Margaret Cruz, “Little Giant” always said her life was defined by the blessing and strengths she derived from her children and husband, her faith and her steadfast commitment to her community. Often referred to as a powerhouse in Northern California politics and the “matriarch” of San Francisco’s Latino community, the Mission District, Margaret Cruz has worked, in some capacity, under every president from Truman to Clinton on issues of social justice, immigration reform and political empowerment.

As a founding member of Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) in 1960 the "Little Giant", became an integral voice in the process of creating political freedom and representation for Latinos in California. In 1973 she became the first woman elected president of MAPA.

She served as a vice chair for the National Women’s Political Caucus’ Chicana Caucus and has 30 years of achievements in youth education, women’s equality, farm workers rights, immigration law and more. At 62, she became the oldest woman to graduate from Lincoln University law school.

As a result of her personal battle with breast cancer, she founded and was the director for the Margaret Cruz Latina Breast Cancer Education Foundation.

Margaret lost her battle with cancer in February, 2007.

Margaret Cruz

Her legacy to San Francisco and her beloved Mission District remains. Her chronical of activism will be featured in a publication entitled, “Mujeres de Concencia/Women of Conscience" A Book Project of Latina Women Activists created by Victoria G. Alvarado.

For more information on the book, click here.

Her collection of writings and photographs will be archived at Stanford University.

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