From immigrant rights to streetlights, 13 moments that defined our 2013

From immigrant rights to streetlights, 13 moments that defined our 2013

From immigrant rights to streetlights, members, supporters and allies of La Union del Pueblo Entero made a big impact in their communities this year! Re-live the awesomeness of this year with us.

1. February | Fifty LUPE youth travel to Austin to march for immigration reform

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Many had recently received their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and were traveling outside the Valley for the first time since coming to the United States.

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2. April | 1000 people march and rally for immigration reform at LUPE's 10th Annual Cesar Chavez March -- including Grammy award-winning artist Little Joe!04_(2).jpg

More pics from the energetic march on our Facebook page, including this gem of Little Joe with the Saldaña family.

3. April | That same month, LUPE member and colonia resident Manuela Luna reads her poem to Congressman Luis Gutierrez at immigration reform rally

And the crowd goes wild.

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4. June | The Senate votes to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform! But...

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...it includes a $46 billion border surge amendment that would make the border look like a war zone. LUPE community organizer Daniel Diaz is arrested along with two organizers from El Paso's Border Network for Human Rights while protesting the inclusion of the $46 billion border surge amendment in the final version of the Senate immigration bill.

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5. August | LUPE staff and members begin 40 days of fasting and prayer against border militarization and for a path to citizenship.

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In all, around 50 immigrants and allies fast over the length of the 40-day fast chain.

6. August | Colonia mothers and children from Taurus 14 and surrounding colonias hold back-to-school press conference to shed light on the need for streetlights at Hidalgo County bus stops.

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7. September | After immigrants and residents organize, McAllen abandons plans to construct for-profit immigrant prison

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They might just be postponing it, but we'll take it as a victory for now and be ready for it if it comes back.

8. September | The community fights back against DPS' random checkpoints targeting low-income residents and colonias

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DPS Director Steve McCraw eventually admits the checkpoints were a bad idea and says they won't be used again.

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9. September | LUPE begins involvement in the new project called Land Use Colonia Housing Action (LUCHA)

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The project works with a group of colonia leaders and prepares them with the knowledge necessary to advocate around issues that impact their neighborhoods. Three months after joining the projects, these colonia residents already know more about public light than most professionals. Through their involvement with LUCHA, they'll become experts on a range of colonia-related issues.

10. September | After five years organizing with LUPE and partners in the Equal Voice Network, colonia residents whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Dolly finally receive federal disaster recovery funds.

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LUPE's own Doña Maria Gomez is one of the first colonia residents to receive a new home with the funds.

11. October | Alongside Dolores Huerta, around 300 celebrate LUPE's 10 years of work in the Valley at LUPE's 10th Anniversary Gala.

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See the beautiful pictures here and here.

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12. November | State Governor candidate Wendy Davis visits LUPE members to learn about issues impacting colonia residents.

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(LUPE Executive Director Juanita Valdez-Cox extended an invite to GOP primary frontrunner Lt. Governor Dewhurst but we have not received a reply.)

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13. December | Close to 300 immigrant members of LUPE are celebrated for achieving their US citizenship this year


At the recognition ceremony in early December, member Esther Garza makes you wonder why every immigrant doesn't get to feel the same way.

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Were you a part of one of these moments this year? Share this post on Facebook or Twitter and let your friends know!

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