As a student at Harrison High School and later the University of Illinois at Chicago, he organized students to demand courses on Mexican history, and for more Latin faculty. In his 20s, Lozano became an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. In 1982 Lozano entered the race for alderman of the 22nd Ward in the city"s 1983 elections, in an attempt to be the first Mexican-American elected to the Chicago City Council.
He faced longtime alderman Frank Stemberk and though Lozano was defeated, failing to force a runoff by seventeen votes, he played an instrumental role in bringing Latino voters across the city to support candidate Harold Washington, who became Chicago"s first African-American mayor.
His supporters alleged that voters with Spanish surnames were purged from the rolls, denying him the votes to force a runoff. Lozano continued his work in the ILGWU, becoming the chief Midwest field organizer through his work with tortilla factory employees and other low-paid immigrant workers.
On June 8, 1983, Lozano was shot to death in his home. A reputed gang member was convicted for his murder, but his supporters still contend that he was assassinated for his labor and political activities.
Also in his honor, there is a school called Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy.
RLLA is associated with the Instituto Delegate Progreso Latino in Chicago.