May 9th is Willie Velasquez Recognition Day in Texas!
Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) invites you to celebrate the
Texas Willie Velásquez Day by conducting activities and events that memorialize Willie’s contributions towards the empowerment of the Latino community.
In 2016, an estimated 75% of all the school districts in Bexar county partnered with SVREP to conduct voter registration drives at their high schools on Willie Velásquez Day.
We invite you to be part of this exciting movement.
Texas School Districts have everything to gain:
- Partner with SVREP on Willie Velásquez Day to promote Willie's story, history, legacy. Willie, a Mexican American/Chicano, leader committed his life to "strengthening America’s democracy."
- SVREP can help you register the eligible student per Election Code 13.031.
- The Celebration on Willie’s Day can be incorporated as part of the Cinco de Mayo festivities.
What can High school and college campuses do on Willie's Day?
SVREP invite you to set an Action Day on Willie's Texas Day on May 9, 2017.
- Register eligible students to vote from March 9th to May 9th, Willie’s Day
SVREP can help register the eligible student body at your high school and/or college campuses, as well as train the leadership (faculty, students and administrators) with SVREP’s voter registration training. Send us an email with your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com.
- Urge students registered to vote to cast their vote for the May and Run-off Elections
- Pass A Resolution Making May 9th Willie’s Day a Day of Action/Service
- Tell us your Willie Stories: Share your Stories, pictures and videos—send them to our email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tweet your friends and network using the hashtag #WillieVelasquezDay
About William C. Velásquez
2017 marks 29 years since the untimely passing of William C. Velásquez, founder of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) and William C. Velásquez Institute.
In 2013, the Texas legislature passed HB3209 which designated a Day in Observance honoring Willie Velásquez on May 9th. HB3209 pays tribute to the legendary voting rights pioneer who helped change the face of Texas. HB3209 was authored by Representative Robert Alonzo and Senator Jose Menendez, at the time he served as State Representative, and was sponsored by Senator Carlos Uresti.
Born on May 9, 1944, in the west side of San Antonio, Texas, Willie's involvement with Latino organizations was extensive. In 1968 as Boycott Coordinator for the United Farm Workers (UFW), he organized strikes in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. After leaving the UFW, Willie became the founder and director of the Mexican American Unity Council in San Antonio, Texas. In 1970 he was named Field Director of the Southwest Council of La Raza.
In 1995, Willie was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton. In 1996, his name was attached to the US Senate version of the Voting Rights Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 1996.
In 2013, the Texas legislature passed a bill to observe Willie’s legacy on May 9th.
Willie’s legacy can best be expressed in his words “Su Voto Es Su Voz”. Willie efforts through SVREP expanded the Latino vote and created a culture of political empowerment by voting! Since Willie opened its doors, SVREP has registered over 2.6 million Latino voters, trained 150,000 Latino leaders and won 85 voting rights lawsuits.
On October 3, 2016, PBS and Latino Broadcast aired Hector Galan’s, Filmmaker and Producer, Willie Velásquez: Your Vote is Your Voice—A Documentary on William C. Velásquez, SVREP’s Founder and President (1974-1988). Thousands watched the documentary throughout the US. Leaders called, or sent us a note congratulating us for Willie’s legacy and let us know how much the work is still needed.
Worldwide PBS will air three-times and US PBS is scheduled to air six times.
National Administrative Office
320 El Paso Street
San Antonio, Texas 78207
Phone: (210) 922-0225
Fax: (210) 932-4055
California Regional Office
2914 N. Main St. 1st Floor, Suite B
Los Angeles, CA 90031