Washington, D.C.—Today, the Chicano Park Preservation Act (H.R. 3711), a bill introduced by Congressman Juan Vargas in 2015, has moved out of the House Committee on Natural Resources on unanimous consent. The bill will be moving forward with the possibility of being considered on the House Floor before the end of the 114th Congress.
“Chicano Park is a cultural mecca that highlights the activist and artistic contributions of our local community,” said Rep. Vargas. “I am very glad to know that we are one step closer to preserving the vibrant history and culture of Chicano Park, a feat that would guarantee that future generations will be able to enjoy the history of the community in Barrio Logan.”
This bill instructs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a thorough study of Chicano Park in order to evaluate its national significance and determine the feasibility of the park becoming a National Historic Landmark.
The Park is located under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in historic Barrio Logan, a San Diego community with a heavy population of Mexican Americans. It is adorned with murals, sculptures, and beautiful landscaping. The park was created after a group of residents came together to boycott the construction of a highway patrol station on the site of what is now Chicano Park. In 1980, the park was designated as an official historic site by the San Diego Historical Site Board. In 2013, Chicano Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its association with the local Chicano civil rights movement in San Diego.
Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire US/Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his second term in Congress. He represented the 40th California State Senate District from 2010-2012, the 79th California State Assembly District from 2000 – 2006 and served on the San Diego City Council from 1993 – 2000.