Central Valley

Obama will create Cesar Chavez national monument next week

chavez-center-keene.jpgAfter President Obama's fundraising concert in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, he will travel up to Keene and formally establish a national monument on the site of labor leader Cesar Chavez's gravesite and former home. The United Farm Workers union refers to the 187-acre site in the foothills near Tehachapi, east of Bakersfield, as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz, or Our Lady Queen of Peace. It's where Chavez ran the union and lived from the early 1970s until he died in 1993.

"Cesar Chavez gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere,” Obama said in a statement. “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 home on the property was razed and rebuilt in 2004, with Chavez's office restored inside. The National Chavez Center is open for conferences, lodging and tours.

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