CHICAGO – In memory of the life and achievements of civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn will honor the legacy of Chavez with two significant events: the dedication of a portion of Blue Island Avenue as the honorary Cesar Chavez Avenue and the renaming of the Pilsen post office to Cesar Chavez Station.
“Cesar Chavez once said, ‘A lasting organization is one in which people will continue to build, develop and move when you are not there’,” Quinn said. “This Saturday’s street dedication and post office naming push forward the great legacy of Cesar Chavez – ‘Si se puede’ or ‘Yes, we can’.”
Chavez was a civil rights crusader who dedicated his life to improving the standard of living, wages and working conditions of farm workers. A skilled laborer organizer, he founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers Union (UFW).
His boycotts of grape and lettuce producers focused public attention on farm workers’ inhumane conditions and earned him international attention. He was also a war veteran who joined the U.S. Navy in 1945 and served in the western Pacific at the end of WWII.
“Chavez’ determination for social justice and workers’ rights improved conditions for thousands of farm workers, changed the course of the labor movement forever, and left an indelible mark on us all,” Quinn said. “He fought David versus Goliath battles, won major social changes through creative grassroots organizing and inspired a generation. We celebrate that spirit today.”
Quinn will join U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez and 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis, along with Paul Chavez (grandson of Cesar Chavez), U.S. Postal Service representatives, community leaders and Pilsen residents.