Willie Velasquez | Texas Public Radio

Willie Velasquez

SVREP

Lydia Camarillo, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, plays a key role in developing SVREP’s nonpartisan voter mobilization efforts.  

LIFE Magazine

A lawsuit against the Texas Secretary of State David Whitley was recently settled after his office released a list of 95,000 voters accused of being non-citizens. Latino voters who were on the list and several civil rights organizations filed the suit, including the Southwest Voter Registration Project.

Updated at 1:41 p.m.

Willie Velasquez grew up on San Antonio’s West Side, and learned early on that by empowering his fellow Latinos, they could bring change to their own neighborhoods.

In 1974, Velasquez founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and organized 1,000 voter drives across the Southwest. His efforts also more than doubled the number of Latino elected officials, from 1,500 in 1974 to 3,300 in 1988.

A new book for young adults reflects on the life of voting rights activist and West Side San Antonio native Willie Velasquez. Author Bárbara Renaud Gonzalez  (0:17) joins us to discuss her new novel. Then, a West Side San Antonio record shop spins the oldies and keeps neighborhood pride alive (15:57).