CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — One Mexican community leader in Chicago shared what she said City leaders can learn from a Mexican Independence Day weekend filled with Mexican pride, caravans and lots of traffic.
“I understand the Mexicanos that are doing this,” said Teresa Fraga, with the Mexican Cultural Committee of Chicago. “I just don't understand the way they're doing it.”
Fraga said while she doesn’t completely agree with the caravan celebrations over the weekend, none of the revelers were actually doing anything wrong.
“It is not being taken over to dance on top of the cars of others,” she said. “It's not taken over to break windows; it is not taken over to destroy; it is taken over because of a celebration.”
The weekend's festivities could be a learning moment for city officials, Fraga said. She urged them to collaborate with residents and community organizations like hers.
Fraga said the Mexican Cultural Committee of Chicago was prepared to work with Chicago to help make the downtown festivities an organized celebration, which she added was how things worked in years’ past.
Specifically, Fraga said the City and the Chicago Police Department failed to communicate sufficiently about road closures.
“When we don't hear from the top of the police department and we don't hear a message from the mayor's office about how they're going to handle this, then it's a free for all,” she said.
Fraga, though, said she does applaud the festivities in one way:
“It is telling the city of Chicago that Mexicans celebrate their independence, and wherever there's a Mexican in the United States and in other countries, there is a celebration.”