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  EN LA VIDA

Neena Hemmady Remembers Gerardo Montemayor
2003-08-01

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Gerardo Montemayor was a true inspiration for me. I learned so much from his ability to take something seemingly ordinary, and through thoughtful and strategic action, make significant change. For example, he went into the Corner Bakery for lunch - and while most who go in Corner Bakery would go in and out as quickly as possible, Gerardo noticed that the restaurant was not wheelchair accessible. He immediately went to the manager, who gave him a luke-warm response. Gerardo decided to take this on—and asked fellow activists to call the manager and pressure the chain to make their restaurants accessible. He kept up with them—until they gave him some promise of amending the problem.

Gerardo also made sure that whenever he spoke or trained, that the money he made be donated to the Crossroads Fund to support progressive social change.

He worked for Rape Victim Advocates to stop sexual assault —and raised the issue in the LGBT community when not enough people were talking about it. He was a tireless fighter for justice in this world, and a fierce ally who could always be counted on. We have lost a true friend and supporter, but he has taught so many people his gifts, and his legacy of taking ownership and action will go on undoubtedly in this city and beyond.


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