McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — A South Texas state senator has been given a rare Lifetime Achievement Award from LULAC, the oldest organization founded to promote civil rights for Mexican-Americans.
Texas State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, a Democrat from the border town of Laredo, was presented the award last month by the League of United Latin American Citizen’s Laredo Chapter for her tireless work ethic and improvements to statewide communication, education, business and public service, her office said in a statement.
This is only the second time in its 90-year history LULAC has bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Senator Zaffirini is a beloved and deeply respected member of the Laredo community who has made innumerable contributions to our city throughout her illustrious career,” Laredo’s LULAC Council 12 President Camilla Sosa said. “She is a true Laredo treasure, and LULAC Council 12 is honored to present her with an award highlighting her many accomplishments as an Hispanic leader.”
Zaffirini was the first Hispanic female ever elected to the Texas Senate. She has served since 1987 and is the second-highest-ranking state senator, and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator in Texas, her office said.
She also holds the unique nationwide title of having never missed a vote in her time in office — having cast 64,330 consecutive votes since 1987, her office said.
Over the years, Zaffirini has been given over 1,000 awards, including named to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame; Mr. South Texas by the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association; and given the honorary nun title of Sister Judith by the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Ministries.
But she said LULAC is an organization that has always stood for the civil rights of Hispanics and this award is a significant honor.
“As the oldest organization founded to promote civil rights for Mexican Americans, LULAC has shaped our nation and our state for the better. Laredo’s Council 12 is highly respected in our community and statewide, and its leadership in promoting education and civic engagement is critical,” Zaffirini said. “I was delighted to receive this award from Laredo’s LULAC Council 12.”