Si se puede. Yes, it can be done.
This is the motto of the United Farm Workers, created by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, two latin@ cultural icons found in a mural on the north wall of Taqueria Azteca de Oro in West Jordan. This artwork is now the center of controversy, after some people have complained about it being gang-related or offensive. As a result, the city of West Jordan ordered the Taqueria Azteca de Oro to cover up the mural. The city deemed that the mural is in violation of civil code that states that a business can’t have a “sign” for their operation that is over a certain size. However, the mural is not a sign for business.
Owner Miguel Dominguez and artist Miguel Galaz aren’t about to give up without a fight, and on the evening of Thursday, July 23rd, they held a rally to support the preservation of their mural. Since the announcement of the rally, which was only the day prior, West Jordan officials agreed to give a 30-day stay of the law in order to see if an agreement could be reached. Some officials were even in attendance at the rally.
Complaints about the flag on the wall being gang-related are unfounded: It’s the United Farm Workers flag. It’s a flag for equal rights. The stories of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta are not taught to students in Utah public schools, so to the uneducated eye, they seem like random faces: Latin@ faces that will not be recognized by white people.
The intent of the mural, which was started 17 weeks ago with help from a grant from Salt Lake Community College, is to pay tribute to these two heroes of the Latino American culture. Kids look up to and want to look like their heroes. “We have this artwork on the wall for our kids. To show them our heroes,” said Dominguez. He then went on to encourage the community to vote for change, because voting within your city is the most important vote you can give. He even shared his iPad with attendees, so that they could sign up to vote.
For now, thanks to the quick community response, the mural stays.