Rosa Lopez street toppers commemorate her affordable housing legacy in Los Altos

By |Published On: April 13, 2023|Categories: West Dallas|

About 30 West Dallas residents from Los Altos and community leaders gathered to honor the life and legacy of the late Rosa Lopez at the street toppers unveiling ceremony at Vecinos Unidos, Inc. on Friday, March 31. She is the first Latina, openly-gay woman in the City of Dallas to receive an honorary street topper.

Mary Lou Paras, secretary of Vecinos Unidos, speaks at the Rosa Lopez Street Toppers Unveiling Ceremony on Friday, Mar. 31, 2023. She said it was a blessing to have known and learned so much from Lopez. “Now, we’re teaching others to be their own advocate, speak up for themselves and know the lay of the land at City Hall,” she said. Photo by Jeffrey Ruiz

Mary Velez, chair of Vecinos Unidos, says the Lopez toppers will be a reminder of her work in the community to improve the quality of living and empower neighbors to be aspiring small business owners or local artists. Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Omar Narvaez, who represents West Dallas as the District 6 councilmember, credits Lopez’s advocacy work for creating today’s highest percentage of home ownership in 75212 — higher than the city’s average of 41 percent. In West Dallas’ 75212 ZIP code, 62 percent of residents are homeowners, according to the ZIP Code Tabulation Area from the Census Bureau. Carmen Ayala, a representative of Texas Representative Jasmine Crockett’s office, also recognized Vecinos Unidos, a community-led advocacy group, with an award commemorating Lopez’s community work.

Ronnie Mestas, the co-chair of Vecinos Unidos, recognizes several community leaders that learned from Rosa Lopez’s advocacy work at the Street Toppers Unveiling Ceremony on Friday, Mar. 31, 2023. Photo by Jeffrey Ruiz

All the attendees counted down on the street corner of North Winnetka Avenue and Vecinos Boulevard to reveal the first of eight street toppers in the Los Altos neighborhood. Afterward, everyone celebrated in Vecinos Unidos’s building for a reception with Lopez’s advocacy work displayed throughout the room to look back at her community impact.

West Dallas residents and community leaders remember the legacy of Rosa Lopez as they photograph and look at the first honorary street topper installed at the corner of North Winnetka Avenue and Vecinos Boulevard on Friday, Mar. 31, 2023. Photo by Jeffrey Ruiz

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About the Author: Jeffrey Ruiz

Jeffrey Ruiz is a Dallas native who focuses on government accountability in his South Dallas and West Dallas reporting as a Report for America corps member. His journalist expertise lies in covering immigrants, the transgender community, the Latino community, poverty and the unhoused. He also enjoys diving into religion and its influence in the community. When asked why Ruiz chose to write for Dallas Free Press, he says, “Being a part of a local newsroom that serves the community in any way possible with the readers’ best interest in mind is where I always dreamed of being a journalist. I look forward to the day I start writing news stories in Spanish to be translated into English.” When Ruiz needs a break, you can find him enjoying lunch at his favorite go-to spots: La Tacotrona and Locura Small Bites.

Official Title:

Report for America Corps Member