Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta gets an intersection named for her in Boyle Heights today

Dolores Huerta, subject of the new documentary “Dolores,” seen in the L.A. Times photo studio during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Civil rights activist and labor union leader Dolores Huerta will have her name enshrined at the intersection of East 1st and Chicago streets in Boyle Heights on Saturday during a dedication ceremony by the city of Los Angeles.

Huerta, 89, led programs to assist low-income and working families through the Stockton Community Service Organization in Boyle Heights. The intersection will be named Dolores Huerta Square.

“Dolores Huerta’s name should be on the lips of every child in America, so they can appreciate what true courage in the face of insurmountable odds looks like,’' said City Councilman Jose Huizar, who led the effort to name the square. “Working alongside Cesar Chavez, and continuing today, Dolores Huerta didn’t just blaze trails, she torched mountaintops and obliterated glass ceilings to give voice to the voiceless and lift up communities that are too often ignored, dismissed or shunned.’'

Huizar will be joined by Huerta along with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, ceremony emcee Josefina Lopez and Emiliana Guereca, the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation executive director.


The intersection of 1st and Chicago streets was selected to honor Huerta because before she and Chavez founded the United Farm Workers union in 1962, the building on the southwest corner was once home to the Los Angeles chapter of the Stockton Community Service Organization, according to officials with Huizar’s office. Today, the building is the Boyle Heights City Hall, which the city of Los Angeles purchased in 2007.

Huerta has received numerous awards for her work, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award from President Clinton in 1998. In 2012, President Obama presented Huerta with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Dolores Huerta Foundation, started in 2002, works on community-based organizing as well as state and national issues.

The dedication is scheduled to feature performances by the Alice Bag Band as well as several other musicians and poetry readings by Nikki Darling. The intersection will be closed to traffic during the event.