The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 47
Class and Consensus
argued for the creation of a new council in Victoria, number 4319, which
acted to diffuse the resources of activist Mexican Americans in the city
and to dilute the strength of Council 626.40 Additionally, the untimely
death of District X Director Roque Martinez, who had been a driving
force in Council 626, significantly contributed to the council's eventual
Rather than engaging in cooperative efforts with other minority orga-
nizations such as the NAACP or becoming involved in broader issues
such as Council 626's investigation of Care Inn South, Council 4319
sought to consolidate its efforts on concerns more immediately relevant
to the Mexican American community. The two major goals of Council
4319 were to increase voter registration and to raise money for college
scholarships.42 These activities reflected LULAC's general desire to work
within the existing social order for evolutionary change as well as its
desire for mainstream respectability. Council 4319, for example, unoffi-
cially organized its members and their friends to walk door to door
through predominantly Mexican American neighborhoods on the south
side of the city encouraging adults to register and vote. While the LULAC
constitution forbade any formal partisan activities in the name of the
organization, former Council 4319 member Lupita Hernandez recalled
that "We met with friends ... we didn't do it through LULAC ... we did
it on our own because we weren't allowed to endorse [specific candidates
or parties].""4 Thus, LULAC's presence acted as a coalescing agent for
politically minded Mexican Americans in Victoria and helped them cre-
ate a network through which they could engage in political activities. In
this way LULAC members sought to encourage Mexican Americans to
take part in the political process without officially embracing a particular
party or ideology.
While encouraging political activism within the Mexican American
community was important to the members of Council 4319, they turned
most of their attention to raising funds for college scholarships for local
Mexican American students. An early tactic for raising such funds was to
hold "midnight bingos" at the Club Westerner, a local dance hall owned
by music promoter/businessman Manuel Villafranca. Our Lady of
Sorrows held its fund-raising bingo games on Friday and Saturday
40 Rocky Martinez to Ruben Bonilla, June 14, 1978, letter, box 4, folder 11, Ruben Bonilla
Office Files, Texas State Director Papers, 1978-1978 (Benson Latin American Collection,
University of Texas at Austin).
41 LULAC: 50 Years of Serving Hsspanzcs, Golden Anniversary publication (x979), Lucille
Martinez personal papers.
11 Lupe and Lupita Hernandez to Anthony Quiroz, Jan. 25, 1996, interview (tapes in author's
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