Calif. to get Cesar Chavez Nat'l Monument

Oct. 1, 2012 at 9:09 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- A national monument will be built in California honoring the late farm worker leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, the White House announced Monday.

President Obama will travel to Keene, Calif., Oct. 8 to announce the establishment of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument on the property known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace), the White House said in a release.

The La Paz property is widely known for its link to Chavez and the farm worker movement. It was the national headquarters of the United Farm Workers, and was where Chavez and his family lived and worked from the early 1970s until his death in 1993 at age 66. His grave is there and will be part of the monument.

"Cesar Chavez gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere," the statement quoted Obama as saying. "La Paz was at the center of some of the most significant civil rights moments in our nation's history, and by designating it a national monument, Chavez's legacy will be preserved and shared to inspire generations to come."

The White House noted Chavez was a leader in the movement to obtain basic worker protections for hundreds of thousands of farm workers across the country. He helped assure the field workers were provided drinking water, were protected from dangerous pesticides, and received basic minimum wages and healthcare access.

The National Chavez Center, its associates and the Chavez family offered to donate some of the land at La Paz to the federal government for the monument, which has been under consideration for several years.

The monument will be managed by the National Park Service in consultation with the National Chavez Center and the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

It will be the fourth national monument designated by Obama using the Antiquities Act.

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