Texas is celebrating the first official “Willie Velasquez Day” today, honoring the work and legacy of political activist and and long-time voting rights advocate William C. Velasquez.
Velasquez attended high school in San Antonio, where he first became involved with the Chicano movement and a handful of civil and voting rights efforts. Soon his work spread to organizing for the United Farm Workers Union in the Rio Grande Valley, and eventually to founding the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project in 1974.
The SVREP has been advocating for Latinos’ right to full political participation for decades now.
To talk about the life and work of Willie Velasquez, we spoke with Patricia Gonzales, Director of the William C. Velasquez Institute in San Antonio.