From his humble beginnings as an organizer of farmworker families, Dionicio Morales, who died Sept. 24 at 89, clearly defined how the Mexican-American community must work together in order to take full advantage of this great nation. He founded the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in East Los Angeles to empower Mexican Americans to get better jobs, a better education and better opportunities for themselves and their families.
Dionicio would not let anything stand in his way. He even called on President John F. Kennedy to come and witness our community's needs firsthand and to help bring federal programs into East Los Angeles. He was told to call the Mexican Embassy instead; he did.
The people respected Dionicio because he always respected them. He leaves behind a legacy of great optimism for the Mexican-American community. In his final years, he felt insulted by the onslaught of attacks on Mexicans by anti-immigrant bashers. But he stood firm in his belief that we would be strong enough to endure the attacks and would continue to make great contributions to this wonderful nation that he loved. Vaya con Dios, Don Dionicio.
Molina is the Los Angeles County District 1 Supervisor