(Feb. 2) –This morning, the House of Representatives declared Feb. 2-8 Chicano History Week in recognition of the multitude of Chicanos and Chicanas throughout Colorado and their indigenous and Mexican ancestors. HJR16-1009, sponsored by Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Westminster, passed the House with only five votes opposed.
“Today is the anniversary of the day the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed,” said Rep. Salazar. “On that one day it’s estimated that over 100,000 Mexicans became Mexican-Americans. And on that one day, about 95 percent of the land wealth that Mexican-Americans held prior to the treaty was taken away.”
“This travesty resulted in poverty that still exists today. It happened in 1848, but when everything is taken from you, it takes a long, long time to build it all back up,” continued Rep. Salazar. “They say pick yourself up by your boot straps, but what if even your boots were taken away?”
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed Feb. 2, 1848.
The resolution recognizes one man in particular: Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, a Denver political activist who founded the Crusade for Justice and convened the first-ever national Chicano Youth Leadership Conference in March 1969.
The resolution passed with 59 votes in favor, 1 excused, and 5 opposed. Reps. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, Tim Leonard, R-Evergreen, Stephen Humphrey, R-Eaton, Patrick Neville, R-Caste Rock, and Lori Saine, R-Firestone, voted against the resolution.