San Antonio: City Council Approves the Emma Tenayuca Memorial Way Designation

CONTACT: Amador Salazar, 210.904.6248

SAN ANTONIO (January 26, 2023) — Today's Council Session featured the approval of the designation of an Emma Tenayuca Memorial Way on Cevallos Street from Interstate 35 to Probandt Street.

"Today is an extremely special day – as we have seized on the opportunity to honor one of San Antonio's own labor and civil rights champion in Emma Tenayuca," Councilwoman Teri Castillo said. "The memorial way must serve as a reminder to carry on her vision of social and economic justice for San Antonio."

The designation culminated through collaboration with the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI), a national organization rooted in San Antonio, dedicated to chronicling, and advancing the Mexican American community's civil rights efforts in the United States.

"Emma Tenayuca is one of many Mexican Americans whose bravery to speak out against injustice should forever be remembered by San Antonians and all those who travel our streets," said MACRI Executive Director Dr. Sarah Gould.  "We are grateful to the city's leadership in recognizing the vital importance of Mexican American civil rights history and offering a path to increase the visibility of this undertold history. We hope Emma Tenayuca Memorial Way is the first of a series of memorial ways to highlight our city's rich history."

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Tenayuca emerged as a leader in the Pecan Shellers' strike, which lasted over a month and eventually led to the establishment of the Fair Labor Standards Act which established the right to a minimum wage, time-and-a-half, overtime pay, and the prohibition of child labor on June 25, 1938.

"This is an important first step in giving fair recognition of the Mexican American and Chicano experiences inextricably linked to the 300-year history of San Antonio," said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. "I want to thank Councilwoman Teri Castillo, Congressman Joaquin Castro, and MACRI for their leadership in the effort to properly memorialize San Antonio's heritage starting with honoring Emma Tenayuca's legacy."

Castro added, "Eighty-five years after the Pecan Shellers' Strike, today's designation of Emma Tenayuca Memorial Way honors the important contributions of a young Mexican American woman to our city's history.

"I look forward to working with city leaders to honor more of the San Antonians who shaped the world as we know it today. Congratulations to the Teneyuca family, Councilwoman Castillo, Mayor Nirenberg, the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute, and all those who played a role in making this progress possible."

The District 5 Office is hosting a celebration of the 85th Anniversary of the Pecan Shellers' strike at Cassiano Park,1728 Potosi Street, 78207, on Saturday, Jan. 28 starting at 3 p.m.

Filed Under: Government, City

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