In Memory of Ronnie Lopez
24th Aug 2020
With a heavy heart, we say goodbye to Ronnie Lopez, former President of Chicanos Por La Causa. His lifetime of achievements and political influence will have a positive impact on Arizona for generations.
Ronnie Lopez led CPLC through some of our defining early moments, including the 1970 Phoenix Union High School walkout and the 1972 recall campaign of Governor Jack Williams and subsequent voter registration drive that led to the election of Arizona’s first Latino governor, Raúl Castro. During Ronnie’s Leadership, Cesar Chavez performed a 21-day fast and Dolores Huerta coined the phrase “Sí, se puede” at the Santa Rita Center, CPLC’s headquarters at the time.
A native of Miami, Arizona, Ronnie moved to Phoenix in the mid-1960s when he was 20 and became politically active, fighting against discrimination.
After he left CPLC in 1974, Ronnie’s accomplishments continued as he served as chief of staff and executive assistant to Governor Bruce Babbitt, after which he founded his own public relations firm. Ronnie was elected as Justice of the Peace for West Phoenix Precinct; a field representative for the Arizona Civil Rights Commission; and a powerhouse consultant and confidant in Democratic politics for decades.
In 1999, Ronnie was selected as “Executive of the Year” by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and in 2006, he was named to the Valle Del Sol’s Profiles of Success Hall of Fame.
In 2008, the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation created “The Ronnie Lopez Leading with Heart Award” to honor individuals who have demonstrated “the same selfless and passionate commitment that Ronnie has for the Maricopa Community Colleges.”
Ronnie was recently featured in a PBS documentary about CPLC. If you would like to view his inspirational message, please click here. Ronnie’s portion is at 48:21 minutes. (Tissues recommended)
Ronnie passed away on Monday at age 73. He is survived by his wife, Angie, and his son, Marcos, and leaves behind nearly as many accomplishments as friends and admirers. Ronnie will be dearly missed by the CPLC Familia, and his family will remain in our prayers.