University of Texas at San Antonio-Downtown, September 15-17, 2022

  

PRESS RELEASE


 

Chicano Movement leaders and activists will convene in San Antonio, Texas September 15-17, 2022, to commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the national Raza Unida Party (RUP) at the downtown campus of the University of Texas–San Antonio. 

La Raza Unida Party, started as a regional organization after fielding candidates in four South Texas counties in 1970 and the San Antonio City Council in 1969.  It grew to a state party in Texas in 1971 and a national organization in 1972.

The national party initiated electoral efforts at a convention held in El Paso, Texas over the 1972 Labor Day weekend with delegates representing 17 states and the District of Columbia.  The Party fielded candidates for local and state offices in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, and other regions of the country such as Washington, DC.  The party’s life span was nearly ten years because the Texas legislature, then controlled by the Democratic Party, removed its ballot status by 1981.  Texas had the highest number of elected Chicano officials.  

La Raza Unida Party left a legacy that still inspires activists and change agents in Chicano/Latino communities throughout the Country.  Its electoral empowerment work and advocacy ushered in single-member voting districts for Mexican American communities; helped lower the voting age to 18 years; trained and inspired succeeding generations to run for elective office; and increased Mexican American representation dramatically in local and state governments in the Southwest and beyond.  Mexican Americans who aspire to elective office no longer see any office, from school board to City Council to Governor or President, as prohibitive or unattainable. 

According to Mario Compean, Raza Unida candidate for Texas Governor in 1978, the party inspired transformational change in Texas politics in the 1970s and beyond: “We empowered Chicanos to force the two major parties to open participation to Mexican Americans which resulted in a dramatic increase in representation in local and state governments. This is part of the Party’s legacy that the conference will review and celebrate,” Compean said. 

Moreover, the conference will analyze current socioeconomic conditions of the Mexican-origin population and salient issues affecting the population.  The conference will close with a focus on a strategic vision of what else can be done from the present to 2050 and beyond to advance the cause of social justice for Mexican origin people in the United States.

 

 

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The event is free and open to the public but registration is required.  The conference program, historical summaries, speakers, and schedule of events is online at https://www.razaunidapartyreunion.org .

 

For additional information, contact:

Mario Compean, 210-556-8901, mcompean@academiaamerica.org

Luz Bazan Gutierrez, 509-952-7860, luz@delnorte.biz

Jose Angel Gutierrez, 469-867-8199, joseangelgutierrez@yahoo.com

 

(Look for complete LRUP history on September issue of Hola Texas)

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