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Cesar Chavez Foundation and Housing Authority of the County of Kern Break Ground on High-quality Affordable Housing Community in Bakersfield, Calif

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Cesar Chavez Foundation and Housing Authority of the County of Kern Break Ground on High-quality Affordable Housing Community in Bakersfield, California 

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (October 30, 2023) The Cesar Chavez Foundation and Housing Authority of the County of Kern announced the groundbreaking of a new affordable housing community in Bakersfield, Calif. Renaissance at Baker will create 85 units of affordable housing for low-income families and persons with disabilities, including individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

The groundbreaking marks the start of construction of the 85 units, comprised of 37 one-bedroom units, 21 two-bedroom units and 26 three-bedroom units reserved for families earning between 30%-60% AMI. Forty-two of the units will be reserved for persons with disabilities with incomes at or below 30% AMI. The development will seek a highly sustainable LEED-certification and is designed by Y&M Architects. It will feature an outdoor space spread out over two courtyards that includes spaces for sitting and a life-size chess area. The total development cost for the project is $48.5 million.

The Housing Authority of the County of Kern, a local government agency providing safe, affordable housing to thousands of Kern County residents through special programs serving families, individuals, senior citizens, veterans, persons with disabilities, homeless, farm workers and emancipated foster youth, will provide residents with on-site service programs.  

“Renaissance at Baker will address a significant shortage of affordable housing and the need to assist Kern County’s homeless and chronically homeless,” said Paul Chavez, President of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. “Our mission is to improve the lives of working families, and this development is a step towards achieving that goal in an area where my father began his work more than 60 years ago.” 

“We’re pleased to partner with the City and Cesar Chavez Foundation to help revitalize the Old Town Kern neighborhood and bring much needed affordable housing and services to the area,” said Stephen Pelz, Executive Director at Housing Authority of the County of Kern. 

“Building new affordable housing for the most vulnerable of our community in a once vacant lot is an investment in the wellbeing of Bakersfield residents and aligns with the City of Bakersfield’s revitalization efforts for Old Town Kern,” said Bakersfield Councilman Andrae Gonzales 

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Honoring Cesar Chavez’s Legacy: The Inaugural Cesar Chavez Lowrider and Classic Car Show

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This summer, the National Chavez Center hosted a remarkable event that brought together thousands of passionate individuals. The Cesar Chavez Lowrider and Classic Car Show, held in partnership with the Classic Dreams Car Club, was a testament to the enduring spirit of lowrider and classic car clubs. These clubs have deep-rooted connections with the Latino community and continue to advocate for its well-being.

Car clubs have played a pivotal role in supporting causes dear to the hearts of many within the Latino movement. They were instrumental in the United Farm Worker’s march from Delano to Sacramento, which took place last year in support of Assembly Bill 2183. During this march, the idea for a car show at the NCC took place thanks to a fortunate encounter between Executive Director Andres Chavez and members of Bakersfield car clubs.

Reflecting on that encounter, Andres Chavez spoke to the Bakersfield News-Press, saying, “I was on that march and was really moved personally by their commitment.” This profound connection prompted him to reach out to a gathering of Bakersfield lowrider clubs to gauge their interest in organizing an event at the historic center.

On August 12, thousands of car enthusiasts from across southern California converged at the National Chavez Center to pay tribute to the enduring legacy of Cesar Chavez and the farm worker movement at the inaugural Cesar Chavez Lowrider and Classic Car Show. The event was a vibrant celebration of culture and community, with one of the highlights being the “Sí Se Puede Car Club,” a name deeply rooted in the movement.

The event also provided an opportunity to honor individuals like Martina Contreras, whose unwavering commitment to the cause made her a backbone of the movement. Her contributions were immeasurable, from preparing meals for hundreds to hosting union meetings at her home. Today, her children continue to honor her memory and dedication to La Causa.

The inaugural Cesar Chavez Lowrider and Classic Car Show was a powerful reminder that, as Cesar Chavez famously proclaimed, “Sí Se Puede” – Yes, we can – make a difference and continue the legacy of justice and equality for all.

Images courtesy of Chicano Soul 

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Cesar Chavez Lowrider & Classic Car Show

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Join us for a FREE family event at the National Chavez Center on Saturday, August 12, from 12 – 8 pm, “Cesar Chavez Lowrider & Car Show,” hosted by Classic Dreams Car Club.

Don’t miss a special performance by Bakersfield-native group Mento Buru at 5 pm. For car registration, please complete the registration form here: https://bit.ly/ChavezCarShow23

All proceeds benefit the Cesar Chavez Foundation and National Chavez Center.



SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

 6:00 am – 10:30 am                     Car Show Registration and Roll-In

12:00 pm                                        Doors open

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm                       DJ Amar1e

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm                         Aztec Dancers

1:30 pm – 3:00 PM                         DJ Amar1e

3:00 pm – 3:30 PM                         DJ Mikey (until 8 pm)

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm                        Performance by Chuck and Aranza Alexandria

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm                        Presentation of Car Show Awards

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm                        Performance by Mento Buru

8:00 pm                                         Doors close


CAR SHOW REGISTRATION 

Roll in is from 6:00 am 10:30 am. Strict 10:30 am deadline.

Day of registration is $30 on a first-come, first-serve basis. *CASH PAYMENT ONLY*

For additional information, contact Jose Fernandez at 661-840-2953 or Lulu Salas at 661.201.2774.

TRAILER TOWING

If you are trailer towing your car, designated parking will be available.


EVENT INFORMATION

  • The gates open at 12 PM
  • General Admission Parking is FREE
  • General Admission is FREE
  • Classic Car and Lowrider roll in from 6:00 am – 10:30 am
  • In-door cooling stations available
  • Indoor and outdoor seating will be available
  • Closed-toe shoes are recommended
  • Outside alcohol is strictly prohibited
  • Smoking is not allowed (location is a high-risk fire zone)

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.