Should San Angelo Honor Caesar Chavez By Re-Naming Irving Street?
It is always important to honor our heritage. Many diverse people carved the modern day city of San Angelo from what was stark wilderness in the middle of the last century.
San Angelo has many historical distinctions.
The Buffalo soldiers were one of the first regiments of African American service members who were commissioned to protect San Angelo in the mid 1800's.
From the beginning of it's history, the Mexican-American community in San Angelo is an important part of the culture and history of the city, The community is often called "San Angelenos". In recent years, the Hispanic community in San Angelo has been working to bring awareness to the contributions and culture of their community that now consists of nearly half of the city's population.
The efforts of many dedicated city leaders have led to the establishment of the San Angelo Hispanic Heritage Museum and Cultural Center. In addition, Mexican-American cultural events are now recognized like National Hispanic Heritage Month, Deiz y Seis de Septiembre and Dia de los Muertos events.
Now there is an effort to re-name Irving Street, which runs 2.1 miles through the heart of San Angelo's traditional Mexican-American community in the city after an important leader- Cesar Chavez. According to learningtogive.org, Cesar Chavez devoted his life to fighting for working people in the Mexican-American community. Through his United Farm Workers' Union, Chavez worked to establish a minimum wage, wage contracts, safer working conditions, child labor reform and advancement for Chicanos and other farm workers. Cesar Chavez devoted his life to "la causa" and helped improve working conditions for thousands of hard working people.
Re-naming Irving Street seems like a great way to honor Chavez and the many contributions of hard working Hispanic people who have contributed so much to the progress of the city. It also seems like a great idea as 90% of the property owners along Irving Street are Hispanic. Plus, the Hispanic Heritage Museum in San Angelo has expressed an interest in paying any costs that changing the street might incur.
On top of that, no one is really sure exactly who Irving Street is named after. Some suspect it was the author Washington Irving, who wrote "Rip Van Winkle and the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Although Irving is a legendary author, he has very little, if any, connection to San Angelo. On top of that given that Beauregard street is named after a Confederate General, it seems a street named after Cesar Chavez, a champion for working people, would be a great idea for our city.
How do you feel about this? A public meeting about the renaming of Irving Street to Cesar Chavez Street is coming up July 12th at the San Angelo Railway Museum at 703 S. Chadbourne Street at 6pm.
Honoring this champion of Hispanic Civil Rights would be a great testimonial to our city's commitment to honoring the legacy of our incredible Hispanic Community. There are many communities in our state that honor Chavez in this way. Perhaps San Angelo should hurry up and be next.