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El Super Mex, Benito Lucio Jr., continues his community involvement in Columbus

By Alan Abrams, La Prensa Senior Correspondent, Part Two of a Two-Part Series


Om April 11, 2008, we published an article in La Prensa concerning Benito Lucio and his involvement in Latino radio programming at WBGU 88.1FM, Bowling Green State University, commencing in 1978.


Benito Lucio Jr.

You may remember him as El Super Mex.  He was born in San Benito, Texas to parents who were migrant farmworkers in Montana, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. As a child, he and his family lived for eight years in a migrant camp. He has never forgotten his roots.


In 1984, Lucio moved to Columbus to work for the state of Ohio, but he continued to drive up to BGSU to do the radio show.  “I did it for 11 more years.  I never got paid. It was my way of putting back into the community,” Lucio told this reporter.


But that wasn’t his only legacy at BGSU. Lucio established a Hispanic Scholarship Fund and hosted the first Hispanic Issues Conference in 1978 that brought the top Latino leadership in the country (José Angel Gutiérrez and Reyes López Tijerina) to the campus. 


That same year, Lucio was instrumental in establishing residency rules for migrant workers in Ohio.  BGSU recognized his efforts along with support from Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), and established residency rules under the Ohio Board of Regents.


Today, in Columbus, El Super Mex is host of a talk and Latino music show on 1550 AM in Columbus. The show features interviews with representatives of government agencies and others who serve the community. He provides valuable information to the community on such vital issues as how to apply for child support, the importance of voting, income taxes, government laws and regulations, employment opportunities, dealing with domestic violence and other topics of concern.


 Just this month, he began hosting a weekly community TV show, Punto de Contacto (Point of Contact) on Channel 48, Azteca America, which is televised in Columbus at 9 AM every Sunday. The station hopes to syndicate the show throughout the state. Like Lucio’s radio show, Punto de Contacto is a primetime approach to advocacy.


But there is much more to Lucio than just his radio and television persona.


He began his public service career in 1981 when he was elected Chairman of the Board of the Ohio Hispanic Institute of Opportunities, Inc. This was a non-profit multi-million dollar supportive services agency for migrant farm workers and the Latino community.


Lucio’s work came to the attention of the state of Ohio, and in 1984 he was hired as the first State Migrant Agricultural Ombudsman.  In 1995 he was promoted to Monitor Advocate/Ombudsman for the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, a program designed to meet the needs of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their employers.  Lucio was the first in the nation to create an agricultural Web site for migrant farm workers, and established a migrant housing program to improve the housing of migrant workers in Ohio.


He helped in the promotion of ITIN’s for immigrants, and was the first to host the Mexican Consulate in Columbus in 2000.


Lucio is the former Board President and Secretary of the Board of Directors for Material Assistance Providers, Inc., the state’s only free furniture bank.  He is president of the Hispanic Society of Central Ohio, Inc., a local non-profit Latino organization that has provided more than $50,000 in scholarships to Hispanic college students in Central Ohio. 


His work has earned him recognition. Lucio was named Government Advocate of the Year in 2004 by the Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and received the Padrino Award in 2006 from the Ohio Hispanic Coalition.


He is a member and active participant in Shaddai Pentacostal Church, St. Stephen Catholic Church, and Christ the King Catholic Church. Lucio still finds time to volunteer one day a week teaching ESL to the Hispanic community. He also hopes to complete his degree at Ohio State University.


La familia is very important to Lucio, who is the single father of two girls. Tiffany, 20, is a junior at OSU, and Adriana, 3, is described by her father as “a politician in training.”


His parents, Cpl. Benito Lucio, Sr., and Bernardina Lucio, have been married for 54 years. They live in San Benito, Texas.


Benito Lucio, Sr., served in the Korean War, and two of his sons have made careers in the U.S. military serving their country.


Sgt. Ruben Lucio, US Air Force Retired, did three tours in Iraq. His brother, Sgt. Miguel Lucio, a US Army Green Beret, is a 20-year veteran who has reenlisted for five more years. Currently stationed in Qatar, he served four to8urs of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Benito also has four sisters: Anna María Lucio Cruz is an Education Specialist for the University of Texas; Belinda Lucio Morales is a teacher in the Houston area; Cindy Lucio teaches Special Education in the San Benito School District, and Yolanda Lucio is a hospital administrator in Harlingen, Texas.


 “My parents did very well, not bad for a migrant farmworker family that came to Ohio to pick crops for ten years,” says Lucio.


But we saved the best news for last.  We may not have heard the last of El Super Mex on Northwest Ohio radio.


“I’m seriously thinking about approaching President Sidney Ribeau at BGSU about doing a two-day reunion of the WBGU show with all the original DJs,” says Lucio.


If it happens, it will be another example of how Lucio continues to put back into the community for all the support that others before him gave in making him the person that he is today.


PART 1:  1978: When BGSU met Latino music, at WBGU 88.1FM





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