Texas Liberal

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Manuel Acosta’s Portrait Of Cesar Chavez—The Need For A More Politically Active Hispanic Community In Houston

File:Portrait of Cesar Chavez by Manuel Gregorio Acosta, 1969.jpg

Above is a portrait of the labor leader Cesar Chavez that was completed by the artist Manuel Acosta.

The painting is from 1969. Mr. Acosta lived 1921-1989.

Here are some facts about Mr. Acosta and a number of his paintings. This information comes from the El Paso Museum of Art.

Here is a biography of Mr. Chavez from the Cesar Chavez foundation.

From that biography–

“For more than three decades Cesar led the first successful farm workers union in American history, achieving dignity, respect, fair wages, medical coverage, pension benefits, and humane living conditions, as well as countless other rights and protections for hundreds of thousands of farm workers. Against previously insurmountable odds, he led successful strikes and boycotts that resulted in the first industry-wide labor contracts in the history of American agriculture. His union’s efforts brought about the passage of the groundbreaking 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act to protect farm workers. Today, it remains the only law in the nation that protects the farm workers’ right to unionize.”

Here in Houston, I very much wish that our Hispanic population was more active in fighting for a better Houston, and for a greater role for Hispanics in Houston politics.

Here is an article from the excellent magazine Next American City that discusses the longstanding political inaction of Houston’s Hispanic community.

(Blogger’s Note–I subscribe to the print edition of Next American City. Content costs money to produce.)

From this article—

“Yet another factor in Houston, says Cano, is the lack of community organizations. There are far more community organizations in Los Angeles and Chicago than in Houston, and the groups in other cities engage in political campaigns more often. This is not to say that community organizations in Houston don’t exist. “If you look carefully, there is a whole ecosystem in the desert . . . under the sand,” says Cano. “In Houston, an organization can have a meeting once every two years, they can get together and solve a problem.”

Our new mayor-elect in Houston, Annise Parker, has a history as a community activist fighting for the rights of gay citizens on Houston.

Sharing some of her knowledge of community activism with groups still in need political and social advancement, would be a very cost efficient way for Mayor Parker to help accomplish the needed goal of a Houston that is a good place to live for all it’s people.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment