ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Willie Velasquez isn't as well-known as some other Latino activists, but a new VOCES/PBS documentary airing next week hopes to change that.
Latino Public Broadcasting's "Willie Velasquez: Your Vote Is Your Voice" aims to bring attention to the voting rights advocate who came from San Antonio's poor west side and ended up rubbing elbows with the likes of President Ronald Reagan.
Velasquez persuaded Republicans in the 1970s and '80s to reach out to Hispanics because of growing Latino voter-registration numbers. Advocates say he was responsible for helping elect a number of Latinos across the American Southwest.
Director Hector Galan says Velasquez was a key figure in developing the Latino voting bloc.
"Willie Velasquez: Your Vote Is Your Voice" begins airing on PBS stations Monday.