A Distinct Identity
In 1967, an informal meeting was held in Washington D.C by thirteen Hispanic-American men. As one participant, Francisco Vega, later recalled: “… the meeting came about by word of mouth… we were from Florida, California, Texas, New Jersey, Michigan, and several other states….” The purpose of the gathering was to discuss how they could increase political involvement in the Hispanic community.
Although all of men intimated some kind of affiliation with the Democrats, none of them felt especially attached to any political party. Having had their offers to organize some kind of Hispanic outreach rebuffed by both the Democratic and Republican Party’s national offices, the dejected group returned to their hotel.
Eventually, the gathering dwindled down to five: Ben Fernandez, Manuel Lujan, Fernando Oaxaca, Martin Castillo, and Vega. These last attendees continued to talk, bonded over their common World War II service, political ideologies, and eventually, formed the Republican National Hispanic Council. Fernandez was selected as its first president.
The next year, the name of the organization was changed to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly with Fernandez taking up the title of National Chairman. Without formal acknowledgment from the Republican Party, the group immediately began to organize chapters in their home and surrounding states. They also managed to raise more than $400,000 by the end of 1968 which they presented to astonished Party officials. Relations between the two political entities soon warmed considerably.
- To be the nexus of Conservative Values and the Hispanic-American culture in Texas.
- To finally communicate with Texas Hispanic voters, why Conservatives vote the way they do.
- To recruit and encourage qualified Americans, with Conservative values, to seek office at all levels of government.
- To ensure candidates who represent the true values of the Republican Party are elected to office.
- To adopt resolutions and policy positions on local, state and national issues. Then seek to implement these resolutions and policy positions through relationships and coalitions.
- To promote and encourage civic participation.
- To impact our local communities in Texas thorough outreach, and building coalitions with local non-profit organizations.