Celebrating Rick Cardenas on the occasion of his 75th birthday, and recognizing his extraordinary contributions toward a better Saint Paul.
WHEREAS, Rick Cardenas is a tireless advocate for social change and champion of human rights in Saint Paul; and
WHEREAS, Rick has been a grassroots organizer since age 17, when he broke his neck in an auto accident; and
WHEREAS, he has worked continually to achieve change and progress that has made a big difference in people's lives; and
WHEREAS, in his early days of activism he demonstrated for the rights of farm workers and could be found picketing at grocery stores throughout the Twin Cities advocating for better working conditions and living wages for Mexican farm workers; and
WHEREAS, during early transit strikes he fought to ensure access to public transportation for those who are elderly and disabled, which has led to his ongoing vigilance in support of access, curb cuts and most recently the "Cardenas Connection" elevator which allows access from street level transportation to the skyway system; and
WHEREAS, Rick has acted on behalf of voting rights and access to the polls, ensuring that all polling places are accessible and assistance is in place as needed; and
WHEREAS, Rick has paid constant vigilance to home care issues, especially as it relates to the needs of people with disabilities, most recently working to implement increased wages for personal care attendants (PCAs); and
WHEREAS, at Advocating Change Together (ACT), he worked together with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities to empower them with the tools to seek power through the political process; and
WHEREAS, he also worked with ACT on the "Remembering With Dignity" project which puts a name on cemetery headstones for those who died while they were institutionalized in Minnesota and upon death given only a number, and
WHEREAS, one of his current projects is working with a committee ensuring that people with disabilities receive services in integrated settings to reduce the reliance on group homes; and
WHEREAS, he is a founding member of Saint Paul Strong, a nonpartisan community organization dedicated to fostering openness and transparency in city government; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that Saint Paul City Council honors Rick Cardenas for his extraordinary and lifelong commitment to transform the public sphere in Saint Paul and to build a better, more humane and beautiful city for all; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the City Council of the City of Saint Paul declares Wednesday, February 22, 2017, to be Rick Cardenas Day in the City of Saint Paul.