The one day in my entire checkered career that I felt like stripping naked and dancing in the rain, it didn’t rain. The Tribune staff was quite relieved when I informed them.
Driving to the paper a few days ago, my phone rang. Like any law-abiding citizen, I parked to retrieve the message. My representative Lindsy Judd had done what no one else ever has: She got a Nevada governor to attend César Chávez Day. (Elections matter.)
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak will make history on March 27 when he becomes the first Silver State chief executive to attend Reno’s annual César Chávez celebration. The guv hisself will deliver the evening’s keynote address.
César Chávez XVII will take place at the Grand Sierra-Reno on Wednesday, March 27. Tahoe Ballroom doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for conservative booze and liberal schmooze. Dinner’s at 7:00. Seating is limited and I strongly recommend early reservations via CesarChavezNevada.com. You may also contact me at 775-882-TALK or at the e-address below.
People have asked me how I could top last September’s NAACP tribute to Aretha Franklin complete with a 1965 Pink Cadillac convertible. This is how I try.
Long before he became an international figure, César Chávez traveled to northern Nevada, according to the late Reno-Sparks NAACP President Dolores Feemster who met with him at his request in the early 1960s.
The event will pay tribute to the memory of NAACP matriarch Feemster, who died in 2018, as well as to former Nevada Attorney General and Chief Justice Charles Springer, who died Feb. 19. Springer rightly stands with the giants for his lifelong human rights advocacy.
Sen. Joe Neal, D-N. Las Vegas (ret.), will lead a remembrance of his fellow NevadaLabor.com/César Chávez Hall of Famer and longtime colleague Bob Price, D-NLV, who passed away in Sparks on January 4.
Price, former business manager of Las Vegas IBEW Local 357/AFL-CIO, represented North Las Vegas for 28 years in the Nevada State Assembly. Bob and his wife, former University Regent Nancy Price, retired to the Rail City more than a decade ago.
Nevada Press Association Hall of Famer John L. Smith will attend to autograph copies of his new book “The Westside Slugger: Joe Neal’s Lifelong Fight for Social Justice.” (University of Nevada Press 2019, $34.95) John resigned after more than three decades as an award-winning columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal when he refused to allow the new owner, virulently anti-union Trumpista casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, to influence his writing.
Maria Zamora, another NevadaLabor.com/César Chávez Hall of Famer, will speak and auction for charity a United Farm Workers flag which she hand-sewed and carried aloft while marching with César Chávez throughout California a half-century ago.
By popular demand, Ballet Folklorico de La Sierra will perform an encore as will noted Reno artist Erik Holland who will unveil his new César Chávez memorial portrait, latest in a series.
Chávez family members, some of whom are longtime Nevadans, are expected. Nominations are open for union organizer, project and employer of the year, as well as recommendations for the Hall of Fame.
Reno’s first César Chávez Day was declared on July 15, 1986, by then-Mayor Pete Sferrazza. Chávez spoke before a regional gathering of the International Association of Machinists, then to a general meeting of Nevada union members. In his later years, Chávez often visited southern Nevada, frequently rallying Culinary Union members on the Las Vegas Strip at the Frontier Hotel in what became the longest strike in U.S. history. (The union won.)
In 2013, President Obama issued a proclamation for César Chávez Day. Gov. Sisolak will do the same later this month.
¡Sí se puede!
ST. PATRICK’S DAY ON JEOPARDY. Barbwire readers know that last year, I assisted Guardian/UK journalist Rory Carroll on a major story about the depredations of Tesla in this region. He doesn’t know it yet, but the next chapter is about to be written.
He also doesn’t know that he was a Jeopardy question last Monday. The answer was Hugo Chávez. The question asked for the South American president who was the subject of Carroll’s book “Comandante.” (I got mine at Grassroots Books.)
Carroll worked in Venezuela for years, marrying a Venezuelan lady in the process. He was recently transferred from Los Angeles to his native Ireland. His Tesla work will be prominently mentioned at César XVII.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and first vice-president of the Reno Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.