San Antonio labor leader Emma Tenayuca is honored
A Southtown street is set to get a new name in honor of the late Emma Tenayuca, San Antonio's iconic labor and civil rights activist.
Driving the news: The City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday to designate Cevallos Street between I-35 and Probandt Street as Emma Tenayuca Memorial Way. It will not require any address changes.
Why it matters: Tenayuca is now lauded by labor-friendly politicians, but it wasn't always that way.
Context: She is known for leading the 1938 pecan shellers' strike. The workers were largely Mexican American women who dealt with low wages and poor working conditions.
- Former Mayor Charles Kennon Quin sent police to break up picket lines with tear gas and clubs, per the National Park Service. Tenayuca's connection to the Communist Party also made her a target.
Flashback: In 2021, a St. Mary's University student organized a failed push to rename a different Southtown street after Tenayuca, per MySA.com.
- A petition asked the council to consider renaming Beauregard Street, named after Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard.
What they're saying: "We have the opportunity as a City to honor one of San Antonio's very own labor and civil rights champions in Emma Tenayuca," West Side Councilmember Teri Castillo tells Axios in a statement. "While she was initially shunned from San Antonio after the pecan shellers’ strike, her passion and vision rings true for working people today."
What's next: On Saturday, Castillo's District 5 will host a celebration to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the pecan shellers' strike. Join from 3-5pm at Cassiano Park.
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