California News

Oct 8, 2012 4:58 PM by Associated Press

Obama: 'Today we celebrate Cesar Chavez'

KEENE, Calif. (AP) - President Barack Obama has designated the home of Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez as a national monument.

The 187-acre site, known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace), or simply La Paz, served as the planning and coordination center of the United Farm Workers of America starting in 1971. It's where Chavez and many organizers lived, trained and strategized. Chavez taught farmworkers, most of them poor and Latino, how to write contracts and negotiate with growers for better pay and working conditions.

Obama toured the site near Bakersfield, Calif., on Monday and said "today, we celebrate Cesar Chavez."

Obama called Chavez a determined advocate for the poor and disenfranchised.

Designation of the monument could help Obama shore up support from some Hispanic and progressive voters.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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