A legacy and a pledge

May 1 is a symbolic day of struggle and international solidarity among all the workers of the world. It is also the day I was born.

On a May Day morning, 26 years ago, my parents, along with various activists, were preparing to lead a workers rights and solidarity march through the streets of the Pilsen community in Chicago. As they were about to leave our house my mother, Lupe Lozano, started to go into labor. Although my father, Rudy Lozano, was one of the main organizers and leaders of the event, my mom insisted that they go straight to the hospital. As she was being prepared for delivery, my father was nowhere in sight. At about the same time I came into the world, my father was leading a march in the name of social justice, peace and equality for all working class people.

My mom has shared this story with me over the years. She continues to express that she and my father always wished for a May Day baby. I guess their wish came true.

Every year I feel that I was born into a worldwide movement whose historical progress and revolutionary destiny could not pause even for the gift of life. As I celebrate my 26th birthday, I also celebrate the life and legacy of my father, and the strength, courage and love my mom continues to share with me and my brothers. Together we have come very far and together we will make a difference. Our unity, commitment and dedication to socialism is real justice for Rudy Lozano.

Pepe Lozano is a leader of the Chicago Young Communist League and can be reached at pepelozano43@onebox.com. His parents,

Rudy and Lupe, were leaders in the movements for political independence, labor and immigrants rights. Rudy, an organizer with the

International Ladies Garment Workers Union, was an aldermanic

candidate and key figure in the hard-fought 1983 election campaign of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African American mayor. Rudy was assassinated shortly after Washington’s election, leaving a family and community grieving but determinedly carrying on his struggles.