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

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

“The Town of Arcola is fortunate to have such a hard-working and dedicated public servant in Mayor Garza,” Comptroller Mendoza explained.

It was part of his effort to support the city’s first Mexican-American mayor.

Comptroller Mendoza added, “Celebrate this holiday by providing services, things that don’t cost taxpayers money, but will help taxpayers every day when they drive these vehicles around Arcola.”

WAND News met with Mayor Garza after he won his seat last spring.

“A lot of people support me and those kinds of moments where you say, wow,” Mayor Jesús Garza told Wand News last April.

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

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

“I have no experience in this but I have the heart to do it,” explained Mayor Garza.

Comptroller Mendoza said she has roots as the daughter of Mexican immigrants.

“I have never been more proud of the culture and heritage that my parents instilled in us from childhood,” Comptroller Mendoza said.

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So it was extra special to spend the holidays helping a fellow public servant, one who shares your heritage and pride.

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated every September 16 to commemorate Mexico’s declaration of independence from Spain in 1810.

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