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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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PROGRAM INFO

Title:
La Raza Unida: Public Policies And Community Organizing
Program #
1979-01
Theme:
Politics

Series:
Politics
Host:
Armando Gutiérrez
Guest:
José Angel Gutiérrez
Date:
Dec 4, 1978

La Raza Unida: Public Policies and Community Organizing

José Angel Gutiérrez, founder of La Raza Unida Party and a county judge, discusses several issues affecting Chicanos today and the party's efforts to address some of those issues through political office and community organizing. Gutiérrez first addresses the issue of white flight in Crystal City and explains that it is the result of Chicano organizing. However, Anglos still control much of the city’s economic structures and its low wages and sub-employment contribute to high levels of poverty.

Gutiérrez explains that despite direct opposition from both the state and federal government, the Raza Unida Party has managed to dramatically increase graduation rates and undertake several community improvement programs in Crystal City. They have been able to do so through federal grants, and Gutierrez explains their success in obtaining government assistance.

Gutiérrez also discusses the higher voter turnout in Crystal City and compares it to Chicano voter turnout throughout the state. He argues that Chicanos and minorities will vote when the candidates promise real change. He then evaluates some of the policies of prominent Texas politicians vis-à-vis the Chicano community and the Raza Unida Party. He also discusses some of the weaknesses in Chicano organizing and the problems posed by institutional racism. He believes democrats are beginning to realize the power of Chicanos and hopes that the example set by Crystal City and other Chicano communities will force the party to produce a more liberal and progressive platform--one where Chicanos can participate as partners.

 

Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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