Angelina María de los Angeles Aguilar Yates fue una fuerza poderosa al servicio de las necesidades de las personas de edad avanzada en San José. Durante sus tres periodos como miembro de la Asamblea de la Legislatura para Personas de Edad Avanzada del Estado de California, participó como delegada en la Conferencia sobre Ancianidad, efectuada en la Casa Blanca, en Washington D.C., en 1981, para defender la legislación que afectaba a los ancianos.
Durante su segundo término, como miembro en 1984, inició una propuesta bajo la Legislatura para personas de edad avanzada, y por medio del Asambleísta Dominic Cortese, presentó esta medida a la Legislatura Estatal, la cual fue aprobada, como la Resolución Coexistente No. 46. También se la conoce como Servicios para el Cuidado de Salud, resolución que proclamó el año 1986 como “Año de la Salud para Personas de Edad Avanzada”, por la cual médicos voluntarios dieron exámenes de salud en todos los centros para personas mayores. En esa época, Yates fue la primer miembro de la Legislatura para Personas Mayores, en alcanzar la aprobación de una propuesta en el Condado de Santa Clara.
En su calidad de miembro de la Asamblea representando a personas mayores, asistía año tras año, durante una semana, a las sesiones del mes de octure en Sacramento para desarrollar, discutir y aprobar propuestas que afectaban en esos años a los ancianos.
En mayo de 1988, se la eligió Vicepresidenta de la Mesa Directiva para el Centro de Desarrollo para la Independencia del Adulto.
Su esposo fue veterano de las Fuerzas Aéreas de los Estados Unidos. Ellos tuvieron tres hijos y en la época de esta entrevista tenían cuatro nietos y una nieta. Su esposo fue descendiente irlandés-inglés, mientras que ella era de descendencia española-francesa e indígena. Sobre su labor voluntaria, Angelina Yates comentaba: “En mi trabajo he encontrado ancianos dispuestos a realizar cambios en sus vidas. Solamente necesitan que se les ofrezca esa oportunidad”.
En 1981, en la Primera Legislatura de Personas Mayores de California, Angelina se convirtió en la primera mujer méxico-americana en tomar un puesto en la Asamblea representando a las personas de edad avanzada.
Yates nació en Del Río, Texas el 18 de mayo de 1919 y llegó a radicarse en San José en 1963 y diez años más tarde se envolvió en muchas actividades, dando su tiempo y esfuerzo a la comunidad, falleció el 21 de noviembre de 1994.
LaAngelina Yates fue:
Miembro de la Mesa Directiva de:
También estuvo envuelta en:
Además, Angelina Yates recibió reconocimientos, placas y resoluciones. En 1987 recibió una beca para asistir a la Universidad Estatal de San José, por su trabajo como voluntaria. Este premio le fue concecido por la oficina de AARP, de Washington, D.C.
En 1986, Angelina Aguilar Yates fue elegida para el Salón de la Fama de Personas Mayores.
Angelina Yates was a very strong force in serving the needs of seniors in San José. During her three terms as Senior Assemblywoman of the California Legislature, she went on as a delegate to the 1981 White House Conference on Aging in Washington, D.C. to advocate for senior legislature.
During her second term as a Senior Assemblywoman in 1984, she authored a proposal under Senior Legislature and through Assemblyman Dominic Cortese presented this measure to the State Legislature. This measure was passed, called Assembly Current Resolution No. 46. This measure is also known as Health Care Services, a resolution which proclaimed 1986 as Senior Health Year, through which volunteer doctors were providing health screening at all Senior Citizens Centers. Yates at that time was the first member of the Senior Legislature to have a proposal passed in Santa Clara County.
As a Senior Assemblywoman she use to go every year to Sacramento to the October session for a week to develop, debate, and pass proposals for our seniors.
In 1981 at the First California Senior Legislature, Angelina Yates became the first Mexican-American woman in California to sit on the Senior Assembly.
Yates came originally from Del Río, Texas, in 1963. Her volunteer work started ten years later and at the same time she was involved in many activities:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
In addition, Yates received many awards, commendations, and resolutions.
For he volunteer hours, she was awarded a scholarship in 1987 to attend for one-week San Jose State University. This award was given by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), from the Washington D.C. office.
In 1986 she was selected to the Senior Hall of Fame an in 1987 after being nominated for the Human Relations award for four years, and receiving the highest award in 1983, she received a Special Award.
She was also nominated to the Women of Achievement Award in 19878, she became member of the Community Advisory Group of Chavoya Clinic and was Elected for the third term as a Senior Assemblywoman to the California Senior Legislature. Another of her proposals passed, Para Transit Funding (Transportation for seniors and disabled persons).
On May 1988 she was selected as Vice-President of the Adult Independence Development Center Board of Directors.
Her husband was a retired veteran for the U.S. Air Force. They had three children a several grandchildren. Her husband was of Irish English descent and she was Spanish-French and Indian.
At the time of this interview she said, “In my work, I have found many elderly who are willing to make changes in their lives if they are given the opportunity.”
A Profile: Community advocate Angelina Aguilar Yates
By Yolanda Reynolds
Some people retire to the golf course, the television set, or a table at Reno; but Angelina Aguilar Yates, in retirement, became an energetic and effective community advocate.
Angelina has lived in Santa Clara County since 1964. She was born the youngest of eleven children and grew up in Del Rio, Texas. Her parents emigrated from San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico in 1912 during the Mexican Revolution.
In searching for words to describe Angelina; the first that come to mind are perseverance, commitment, intelligence and common sense. Angelina attributes her drive and commitment to her mothers’ example and advice, and to her own personal experiences as a youth in Del Rio.
She encountered much discrimination in Del Río, not only within the schools but in the community in which Mexican-Americans were segregated in one part of town. Because of that experience, Angelina says her “one desire in life was to prove to the world that we (Mexican-Americans) were humans with intelligence, creativity, and artistic ability like all other people.”
Her mother and father did not have the privilege of acquiring a formal education. Her mother so wanted to read the Bible and the biography of the Mexican priest martyr, Pedro Pro, (now canonized by the Catholic Church) that she taught herself how to read.
Señora Aguilar, Angelina’s mother, was passionate about the value of education. Angelina followed her mother’s advice. Almost every school day, Angelina studied her math, English, and other high school subjects until 1 and 2 a.m. in the morning. In 1940, at age seventeen, she was the only Mexican-American female in the graduating class. Angelina could have graduated earlier but a three years bout with malaria slowed her progress in school.
It’s not easy to get Angelina to talk about herself because, like her mother, she is passionate about the causes she has embraced. Her primary interests are Senior and handicapped issues, Parks and Recreation opportunities and activities for the youth.
Angelina is the first and only Mexican-American woman to serve on the Senior Assembly. This group of senior assembly-persons is made up of nonpartisan volunteers whose California “Senior Legislature” is modeled after the California State Legislature. This Assembly was created by the State Legislature to serve as advocates for senior legislation. The Assembly is funded by voluntary contributions to the “California Fund for Senior Citizens” on the State Income Tax Return.
Angelina was elected to the Senior Assembly in 1981, when it was founded. She now is the last charter member still serving on the Assembly.
Two of Angelina’s legislative proposals have become state priorities. This is no small accomplishment. When the Senior Legislature meets in session, the Assembly will consider around 133 senior legislative proposals, of which ten will be chosen as top priority within the State and four will be selected for top priority at the Federal level.
Those legislative proposals selected as top priority are then shepherded through the State Legislature to become statutes.
It was Angelina who advocated Adult Day Health Care. In 1984, Senator Henry Mello (D) Monterey, carried the legislation that mandated Adult Health Care (ADHC) statewide. This legislation provided the start-up funds to create licensed adult day health care. For more information on this program and other senior and referral programs call (408) 243-8570 or (800) 255-9333 or TYY (for the hearing impaired) (408) 243-8866. The Senior Citizen Information Center is located at 1030 So. Winchester Blvd., Suite 100, San José.
There is such demand for adult day health care that there is a long waiting list of applicants wishing to participate in the program. For the housebound and frail an opportunity to get out, socialize, receive special therapy, learn a new skill greatly improves the quality of their life.
In 1986, Assemblyman Dominic Cortese (D) Santa Clara county carried another proposal advocated by Angelina, this was in terms on the legislation the “establishment of a statewide preventive health screening program for senior citizens and assistance for volunteers encouraged wherever possible in order to provide preventive health screening for senior citizens, with the program to take in to consideration the special needs of minority seniors.”
In San Jose, Angelina was involved in bringing about the expansion of the Hillview Community Center (now Hank Lopez Community Center). The expansion was needed to provide the nearby community with more courses and classroom space at the Center.
She was also involved in the establishment of a Senior Center en East San Jose. In 1983, she was the one of the three persons, along with Bishop Pierre Du Maine and Helen Hansen, to officiate at the ground breaking of the Eastside Senior Center, which was established by the Catholic Social Services.
In 1981, Angelina was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in Washington D.C., one of the highlight in her volunteer career. Angelina’s greatest disappointment has been her inability in all of these years to see the construction of a recreational center for eastside youth. Reflecting on the recent news release that the City of San Jose has discovered a $12.7 million surplus, Angelina stated that “If they (the City officials) want to stop substance abuse the City needs to use some of that money in creating more recreational activities for Eastside youth.”
Currently Angelina is advocating for “respite care for care givers.” Such support would lighten the burden for those giving care to the housebound, frail, and seriously ill.
Other subjects that receive her continued attention and are high on her agenda are; nursing home abuse, the transportation needs of the disabled and blind, and educational and leisure time activities for youth.
In August of this year, Santa Clara county Board Supervisor, Ron Gonzales appointed Angelina to the County’s Ad Hoc Committee For The Disabled. Her term on the committee ends June 30, 1990. This committee is comprised of disabled elderly citizens who advise the Transit District on how best to improve the usefulness and access existing and planned transit service in the County by disabled and blind persons.
Angelina herself has become disabled. She took an early retirement in 1980 because of arthritis. The disease has now progressed to the point that for most of these last several years, Angelina has been bound to the wheelchair.
She lives with her one remaining sibling, a sister, in East San Jose. Her husband died ten years ago. Angelina has three grown children living nearby. Angelina Aguilar Yates can be reached by contacting the Santa Clara County Council on Aging. She strongly feels that more and more voices like hers must be heard in the forums held by the policy and decision makers, both locally and statewide.
Angelina is indeed a special lady. That she has touched the life of so many is evidenced in the many honors bestowed upon her. One wall in her living room is covered with awards of honor. She has received so many commendations that not all can be on display.