Cesar Chavez Study Identifies Need, Feasibility and Suitability of Potential Chavez Unit in National Park Service

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   October 13, 2011
Contact:   Ron Sundergill, National Parks Conservation Association, 510-368-0115, rsundergill@npca.org
Emily Schrepf, National Parks Conservation Association, 559-960-7056, eschrepf@npca.org


Cesar Chavez Study Identifies Need, Feasibility and Suitability of Potential Chavez Unit in National Park Service

Statement by NPCA Senior Pacific Regional Director Ron Sundergill

Background: In 2008, Congress directed the National Park Service (NPS) to undertake a special resource study to identify locations that are significant to Cesar Chavez’s life and the farmworker movement for possible inclusion as a NPS unit. The study has been released and five nationally significant locations have been recommended for inclusion in the Park System, including: the Forty Acres National Historic Landmark and Filipino Community Hall in Delano, CA; Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz in Keene, CA; the Santa Rita Center in Phoenix, AZ; and the 1966 Delano to Sacramento March Route. Cesar Chavez would be the first contemporary American Latino to be recognized by a national park unit.

“Cesar Chavez has been an inspiration to generations of Americans and adding a national park unit to honor his legacy would help better diversify our National Park System and reflect the makeup of our country.  As one of the largest curators of Asian, Latino, Indian and African American history and culture, not one of the 395 park units honors the legacy of an individual contemporary Latino. 

“Chavez is recognized as one of the most important U.S. Latino figures in the twentieth century due to his leadership of the farmworkers movement in the 1960s. His advocacy efforts helped secure the passage of the first U.S. law that recognized farmworkers rights to organize unions and engage in collective bargaining. As president, he steered the union to a series of unprecedented victories, including securing contracts that covered more than 100,000 farmworkers, raising wages, funding health care and pension plans, mandating the provision of drinking water and restroom facilities in the fields, regulating the use of pesticides, and establishing a fund for community service projects.

“As we approach the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service, we look forward to working with local partners and the Administration to ensure America’s stories are told for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”

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The draft study will be available for public comment through November 14, 2011: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=36145

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