Congressman Gutiérrez Opens Tour of Schools at Clemente
As the first stop on a tour of schools in his district, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez visited Roberto Clemente Community Academy on Tuesday, September 22. He engaged a group of 35 student leaders in discussing issues related to personal histories, global citizenship, civil rights and relationships with the police. Congressman Gutiérrez promoted open dialogue on these topics by introducing himself through personal narrative, focusing on the story of his parents migrating to Chicago from Puerto Rico at the height of the civil rights movement. He shared how the experiences of his youth, and hearing his mother’s pride in Rosa Park and other civil rights leaders, shaped the issues he works on today in the political arena. Students also mentioned their concerns regarding relationships with the police, and learned that these are widespread issues that the congressman hopes to address through re-envisioning the mission, vision and practices of the police academy.
After the small group discussion, Congressman Gutiérrez addressed a larger body of students from all grade-levels in Clemente’s Auditorium. He recapped his personal narrative to provide context for his interest in emigration and civil rights issues, and fielded questions from students around undocumented immigrants, his response to Donald Trump’s recent statements, and the importance of the native identity in Latin American communities. To close the event, Congressman Gutiérrez raffled off and signed five copies of his memoir, to further students’ education on these topics.