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Bill Seeks to Honor César Chávez and Farmworkers With National Historical Park

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The 300-mile march from Delano to Sacramento taken by César Chávez in 1966 would be designated as a national historical trail. (UC Merced)
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An effort to create a national historical park honoring farmworker rights pioneer César Chávez is underway in the U.S Senate and the House of Representatives.

The César E. Chávez and the Farmworker Movement National Historical Park Act would build upon the national monument honoring Chavez in the San Joaquin Valley community of Keene and designate the 300-mile march route taken by farmworkers between Delano and Sacramento in 1966 as a national historic trail.

California, Arizona Democrats Lead Effort

Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Paul Ruiz, both California Democrats, are leading the effort. The bill would preserve the nationally significant sites associated with Chávez and the farmworker movement in California and Arizona.

“Growing up the son of farmworkers in the Coachella Valley, I remember seeing César Chávez and the sense of hope he gave to our communities and farmworkers across the United States. His story still inspires and motivates me even today.” — Rep. Paul Ruiz (D-California) 

“Growing up the son of farmworkers in the Coachella Valley, I remember seeing César Chávez and the sense of hope he gave to our communities and farmworkers across the United States. His story still inspires and motivates me even today,” Ruiz, a physician who represents desert communities in Southern California, said in a news release. “It is crucial that we amplify the stories of communities whose history too often gets left untold.”

Said Padilla: “Our national park system tells the story of our nation and preserves the people, ideas, and movements that we value as Americans. Establishing (this) park will pay proper homage to a Latino icon and civil rights leader who fought tirelessly for the dignity, respect, and equal treatment of farmworkers and to the movement he created that carries on today.”

The bill requires the Department of Interior to complete a general management plan for the historical park within three years.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and two House members representing Arizona: Raul Grijalva and Ruben Gallego. All are Democrats.

Virtual Tour of the Chávez National Monument

You can virtually tour the César E. Chávez National Monument at this link.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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