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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Raza Unida Party Chapters 1970-1974

by Josue Estrada

When the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) organized the so-called “Chicano takeover” of Crystal City’s school board and city council in 1970, Tejano activists launched Raza Unida Party to compete in elections in Texas. The party soon spread to Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, helped by an alliance with Crusade for Justice, Corky Gonzalez's Denver-based organiztion. Over the next four years, RUP ran campaigns in 40 different communities involving 176 candidates for local and state offices. Some were successful, especially in south Texas. But RUP’s electoral accomplishments outside of Texas were few. In California, the RUP organized 93 chapters between 1971 and 1973 but elected only one city council person and two school board members. Only in Texas did RUP secure official party status for statewide races. In 1972, Ramsey Muniz won 219,127 running for Texas governor on the Raza Unida Party ticket, not enough to win but an impressive showing for a third party.  Researched by Josue Estrada. Sources below. The maps are hosted by Tableau Public and may take a few seconds to respond. If slow, refresh the page. 

The four maps below show electoral campaigns and Raza Unida Party chapters

Sources: Chávez, Ernesto. "Mi Raza Primero!" (My People First!) : Nationalism, Identity, and Insurgency in the Chicano Movement in Los Angeles, 1966-1978. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Garciá, Ignacio M. United We Win: The Rise and Fall of La Raza Unida Party. Tucson: MASRC, the University of Arizona, 1989. Los Angeles County La Raza Unida Newsletter, April 28, 1971. Herman Baca Papers. MSS 0649. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego. La Raza Unida Party - San Diego County Newsletter, 1972-1973. Herman Baca Papers. MSS 0649. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego. La Raza Unida notebook, 1970-1974. Herman Baca Papers. MSS 0649. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego. Navarro, Armando. La Raza Unida Party a Chicano Challenge to the U.S. Two-party Dictatorship. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000. Santillán, Richard. Chicano Politic : La Raza Unida. Los Angeles: Tlaquilo, 1973.

Research and data compilation: Josue Estrada

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