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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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Eddie Canales: The Role Of La Raza Unida Party In The American Political Process
Program #

Linda Fregoso
Eddie Canales
Jun 8, 1980

Eddie Canales: the Role of La Raza Unida Party in the American Political Process

Eddie Canales, Chair of the Texas Central Committee of La Raza Unida Party, discusses recent changes to the party’s structure and strategy. In 1980, Raza Unida held its first constitutional convention where they restructured the party. Now its membership would be based on community organizations instead of individual counties. Canelas explains that the change reflects the party’s desire to focus on organizing at the grassroots level so as to build and develop its local membership. The party will also have state central committees whose members are part of community organizations or Raza Unida chapters and must represent at least 25 constituents. Canales says that each member will have specific tasks that contribute to the overall organizational structure and strategy.

Canales also explains that Raza Unida will remain a third party to allow Chicanos a place to make their opinions heard and demand political changes. He explains that while the two mainstream parties have put Chicanos in political office, the overall community has yet to see any significant changes. Moreover, since voter turn out is declining, Raza Unida will now focus on making change outside of the electoral process. He believes that one day they will resurface in local, state and national elections, but that will happen when the party has established a solid base within local communities and regions.

He then discusses the upcoming Raza Unida Conference in New Mexico that will address the party’s organizational problems and develop communications between the Raza Unida Party in Texas and other states.


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

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