Crews working hard to get everything ready for Presidential visit to Keene

Obama to establish Chavez Center as Natl Monument

KEENE, Calif. -  

Crews are already making preparations for the presidential visit to the National Cesar Chavez Center in Keene. President Obama will make the site a national monument on Monday.

"This has been in the discussions now for a couple of years about doing something about La Paz and it is finally coming to fruition,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers.

With a crowd of more than 7,000 expected, workers have their work cut out for them.

Cesar Chavez’ son, Paul, said his dad probably wouldn't be comfortable with all this attention.

"Knowing my dad, he probably wouldn't be too happy, because my father was never one for celebrating personal accomplishments. He thought that there was so much work to be done that time shouldn't be wasted on that," Paul Chavez said.

The cultural significance of the event combined with the high visibility of a campaign stop just weeks before the election means a lot of people want to attend.

"We have 45 buses coming in from all over the state that are going to be part of this event. We have individuals coming in from at least 15 states that we have identified," Rodriguez said.

Chavez rejects the idea that President Obama’s visit is designed to get more Hispanic votes.

"His standing with the Latino community is pretty high so I don’t think he needs much help with that. It would seem to me Romney would be the one that needs help with that," he said.

Carl Gehricke owns a small business in Tehachapi and is benefiting from the visit.

"Three-thirty yesterday afternoon I got a call from Carlos stating that he needs high-speed internet for the press corps … then this morning about a 9 a.m. I get a call from Mrs. McLeod who now says the White House staff needs secure Internet. So we have been shuttling around trying to figure this stuff out," Gehricke said.

Politics aside, Gehricke said he is happy to be working on the presidential event.

"We are working for the President of the United States and this is an honor. Whether you are Republican, Democrat or an independent, we still respect the office of the President of the United States," he said.

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