Hispano Roundtable Salutes N.M. Lawmakers
The New Mexican  02/11/2003
The Hispano Roundtable of New Mexico is holding its 11th-annual tribute to Hispanic legislators beginning at 6 p.m. today at the Sweeney Convention Center.

The theme of the dinner is Cumpliendo lo Dicho, which translates as Walking the Talk. Legislators and other New Mexicans who have demonstrated commitment to practicing what they preach will be honored.

Gov. Bill Richardson will give the keynote address. No topic was announced.

State Sen. Manuel "Manny" Aragón, D-Alburquerque, will sponsor and host the organization's Flor de las Flores awards.

People honored this year:

For lifetime achievement: Aragón.

For education advocacy: Henry Casso, Felix Ortiz, Evangeline Trujillo and Charles García.

For health advocacy: state Attorney General Patricia Madrid and state Superintendent of Insurance Eric Serna.

The past HRT chairman's Walking the Talk award goes to Loretta Armenta, Ray Armenta, Lisa López, Mary Molina Mescall, Phil Martínez, Gene Hill, Smokey Sánchez-Davis, Juan José Peña and Ralph Arellanes.

The new Walking the Talk Award is modeled after the Hispano Round Table's logo and features the images of the late U.S. Sen. Dennis Chávez, D-N.M., and the late César Chávez, a labor organizer.

In announcing the new awards, the Hispano Roundtable quotes U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy from a eulogy he gave for his slain brother, Robert: "Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

"Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their brothers, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer quality than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change."

Roundtable comprises 40 member organizations representing 36,000 individuals.