Fronteras Extra: Letters To The World From Willie Velasquez

Fronteras Extra: Letters To The World From Willie Velasquez
September 14, 2018 Elijah James Logan

Willie Velasquez grew up on San Antonio’s West Side, and learned early on that by empowering his fellow Latinos, they could bring change to their own neighborhoods. In 1974, Velasquez founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and organized 1,000 voter drives across the Southwest. His efforts also more than doubled the number of Latino elected officials, from 1,500 in 1974 to 3,300 in 1988. Velasquez died in 1988 at 44. Writer Bárbara Renaud Gonzalez has resurrected him in her new book, “Dear San Antonio, I’m Gone but not Lost. Letters to the World from your Voting Rights Hero Willie Velasquez on the Occasion of his Rebirth.” In the book geared towards young adults, Velasquez responds to God’s request to reflect upon his life. Renaud Gonzalez said that Velasquez’s activism often drew the ire of more mainstream Latino politicians, including former San Antonio Congressman Henry B. González . “(González) was basically a political god – demigod – of San Antonio. … He was a

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