Evelina Alarcon

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Evelina Alarcon


Evelina Alarcon is a Southern California activist and Communist Party USA member.

She is the sister of Richard Alarcon.

Chicano movement

The 40th Anniversary Commemoration Committee of the Chicano Moratoriums was formed in the summer 2009 by the Chair of the National Chicano Moratorium Committee of August 29, 1970 along with two independent Chicano Movement historians whom although not of the baby boomer generation, have become inspired by the Movimiento.

The organization posted a list of significant “Chicano movement” activists on its website which included Evelina Alarcón, of San Fernando Valley.[1]

Greeting Chris Hani

More than 250 labor, peace, civil rights and political leaders greeted South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani at his April 27, appearance in Los Angeles. The crowd contributed more than $12,000 towards the People's Weekly World fund drive and the work of the South African Communist Party.

Los Angeles City Council member Robert Farrell, presented Hani with a resolution signed by Mayor Tom Bradley and City Council president John Ferraro, welcoming him as "one of the most highly respected and powerful voices of the anti Apartheid movement."

The welcoming committee included reps Maxine Waters, Mervyn Dymally and Matthew Martinez, State senator Diane Watson, Los Angeles School board president Jackie Goldberg and more than 30 labor, civic and entertainment leaders including Cesar Chavez of the United Farmworkers.

Waters sent a letter of greeting to Hani and Yengeni saying, "as the struggle within South Africa continues to develop from one stage to the next, please be assured that all of us will continue to be at your side. Your struggle is our struggle".

Evelina Alarcon, chair of the Southern California district of the Communist Party USA, introduced Hani, She drew rousing cheers as she pledged, on behalf of the audience and the welcoming committee, continued efforts to maintain sanctions against South Africa.[2]

Communist Party labor tribute

In June 1996 the Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World held[3] a tribute event in Los Angeles for unionists Jerry Acosta and Gilbert Cedillo.

The Southern California Friends of the People's Weekly World tribute to two of Los Angeles' finest labor leaders, Jerry Acosta and Gilbert Cedillo, became a dynamic rally of elected officials, activists, labor and community leaders in solidarity with labor struggles and in the fight to defeat the ultra-right in November...
"The People's Weekly World and all of us in this room feel very strongly about who we honor today," said Evelina Alarcon, chair of the Southern California District and national secretary of the Communist Party USA, one of the emcees of the tribute. "Jerry Acosta and Gilbert Cedillo represent the new fightback vision of the Sweeney, Trumka, Chavez-Thompson leadership in the AFL-CIO. They represent the rank and file that is pushing from the bottom for that new vision!"

According to the World, Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, brother of Communist Evelina Alarcon, spoke on behalf of the council which adopted a resolution honoring Acosta and Cedillo;

"Gil Cedillo and Jerry Acosta have changed the whole dynamic of what it means to be for the working class and what it means to fight for workers rights. Because of them and other labor leaders, we have seen a resurgence of strength of the least empowered in our country..."

Presentations to the honorees were also made by Clara James, chair of the Community Affairs Commission of the Second Baptist Church, on behalf of Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Antonio Aguilar, on behalf of State Senator Hilda Solis, California's first Latina elected to the State Senate, who, along with labor, led the drive to put a minimum wage increase initiative on the ballot...

Party leader

In 1995 Evelina Alarcon was chair of the Southern California District of the Communist Party USA and Secretary of its National Mexican American Equality Commission.[4]

As at April 1995, she served as secretary for the National Committee of the party.[5]

In 1998 Evelina Alarcon was the 48 year old chairman of the Communist Party USA Southern California District[6].

Evelina Alarcon has held several senior positions in the Communist Party USA, including Secretary of its National Mexican American Equality Commission.

Martinez Jobs Bill

In 1997, Evelina Alarcon was the new national Communist Party co-ordinator for the Martinez Jobs Bill.[7]

Cesar Chavez rally

On November 6 1999, a rally was held in Los Angeles, at Placita Olvera kiosk, calling for a holiday to mark the birth of Cesar Chavez. Contact for the rally was Evelina Alarcon of the United Farm Workers and the Communist Party USA.

Speakers included Dolores Huerta of the UFW, and Majority leader of the California State Senate, Richard Alarcon, who introduced Senate Bill-984, which would make March 31, Chavez's birthday a paid public holiday.

Also speaking were Los Angeles Board of Supervisors member Gloria Molina, who introduced a similar measure at county level, Art Pulaski, of the California State Federation of Labor executive, Los Angeles City Council member Jackie Goldberg, Los Angeles Federation of Labor executive member Miguel Contreras, and Paul Chavez, son of Cesar, and president of the National Farm Worker Service Center.[8]

2000 Chicago PWW banquet

The 2000 banquet, held October 28 at the House of Fortune restaurant featured Congressman Danny Davis as guest speaker.

Local honorees were;

A special award went to Evelina Alarcon, co-ordinator to the Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Campaign.

Lance Cohn was a banquet organizer.[9]

People's Weekly World Banquet 2000

Co-sponsors of the October 8 2000 Bay area People's Weekly World banquet, at His Lordships, Berkeley Marina, included San Francisco mayor Willie L. Brown, the vice mayors of Berkeley and Oakland.

Sponsors included Amy Dean, South Bay Labor Council and Walter Johnson, San Francisco Labor Council. Entertainment was provided by David Winters.

Honorees were;

Endorsed Communist Party Call

On March 30 2002 the Communist Party USA paper People’s Weekly World called for a national holiday in honor of late Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez. The article was followed by a long list of endorsers[11]including Evelina Alarcon, Almost all endorsers were confirmed members of the Communist Party USA.

Honoring Cesar Chavez in San Francisco

There was a major march through the streets of San Francisco on March 24, 2002 to mark the 75th birthday of United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez. Parade Grand Marshalls included two UFW founders Dolores Huerta, and Cesar's brother Richard Chavez, as well as Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

At the march rally UFW Arturo Rodriguez spoke of the continuing legacy of Chavez.

Other speakers included;

Cesar Chavez Holiday campaign

Evelina Alarcon on the Cesar Chavez National Holiday, Cesar Chavez Walk '08

Evelina Alarcon is the executive Director of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday. The campaign has already been successful in California[13];

On August 18th, the state of California recognized that legacy when Governor Gray Davis signed into law the creation of an official state holiday which will be celebrated starting in 2001 on Cesar Chavez’s birthday March 31st. Also established will be a Cesar Chavez day of learning and service in the state’s public schools where the state’s youth will be taught about Cesar and his union.

And is now trying to go nationwide[14];

The mission of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday, a public benefit organization, is to work for national recognition of Cesar E. Chavez on his birthday March 31. We are forming national, state and local coalitions; organizing volunteer committees; and providing education about the value to our nation of honoring Cesar E. Chavez.

Alarcon views the Chavez campaign as a communist campaign-with the potential to build the Party's influence;[15]

If someone would have asked me one year ago, can my District really lead thousands? I probably would of hesitated. But today, I say yes, because a few comrades in my district are literally leading a movement of thousands in California for the Cesar Chavez holiday. We are a key part of the core of leaders who are coordinating the whole campaign...
Our participation has opened many formerly closed doors. The California leaders who agreed to my being the public leader and state coordinator of the Cesar Chavez holiday campaign are prominent statewide and even national leaders. Most of them know that I am a Communist. Has this built the Party's influence? Yes. Has it built the Party's credibility? Yes. Is it opening new doors to us in other areas of labor and people's movements? Yes.

In 2009, Evelina Alarcon was listed as the Executive Director and as a Founding Sponsors of the Communist Party USA initiated Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday organization[16]

Support from candidate Obama

In March 2008, Presidential candidate Barack Obama sent a message of support to the Communist Party USA controlled Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday organization.

Barrack.jpg

April 1, 2008 Washington DC--Evelina Alarcon, Executive Director of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday welcomed the backing for a Cesar Chavez national holiday from Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama who issued a statement on Cesar Chavez’s birthday Monday, March 31, 2008. “We at Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday appreciate the backing of a national holiday for Cesar Chavez from presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama. That support is crucial because it takes the signature of a President to establish the holiday along with the Congress’s approval,” stated Evelina Alarcon. “It is also encouraging that Senator Hillary Clinton who is a great admirer of Cesar Chavez acknowledged him on his birthday. We hope that she too will soon state her support for a Cesar Chavez national holiday.”

Alarcon’s remarks were part of a statement made at a press conference at our nation’s Capitol on April 1st called by Chair of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) in support of HR 76, a resolution he authored with 62 Co-Sponsors that encourages the establishment of a Cesar Chavez national holiday by the Congress[17].

Barack Obama’s statement for a Cesar Chavez national holiday:

"Chavez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And his cause lives on. As farmworkers and laborers across America continue to struggle for fair treatment and fair wages, we find strength in what Cesar Chavez accomplished so many years ago. And we should honor him for what he's taught us about making America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation. That's why I support the call to make Cesar Chavez's birthday a national holiday. It's time to recognize the contributions of this American icon to the ongoing efforts to perfect our union."
Senator Barack Obama March 31, 2008.

Presentation to Obama's sister

Maya-sotoro-ng 8.jpg
Standing, Evelina Alarcon left, Maya Soetoro-Ng, right

In June 2008, Communist Party USA leader and Executive Director of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday, Evelina Alarcon presented a poster from the organization to Barack Obama's younger sister Maya Soetoro-Ng at a gathering in East Los Angeles[18].

Addressing a largely Latino audience in East Los Angeles yesterday, Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng shared stories about her childhood with her older brother, Barack Obama, and the effect he has had on her life. Held in El Sereno’s Hecho en Mexico restaurant, the event drew more than a hundred enthusiastic community activists, local elected officials, and regular citizens...
Evelina Alarcon, a notable Obama supporter and the sister of long-time Los Angeles politician Richard Alarcon, presented a poster to Obama’s sister commemorating the life of Cesar Chavez.
Alarcon recounted the accomplishments of the late Chicano leader and argued persuasively for honoring his accomplishments with a national holiday. Reminding those in attendance that Barack Obama supports the call to make Cesar Chavez’s birthday a national holiday. Alarcon trusts that if Obama is elected president the holiday will become a reality.
Obama has been quoted recently to say:“As farmworkers and laborers across America continue to struggle for fair treatment and fair wages, we find strength in what Cesar Chavez accomplished so many years ago and we should honor him for what he’s taught us about making America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation. That’s why I support the call to make Cesar Chavez’s birthday a national holiday. It’s time to recognize the contributions of this American icon to the ongoing efforts to perfect our union.”

Clearly "designed to draw support to her brother’s presidential candidacy" from two key voting blocs—women and Latinos— the event was organized by State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, State Senator Martha Escutia (ret.), State Board of Equalization Chair Judy Chu, Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick, Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes, and Los Angeles Unified School District Vice President Yolie Flores-Aguilar[19].

References

  1. Chicano Moratorium website: Moratorium Participants (accessed on April 16, 2010)
  2. Peoples weekly World, May 4, 1991, page 2
  3. People's Weekly World June 20 1996
  4. [1] 5,000 march on Chicano Moratorium anniversary By Evelina Alarcon, in People's Weekly World, 2 September, 1995
  5. Political Affairs, April 1995
  6. http://articles.latimes.com/1998/dec/21/local/me-56215
  7. Political Affairs, January 1997, page 8
  8. PWW, October 30, 1999, page 3]
  9. PWW October 7, 2000
  10. PWW September 23, 2000, page 2
  11. http://www.pww.org/index.php/article/articleview/882/
  12. PWW Thousands march to commemorate Chavez, March 30, 2002
  13. http://www.cesarchavezholiday.org/aboutcesarechavez.html
  14. http://www.cesarchavezholiday.org/aboutcesarechavez.html
  15. [http://www.cpusa.org/on-the-work-of-districts-and-clubs/, On the Work of Districts and Clubs, by: Evelina Alarcon September 22 2001. Pre-Convention Discussion, Discussions on Building the Party]
  16. ttp://www.cesarchavezholiday.org/index.html
  17. http://www.cesarchavezholiday.org/index.html
  18. http://www.laprogressive.com/2008/06/22/barack%E2%80%99s-sister-brings-the-heat-to-el-sereno/
  19. http://www.laprogressive.com/2008/06/22/barack%E2%80%99s-sister-brings-the-heat-to-el-sereno/