San Antonio: D6 Councilwoman Supports Designation of the Emma Tenayuca Memorial Way

CONTACT: Victor Landa, 210-884-3429

SAN ANTONIO (January 26, 2023) –Today the City Council unanimously approved the designation of Cevallos Street, on the City's West Side, as Emma Tenayuca Memorial Way. Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda voted in favor of the designation and issued the following statement:

Thanks the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI), Emma Tenayuca's family - especially my friend and outstanding attorney, Sheryll Tenayuca - Mayor Nirenberg and Councilwoman Teri Castillo who worked hard to make this memorial designation happen and honor Emma Tenayuca's tireless work to improve the lives of San Antonians. It was an honor to sign this Council Consideration Request and I look forward to seeing this memorial designation.

I see this designation as the start of what I intend to be a movement to recognize the historical significance of San Antonio as the cradle of Mexican-American, and Latino, civil rights.

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I believe that what Emma Tenayuca started in 1938 led to my having the opportunity to sit on this dais. The pecan shellers strike, led by women of San Antonio, set the stage for the establishment of LULAC – which began simultaneously in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education foundation (MALDEF), the work of Wille Velasquez and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, the Committee for Barrio Betterment and the fight for single member districts.

There is a direct line from Emma to this Council. We should honor that history with placemaking and signage, with storytelling and education.

We should tell the story of Gus Garcia who argued before the US Supreme Court for Mexican-Americans to be able to serve on juries. The San Antonio community raised funds to send him and attorney Carlos Cadena to Washington. This happened in 1954, three months before the landmark Brown v Board of Education case desegregated schools. Gus won the Hernandez v Texas case, and we should celebrate him and honor his memory in a visual way.

I'm looking forward to finding creative opportunities to celebrate our history.

Filed Under: Government, City

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