"IT WAS A FOUR YEAR DREAM COME TRUE"
"Naming 67th street for a great hero like Cesar Chavez was a frustrating undertaking. Many days we were disappointed but we were never discouraged." Benny C. Martinez, TAHP President
An Open Letter
From the President
We need you. We need you now more than ever. In the year 2000 it is unbelievable that we have to continue to fight for the same issues that we have been fighting for so many years. There is so much work left undone and strength comes with numbers. As you read this I'd like for you to ask yourself some questions: What have I done for the cause? How can I help? No contribution is too small. If you believe in what we're fighting for, the preservation of history, and the basic rights of all human beings, regardless of race, creed or color, please join us. Pay your dues. Support us and help us, not just by coming to the meetings, but by taking the next step. We need your ideas, serve on a committee, or work a food booth. The next time that we organize or participate in a historical dedication, make an effort to be there. Make your presence known. We have a strong organization and everyday we are growing stronger. We can achieve change together, and write our own history. The past does not have to be our future. We are not asking for special rights, just equal rights. Thank you in advance for joining us.
¡ Si Se Puede!
Benny C. Martinez
Pictured left to right: Honorable State Representative Rick Noriega, TAHP President, Benny C. Martinez, Honorable Mayor Lee Brown presenting a City Proclamation of Tejano Day, and Master of Ceremonies: Marcello Marini.
The PARADE was colorful and exciting despite the intermittent rain. The schools were well represented by bands and the ROTC. The Three Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients Lucian Adams, Richard Rocco and Clarence Sasser were the Grand Marshals of the parade. Jose Lopez was unable to attend. The military vehicles that were also in the parade helped set the tone for the numerous military organizations that participated. The POW-MIA ceremony that followed after the parade at Hidalgo Park was one of the most moving ceremonies. Ben Saenz performed Taps and Miss Soledad Martinez eloquently sang the National Anthem. State Representative Rick Noriega was the Officer of the Day. The VFW 8930 Denver Harbor executed the twenty one-gun salute.
Dr. Andres Tijerina spoke eloquently both at the festivities at Hidalgo Park and at the reception at the Latino Learning Center later in the evening. He said, "Cesar Chavez was not a Mexican American hero, but he was an American hero who forced great corporations to bend at their knees and stop using D.D.T. and other harmful insecticides." Dr. Tijerina graciously had a book signing after the evening reception and generously donated the profits of his book sale to our organization. We still have a few books available if anyone is interested and will have them on hand at the May 12th meeting. Honorable Mayor Lee Brown also rode in the parade along with his Mounted Police Officers. At Hidalgo Park the Honorable Mayor Brown presented Benny C. Martinez, Pres. with a City Proclamation of Tejano Day. Honorable Mayor Brown showed his humor when he ended his speech with "Viva Mayor Brown," to which the crowd roared back, "Viva Mayor Brown!" Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Gene Green both attended the festivities. Congressman Gene Green also presented Benny C. Martinez, Pres. with a commendation letter to be entered into the Congressional Record. Also in attendance were Senator Mario Gallegos, State Representatives, Joe Moreno, Jessica Farrar and Dora Olivo, City Councilmen John Castillo, and Gabriel Vasquez, Leonel Castillo, Former INS Director, Felix Fraga, Former City Councilman, Rolando Romo, Founder of TAHP, Dr. Tatcho Mindiola, Dale Wortham, Pres. AFL-CIO, Jose Reynaga, (who serenaded the arrival of the Parade with Huelga Songs) Arturo Ramirez, Atty. at Law, Hector Antonio Chavana, Atty. at Law, Most Reverend James Tamayo, Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Galveston-Houston, and Constable Victor Trevino. TAHP is indebted to Constable Victor Trevino who with his chief, Carolyn Lopez and all of his officers made this a secure and safe event. TAHP is also indebted to Captain Curran, and all of the officers of the Eastside Magnolia Substation 8 who worked with Constable Trevino and his officers.
The Parade Committee
Macario Ramirez, PR person, was instrumental and successful in the media coverage, designed and donated the posters, lined up interviews for the Pres. Benny C. Martinez and Dan Martinez, Pres. of LCLAA. The parade was held April 1, 2000 and the next day TAHP members made numerous phone calls to the Chronicle about the lack of coverage, (even though Macario Ramirez had left off five public relations packets for Chronicle Staff). The Chronicle ran a small photo of the street sign on April 3, 2000 with a small caption. TAHP members, (Benny C, Martinez, Linda Alonzo-Saenz, Macario Ramirez, Genaro Flores, Loretta Williams, David Williams, and Dr. Zamora) protested in front of the Chronicle and met with Tony Pederson, Senior Vice President concerning the minimal amount of coverage on April 4, 2000. The Chronicle ran an article 11 days later, of the event on April 12, 2000. This coverage was printed in the This Week section which targets and segregates their readers, by zeroing in on one area of newsreaders, the South/Almeda/Hobby Section. For more information about the strike and the Chronicle's response please go to new website http://www.tejanoahp.org and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . We have received over a hundred visits and from all over the world. David Williams is the webmaster. Richard Perez, V. P., made well use of his numerous military contacts and came through with an impressive participation by the military. His right hand man, Margarito, "Gunny," Vasquez took on the difficult task of motivating the high schools by personally visiting them to request their participation of their bands and ROTC. Mr. Perez and Mr. Vasquez did an excellent job of organizing the lineup and recruiting numerous volunteers. Domingo Marquez lent tents for the festivities and provided commentaries at the parade review stand. Linda Alonzo-Saenz, Treasurer sent invitation packets to HISD, non-profit organizations, took care of all the financial details, and parade lineup. Loretta Williams, Secretary, wrote numerous donation letters to corporations, elected officials, and assisted with the schedule of events. Marc Campos of Campos Communication and his secretary, Cristina Garcia also wrote letters to elected officials requesting their participation. Texas LCLAA President, Dan Martinez, and Cipriano Ramon brought in the Unions and added substantially to the parade. Anthony Mindiola and Diane Gutierrez, (who with Dan Martinez was on the first Cesar Chavez Committee) sold Cesar Chavez T-shirts for LCLAA. Mr. Leija with his staff provided banners, buses, and the Cesar Chavez plans for the new High School. Genaro Flores, ticket chairman, enlisted the help of his son Reuben Flores, Augustin Castillo and Joel Lara. Mr. Lara of LULAC#60 provided us with a Cesar Chavez farmworker flyer that we gratefully distributed. As the parade arrived at Hidalgo Park, past TAHP Pres., Dr. Emilio Sarabia, his son Stephen Sarabia (a recent graduate of Stanford Univ.), Teresa Coe and Catalina Sandoval were staffing the hot-dog and coke booth. Later in the day, Melinda Ortega, daughter of Benny C. Martinez, Mary Closner and David Williams would staff the hot-dog booth. Ms. Closner assisted our organization by bringing in a number of ads and suggesting singers for the festivities. The Cesar Chavez brochure was a financial success and TAHP is indebted to Ray Palomarez of Computer Literacy School for helping to organize the book and Roy Zermeno of Southwestern Bell for publishing the book. The artist Luis Fernando donated the painting of Cesar Chavez. Mr. Al Vasquez recorded the events of the parade and festivities, which is available for a $10.00 donation made payable to TAHP.
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