IS PRESIDENT OBAMA DESIGNATING LATINO ICON’S CESAR CHAVEZ’ HOME A NATIONAL MONUMENT?

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President Barack Obama is designating the California home of labor leader Cesar Chavez as a national monument, a move likely to shore up support from Hispanic and progressive voters just five weeks before the election.

Labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez is buried at La Paz in Keene, Calif., where President Obama will announce a national monument next week. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / October 1, 2012)

The White House said Monday that Obama will establish the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Keene, Calif., during a campaign swing through California next week. The property is known as La Paz, short for Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz, or Our Lady Queen of Peace. The site served as national headquarters of the United Farm Workers union, as well as Chavez’s home, from the early 1970s until his death in 1993. Chavez is buried there and his gravesite will be part of the monument.

uestra Seňora Reina de La Paz (commonly known as La Paz) is a property encompassing 187 acres in the Tehachapi Mountains of eastern Kern County, California, and is associated with Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), one of the most important historic Latino leaders in the United States.

Obama said in a statement that Chavez “gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere,” adding that La Paz was at the center of significant civil rights events. By designating his home as a national monument, “Chavez’ legacy will be preserved and shared to inspire generations to come,” Obama said.

Obama said in a statement that Chavez “gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere.” (Photo: AP)

As head of the UFW, Chavez staged a massive grape boycott that raised awareness of the plight of predominantly Latino farm workers. His efforts were credited with inspiring millions of other Latinos in their fight for more educational opportunities, better housing and more political power.

Cesar Chavez Phoenix Rallies 05/1972 Photographer: El Malcriado

Creation of a national monument at La Paz follows designation of the site in the San Joaquin Valley near Bakersfield as a national historic site. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the site’s designation on the National Register of Historic Places last year. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Chavez’s founding of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the UFW. The Chavez monument will be the fourth national monument designated by Obama using the Antiquities Act.

Read More: Seattle Times

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