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Congressman Ruiz builds support for legislation inspired by César Chávez, farmworker advocacy

Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz continued to build support for new legislation to preserve significant sites associated with civil rights leader César Chávez and the farmworker movement in California and Arizona

The César E. Chávez and the Farmworker Movement National Historical Park Act was introduced on Wednesday to a supportive crowd at the César Chávez Memorial at Rancho De Oro Park in Coachella.

In May 2018, the city of Coachella unveiled the César Chávez Memorial. The city also renamed a major street in honor of the legendary activist

The bill would create César E. Chávez and the Farmworker Movement National Historical Park, which would include the following sites across the southwestern United States:

  • Forty Acres in Delano, California;
  • the César E. Chávez National Monument, which includes Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz, in Keene, California;
  • the Santa Rita Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

The bill would also designate the approximately 300-mile march route taken by farmworkers between Delano and Sacramento in 1966 as a National Historic Trail.

Watch News Channel 3 today live at 6 p.m. as Miyoshi Price has more on today's announcement.

César Chávez had significant ties to the city of Coachella. In the 1960s and 70s, he led a series of protests in the city as he helped fight for the rights of farmworkers.

“Cesar worked directly here,” Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez said during an event to honor Chavez in 2018. “In fact, he organized at Veterans Park. His office was actually across the street at the Casa de Trabajador. He got his first labor contracts here within the City of Coachella. So, the City of Coachella has a lot of history affiliated with Cesar Chavez.”

The city also has noteworthy ties with civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who founded of the National Farmworkers Association with Chávez.

Huerta, 92, has been honored a few times in the past year by the city. In December, a mural of her was unveiled and in April, a new affordable housing complex was named in her honor.

"It’s crazy to think how at one time in our history that Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, and the UFW were tear-gassed and ran out of the City of Coachella and the County of Riverside. Not no more, Not ever again. Not on our watch," wrote District 4 Supervisor Manuel Perez on Facebook.

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