Well, it seems like it is time for action. All the votes are in and the campaign is over. Let’s get on with it. The “it” is a decision to honor the history of our City, and those who have made it, in a suitable and respectful way.
Basically, that can be done with a commemoration of one of the finest and most laudable individuals in the recorded history of our home: Cesar Chavez. He is a man to be proud of, a secular saint. He is a person who sacrificed everything, even his health, to improve the lot of his fellow man. He is an exemplar of what a committed life should be. The Jesuits say it best - he was and remains “a man for others.”
This is a suitable and appropriate way for our community to honor such a man and fill an angry, gaping wound in the center of our Downtown. It might include as other of our finest monuments nationally, and the excellent Veterans’ Memorial on Park Avenue, his words, his life story, photos, and tales of the lives that he touched and changed.
It could be at once instructive and inspirational.
And we must not skimp on the cost. Remember, the monies for it come from the two percent arts fund, not from police or library resources, and it “must “ be spent on art, and art only. So no nonsense about taking bullets from cops or books from little children! The battle will be between the aesthetic fascists who only want modern art, ethereal, colorful works of art, largely inscrutable to most. They will be allied to those so fearful of our history and of any criticism or controversy that they are ossified. They must not prevail – again.
It will also be necessary to find a cadre of dedicated Council members who are not too timid to seize the day. Firm direction should be given to the art establishment to search for the best artists and demand their best work. Nothing else will suit the situation. If this happens, more such lives can be commemorated – courage begets courage. Now is time to give our city the type of art it deserves and to create a new beginning in dealing with and learning from our rich history.