In 1970, Crystal City, Texas, under the leadership of La Raza Unida party leader Jose Angel Gutierrez, became the first U.S. city to have a Chicano third party controlling the local government. Gutierrez’s plan to organize the Hispanic community to attain political representation was launched when the Latino community ousted five Anglo city councilmen and elected five Hispanic members. By 1974, Hispanics occupied 23 of 24 administrative positions and the faculty composition changed from 65 percent Anglo to 75 percent Hispanic. Gutierrez’s plan forced the Democratic and Republican parties to take Hispanics into account. Historically, this was the first time in the U.S. that Hispanic political action was effective.
About The Author
Leonard B. Rodriguez is the President and CEO of the Westside Development Corporation. He is a former White House Advisor to the President of the United States and the 2017 St. Benitia Humanitarian Award Recipient.
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