LULAC Remembers Ramsey Muñiz, Raza Unida Party Candidate For Governor, Who Has Died At 79
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Salutes The Life of the Latino Athlete and Lawyer Who Rose to Become a Political Force and Threat to His Opponents
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens today issued the following statement on the passing of Ramsey Muñiz. He died Sunday in Corpus Christi, Texas, following a long illness. Muñiz was a talented South Texas football star who won an athletic scholarship to attend college. Also, he excelled academically and became a lawyer. He practiced law dealing with community development as he sought to improve housing conditions for Latinos in Waco, Texas. He was nominated twice by the Raza Unida Party to run for Texas governor in 1972 and 1974 and is credited for impacting both elections' outcomes. He opened the way for the many Mexican American political candidates seeking local, county, and statewide public office. Some Latino observers credit Muñiz's charismatic candidacy for empowering the emerging Texas Hispanic community. However, his political voice was seen by opponents as a threat that may have made him a target of law enforcement and led to the legal troubles and prison sentences Muñiz faced later in life.
Domingo García – LULAC National President
"LULAC has lost a great ally, and Ramsey was a dear friend and mentor for me. He grew up very poor but was rich in his spirit and a deep love of his cultura. We will always remember Ramsey's constant smile and positive outlook, even when facing the toughest luchas. He never lost hope that justice would set him free all those years he was in prison. Upon his release, I was honored to bring him on as a paralegal because I knew his heart, and he had a great mind. Latino history will include Ramsey entre las grandes voces de nuestra gente, among the great voices of our people."
Héctor Flores – LULAC Former National President "Ramsey was instrumental in waking the sleeping Mexican American giant to become politically involved and became the face of the Raza Unida Party that threatened the political status quo in Texas. He was handsome, athletic, smart, a graduate of Baylor University and a lawyer who personified the American dream achieved on his merit."
Rosa Rosales – LULAC Former National President
"I will remember Ramsey for his ganas and courage as a young man to step up and be the face of a movement when our community needed him. Most people did not expect him to win, but his victory was in making a difference when thousands of votes went to his name and showed we could be a power at the ballot box. Yes, he faced difficulties later in his life, but that will never change the contributions he made for Latinos and Texas history."
David Contreras, Texas LULAC historian, created a website on Ramsey Muñiz and said, "he was a trailblazer, and to many, an iconic figure." See the collection of videos highlighting many of Muniz's historic life moments.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington D.C., with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information visit www.LULAC.org