The bills rename two post office buildings located in Van Nuys and Pacoima after Monroe and Valens
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the House of Representatives passed two bills sponsored by Congressmen Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) to rename two post offices after the legendary musicians Marilyn Monroe and Ritchie Valens. The two trailblazers of pop and rock have roots in Congressman Cárdenas’ district – Monroe grew up in Van Nuys and Valens was born and raised in Pacoima.
A native of Pacoima, Ritchie Valens was a rock and roll pioneer, one of mainstream America’s first popular Mexican-American artists and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement. Once a student at San Fernando High School, Valens’ smash hit “La Bamba” took the nation by storm before he tragically passed in a plane crash that became known as “The Day the Music Died.”
Marilyn Monroe was and remains one of the most famous models and actresses in American culture. Monroe was raised in Van Nuys and attended Van Nuys High School and was discovered by an army photographer while she was working at the Radioplane Munitions Factory during World War II. Her films grossed the equivalent of $2 billion before her tragic passing at the young age of 36.
Remarks as prepared for delivery are below and the clip of Rep. Cardenas’ speech can be viewed here:
Mr. Speaker, it’s a pleasure to be here and represent the San Fernando Valley, in the United States House of Representatives.
I rise today to honor two American artists – the great Marilyn Monroe and Ritchie Valens.
I offer these bills – H.R. 1252 and H.R. 1253 – to name the post offices in Van Nuys and Pacoima, California in their honor.
First, I offer H.R. 1252, in celebration of the talented and legendary Marilyn Monroe who has roots in my district.
Marilyn Monroe was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Van Nuys and attended Van Nuys High school.
She grew up poor and bounced around orphanages as a child.
Back then, the chances of a poor woman like Marilyn Monroe becoming a national success and musical legend was nearly impossible.
But she beat the odds.
Despite her turbulent childhood, Marilyn Monroe found stability and joy while living in Van Nuys.
Her hard work and perseverance led her to become a timeless internationally recognized icon.
In a world where many believe wealth, status, or name determines one’s destiny, Marilyn Monroe’s story defies the odds and inspires many others to believe they too can also achieve similar success.
She showed us that dreaming big and working hard means something in America.
She went off to become an artistic trailblazer starring in her own movies and setting records during her singing career.
It is with great pride that I introduce this bill to rename the Van Nuys post office in celebration of the life of Marylin Monroe.
Thank you, I yield back.
Mr. Speaker, I have the honor to rise today and offer a second bill, H.R. 1253, which would designate the post office in Pacoima, California, as the “Ritchie Valens Post Office Building”.
Ritchie Valens was born and raised in my home neighborhood of Pacoima and attended San Fernando High School.
The rock and roll legend and father of Chicano rock is celebrated today for pioneering a musical style derived from Chicano culture.
He became a nationally renowned rock musician at a time when very few Latinos were recognized in American rock music.
Valens contributions to rock ‘n’ roll include his record setting hits such as “La Bamba”, “Donna” and “Come On Let’s Go”.
In March of 2001, Ritchie Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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.
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.
I’m honored to offer H.R. 1253 in celebration of the great Ritchie Valens’ life, a true trailblazer.
Thank you, I yield back.