The city of Pacoima belongs to two entities: the Latinx community that lives there and the legacy of Ritchie Valens.
The small neighborhood nestled in the San Fernando Valley in California will be forever known as the birthplace and home of the iconic Mexican-American artist who was tragically killed in a plane crash at the tender age of 17. Since then, the city of Pacoima has been in some way or another honoring his legacy. The latest homage is a bill that calls to rename the post office at 13507 Van Nuys Blvd. as the “Ritchie Valens Post Office Building.”
The House already approved H.R.1253, which calls to designate the government facility of the U.S. Postal Service in Pacoima to its new name, “Ritchie Valens Post Office Building.” Now the Senate has to vote on it.
“Ritchie Valens continues to inspire generations of musicians and is an example of how even when it seems like there is no path to your dream, you make your own way and build your own path,” Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Panorama City, said Wednesday on the House floor.
Cardenas also was the one responsible for introducing the bill.
“Ritchie Valens is an example of the talent that exists in our community, and his legacy is a source of pride for our Pacoima community,” he added.
— Militant Angeleno (@militantangleno) October 17, 2019
We can’t see any reason why the Republican-majority Senate would deny this bill considering Pacoima has honored the late star in other ways. Last year, the 5 Freeway, which runs through Pacoima, was inaugurated as the Ritchie Valens Memorial Highway.
“Ritchie Valens exemplifies the talent and greatness that exists in this community,” Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez said last year at an announcement about the Valens highway naming ceremony, according to Billboard. “Breaking barriers as one of the first Latino musicians to crossover to mainstream rock-and-roll. His music was the soundtrack for generations of Angelenos, and his legacy is a source of pride for our Pacoima community.”
Pacoima Post Office to be renamed in honor of Ritchie Valens https://t.co/btwcUlbyM8
— Erik Stenger (@abitbig) October 17, 2019
The recognition of this honor — to rename a government building after a Latino musician — is an incredible example of how to show the immense contribution of the Latinx community not just to the state of California but for the U.S.
Valens was a gifted artist whose music broke boundaries. That kind of legacy by a Latino must continue to be celebrated. Just as we honor fallen artists such as Selena Quintanilla, Valens must always be remembered.
Below is a clip from last year’s honor: