At the White House screening for the upcoming film Cesar Chavez, President Obama hailed the founder of the United Farm Workers union and appealed to attendees to find ways to help fulfill his life’s work. The president’s comments came after an introduction from Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the White House Deputy Director of Public Engagement and Chavez’s granddaughter.
In his nine-minute remarks, the president compared Chavez’s “lofty ideas” to the handful of policy issues facing the country, including immigration reform, Obamacare, and a minimum-wage increase, and urged supporters to not be discouraged with their setbacks. “We’ve got a lot of causes that are worth fighting for,” he said.
“That is one of the great lessons of his life — we don’t give up the fight,” he continued, calling Chavez “an American hero.” “No matter how long it takes, no matter how long the odds, we keep on going.”
The film’s director and cast were in attendance, as well as Chavez’s family, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez.
President Obama ultimately did not stay to watch the film, according to the pool report. He promised he would watch it in the coming days because he will be “very lonely at home” while the first lady and the Obama daughters are away in China.