Texas Declares May 9th Willie Velásquez Day!
Governor Perry signs bill on 25th anniversary of Willie's passing

On June 14, 2013, Governor Perry signed HB3209. It was sent to the Governor for his signature on May 27th after both houses of the 83rd Texas legislature passed it. HB3209 designating a day in observance honoring Willie Velásquez on May 9th. HB3209 takes effect on September 1, 2013.

2013 marks 25 years since the untimely passing of William C. Velásquez, founder of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) and the William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI). HB3209 pays tribute to the legendary voting rights pioneer who helped change the face of Texas. HB3209 was authored by Representatives Alonzo and Menendez and was sponsored by Senator Uresti.

Born on May 9, 1944, in the west side of San Antonio, Texas, Willie opened SVREP in 1974, to focus on increasing Latino political participation in the American democratic process. Over the next fourteen years Willie organized a massive increase in Latino voting across the southwest principally using the tactic of nonpartisan voter registration and voting rights lawsuits.

In 1985, Willie launched Southwest Voter Research Institute (renamed WCVI in 1997) to develop research and policy for the growing cohort of Latino elected officials.

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.

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Click here to read the resolution

Click here to read House Bill 3209

Texas Declares May 9th Willie Velásquez Day!



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