President Obama traveled to Southern California on Monday to announce the establishment of a national monument to the Mexican-American union organizer César Chávez, while offering Hispanic voters a subtle nudge less than a month before Election Day.
While the trip to Keene, Calif., to pay tribute to the founder of the United Farm Workers was technically official White House business, it also helped magnify Obama’s outreach efforts to the Hispanic community. It is an important voting bloc whose turnout could be crucial to his chances in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.
Obama noted Chávez led a historic 300-mile farmworkers’ march from Delano to the California state capitol in Sacramento and remembered Chávez’s role in organizing a 1966 boycott of table grapes, which eventually drew 17 million supporters across the country and led to growers agreeing to among farm worker contracts in history.
The president also celebrated Chávez as a leader who strove to improve the lives of the next generation, a goal that Obama acknowledged the nation is currently struggling to achieve.