El Rey store management allowing for merchants to overcrowd the outdoor market plaza where the bronze statue of César E. Chavez is located.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
October 4, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – Members of the Hispanic community in Milwaukee’s Southside have noticed that outdoor merchants on occasion are allowed to set up shop in close proximity of the César E. Chavez bronze statue along the 900 block of S. César E. Chavez Drive at the popular El Rey Super Mercado grocery store. The City of Milwaukee is the eight city to have a full life size bronze statue of the United Farm Workers (UFW) leader who passed away on April 23, 1993. It cost the Farm Project at least $50,000 to create and install the Chavez Statue on Chavez Drive, but it seems that people are not to happy that merchants set up outdoor events so close to the proximity of the statue that it portrays some disrespect for the deceased UFW leader.
The El Rey outdoor market plaza is still being designed by the Farm Project to accommodate the surroundings of the Chavez Statue. No temporary name marker or any detail information about the statue for the public interest has been installed at the location other than a faded window poster of Chavez, but it doesn’t mention the statue.
Olivia Villarreal, the El Rey Holdings Corporate Secretary told Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) on Tuesday that they do let vendors use the sidewalk in front of the entrance, but that some vendors do take advantage when management leaves. She confirmed that she will discuss the matter with her husband, Ernesto Villarreal and will make sure that store security keeps the proximity of the Chavez Statue cleared and move any vendors from the statue area in the future. Olivia thanked HNNUSA for bringing up the matter.
“We are working to finalize design plans with the community and El Rey and to assure that resources are in place to create the placita (El Rey’s outdoor Plaza) with landscaping and seating to surround the sculpture and to make sure that adequate descriptions of Cesar are part of that plan as well…we are currently seeking funding for this phase of the project,” stated Julio Maldonado, a Board member for the César E. Chavez Business Improvement District #38.
Maldonado confirmed, that the BID #38 priority is to place a name plate/marker while the BID #38 continues to get price quotes for the remaining project cost and funding efforts continue. No definate date for a marker to identify Chavez was estimated other than soon, according to Maldonado.