ARCOLA, Ill. (WAND)- This Mexican Independence Day, state leaders are celebrating a central Illinois mayor who is also a Mexican immigrant.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza coordinated a donation, of a police car and city vehicle, from Melrose Park to Arcola.

"The town of Arcola is lucky to have such a hardworking and dedicated public servant in Mayor Garza," Comptroller Mendoza explained.

It was part of an effort to support he city's first Mexican-American mayor.

"Celebrating this holiday by bringing services, bringing things that don't cost taxpayer money- but are going to help taxpayers every day when they see those vehicles going around Arcola," Comptroller Mendoza added.

WAND News met up with Mayor Garza after winning his seat last spring.

"A lot of people support me and its kind of those moments when you say- wow," Mayor Jesus Garza told WAND News last April.

Garza came from Mexico to the United States. He worked in a broom factory with his father, before an Arcola entrepreneur took a chance on him. The man sent Garza to college to learn business and how to open up his own auto mechanic shop.

Over the years, Garza became more involved in his community- first as a businessman, and then last year as mayor.

"I don't have experience in that but I have my heart to do it- I want to do it," Mayor Garza explained.

Comptroller Mendoza said she shares similar roots, as the daughter of Mexican immigrants.

"I've never ever lost the pride in the culture and the heritage that my parents instilled in us since we were little," Comptroller Mendoza said.

So, it was extra special to spend the holiday helping a fellow public servant- who shares her heritage and pride.

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated each September 16th to remember Mexico's declaration of independence from Spain in 1810.

Copyright 2022. WANDTV. All Rights Reserved.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.