Rodriguez and Diaz, longtime Latino activists, knew that presenting a positive image was essential to influencing leaders in Washington.
"They said if we're going to go there, go in peace," said Rafael Tapia, a 29-year-old from Mexico who participated in Saturday's rally.
Not wanting to appear divisive, planners encouraged marchers to leave their Mexican flags at home.
"They told us to bring American flags so that way the American people will know that we love this country," said Tapia, who heard about the rally while watching Spanish-language television.
Organizers also relied on church and union leaders to back them up. Unions bused in people from as far away as Texas and Nevada.
If one thing, the march is making the rest of the country aware that this is a powerful community, one whose power should not be underestimated.
Rally organizers say that they've won the first battle by organizing their community, but they're not stopping there. They're planning other pro-immigrant rallies in other parts of the country.