Reflecting on the Passing of Civil Rights Leader Antonio Gonzalez
Civil rights leader and hero Antonio Gonzalez died last week at his home in San Antonio. To mark his passing, Hispanic Federation President, Jose Calderon, issued the following statement.
The Board of Directors, staff and network of 100 community-based organizations of the Hispanic Federation mourn the loss of Antonio González, a beloved and visionary leader of the national Latino civil rights community. As President of the Southwest Voter Registration Project and the William C. Velázquez Institute, Antonio was a relentless advocate for Latino political enfranchisement and voting rights. Drawing on a long history of Mexican-American political activism, Antonio was a Northstar for so many of us - relentless in his commitment to our community and understanding always that true leadership was only possible through a deep connection to our grassroots. Those of us lucky enough to have known him, knew that he believed deeply in the importance of building coalitions and shaping a shared progressive agenda, whether the issue was housing rights in big cities or water rights in some of the most rural corners of the nation. Differences in national origin or geography were much less important to him than protecting our families and promoting our collective success. Antonio will be sorely missed but there is some comfort in knowing that his legacy is strong and will be here to guide us and our future leaders for generations to come.