Resolution To Support the Establishment of National Monuments Recognizing Hispanic/Latino American Culture and Heritage Including the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Region of Dona Ana County, New Mexico

WHEREAS, 84 years ago, the founders of the League of Latin American Citizens, (LULAC) joined together to establish an organization that would become the largest, oldest and successful Hispanic civil rights and service organization in the United States, and

WHEREAS, LULAC is our nation’s oldest, largest and most respected Hispanic civil rights organization addressing education, employment, economic parity and social justice issues in the United States of America since 1929; and

WHEREAS, Latinos have lived on lands now comprising the United States for more than 400 years, have a rich cultural heritage, and have made many important contributions to the culture and history of the United States; and

WHEREAS, President Barack Obama has used his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 within the last year to designate two national monuments that recognize Hispanic heritage in the United States; and

WHEREAS, The first of these national monuments is the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in California which honors the extraordinary achievements and contributions to the history of the United States made by the late labor and civil rights leader Cesar E. Chavez and the farm worker movement, and which protects his grave site and the headquarters of the United Farm Workers Union of America; and

WHEREAS, our nation must do more to ensure that its federal network of national monuments, parks, conservation lands, and other recognized sites appropriately and adequately recognizes the cultural heritage of American Latinos as part of our nation’s heritage; and

WHEREAS, Cultural and historic features of the Organ mountains- desert peaks region important to American Hispanics/ Latinos include: the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, use of which dates back over 12,000 years; the Organ mountains whose majestic, craggy peaks provided springs for travelers along the Camino Real and signaled that they had entered another land; the northern boundary of Gadsden Purchase which redefined the American-Mexico border; Spanish naming for some of the region’s prominent geographic features such as the Sierra de las Uvas, Picacho Peak, and the Potrillo, Roveldo, and Dona Ana Mountains.

WHEREAS, permanent protection of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks is warranted and should be a fitting way to protect and honor our state’s Latino culture and heritage, as well as our state’s diverse citizens and cultures, and would ensue that this legacy is protected for our children and grandchildren and the generations that come after them;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens conveys appreciation to President Obama for designating the Cesar E. Chavez and Rio Grande del Norte National monuments and, furthermore, supports permanent protection of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a National Monument, either enacted by Congress through legislation or by the President through proclamation using his author under the Antiquities Act.

Approved this 22nd day of June 2013.

Margaret Moran
LULAC National President

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