The Chicano Population in New Mexico became politically active in the late 19th century. In cooperation with the Populist Party, they organized El Partido del Pueblo Unido (the United People's Party) in 1890. It was the first Hispanic political party in the United States' history. In 1968, the Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres formed the Peoples Constitutional Party and ran candidates in New Mexico. It was disbanded in 1971. But perhaps the most important effort began in south Texas in 1969.
José ¡ngel Gutierrez, a native of Crystal City who helped to found the Mexican American Youth Organization, organized La Raza Unida in 1970. Gutiérrez firmly believed in the importance of education, la Raza Unida demanded better public services for Chicanos, hiring bilingual government employees, an end to job discrimination, bilingual education in public schools or a better education for migrant children.
La Raza Unida held its first convention in 1972. In addition to Gutierrez, prominent members were Corky Gonzalez, Reyes Lopez Tijerina, and César Chávez. The party became a crucial symbol of Chicano power.
Although the party did not last too long, it was dissolved in the late 1970s; it became a crucial symbol of the Chicano power and transformed the politics in the Southwest.