Recently the Madison community lost Juan José López, a longtime community leader. The Madison Common Council and I remembered him with an honoring resolution last week. The text of that resolution is below.

Recognizing, honoring and commemorating the life and legacy of Juan José López

WHEREAS, Juan José López was born in San Antonio, Texas on May 31, 1959, and passed away on June 6, 2023, at the age of 64 in Madison, Wisconsin; and

WHEREAS, Juan José came to Madison in 1977 as a University of Wisconsin-Madison freshman and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work; and,

WHEREAS, over the course of his career, Juan José served as the Executive Director at Briarpatch, Inc.; Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County; Director of Public Policy and External Relations for the Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce; aide to Wisconsin Governor Anthony S. Earl; Policy & Planning Analyst for the Office of the Attorney General Peggy A. Lautenschlager; and Section Chief in the Bureau of Job Service in the Division of Employment & Training of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; and,

WHEREAS, Juan José served on countless community organization boards, including the Latino Academy of Workforce Development; the Kids Fund; the Kids Fund’s Youth Development Committee; One City Schools Foundation; Nuestro Mundo Community School; the Latino Professional Association of Greater Madison; the Latino Support Network (LaSup); the Board of Directors of United Migrant Opportunity Services; the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County; and the Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce. He served as President or Chair on many of the boards and was a founding member of several of the organizations; and,

WHEREAS, Juan José co-founded Adelante Madison, an organization that is centered on recruiting and raining diverse candidates to run in local elections; and,

WHEREAS, Juan José served as a mentor for many Latina and Latino professionals; and,

WHEREAS, Juan José was elected to the first of three consecutive terms on the Madison School Board in 1994, becoming the Board’s first Latino member and serving a total of 12 years; and,

WHEREAS, during his tenure on the Madison School Board, Juan José championed many difficult issues, including hiring more teachers of color; advocating for dual-language instruction; and pushing for alternative programs for students needing additional support and encouragement; and,

WHEREAS, Juan José was a longtime and passionate activist not only for the Latino community, but also for the Hmong and Black communities; and,

WHEREAS, Juan José held a special place in his heart for youth, and he dedicated his life to advocating not only for Latinx students, but also for those students who are LGBTQ+, homeless, poor and have disabilities; and,

WHEREAS, Juan José will always be remembered for his devotion to advancing the rights and well-being of Latinos and the Madison community, his unfaltering honesty, and his ability to build community with everyone around him;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and Common Council recognize, honor and commemorate the life and legacy of Juan José López.

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