they could have gone ahead and given Chavez his own month.
So what's going on here? Obviously "Hispanic Heritage Month" in early October was a nice time for a Cesar Chavez resolution - but why isn't Columbus city government marking the wanna-be holiday today? Or is the mayor planning a big surprise, by having a Mariachi band stroll into the work session?
To seek an answer, we e-mailed Councilor Mimi Woodson Monday morning. We chose her because her district seems to have plenty of residents who would appreciate a Cesar Chavez Day celebration. Or does that make me guilty of racial profiling?
Alas, Mimi Woodson did not reply to our e-mail by Monday night. Maybe she's in Atlanta for that big rally, which is also opposing a bill requiring driver's license exams to be administered in English. If the bill required Taco Bell to have a picture menu for the items with unusual names, I might support this....
(Opponents of this driver's license language proposal have dubbed it the "Kia Go Home bill." As if the owner's manuals for the cars made in West Point will be printed in Korean?!)
The slighting of Cesar Chavez even extends to Hispanic media outlets in Columbus. A quick online check Monday night found no mention of the day on the web sites of "Viva 1460" and "Tropical 88.5" radio. And as for Eco Latino - well, Wane Hailes apparently has to win his fight with Piggly Wiggly before he posts any content in Spanish.
BLOG UPDATE: The first
sales pitch public hearing was held Monday night for the Muscogee County school sales tax issue. The meeting at Reese Road Elementary brought out supporters and critics. We have not heard whether tax opponent Ernest T. Bass used this dramatic moment to reveal his true identity.
I'm told someone brought up the inevitable thorn in the SPLOST debate - that big Administration Building taking shape on Macon Road. Superintendent Susan Andrews reportedly replied she takes no responsibility for it, because she only showed up two months ago. Does this mean school board members are going to be mysteriously absent from these hearings?
Another challenge to the SPLOST came from a resident who claimed the list of proposals should help all schools equally. He doesn't like a proposed new Fine Arts Academy - or as some skeptics might already be calling it: Mescon Prep.
By the way, we should welcome Dr. Susan Andrews to the blogosphere! She started an "Ask the Superintendent" blog last week to have "a conversation about schools." Let's not do it too loudly, now - because a teacher might make you write SPLOST on the blackboard 200 times.
Now a quick check of other Monday news items:
+ Mayor Jim Wetherington showed off the second group of new police officers hired under the "streets and safety" sales tax. Police Chief Ricky Boren says 64 of the 100 new openings have been filled. And if you saw the young woman WRBL interviewed in a police outfit, applications for the remaining 36 slots could be overrun with bachelors.
+ Rap star "Andre 3000" of OutKast was arrested for speeding in Henry County, south of Atlanta. Officers say he drove 109 miles per hour in a 65 zone. So? That's still a long way from 3,000.
+ The Columbus Cottonmouths escaped elimination from the playoffs by beating Fayetteville 5-3. That sets up a decisive fifth game Wednesday night at the Civic Center. It also sets up a confrontation Columbus hasn't seen in several years - between mid-week church services where "Jesus saves" and the hockey game where goalies do it.
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.
© 2003-09 Richard Burkard, all rights reserved.