LULAC MOURNS THE PASSING OF BILL RICHARDSON, A DEAR FRIEND AND CIVIL RIGHTS WARRIOR
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Pays Tribute to the Former Governor of New Mexico and Ambassador to the United Nations
September 2, 2023
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Washington, DC - LULAC is deeply saddened by the passing of Bill Richardson, a loyal and trusted leader whose lifetime of service provided a lasting legacy of advocacy on behalf of millions of Latinos and our country. Bill Richardson, who served two terms as the Governor of New Mexico and was a distinguished member of Congress for 14 years, has left an indelible mark on our nation's history. As Ambassador to the United Nations under President Bill Clinton, he demonstrated exceptional diplomatic prowess. Beyond his impressive political career, he actively engaged with LULAC, attending conventions, and offering invaluable guidance to LULAC presidents on issues impacting Latinos nationally.
Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President, fondly remembers the pivotal role Governor Richardson played in the journey toward immigrant amnesty. "I first met Gov. Bill Richardson in 1984 at the National Democratic convention when I was leading the Hispanic caucus to abstain on the first presidential ballot unless the Democratic presidential candidates supported amnesty for immigrants," Garcia reminisced. "Bill pulled me aside, I was 26 years old then, introduced himself as a congressman from New Mexico and gave me some lessons on how to win the issue. Which we did with the passage of an immigration bill in 1986. After that, he was a friend and mentor. He was a great leader for New Mexico and for Latinos in general. Our condolences to his family and the New Mexico community."
Ray Mancera, LULAC National Vice President for the Southwest, praised Richardson's unparalleled accomplishments. "Bill Richardson was a towering figure in diplomacy, an unmatched hostage negotiator, consummate legislator, and a friend. We, as Mexican Americans, are proud of his achievements and see him as a model to follow. Vaya con Dios. I'm proud to have worked with him."
Fred Baca, New Mexico LULAC State Director, expressed the profound impact of Bill Richardson's life and legacy. "The sudden passing of Mr. Bill Richardson comes as a deep shock to me personally, the great state of New Mexico, and, of course, our great United States. He was truly a great statesman, leader, and servant in every respect. We mourn his loss and pass on our prayers and sincere condolences to all his family. He will not be forgotten in our history."
Bill Richardson's commitment to public service extended far beyond the confines of his political offices. He was a man of integrity and unwavering dedication to the betterment of the Latino community and the nation as a whole. As Governor of New Mexico, he worked tirelessly to address the needs and concerns of his constituents, leaving an indomitable mark on the state he served with distinction. His remarkable career and his ability to bridge political divides are a testament to his statesmanship.
Furthermore, his tenure as Ambassador to the United Nations showcased his diplomatic finesse, promoting global cooperation and understanding. His involvement with LULAC underscored his commitment to advancing the civil rights and well-being of Latinos across the United States.
LULAC joins the nation in mourning the loss of this exceptional leader, mentor, and friend. Bill Richardson's legacy will continue to inspire future generations of leaders dedicated to the cause of justice, equality, and civil rights for all. His memory will forever remain etched in the hearts and minds of those he touched, and his contributions to our great nation will be cherished and celebrated for years to come.