The Fort Collins City Council proclaimed May 2 as Hispanic Community Leadership Day on Tuesday night, praising the efforts of various Latino and Latina members who have claimed Fort Collins as their home for generations.
The council meeting began with a video narrated by councilmember Ray Martinez, who recounted the experiences of members of the city’s Hispanic community throughout its history.
“Most of these people had a direct impact on my life in Fort Collins,” Martinez said in the video, mentioning people such as Dr. Gil Carbajal and Lee Martinez.
Dr. Carbajal had coached councilmember Martinez in high school, whereas Lee Martinez served on the city’s Human Relations Commission years ago, improving the relationship between the Caucasian and Hispanic communities.
Dr. Guadalupe Salazar, director of Colorado State University’s El Centro diversity office, was among many other community members recognized by the proclamation.
Members of the Hispanic community who were mentioned in the proclamation included Jerry, Art and Rudy Gallegos, Dr. Guadalupe Salazar, Dr. Gil Carbajal, Sam and Connie Trujillo, Philip and Carmen Martinez, Mary Ann Sanchez, Paul de la Garza and Patty Lopez.
“This is a remarkable conversation to have with members of our community,” Martinez said. “There’s a heart, there’s a sense of hope, there’s an ability to make that accomplishment. We support all cultures in our community, but today we are particularly recognizing members of the community.”
Mayor Wade Troxell called the mentioned individuals to stand beside him as he thanked them for their contributions to the community.
Councilmember Martinez was also the first Hispanic police sergeant in the history of Fort Collins and served three terms as mayor from 1999 to 2005. He currently serves as the representative for District 2 and is up for re-election in the next city council election.
Collegian new reporter Gabriel Go can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @rgabrielgo.