National Park Service contemplating Cesar Chavez honors

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Paul Sakuma/AP Photo

United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta looks at a mural of the late Cesar Chavez on the San Jose State University campus in San Jose, Calif. on Sept. 4, 2008.

Federal officials are looking into honoring Cesar Chavez by designating national park sites related to the labor activist’s life. Tonight at the L.A. River Center and Gardens, they’ll ask the public about placing a site in Los Angeles.

Congress told the National Park Service to look into honoring Chavez and the western farm labor movement. The bill was cowritten by then-Colorado congressman, now Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The park service website opened a study into Chavez’s life, calling him the most important U.S. Latino leader in the 20th century. Students at Cal State Fullerton put together a list of California and Arizona sites where Chavez lived and worked.

In California, most of those sites are around Delano and Bakersfield. But Cesar Chavez does have a Los Angeles connection.

Chavez, his wife Helen, and their eight then-young children lived in Boyle Heights while he worked at the Community Service Organization in the early 1960s. That was before he founded United Farm Workers.

The National Park Service will provide the final report to Congress later this fall.

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