Hollister on Aug. 20 celebrated the renaming of one of its city streets to Avenida Cesar Chavez, in honor of the California labor leader who devoted his life to fighting for civil rights farmworkers.
Dozens of people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, which began with a march down the stretch of Union Road in southeast Hollister that was renamed. A slate of speakers delivered comments and a mariachi band performed before Idris and Isaiah Myers—Chavez’ great-grandchildren—cut the ribbon to formally open Avenida Cesar Chavez.
The Hollister City Council on Aug. 1 unanimously voted to rename the stretch of Union Road between Highway 25 and Fairview Road in honor of the civil rights activist.
The street is located in Council District 4, which is represented by Tim Burns, who was instrumental in bringing the renaming proposal to the council’s consideration.
“It’s about time. I was pleased to see I got unanimous support from the city council,” Burns said. “It’s a nice thing to do, but it’s also the right thing to do.”
Hollister and San Benito County—which is about 62% Latino—are significantly made up of both immigrants and farmworkers, two groups for whom Chavez vigorously fought to maintain their civil rights. Thus, Burns said it “made sense” to have a local street named in Chavez’s honor.
Chavez, who died in 1993, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee. The merger led to the creation of the United Farm Workers labor union.
Throughout his life of activism, Chavez was instrumental in gaining workplace rights for farmworkers in the U.S.
At the Aug. 20 ceremony in Hollister, speakers and presenters included Burns; Shirley Trevino, LULAC Council 2890 Vice President; students from LULAC Youth; Luis Chavez, President of LULAC Council 2890; Teresa Chavez Delgado, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez; Richard Ybarra, Chavez’s son-in-law; and Pastor Manuel Herrera of the Legacy Church of Hollister. The musical group Mariachi Juvenil Corazon Jalisciense performed.
The ceremony concluded with Vince Luna and George Delgado installing the sign for Avenida Cesar Chavez at the intersection of Cerra Vista.