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Former Phoenix Councilman Rosendo "Rosie" Gutiérrez passes away

He was the sixth Latino to serve on the city council when won election in the 1970s Rosendo "Rosie" Gutiérrez, who served on the Phoenix City Council from 1974 to 1977, passed away April 7 in Mexico, where he lived with his son after suffering a stroke in 2007. During his tenure as Phoenix city councilman, Gutiérrez, 88, championed Hispanic-owned small business opportunities, and was especially focused on seeking a fair playing field for city contracts and projects. He also sought to add affordable housing to the city’s housing stock. He was the sixth Latino city council member to serve on the Phoenix Council and was a contemporary of Calvin C. Goode, the African American council member, who passed away last December. Gutiérrez unsuccessfully ran for Phoenix Mayor in 19776 against Margaret T. Hance but he continued to be involved in Phoenix civic matters. His peers described him as an energetic person with lots of ideas. He was a civil engineer and received his engineering degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. He was born in El Paso in 1932. He moved to Arizona with his then wife, Lynn Saxon, in the 1950s. They had two sons together as Gutiérrez started a civil engineering firm. After his political career, he became an executive at the Arizona Department of Transportation. In 2000, he served on the Laveen Elementary School District Governing Board. After suffering a stroke in 2007, he moved to Mexico to live with his son Rosendo Carlos. Alfredo Gutiérrez (no relation to Rosendo), a former Arizona senator and longtime community activist, said the late councilman was focused on increasing opportunities for Hispanic entrepreneurs and encouraging young people to get educated. "He was trying to encourage young people to get professional degrees, to become lawyers and engineers," he said. "That was his major focus."

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