A Champion for the Chicano Community: Anita N. Martínez and Her Contributions to the City of Dallas, 1969-1973
Description: Much has been published in Chicano studies over the past thirty to forty years; lacking in the historiography are the roles that Chicanas have played, specifically concerning politics in Dallas, Texas. How were Chicanas able to advance El Movimiento (the Mexican American civil rights movement)? Anita Martínez was the first woman to serve on the Dallas City Council and the first Mexican American woman to be elected to the city council in any major U.S. city. She served on the council from 1969 to 1973 and remained active on various state and local boards until 1984. Although the political system of Dallas has systematically marginalized Mexican American political voices and eradicated Mexican American barrios, some Mexican Americans fought the status quo and actively sought out the improvement of Mexican barrios and an increase in Mexican American political representation, Anita N. Martínez was one of these advocates. Long before she was elected to office, she began her activism with efforts to improve her children’s access to education and efforts to improve the safety of her community. Martinez was a champion for the Chicano community, especially for the youth. Her work for and with young Chicanos has earned her the moniker, “Defender of Dreams.” She created a chicano recreation center in Dallas, as well as various poverty programs and neighborhood beautification projects. Although she has remained relatively unknown, during her tenure on the Dallas City Council, between the years 1969 and 1973, Anita Martínez made invaluable, lasting contributions to the Chicano community in Dallas.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Cloer, Katherine Reguero
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation