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Sign on to ENDORSE HB 3209 Designating May 9th as Willie Velásquez Day

Sign on to ENDORSE HB 3209 Designating May 9th as Willie Velásquez Day

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Published by: Editor on May 01, 2013
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Dear Friends and Supporters,We invite you to join us in sending a letter to the Committee members of Local and ConsentsCalendar in support of Texas HB 3209 ahead of the vote, tomorrow, May 2, 2013. HB 3209would designate May 9th as Willie Velásquez Day in Texas.We encourage Elected Officials, organizations and community leaders to sign on to this letter.Please sign-on by 11 pm ct, today, May 1st. We know this is short notice but things are movingfast in the Texas legislature and we need your help to give Willie Velásquez the honor hedeserves. You don't have to be in Texas to support HB 3209!Click here to ENDORSE HB 3209 
 Thank you,SVREP & WCVIMay 1, 2013Chair Senfronia ThompsonVice Chair Lyle LarsonRepresentative Charles "Doc" AndersonRepresentative Dwayne BohacRepresentative Cindy BurkettRepresentative Travis ClardyRepresentative Nicole Collier Representative Marsha FarneyRepresentative Larry GonzalesRepresentative Armando "Mando" MartinezRepresentative Joe MoodyRepresentative Sergio Muñoz, Jr.Representative Kenneth SheetsRE: Support for HB 3209, Designating May 9th as Willie Velásquez Day
Dear Madam Chair and Members:As organizations and individuals with strong ties and extensive expertise in the Latinocommunity, we write to urge you and the members of the Local and Consents Calendar Committee to pass House Bill 3209, filed by Representative Roberto R. Alonzo, honoringWilliam "Willie" C. Velásquez by commemorating his birthday, May 9th as an Optional StateHoliday.Willie Velásquez is considered by Latinos and non Latinos as an influential figure in Texas andAmerican civil rights because of his tireless work at the grassroots level to empower the minority
community. While a student at St. Mary’s University, Willie founded the Mexican American
Youth Organization (MAYO), in 1974 he founded Southwest Voter Registration EducationProject and in 1984 he founded Southwest Voter Research Institute.Willie envisioned a time when Latinos would play an important role in the American Democratic process. The legacy of Velásquez is apparent-since its inception; SVREP has cultivated 50,000community leaders, successfully litigated 85 voting rights lawsuits and has conducted over 2,300non-partisan, voter registration and GOTV campaigns. When Willie started SVREP, in Texas,less then 600,000 Latino voters were registered to vote; today over 2.35 million Latinos areregistered to vote in Texas!His vision involved more than just getting Latinos to the ballot box. Velásquez sought to educatethe Latino electorate and train them to be more active in the democratic process. SouthwestVoter Research Institute was established to seek the opinions of the Latino electorate. He feltLatino leaders should be held accountable to their constituencies. As part of the Institute, he setout to collect and distribute information on public policy issues ranging from income and povertyto U.S. and Latin America relations. In 1997, the Southwest Voter Research Institute waschanged to the William C Velásquez Institute (WCVI) as a way to honor Velásquez' vision andlegacy.Willie was a pioneer, a game changer for Latinos. It is because of this that the State of Texasshould recognize him by naming his birthday, May 9th as Willie Velásquez day. Passing HB3209, designating May 9 as Willie Velásquez Day, would be a hallmark day for our state byhonoring a man whose simple, but important, mission was to give voice to the voiceless.Thank you for your consideration. We urge you and all Texas Legislators to support HB 3209.Sincerely,Click here to ENDORSE HB 3209 
 National Office • 1426 El Paso Suite B • San Antonio, TX 78207 • (210)
0225 • Fax (210)932
California Office • 2914 N. Main St., 2nd Floor • Los Angeles, CA 90031 •

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