Olivia Cajero Bedford, ex-Tucson lawmaker, dies | Government and politics
Frances Erunez, longtime friend, owner and founder of Los Jarritos Mexican Food on South 12th Avenue, said Carmen Cajero introduced her daughter, Olivia, to her in 1980. “They were both my friends. Olivia owned a beauty salon in downtown Tucson, and she would sometimes join her mom at our family birthdays and parties,” Erunez said.
“I used to help Olivia with her campaigns. She always worked to pass laws that helped the working poor. She cared about health care and education,” Erunez said. in Los Jarritos and met and talked to people about the issues that mattered to them. She was a working class supporter.”
“She was always perfectly dressed and loved purple, and wore a purple hat. She had a purple truck that she used in her campaigns and parked it near busy streets, and stood up in bed and held campaign signs,” Erunez said with a laugh. “I was like, ‘How’s Barney?’ after the purple dinosaur.
State Representative Andres Cano remembered Bedford as “having a heart of gold”.
When he was a high school student, Cano said he met her at a community meeting for Latin American-based nonprofits and honored former governor Raúl Castro. “I was sitting next to Senator Cajero Bedford, who was wearing a full gold suit, and wondering who this woman was. She cared about public education and mentored young children to learn about their government. She has raised money to take young children to the Capitol to see what lawmakers are doing. Years later, I learned how special that person I was sitting next to was, and I was blessed to work with her in the years that followed,” Cano recalls.