A group of people gathered Saturday celebrating the life of Rosario Anaya, born in Bolivia and a long time San Francisco activist focused on issues affecting the Latino community. Anaya was 70 years old when she passed away to lung cancer on August 5. She was the executive director for the Mission Learning Vocational School, but most of all, she was a force in the Latino community who dedicated her life to improving the lives of youth, immigrants, and families, specially on their education and access to jobs.
California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Farmworkers Leader Dolores Huerta, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos were among the many elected officials, community figures, friends, and family attending the memorial mass and reception at Mission Dolores. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi also honored Rosario Anaya in Washington D.C., by including her name, contributions, and legacy in the Congressional Record, the official account of activities in the United States Congress.
Amen of the causes and victories Rosario Anaya was a key component of since the 1960s. One of the most relevant, Rosario was the First Latina elected to the San Francisco Board of Education and by default, the first Latin American woman elected to public office in the history of the City & County of San Francisco.
Santiago Ruiz, Joaquin Torres, Eva Royale, Anne Cervantes, Miguel Bustos, Frank Martin del Campo, Roberto Hernandez, Marcos and Isabel Gutierrez, Tracy Brown, Alfredo Pedroza, Osvaldo Villazon, Rosario Cervantes and many other prominent Latinos attended, many of whom had known her for years. Also in attendance was one of Rosario’s dearest friends, New America Media’s executive director Sandy Close. “I can’t believe she is gone; we met in May and she was fine,” she said.
After learning of her passing, Close posted on New America Media’s website a tribute to her friend, remembering one part of one of Anaya’s speeches: “she remarked about how leadership wasn’t about the specific things an individual did; it was about passing on the torch, from one generation to the next.”
Content by Lupita Peimbert.