[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 158 (2012), Part 4]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page 5150]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]



                             HON. ED PASTOR

                               of arizona

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, April 18, 2012

  Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in 
recognizing the many achievements of Ms. Terri Cruz, my friend and a 
matriarch of the Hispanic community in Phoenix, who has advocated for 
the social well-being of thousands of Arizonans throughout her 
  On March 28, 2012, Terri was recognized with an Arizona Latina 
Trailblazer Award presented by Phoenix College Raul H. Castro Institute 
and Latino Perspectives Magazine. Such an event provided the 
opportunity to reflect on her many contributions to the Latino 
community in Phoenix and Arizona.
  More than 43 years ago, I met Ms. Cruz while she was working with the 
Migrant Opportunities Program and SER Jobs for Progress, two very 
important programs in our community. At the same time, Ms. Cruz was 
also serving as one of the founding board members of Chicanos Por La 
Causa, Inc., a nonprofit agency based in Phoenix. Today that agency 
provides social services, education, economic development, and housing 
programs throughout Arizona. Terri's known trait of serving with 
compassion, professionalism, and dignity is apparent in all areas of 
CPLC's work.
  For the past 20 plus years, Terri has worked as a social service 
provider with CPLC, the organization she helped start. Her small frame 
and friendly disposition is no match for her powerful advocacy skills, 
which has undoubtedly allowed her to effectively represent and advance 
the needs of countless Arizonans. In tribute, CPLC named one of its 
buildings for Ms. Cruz, and in 2008, she was quoted in The Arizona 
Republic as saying, ``I learned that people are what's important. If 
people need help, you help them. If you have, you share.''
  As a child of the depression era, who lost both parents by the time 
she was six, Terri understood the value of hard work and the importance 
of caring for others. When she was old enough, she began working at a 
laundry, married at the age of 15, and became a mother to eight 
children. Terri assumed the challenge of being a single parent, while 
simultaneously beginning her work as an advocate for our community, and 
the issues most important to us. Despite her limited education, Terri's 
``can do'' attitude led her to eventually pursue career opportunities 
as an office assistant, job developer, and a personnel manager.
  Ms. Cruz has also encouraged civic participation and over the past 
two decades has been one of our most reliable volunteers at my annual 
Citizenship Day event, where she assists citizenship candidates in 
preparing their application packets.
  Additionally, Ms. Cruz's leadership skills has benefited the many 
boards and commissions on which she has served. In 1985, she was 
appointed by former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt to the Nursing Care 
Institution Administrators Board, while concurrently serving as the 
National Chairman of the Hispanic Senior Citizen Foundation Board.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask that you join me in honoring Ms. Terri Cruz and 
her continued commitment and service to the people of Arizona.