Barack Obama photo

Statement on the Death of Helen Fabela Chavez

June 07, 2016

For 88 years, Helen Chavez was a force of quiet strength, but she left a legacy that will echo for generations. Alongside her husband Cesar she devoted her life to organizing farmworkers in California and across America, fighting for higher wages, better working conditions, and a brighter future—La Causa. She managed her union's finances, prepared meals, marched in picket lines, and was even arrested for her actions, all because she believed in the dignity of America's farmworkers: men and women she toiled with in the fields, even as she raised eight children and helped lead a movement.

I had the great privilege to meet Helen when I designated the home that she and Cesar lived in for so long as the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument. Michelle and I send our condolences to her many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, including her granddaughter Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a trusted member of our White House team. And we join them all in celebration of a life well lived, a life that proves those who love their country can change it. Sí se puede.

NOTE: The statement referred to Sylvia Delgado, Eloise Carillo, Liz Villarino, Anna Ybarra, Fernando, Paul, and Anthony Chavez, children of Ms. Chavez; and Deputy Director of Public Engagement Julie Chavez Rodriguez.

Barack Obama, Statement on the Death of Helen Fabela Chavez Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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