The unveiling ceremony of the Cesár E. Chávez life size bronze statue attracted more than 300 people including children at the Super Mercado El Rey in the Southside of Milwaukee on S. Chavez Drive.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
April 1, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Thursday, the historic life size bronze statute of the late United Farm Workers leader, César E. Chávez was unveiled at the Super Mercado El Rey outdoor market place by the Farm Project organizers. More than 300 people, children, public and elected officials attended the unveiling ceremony. Afterwards, El Rey hosted a celebration ceremony with complimentary food, cake and drinks to the public attending the indoor reception event.
The Chávez bronze statue was installed at the 900 block of S. César E. Chávez Drive in the El Rey Super Mercado outdoor market place. The Chávez statue project cost more than $50,000 and is part of a three year FARM Project to promote small business economic growth in the 12th Aldermanic District that will include a rich cultural environment for tourists, a consumer retail, food and art base attraction to the heart of the Latino community.
Ernesto and Olivia Villarreal, the owners of El Rey who donated $10,000 for the cost of the statue, the outdoor market place space and any maintenance, including the cost of any future remodeling of the outdoor space were recognized for their generous contribution to the Farm Project. Olivia in a Facebook posted wrote, “So proud of El Rey to have the sculpture of Cesar E. Chavez installed on its property. So many people have worked to get this accomplished. “SI SE PUEDE.””
The second phase includes and outdoor public viewing section that will be built around the Chávez statue to include seating space for the public.
Milwaukee became the 8th location in the U.S. and the first city in the Midwest to have a life size statue to honor Chávez. The unveiling of the Chávez statue took place on Thursday, March 31, 2016 and the public was invited to attend. The event was sponsored by the César E. Chávez Drive 38th Business Improvement District and Clarke Square including other sponsors.
Illinois Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia was the invited keynote speaker along with State Representative Josh Zepnick, State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, Alderman José Pérez and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Another public elected official attending was Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo West.
Alderman Pérez was presented with a small replica of the life size Chávez bronze statue by the Farm Project coordinators and organizers.
Live FB video streaming: The unveiling ceremony of the late UFW leader Cesár E. Chávez life size bronze statue. http://ow.ly/10a1zF
Presidential Proclamation — Cesar Chavez Day, 2016
CÉSAR CHÁVEZ DAY, 2016
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As a child of migrant workers who struggled just to get by, César Chávez knew the importance of having an economy that works for everyone and devoted his life to ensuring our Nation upheld the values upon which it was founded. On his birthday, we celebrate a man who reminded us — above all else — that we all share a common humanity, each of us having our own value and contributing to the same destiny, and we carry forward his legacy by echoing his peaceful and eloquent calls for a more just and equal society.
César Chávez demonstrated that true courage is revealed when the outlook is darkest, the resistance is strongest, and we still find it within ourselves to stand up for what we believe in. In the face of extraordinary adversity and opposition, he stood up for the inherent dignity of every person, no matter their race, color, creed, or sexual orientation, and for the idea that when workers are treated fairly, we give meaning to our founding ideals. Guided by his faith in his convictions, he fasted, marched, and rallied millions to “La Causa” to expand opportunity and demand a voice for workers everywhere. Together with Dolores Huerta, he founded the United Farm Workers, and through boycotts and protests, he ushered in a new era of respect for America’s laborers and farm workers.
Today, we honor César Chávez by continuing to fight for what he believed in, including a living wage for workers and their right to unionize and provide for their family. Workers should have a safe workplace and the comfort of knowing that if they work hard, they can feed their family, earn decent benefits, and gain the skills they need to move up and get ahead. We will also keep up our efforts to reform our Nation’s broken immigration system so more people can contribute to our country’s success. And as we strive for well-deserved policies for America’s workers, like a higher minimum wage and paid leave, we are reminded that the movement César Chávez led was sustained by a generation of organizers who spoke out and fought for a better, fairer America — and it is now upon us to do the same in our time.
Our Nation’s progress has always been driven by the belief that extraordinary things happen when we come together around a common cause, and through decades of organizing and serving others, César Chávez embodied this ideal. On César Chávez Day, let us unite to reach for the America he knew was possible — one in which hard work is rewarded, prosperity is shared, and equal opportunity is the right of all our people.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2016, as César Chávez Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs to honor César Chávez’s enduring legacy.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.