Story distorted my position, belittled Cesar Chavez Day

I was appalled by an article printed in The Hill on April 4 entitled “Rep. Baca wags finger at Sanchez for closing office for Cesar Chavez Day.” Both the article and its title are comprised of false accusations that are only fit for a tabloid to publish.

First, this article completely misrepresents both my position on Cesar Chavez Day and my statement submitted to Betsy Rothstein of The Hill. To be absolutely clear, Ms. Rothstein contacted my office indicating that she was writing a story for the Capital Living section on how members of Congress have individually observed Cesar Chavez Day. As such, I submitted a statement that represented my personal opinion — that the day should be a special time to honor the incredible contributions of an incredible individual. It is true that I personally believe that one way to honor Chavez is to educate oneself and others about his work. It is not true that I have concerns with how others, including my fellow members of Congress, choose to observe this day. Moreover, if the reporter had fully considered my complete statement, instead of parsing it out, she would have seen that my own Cesar Chavez resolution suggests a national holiday that would give employers and employees the right to observe Cesar Chavez Day in a manner of their choosing — which could include closing an office for commemoration.

Second, I am concerned the article belittles and casts doubt on the importance of Cesar Chavez Day to particular members of the House. Cesar Chavez Day holds special meaning for many of my congressional colleagues and me. Some members have bills honoring his life and work. Many, including Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, have dedicated themselves to carrying out Chavez’s legacy by calling for dignity and rights for all working families in this country. Congresswoman Sánchez, in particular, has been an invaluable champion for many of the same causes that Chavez used his own life to promote.

Finally, it is troubling that Cesar Chavez Day itself got lost in the article. Instead of using space to present a story on the life and sacrifice of a great hero — by discussing the way that members of Congress choose to celebrate him — the reporter elected to misrepresent a statement to craft a controversial headline where none exists. The reporter attempted to arouse emotions by drawing upon issues that have been left in the past. Since then, I and the Sánchez sisters have moved on to address issues that are important to the CHC and the community as a whole.

Reporter Betsy Rothstein and The Hill should publish a written apology to the Sánchez sisters.

Washington, D.C.

Editor’s note: The Hill stands by its account and no such apology is warranted.

Foreign failures

From Mazi Bahadori

Speaker Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership have proven that they do not have the ability to make good foreign policy decisions. The Democrats in the House refused to condemn the British hostage crisis in Iran, providing no support for America’s closest ally in her time of need. To add insult to injury, Speaker Pelosi visited Syria, a leading state sponsor of terror and one of Iran’s closest friends. ...

Mission Viejo, Calif.