Elva Castilla Reyes is a former Field Services Assistant in the Marketing Department with MESSA, the State of Michigan Education Special Services Association who retired after 30 years of service. She has held Union positions as a Negotiations Chair and President of the MESSA-SSA Support Staff Union. She is currently a Trustee for LCLAA, serves as a member of the Civil Rights for Immigrants Task Force of Action of Greater Lansing and is a LLEAD charter member. She has been involved with Lansings Cesar E. Chavez Committee in efforts to rename Grand River Avenue/ Honorary Cesar E. Chavez Avenue to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue.
Reyes discusses his career as a GM worker and union representative in this oral history interview. http://catalog.lib.msu.edu/record=b6795323~S39a
∇ Auto workers in Lansing Michigan. Reyes talks about being hired, quitting, and being hired again in April 1969 and his father's resistance to Rudy working at Fisher. He describes a variety of jobs, work on the second shift, his union activity, union community service and his passion for helping people, achieving elected office in Local 602, and the strike in 1970.
∇ Street naming: The fight for Cesar E. Chavez Avenue renaming streets can be an emotional change for some communities; not renaming them to include the history of others in the community is also problematic. Reyes discusses the history of the Chavez street naming efforts in Lansing and shares techniques for communities to utilize.
∇ The Grapes of Grand River, by Lawrence Cosentino. City Pulse, September 28, 2017 http://lansingcitypulse.com/article-15391-The-grapes-of-Grand-River.html... talks about the efforts to secure the renaming of Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and his family’s history in Lansing auto plants.
Elva Reyes, of Action of Greater Lansing and LLEAD, speaks about the July 5 assault of a Hispanic man during a press conference Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Beth LeBlanc/Lansing State Journal