At a tribute to Dolores Huerta at Cal State LA in September, Councilmember José Huízar announced that the legendary civil rights leader would be memorialized with a city square named after her at a historic landmark in Boyle Heights.
The 89-year-old gets her due this Saturday, as the intersection of First and Chicago Streets is officially renamed Dolores Huerta Square. The co-founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union is expected at the unveiling ceremony at noon.
Also expected at Saturday’s ceremony is punk icon Alice Bag, who first performed her song “I Want a Street Named Dolores Huerta” at the Cal State tribute. Other performers slated for the celebration, scheduled from 12-4 pm, include Lysa Flores, Ella, and Drew Trap Girl; DJs from the Chulita Vinyl Club will spin records, and Nikki Darling will read her poetry.
Along with Huízar, elected officials scheduled to speak at the unveiling ceremony include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solís.
The intersection at First and Chicago will be closed to vehicular traffic for what organizers are calling “a street celebration of music, food and art.”
The intersection was chosen for the tribute because of its historic significance. The 1924-built Chicago Building at the Southeast corner, which now houses the Boyle Heights City Hall (and Huízar’s local office), is the former site of the Los Angeles chapter of the Community Service Organization (CSO). It was through her activism at CSO that Huerta met César Chávez, with whom she founded the UFW.
At the September tribute, Huerta recalled how the idea for the creation of the UFW was first discussed during a meeting at the kitchen of Chávez’s home in Boyle Heights –at the corner of Folsom and Fickett, not far from what is to be known as Dolores Huerta Square.
In 1994, a major street running West to East along Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles was renamed as César Chávez Avenue. Before that, the street was known as Brooklyn Avenue.