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Willie Velasquez

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March 1, 1992
I am writing a biography of Willie Velasquez (1944-1988), Hispanic voting-rights activist and founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. I would appreciate hearing from anyone with letters from him or about him, personal reminiscences, articles, memorabilia, etc., or leads to such sources. JUAN A. SEPULVEDA, Scholar-in-Residence, Southwest Voter Research Institute, 403 E. Commerce, Suite 220, San Antonio, TX 78205
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 1995
When Latino political organizer William Velasquez died in 1988, he had his eyes on California. Velasquez, founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, had just overseen the opening of a Los Angeles office that he hoped would lead the nation in bringing more Latinos into the political process. On Friday in a White House ceremony, Velasquez's widow accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom on behalf of her late husband. Velasquez founded the group in San Antonio in 1974.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 1995 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Vice President Al Gore announced Friday in Pasadena that President Clinton is bestowing the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously on Willie Velasquez, a leading local Latino rights activist who founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project 20 years ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 1995 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Vice President Al Gore announced Friday in Pasadena that President Clinton is bestowing the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously on Willie Velasquez, a atino rights activist who founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project 20 years ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 1988
Linda Chavez cautions Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis that speaking Spanish on the campaign trail may somehow cause Latinos to abandon their commitment to learn English ("Is Spanish Wrong Signal to Latinos?" Op-Ed Page, Aug. 8). In fact, there is simply no debate that mastery of the English language is key to academic and economic success in America. By her own statistics, Chavez demonstrates that her concerns are nothing but a straw man useful for pushing her own agenda as president of U.S. English: 95% of native born Mexican-Americans know English, a majority of second generation Mexican-Americans know English, a majority of second generation Mexican-Americans speak only English, and thousands of more recent immigrants are waiting for the classes that will teach them English.
NEWS
June 19, 1988 | DAVID LAUTER, Times Staff Writer
More than 1,000 people, including political figures from throughout the Southwest and Democratic presidential hopeful Michael S. Dukakis, gathered Saturday in San Antonio's Church of St. Mary to hear Latino leader Willie Velasquez eulogized as a man who, in Dukakis' words, "believed in democracy" and "changed the world."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 1995 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Vice President Al Gore announced Friday in Pasadena that President Clinton is bestowing the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously on Willie Velasquez, a atino rights activist who founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project 20 years ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 1995
When Latino political organizer William Velasquez died in 1988, he had his eyes on California. Velasquez, founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, had just overseen the opening of a Los Angeles office that he hoped would lead the nation in bringing more Latinos into the political process. On Friday in a White House ceremony, Velasquez's widow accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom on behalf of her late husband. Velasquez founded the group in San Antonio in 1974.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 1988 | RICHARD AVENA, Richard Avena is former Southwest regional director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
On a visit to his room in Santa Rosa Hospital here, I reminisced with Willie Velasquez, the founder and director of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. And it struck me, after watching the parade in and out of his room for several hours, that maybe "El Wee-Lay"--a name that, at 44, he still hadn't outgrown--was not the genius we all took him for. We thought he was so smart, registering so many mejicanos, first in Texas, then in other states.
NEWS
January 10, 1993 | JILL GOTTESMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A foundation run by a Bell Gardens city councilman was promised thousands of dollars in donations by a card club operator shortly before the councilman voted to allow the club to lease city property next to the club, documents show. In mid-July, George G. Hardie, general manager of the Bicycle Club casino, promised in writing to contribute $1,000 a month to the Willie C. Velasquez Center, which is headed by Councilman Rodolfo (Rudy) Garcia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 1995 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Vice President Al Gore announced Friday in Pasadena that President Clinton is bestowing the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously on Willie Velasquez, a leading local Latino rights activist who founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project 20 years ago.
NEWS
January 10, 1993 | JILL GOTTESMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A foundation run by a Bell Gardens city councilman was promised thousands of dollars in donations by a card club operator shortly before the councilman voted to allow the club to lease city property next to the club, documents show. In mid-July, George G. Hardie, general manager of the Bicycle Club casino, promised in writing to contribute $1,000 a month to the Willie C. Velasquez Center, which is headed by Councilman Rodolfo (Rudy) Garcia.
BOOKS
March 1, 1992
I am writing a biography of Willie Velasquez (1944-1988), Hispanic voting-rights activist and founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. I would appreciate hearing from anyone with letters from him or about him, personal reminiscences, articles, memorabilia, etc., or leads to such sources. JUAN A. SEPULVEDA, Scholar-in-Residence, Southwest Voter Research Institute, 403 E. Commerce, Suite 220, San Antonio, TX 78205
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 1988
Linda Chavez cautions Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis that speaking Spanish on the campaign trail may somehow cause Latinos to abandon their commitment to learn English ("Is Spanish Wrong Signal to Latinos?" Op-Ed Page, Aug. 8). In fact, there is simply no debate that mastery of the English language is key to academic and economic success in America. By her own statistics, Chavez demonstrates that her concerns are nothing but a straw man useful for pushing her own agenda as president of U.S. English: 95% of native born Mexican-Americans know English, a majority of second generation Mexican-Americans know English, a majority of second generation Mexican-Americans speak only English, and thousands of more recent immigrants are waiting for the classes that will teach them English.
NEWS
June 19, 1988 | DAVID LAUTER, Times Staff Writer
More than 1,000 people, including political figures from throughout the Southwest and Democratic presidential hopeful Michael S. Dukakis, gathered Saturday in San Antonio's Church of St. Mary to hear Latino leader Willie Velasquez eulogized as a man who, in Dukakis' words, "believed in democracy" and "changed the world."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 1988 | RICHARD AVENA, Richard Avena is former Southwest regional director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
On a visit to his room in Santa Rosa Hospital here, I reminisced with Willie Velasquez, the founder and director of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. And it struck me, after watching the parade in and out of his room for several hours, that maybe "El Wee-Lay"--a name that, at 44, he still hadn't outgrown--was not the genius we all took him for. We thought he was so smart, registering so many mejicanos, first in Texas, then in other states.
NEWS
October 14, 1988
Fourteen prominent Latinos, including politicians, war heroes, sports stars, labor leaders and artists, will be inducted Saturday as charter members of the newly created National Hispanic Hall of Fame in Fresno, a spokeswoman said. The list includes former Los Angeles Raiders coach Tom Flores, United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, Medal of Honor winner Rudolpho Perez Hernandez, and actors Rita Moreno and Ricardo Montalban.
NEWS
February 8, 1990
Construction work has begun for an outdoor stage and band shell at Plaza de La Raza, the Latino cultural arts center in East Los Angeles. The future amphitheater, which will seat 350 people, will bear the name of the late Willie Velasquez, who founded the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project. The theater should be completed by mid-March, said Gema Sandoval, executive director of Plaza de La Raza.
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