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Houston activist Maria Jimenez dies at 70

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HOUSTON – Longtime Houston activist Maria Jimenez has died at the age 70.

Jimenez was known for fighting for the rights of women, minorities and immigration reform in the Houston area.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo mourned Jimenez Thursday, saying she was a mentor to her and a tireless leader.

“Devastated at the passing of Maria Jimenez,” Hidalgo tweeted. “She was a compassionate and tireless leader, fighting for the most vulnerable, especially immigrants. She was a mentor to me and one of the first people to support me in running for county judge. Rest in power.”

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia said she has known Jimenez since the 1970s and has been friends since. Garcia said she will always remember her friend as a fighter for immigration rights and reform.

Garcia issued the following statement:

“I have known Maria ever since I moved to the Houston region in the 70s, and she was always a fighter for women, minorities, and immigrants. She had a big heart and was motivated to do what was right in the fight for justice.”

“Most notably, Maria was fighting for comprehensive immigration reform and immigrant rights since the 80s, well before many other leaders and groups started talking about the issue. Maria would always say, ‘We are going to go and we’re going to protest. It doesn’t matter if it is just me and you. It is important for us to speak up and for people to know we are fighting.’ This has always stuck with me, and it beautifully captures her commitment to fairness, justice, and equality. It is now on us to continue her legacy. I will miss my dear friend. May she rest in peace.”


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