Southwestern Historical Quarterly
nights. In order to take advantage of the market for bingo addicts and
avoid competing with the church, the council held its bingos on Friday
evenings after the church bingos had ended. The Council also held ben-
efit dances. Throughout its existence, Council 4319 raised several thou-
sand dollars for local college students.44
The importance of these fund-raising efforts and the role they were
expected to play in the future of Victoria's Mexican American communi-
ty were highlighted by the creation of the Cris Garcia Memorial
Scholarship Banquet in 1982. The banquet was created to preserve the
memory of Garcia, a former teacher for the Victoria Independent School
District, who after several failed attempts at promotion won a class-action
suit against the school district that opened the doors of employment for
Mexican Americans who sought professional positions within the school
district as teachers, counselors, and administrators. Unfortunately, after
the decision in the suit was announced in the summer of 1983, Garcia
suffered a heart attack in a Corpus Christi store and died.41 Long after his
death, Garcia's memory reflected the struggle for equal educational
opportunities and reminded Victoria's Mexican Americans of the need
to continue the struggle for inclusion and equality.
Council 4319 poses an interesting topic of study, aside from its activi-
ties. Scholarly discussions of LULAC have concluded that the organiza-
tion was distinctively middle class in composition and perspective. Yet
Council 4319 was comprised of both middle- and working-class members.
Moreover, the council's leadership reflected the cross-class composition
of the rank and file. Additionally, Council 4319 shared leadership posi-
tions between its male and female members; in fact, a majority of its offi-
cers were often women.46 Council 4319 represented a widespread desire
by Mexican Americans to ensure educational opportunities for their chil-
dren. While LULAC nationally was dominated by the middle class, in
Victoria it was comprised of both middle- and working-class members
who shared the same goals for Mexican Americans." This partnership
further reflects the ways in which working-class Mexican Americans in
Victoria sought to find ways to bring about changes in society without
threatening the basic structures of society, or without even threatening
the white power elite. Further, this cross-class coalition was only possible
45 Ibid.; also see Victona Advocate, Sept 15, 1983. Council 4319 had held a scholarship awards
banquet since 1981, but changed the name to honor Garcia in 1984.
41 "Fifth Annual Cris Garcia Memorial Scholarship Banquet Program," Lupe and Lupita
Hernandez personal papers, Victoria, Texas (copy in author's possession); Lupe and Lupita
Hernandez to Quiroz, Jan. 25, 1996, interview.
47 Lupe and Lupita Hernandez to Quiroz, Jan. 25, 1996, interview.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed May 27, 2015.