Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
TRIBUTE TO MRS. ISABEL MENDEZ
(Extensions of Remarks - January 21, 1997)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E103] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] TRIBUTE TO MRS. ISABEL MENDEZ ______ HON. JOSE E. SERRANO of new york in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 21, 1997 Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to an outstanding Puerto Rican woman, Mrs. Isabel Mendez, who has dedicated her life to taking care of others, especially Hispanics in New York City. Mrs. Mendez was honored by the House of Puerto Rican Cultural Heritage, known as ``La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriquena,'' on January 11 in New York City for her longtime commitment to the advancement of the Hispanic community. She was born in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. In 1926, at the age of 17, she came to New York City. Since her arrival, she has fought every day to improve the living conditions of Hispanics and has helped them overcome the difficulties that are a part of the experience of immigrating to a new land. In 1932, Mrs. Mendez was instrumental in founding the first Hispanic Catholic Church, ``La Milagrosa Church,'' in El Barrio, east Harlem. Together with her husband, Tony Mendez, who was the first Puerto Rican male district leader of the Democratic Party, she fought tirelessly for the welfare of Hispanics in the city. In 1950, she founded the Puerto Rican Association of Women Voters, which is still in existence. Through this organization she assisted in furthering the advancement of Puerto Rican women. Mrs. Mendez also served as an interpreter for 24 years, first as a volunteer and later on as an employee, at the New York City civil court. Through her community activism, she has helped to ease the road for those who have come after and who have embraced New York City as their new home. She is the widow of Tony Mendez and the mother-in-law of State Senator Olga A. Mendez. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Mrs. Isabel Mendez for her devotion to our community and for making all of us Puerto Ricans and fellow Americans proud. ____________________