Arriaga, Felicita

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Interview with Felicita Arriaga

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Felicia Arriaga is a community organizer from Rosenberg, Texas. Born on May 23, 1947, Arriaga lived through and witnessed the unfair treatment of Mexican-American and Black community members in her segregated town from a young age. She witnessed unfair voting practices at the age of 12, when her mother was not allowed to vote because she did not know how to write her name. By the time she was 19, Arriaga made petitions to improve Mexican-American neighborhood roads and lighting. She also made a petition for the construction of a park named after Macario García, a WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient. Arriaga was involved in the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, canvased Mexican-American neighborhoods to increase voter participation in local elections, and ran for city council in 1979. Her voter outreach efforts and petitions to improve Mexican-American communities have helped increase Latino visibility in local politics. Arriaga has been living in the same predominantly Mexican-American community located near the Rosenberg, Texas for over 47 years.