Chavez Foundation Breaks Ground on High-Quality Affordable Housing Community in Montebello, Calif

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High-quality, affordable housing community in Montebello named for pioneering labor-community activist J.J. Rodriguez

Montebello, CA – Vista de J.J. Rodriguez, a new affordable housing community in Montebello with 63 units for families, including supportive units for survivors of domestic violence, will be dedicated on Friday, June 2 by the Cesar Chavez Foundation in partnership with the Downtown Women’s Center, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit serving and empowering currently and formerly homeless women. It is named for a pioneering Los Angeles labor and community leader who was a key colleague and supporter of civil rights and farm labor leader Cesar Chavez dating back to the 1950s.

“We’re pleased to break ground on our first affordable housing community in Montebello to address the needs of Latinos and working families,” said Chavez Foundation President Paul F. Chavez. “It’s fitting to name this property after J.J. Rodriguez, a dedicated veteran activist in Los Angeles who was an early champion of the Chicano movement.”

The total development cost for the project is $46.7 million. The project received $27.1 million in Tax Credit Proceeds, which will be in partnership with PNC Financial Services. In addition, the project received $4 million from the City of Montebello in the form of a City Land & Impact Fee Loan and $549,000 in the form of a City Development Loan. The project received $2 million in Affordable Housing Trust Funds from the Los Angeles County Development Authority as well as 31 project-based vouchers. The California Department of Housing and Community Development is investing $2.5 million through its Infill Infrastructure Grant Program. The San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust is investing $1.7 million into the project. Lastly, a Permanent Loan of $8.7 million was done in partnership with City National Bank.

“We stand proudly alongside the Cesar Chavez Foundation as a funder and provider of project-based vouchers for this development,” said Emilio Salas, LACDA executive director. “It is an honor to be part of an effort that will not only bring much needed housing to the community, but that will also recognize the legacy of an individual who fought for many years on behalf of the Latino community.”

Vista de J.J. Rodriguez will house a Si Se Puede Learning Center, Chavez Foundation’s flagship afterschool program for young residents, a playground, and multi-use community space. Chavez Foundation and its partners will provide ongoing property management and supportive services for all residents, including social services for survivors of domestic violence through a partnership with the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center.

Keeping with the tradition of the farm worker movement, the project memorializes the late J.J. Rodriguez’s lifetime of advocacy for social, labor, and civil rights. He began organizing City of Vernon packinghouse workers in 1928 and helped build their long-dominant packinghouse workers’ union. During the 1950s, Rodriguez was an important activist and leader in Los Angeles with Cesar Chavez in the Community Service Organization Latino civil rights group. For years, he served as president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. When Rodriguez died in 1991, Cesar eulogized his friend as a “pioneering trade unionist who fought many early battles of the Chicano movement.”

Chavez Foundation Celebrates Biennial Staff Convocation

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This past April, the Cesar Chavez Foundation gathered for the biennial staff convocation at the National Chavez Center after a 4-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

More than 250 staff members gathered from the Southwest and California to celebrate this year’s convocation theme, “Let the Spirit Flourish and Grow,” a stanza from the Prayer of the Farm Workers’ Struggle, written by Cesar Chavez. This year’s theme was a reminder of the importance of continuing Cesar’s legacy and celebrating our work of inspiring and transforming communities.

On the first day of the convocation, staff members enjoyed a tour and a welcome reception at the National Chavez Center, a place important to Cesar and where he lived and labored his last quarter century. On the second day, staff gathered at the Marriott in Bakersfield to celebrate, network, and be recognized for their contributions to Cesar’s legacy.

The convocation culminated with a recognition ceremony honoring years of service and our team’s commitment to ensuring Cesar’s legacy continues by improving the lives of the people and communities he served throughout his life.





Introducing Chavez Foundation Branded GIF Stickers

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The Cesar Chavez Foundation has launched branded GIF stickers of Cesar Chavez with his beloved dogs, featuring Cesar Chavez, his beloved dogs Boycott and Huelga (“strike”), notable quotes, and more.

These GIFS can be pulled directly from the Cesar Chavez Foundation Channel on GIPHY and are accessible through simple search features on social media — type “Chavez Foundation” into the GIPHY search bar. Explore and share your favorites, and remember to tag us @ChavezFoundation.

GIFs can also be found with the following keywords: cesar chavez foundation, cesar chavez, si se puede, chavez foundation, huelga, strike, boycott, and CCF.





Cesar Chavez  marches with a “Huelga” Sign

“Huelga,” meaning “strike,” was a term Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers used that has evolved to signify the struggle of the movement. The Aztec eagle, once a symbol for farm workers, represented a cultural connection evoking a sense of pride.






Cesar Chavez with Boycott and Huelga

Cesar Chavez had two German Shepherds he trained himself named Boycott and Huelga (“strike”). He credited them for his commitments to vegetarianism and animal rights, and at his request, they are buried near him in the rose garden at The National Chavez Center.





Cesar Chavez Quote

“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed.” These words were extracted from Cesar Chavez’s 1984 address to the Commonwealth Club of California. He is shown holding a shovel inspired by a photograph taken of him in La Paz.






Cesar Chavez Foundation Logos

In 2018, the Chavez Foundation unveiled a new logo to reflect better the organization’s growing work in carrying out Cesar’s vision for a better future for our communities and families. It was designed to communicate the legacy of Cesar Chavez, the history of social activism, and the continued values the Chavez Foundation champions.







Need a quick tutorial? Check out the video below.



@chavezfoundation in Instagram stories. Don’t forget to tag @ChavezFoundation and use the hashtag #CCFConvocation23 when sharing your favorite Staff Convocation moments.

Need a quick tutorial? Check out the video below.


Cesar Chavez Foundation Presents 20th Annual Legacy Awards

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Cesar Chavez Foundation Presents 20th Annual Legacy Awards to famed Chicano artist Carlos Almaraz, CHIRLA Executive Director Angélica Salas, and former pioneering Latino political figure Richard Alatorre

Remarks by Mayor Karen Bass & Attorney General Rob Bonta

Los Angeles – Receiving the Cesar Chavez Foundation’s Cesar Chavez Legacy Awards honoring commitment to community and advocacy on Thursday evening are artist and activist Carlos Almaraz (posthumously), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Executive Director Angélica Salas, and pioneering Latino political figure Richard Alatorre. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass will deliver the keynote address and California Attorney General Rob Bonta will make special remarks, all at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

“Each of our honorees genuinely reflect my father’s legacy, spirit, and values,” said Paul F. Chavez, president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. “Next month marks the 30th anniversary of his passing. So it is fitting that we assemble to honor the recipients of the 2023 Cesar Chavez Legacy Awards.”

Carlos Almaraz was a respected leader of the Chicano arts movement in the 1970s and worked with Cesar Chavez to help inspire farm workers through his art during strikes and boycotts.

Angélica Salas gives voice and self-empowerment to immigrants as executive director of
CHIRLA by ensuring their national movement to achieve reform is led by the people seeking it.

Richard Alatorre played a pivotal role across the Chicano movement—from helping enact the
historic 1975 farm labor law to empowering Latinos politically through legislative

Attorney General Rob Bonta lived as a child at the movement’s La Paz headquarters in Keene, Calif., where his parents labored full-time with the movement and resided near Cesar Chavez’s home. As an assembly member, Bonta’s legislation relating to farm workers—that UFW and CCF supported—created Larry Itliong Day and encouraged the teaching of Filipino Americans’ contribution to the farm worker movement in the schools.

Keynote speaker Mayor Karen Bass continues working for social change by addressing the
challenges facing Los Angeles’ underserved neighborhoods, thereby epitomizing Cesar Chavez’s

Who: Cesar Chavez Foundation President Paul Chavez; National Chavez Center Executive
Director Andres Chavez; CHIRLA Executive Director Angélica Salas; former Assemblymember
and L.A. City Councilmember Richard Alatorre; Elsa Almaraz, widow of artist Carlos Almaraz; Los
Angeles Mayor Karen Bass; California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

What: 2023 Cesar Chavez Legacy Awards Gala.

When: March 23, 2023; press avail from 6 to 7 p.m.

Where: The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 So. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071


Join us for the 2023 Cesar Chavez Legacy Awards Gala

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Join us and support the Cesar Chavez Foundation on March 23, 2023, as we collectively gather to make an impact and uphold Cesar’s vision for a brighter future.

Your support through the Cesar Chavez Foundation gala allows us to serve our most vulnerable working families through affordable housing development, education, broadcast communications, and the National Chavez Center, which preserves and promotes the legacy of Cesar Chavez. We can’t do it without you and look forward to seeing you at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles in March!

Are you interested in becoming a sponsor? You can download our sponsorship deck here! For more information, please contact Alexia Valencia at