We are saddened to learn of the passing of Gilbert de la O. His legacy will live on in the community that he grew up in and have so much to, the West Side.
Gilbert was a powerful leader and a wonderful storyteller. In a 2017 interview, he reflected on an early win working with WSCO to save the Riverview Library: “I can remember that a lot of people were mad. It seems like our community was the last to get things… there was a committee that got together to save the library…it was kind of cool. Revolution works!” You can also listen to Gilbert share his reflections about his life in an interview with the Minnesota Historical Society.
“‘To be the first Latino school board member in St. Paul, to lead in the Latino movement, to make sure people are taken care of," said Carlos Franco. ‘He's paved the way for a lot of people in this state, to make sure that we can step into places and feel confident we belong in those spaces.’
‘He always had the West Side's best interest in mind and wasn't afraid to tell anybody, they're missing out by not providing the resources needed in community, that you are not going to continue to overlook our community,’ said Franco.” – Kare11 News
We send our heartfelt condolences to Gilbert’s family, friends, and community.
Above: Gilbert (front row, seated) surrounded by friend and neighbors at the first Juneteenth celebration on the West Side in June 2021.