TAVIS SMILEY PRESENTS... IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE WILLIAM C. VELASQUEZ INSTITUTE
Saturday, April 6, 2013 Jones Convocation Center, Chicago State University 9501 South King Drive Chicago, IL 60628 www.latinonation.com #TheLatinoNation2013
William C. Velasquez Institute
he t of r ne t r pa d rou p a is
From his celebrated conversations with world figures to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders, broadcaster, author, publisher, advocate, and philanthropist Tavis Smiley has emerged as an outstanding voice for change. Smiley is currently the host of the late-night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS as well as The Tavis Smiley Show and Smiley & West from Public Radio International (PRI). In addition to his radio and television work, Smiley has authored 16 books. His memoir, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, became a New York Times best seller, and the book he edited, Covenant with Black America, became the first nonfiction book by a Black-owned publisher to reach #1 on The New York Times’ best-sellers list. In his latest title The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto, Smiley and his co-author Dr. Cornel West take on the “p” word — poverty. In this game-changing book, they challenge all Americans to re-examine their assumptions about poverty in America — what it really is and how to eradicate it.
TAVIS SMILEY MODERATOR
Smiley is the presenter and creative force behind America I AM: The African American Imprint. This unprecedented traveling museum exhibition, which debuted in January 2009, will tour the country for four years, celebrating the extraordinary impact of African American contributions to our nation and the world, as told through rare artifacts, memorabilia, and multimedia. Smiley’s most gratifying accomplishments are rooted in his passion to inspire the next generation of leaders. The nonprofit Tavis Smiley Foundation was established to provide leadership training and development for youth. Since its inception, more than 6,000 young people have participated in the foundation’s Youth to Leaders training workshops and conferences. His communications company, The Smiley Group, Inc., is dedicated to supporting human rights and related empowerment issues and serves as the holding company for various enterprises encompassing broadcast and print media, lectures, symposiums, and the Internet. Smiley’s achievements have earned him numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees, including one from his alma mater, Indiana University. In 2009, Indiana University named the atrium of its School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) building “The Tavis Smiley Atrium.” Smiley is also the recipient of the prestigious Du Bois Medal from Harvard University and the 2009 Interdependence Day Prize from Demos in Istanbul, Turkey.
Fernando Espuelas is the host and managing editor of the national, bilingual radio talk show Fernando Espuelas, broadcast live Monday through Friday on the Univision America Network, and online at univision.com. [Espuelas was named by PODER Magazine as one of “The Nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics” in 2012.] In 2007, he became a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Espuelas was also named “Immigrant of the Day” by Immigration Daily in 2008. And in 2009 and 2010, the U.S. Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) included Espuelas in its HITEC 100, the list of “Most Influential Hispanics and Rising Stars in Information Technology”. [The World Economic Forum chose him as a “Global Leader of Tomorrow” in 2000.] The World Economic Forum chose him as a “Global Leader of Tomorrow” in 2000. In 2007, he became a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Espuelas was also named “Immigrant of the Day” by Immigration Daily in 2008. And in 2009 and 2010, the U.S. Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) included Espuelas in its HITEC 100, the list of “Most Influential Hispanics and Rising Stars in Information Technology”.
FERNANDO ESPUELAS MODERATOR
Espuelas founded and was Chairman and CEO of StarMedia, a pioneering multi-platform media company for Spanish and Portuguese speaking audiences worldwide. At StarMedia, he built the first online network to transcend national barriers, becoming the first and most recognized pan-Latin new media brand in Latin America and the United States, eventually serving over 25 million people per month. In 2005, [Espuelas’ company] VOY released the film Favela Rising to international acclaim. Telling the story of one man’s iconic victory over poverty and violence, it went on to win more than 25 international festival awards and was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination. It has been widely seen in theaters and thousands of schools and civic centers around the world. On U.S. television, Favela Rising premiered on HBO/Cinemax and released online and DVD by Netflix. Espuelas has also been active in community development. Espuelas co-founded and was chairman of the StarMedia Foundation, which, with an alliance with the Inter-American Development Bank, helped fund and build over 150 technology schools in the poorest neighborhoods of Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay. He has also served on the corporate board of The Educational Broadcasting Corporation (the owner of PBS flagship Thirteen and Channel 21 in New York), as well as on the Board of Trustees of Connecticut College. In 2009, Espuelas was elected to the Board of Directors of Parent Revolution, a non-profit, public schools advocacy group working to drive education reform across the nation. Espuelas received a B.A. in History with Distinction from Connecticut College.
Antonio Gonzalez is President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) and William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI). Considered a principal figure in American politics for working at the grassroots level to expand and mobilize the Latino vote, Gonzalez works tirelessly to empower the Latino community through his leadership, organizing, advocacy and brilliant strategies. Through Gonzalez’s leadership, WCVI has become the industry leader in Latino voting tendencies and characteristics with its national phone and exit-polling program. Gonzalez’s transnational initiatives included sending delegations to observe the Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, South African, Mexican, and Venezuelan electoral processes; leading the Latino Consensus on NAFTA movement that led to the creation of the three-billion dollar North American Development Bank in 1993; promoting greater dialogue between the U.S. and Cuba; and conducting international learning seminars for Latino leaders to study policy innovations in Europe and South America.
ANTONIO GONZALEZ PANELIST
Gonzalez has also helped the Latino agenda evolve through his pioneering work in blending traditional working class immigrant Latino priorities (those of a “minority”) with broader agenda priorities, most notably climate change and urban greening (those of an emerging “majority”). This transitional process, dubbed “from tofu to chile verde,” has captured the imagination of Latino leadership across the U.S. and had its first expression in November 2005 with a California Latino Summit on the Environment. Currently, Gonzalez is leading a community-based collaboration with local government to help revitalize the Los Angeles River through development of parks, open space, affordable housing and schools along its banks in the urban core of Los Angeles. In 2005-06 through a Visiting Scholar program at the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Gonzalez began work on a book about the future of Latinos. During his stay at Packard, Gonzalez conceptualized the “National Latino Congreso.” Gonzalez initiated this gathering together with partners representing a cross-section of Latino organizations and leadership in September 2006, which has now become a key policy gathering for Latinos nationwide. Wildly successful, the National Latino Congreso has begun a process of renovation, revitalization, and unification of Latino leadership at all levels, whose fruits will be greater success in achieving public policy change. Gonzalez has lectured and written on U.S. Latino voting behavior, as well as Latino participation in U.S. Latin America policy. He currently appears as a regular commentator on the Public Radio International’s “Tavis Smiley Show” and hosts his own weekly radio show on Pacifica’s KPFK in Los Angeles called “Strategy Session”. Most recently, Time Magazine named Gonzalez one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America in August 2005. Gonzalez has traveled extensively in Latin America and Europe, and is fluent in Spanish.
ADRIANNA QUINTERO is a senior attorney and the founder and director of NRDC’s Latino Advocacy program. NRDC’s Latino advocacy efforts focus on providing Latinos nationwide bilingual access to environmental information and the tools to get involved. With her report, “Hidden Danger, Environmental Health Threats in the Latino Community,” which highlighted the impacts of environmental contamination on Latinos, Adrianna launched NRDC’s Latino outreach, along with the website La Onda Verde (LOV) in 2004. Adrianna was proud to work with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis who was then in the House of Representatives, in developing a report that recognized the disproportionate environmental impacts faced by many in the Latino community. The report also called on the environmental community, government agencies and the media to do more to inform Latinos, especially those with limited English skills, with information on environmental issues. “Hidden Danger,” exposed the often overlooked impacts of pollution on Latinos in the U.S. Last year, Adrianna updated her research with an emphasis on air pollution in U.S. Latinos and Air Pollution: A Call to Action. She currently sits on the board of the U.S. Climate Action Network and Presente.org, and was the recipient of Latino Leaders Magazine Innovator Award 2011.
ADRIANNA QUINTERO PANELIST
Adrianna started working with NRDC in 1999 as an attorney with the environmental health program, where she specialized in public health issues surrounding safe drinking water, bottled water, pesticides and toxic air pollution. Over the years, LOV has evolved into a program with global reach, supported by many Spanish-language eco-activists, celebrities and other prominent Latinos. La Onda Verde’s Web site, www.laondaverde.org, includes a blog, Pulso Verde (www. pulsoverde.nrdc.org), and e-newsletter, Notiverdes, and is widely recognized by Spanish language media as the go-to resource on environmental issues. Most recently, Adrianna founded Voces Verdes (www. vocesverdes.org), an organization that aims to connect Latino organizations, business and community leaders with government decision-makers on climate and clean air issues. This effort has quickly come to be regarded as the one of the leading coalitions bringing Latino leadership to bear on environmental issues. Adrianna has appeared on numerous English and Spanish language television and radio programs nationwide and internationally. Adrianna is also featured in “Tapped,” the 2009 award-winning documentary film on the bottled water crisis. She has presented before numerous government bodies and at numerous conferences and meetings.
Ana Navarro was born in Nicaragua. In 1980, she and her family immigrated to the United States and resettled in Miami. Ms. Navarro is a graduate of the University of Miami. In 1993, she obtained her Bachelor in Arts Degree with Majors in Latin American Studies and Political Science. She obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1997. She is a Republican political strategist with expertise on Latin American, Florida and Hispanic issues. In 1997, she was a special advisor to the Government of Nicaragua and in that role, she was one of the primary advocates for NACARA (Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act). She served on Gov. Jeb Bush’s transition team and served as his first Director of Immigration Policy in the Executive Office of the Governor. In 1999, she returned to the private sector and has represented private and public clients on federal issues, particularly related to immigration, trade and Central America policy. In 2001, she served as Ambassador to the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission where she helped pass a resolution condemning the Government of Cuba for human rights abuses.
ANA NAVARRO PANELIST
She was Sen. John McCain’s 2008 National Hispanic Co-Chair. She has played a role in Federal and State races in Florida. In 2012, she served as National Hispanic Co-Chair for Gov. Jon Huntsman’s Campaign. She is a political contributor on CNN, CNN-Español and CNN. com and a frequent commentator on national radio and print media on political issues and current affairs.
Aracely Panameño is a Latina leader, activist, and spokesperson at the domestic and international level. For more than 20 years, she has worked in Latina women’s health, and tackled issues related to migrant workers, education, immigration, and economic justice. She is a published author, accomplished public speaker, media commentator, reporter and columnist, strategic grassroots organizer and coalition builder and direct lobbyist. In 2004, she joined the Center for Responsible Lending as director for Latino affairs. Aracely holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and is an MBA in Finance candidate at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
ARACELY PANAMEÑO PANELIST
Bettina Inclán is a highly sought-after communications and political strategist serving in prominent roles on campaigns from coast to coast. Recognized as one of the leading experts in engaging Hispanic voters, Latina Magazine named her one of the top six Latino Players in the 2012 Presidential Race. She was the director of Hispanic outreach for the Republican National Committee and in the closing months of the 2012 election cycle Bettina served as the national deputy director of coalitions/ Hispanic outreach for the Romney for President Campaign. Bettina also co-hosted a national political radio show, “Power Play,” on Sirius XM’s Cristina Radio (Cristina Saralegui radio station), and has been recognized as one of the top conservative women in media. Huffington Post named her one of the “top Latino voices to follow on twitter” and NBC Latino named her one of the “10 top Latino Twitter feeds that matter.” During the 2010 cycle, Bettina held high-level positions in gubernatorial races in both California and Florida, including helping Florida Governor Rick Scott win over 50% of the Hispanic vote, in a state where Hispanic Democrats outnumber Hispanic Republicans. Among the many roles she has held during her decade in politics, Bettina served as Press Secretary for the Steve Poizner for Governor of California campaign, regional Victory director working to elect Senator John McCain for President, and was part of the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign team and worked on various congressional campaigns.
BETTINA INCLÁN PANELIST
Bettina is the former executive director of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly where she helped expand the organization during her tenure between 2005-2007. In addition to running the day-to-day operations of the national grassroots organization, Bettina was the RNHA’s spokesperson. During the Bush administration, she participated on the White House Bi-Partisan Council for Immigration Reform and worked closely with the Republican National Committee’s Hispanic Advisory Board. A Capitol Hill veteran, Bettina worked with Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), analyzing domestic policy and filling the role of deputy press secretary. She also served as communications director of the U.S. House Republican Policy Committee. Bettina created an aggressive media and outreach plan and implemented a new media strategy for this Republican leadership office, which was a novel move at the time. She trained other Congressional offices on how to successfully integrate social media in their communication efforts. Bettina, the daughter of a Mexican-born retired bus driver and a Cuban-born small business-owner, grew up in eclectic Miami, Florida. Bettina graduated from Florida International University with a degree in Political Science and a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She and her husband live in Silicon Valley, California. Follow her on Twitter: @BettinaInclan
David Montejano is a professor of ethnic studies and history and former chair of the Center for Latino Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley. His past teaching appointments include the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Texas at Austin, where he was an associate professor of history and sociology and director of the Center for Mexican American Studies. He has also held appointments as a Rockefeller PostDoctoral Fellow, as a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, and as a Resident Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 2002. Professor Montejano’s major areas of interest include Historical Sociology, Social Movements, Social Change, Race and Ethnic Relations, and Community Studies. A native of San Antonio, Texas, he received a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and two Masters and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University.
DAVID MONTEJANO PANELIST
Professor Montejano’s publications include the prizewinning historical overview, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836- 1986, published by the University of Texas Press in 1987. It is now in its 14th printing. The sequel, titled Quixote’s Soldiers: A Local History of the Chicano Movement, 1966-1981, was recently published by the University of Texas Press in 2010. A companion volume, titled Sancho’s Journal: Exploring the Political Edge with the Brown Berets, appeared in November of 2012. Since its publication, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas has been the recipient of scholarly recognition, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians, as well as awards from the American Historical Association, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Texas Institute of Letters. Quixote’s Soldiers has also garnered several academic prizes, including the 2012 Book award of the National Association of Chicano and Chicana Studies, the Book of the Year award of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education and, for the second time, the T. R. Fehrenbach award given by the Texas Historical Commission. Dr. Montejano is a past Board Member of the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities and a past Commissioner of the Texas Commission on the Arts (a Gov. Anne Richards appointee, 1992-98). He was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 1995. During his term as director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas, Professor Montejano was much involved with higher education public policy. He is the intellectual author of the “Top Ten Percent Plan,” which the Texas Legislature enacted into law in 1997 in response to the end of affirmative action. Professor Montejano has continued his involvement in higher education admissions at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Barreto is a member on the National Board of the United States Chamber of Commerce and serves on the council on small business. He is the founder of “Tributo a mi Padre, Tequila” (http://TributoTequila.com) in honor of his late father Hector Barreto Sr. Tributo Tequila was recently awarded the prestigious 5-star diamond award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and is the only tequila in the word with this designation. Hector Barreto is also the founder and president of Barreto Associates (http:// BarretoInc.com), a Southern California based international business consulting firm that develops relationships between major corporations, government agencies and small businesses. The firm has extensive experience in marketing, fundraising, insurance and finance.
HECTOR V. BARRETO PANELIST Hector V. Barreto is a nationally recognized businessman and community leader. He served five years as the Administrator of the U. S. Small Business Administration after being appointed by President George W. Bush and unanimously approved by the United States Senate on July 25, 2001. During his stewardship, the SBA exceeded all previous records in small business loans, women and minority owned business support, disaster relief and private-public sector procurement opportunities. Barreto directed the delivery of financial and business development programs to America’s entrepreneurs from a portfolio of direct, guaranteed and disaster loans totaling more than $60 billion. Upon his return to the private sector, he has assumed leadership in a wide range of business, civic and charitable activities. Mr. Barreto also serves as the Chairman of The Latino Coalition (www.TheLatinoCoalition.com), a national organization that represents Latino interests with senior executives of many Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.
In addition, Mr. Barreto was the founder and former chairman of Business Matchmaking, the nation’s leading non-profit small business procurement program. Business Matchmaking brings together countless entrepreneurs, including women, minority and veteran owned small business owners with procurement representatives of federal and local government agencies and several hundred major corporations. Since its inception, Business Matchmaking has been responsible for over 80,000 face-to-face meetings and facilitated the granting of more than $80 billion in verifiable contracts for small firms. As a young man, Mr. Barreto helped his father manage a family restaurant, an export/import business and construction company. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, he worked for the Miller Brewing Company as the South Texas Area Manager. In 1986, he moved to California and founded Barreto Insurance and Financial Services, responding to the needs for Southern California’s rapidly growing population. He later became a securities broker/dealer specializing in retirement plans. Mr. Barreto is the former vice chairman of the United States Hispanic Chamber (founded by his father, Hector Barreto Sr.) and the past chairman of the board of the Latin Business Association in Los Angeles. During his term, he increased membership by 50 percent, doubled revenues and substantially increased procurement opportunities for entrepreneurs. He also founded a small business institute/ incubator, which provides technical assistance, education and development opportunities to small businesses. He was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as Commissioner on the California Commission for Economic Development. Hector Barreto was inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame and has received special recognition from many groups including the U.S. Congress, the California State Senate and Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, YMCA and American Red Cross. In 2006, he was honored by President Fox of Mexico with the prestigious Aguila Azteca award, the highest recognition bestowed to a citizen of another country. He is frequently identified in key publications as one the most influential Hispanic business leaders in the country. Mr. Barreto is the author of The Engine of America (http://TheEngineofAmerica.com) which provides motivation and inspiration for entrepreneurs through the stories and ideas of business leaders nationally. Aside from his private business interests, he is a frequent speaker and media guest, panelist and commentator on issues of concern to small business interests. Mr. Barreto resides in Southern California with his wife Robin, son and two daughters.
Jesús “Chuy” García is a dynamic and progressive leader who has selflessly fought to improve the lives of persons residing in the southwest side of Chicago and the neighboring Cicero community. Since emigrating with his parents from Durango, Mexico at the age of ten, Jesús “Chuy” García has lived in the communities of Pilsen and Little Village. Advocacy of justice and equal opportunity led Jesús “Chuy” García to work as a paralegal, a community organizer, and at a community-based housing organization. In 1986, Jesús “Chuy” García was elected to the Chicago City Council as Alderman of the 22nd District, where he helped enact progressive legislation as a reformer and supporter of Mayor Harold Washington. In 1992, he became the first-ever MexicanAmerican elected to the Illinois Senate, where he served two terms and pushed forward a broad range of legislation to benefit working families. After leaving the Senate, Jesús “Chuy” García founded Enlace Chicago, a leading non-profit community development organization in Little Village. He became a Fellow at DePaul University and worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
JESÚS “CHUY” GARCÍA PANELIST
In 2010, Jesús “Chuy” García decided to return to elected office and successfully ran for Cook County Commissioner of the 7th District. As such, he is committed to improving county government by advocating for the most vulnerable, increasing transparency, and being a good steward of public resources. In 2011, he championed an ordinance that made Cook County the first local government entity in the United States to end compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests. This ordinance protects the county from liability associated with ICE detainers and prevents unconstitutional detentions without probable cause, and has been replicated by jurisdictions throughout the nation. Jesús “Chuy” García serves as Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle’s Floor Leader. He is also the Chairman of the Real Estate, Business, and Economic Development committee, as well as Vice-Chair of the Finance (Labor) and Workforce, Job Development, and Training Opportunities committees. Jesús “Chuy” García has also served on the boards of several non-profit organizations including the Latino Policy Forum, a public policy and advocacy center, where he was the Founding President, and as Chairman of the Woods Fund of Chicago, whose goal is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities.
advocating for our nation’s immigrant community than Rep. Gutierrez. Because of the Congressman’s outstanding work on immigration issues, he was appointed Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force and has previously served as Chair of the Democratic Caucus Immigration Task Force. He is the Democratic Party’s leading strategist and spokesperson on immigration issues. He has been at the forefront of the effort to pass historic, bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation and helped guide the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to passage in the House of Representatives in 2010.
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ PANELIST Now in his eleventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez has established himself as an effective legislator and energetic spokesman on behalf of his constituents in Illinois’ Fourth District in the heart of Chicago. Gutierrez’ tireless leadership championing the causes of the Latino and immigrant communities has led to greater responsibilities within the U.S. Congress and has earned him widespread acclaim throughout the country. As the first Latino to be elected to Congress from the Midwest, Gutierrez sought opportunities to address longstanding needs facing Latinos and immigrants in his diverse Congressional district, which is home to large and established communities of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere. During his first term in office in 1992, he led the fight to expand citizenship education and English language proficiency programs for newly-arrived immigrants. In Chicago, he has held citizenship workshops offering comprehensive assistance to prospective citizens that have helped more than 50,000 people take the first steps toward citizenship. On the national level, there is no elected official more committed to or more passionate about protecting and
The number one legislative priority for the 113th Congress and the Obama Administration is the passage of comprehensive immigration reform. Rep. Gutierrez gave up his number three position as a Ranking Member on the prestigious Financial Services Committee in order to serve on the House Judiciary Committee, which is the committee of jurisdiction for immigration. Rep. Gutierrez was seated on the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, where he will play a key role pushing for a comprehensive and inclusive package that preserves family unity and provides a pathway toward citizenship, while fighting back against efforts to overly restrict legal immigration. The Congressman previously served on the Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law Subcommittee during the 110th and 111th Congresses. He also worked closely with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Republicans in the House and Senate to craft a bipartisan immigration reform package, legislation that continues to be the centerpiece of the national immigration debate since 2005. Rep. Gutierrez has led calls for the preservation of family unity and a halt to the record level of deportations. He launched the Campaign for American Children and Families national tour in 2011 to lift up the stories of DREAMers individuals and families being torn apart by deportation. Rep. Gutierrez called on the President to use his executive powers to protect DREAM Act-eligible immigrant youth from the threat of deportation. When President Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides protection from deportation and a temporary two-year work permit, Congressman Gutierrez worked with community leaders in Chicago to set up workshops to enroll immigrant youth in the program. On August 15, 2012, over 13,000 people lined up at Chicago’s Navy Pier to receive assistance applying for Deferred Action. Rep. Gutierrez was the first official to hire a DACA recipient to work in his local Chicago office. In 2009, he led a multi-city tour to raise the visibility of the toll of mass deportations on immigrant families and communities. The Familias Unidas/Families United tour helped reenergize the fight for immigration reform during the first half of President Obama’s first term. At the same time, the Congressman fought anti-immigrant measures that were being proposed and passed by state legislatures across the country. Rep. Gutierrez joined his colleagues in opposing Arizona’s SB1070 and Alabama’s
HB56 anti-immigrant measures. He lead a delegation of House members to Montgomery, AL to hear testimony from local officials and community and business leaders about the damaging effects of Alabama’s anti-immigrant law. Rep. Gutierrez has been a senior Member of the Financial Services Committee, having served on the Committee for over 20 years, and served as Ranking Democratic Member on the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity during the 112th Congress. The subcommittee had oversight over a broad swath of policies related to the insurance industry, home ownership, and strategic investments in the health of neighborhoods and communities across the country. The Congressman fought to ensure families had access to housing counseling and loan modifications and worked to oppose efforts to weaken the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. During his tenure as Chair of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit in the 110 and 111th Congress, Rep. Gutierrez played a critical role fighting for consumer protections and defending oversight provisions in the successful effort to pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill. His input was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Among his other important contributions to the final bill were new transparency and fee regulations governing the sending of remittances internationally. Rep. Gutierrez has also spearheaded efforts to bring more minorities into the banking system and has played a prominent role in cracking down on predatory lenders, including flagrant abuses in payday lending to the military. An amendment offered by Congressman Gutierrez in the Financial Services Committee to cap the interest on payday loans made to military families and provide them with other basic protections against abusive lenders, was signed into law in 2006. In 2011, Rep. Gutierrez was appointed to the prestigious House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. The Congressman served on the Subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis, and Counterintelligence and returns to the Committee again for the 113th Congress. As a former member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Rep. Gutierrez took the lead in calling for greater funding for Veterans health research and his hard work was instrumental in securing $92 million additional dollars for medical research, including tens of millions of dollars for prosthetics programs. While serving on the V.A. Committee, Gutierrez became the champion of victims of sexual trauma by winning passage of legislative language to provide counsel and treat veterans for sexual trauma. He continues to be a strong advocate for ensuring that Illinois veterans receive ample health benefits for their service. Gutierrez also led the fight to help Veterans affected by Agent Orange and his efforts resulted in the broadening of the eligibility and benefits now extended to those exposed to high levels of radiation during their tour of duty. Recently, he has defended military families and dependents facing separation or
deportation because of America’s inadequate and inflexible immigration laws. Mass transit issues have also played a prominent role in Gutierrez’ agenda. He secured more than $320 in federal dollars to reconstruct the aging Douglas Branch of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line, the “L” route which runs through the southwest side and suburbs in his district. He also introduced legislation offering tax credits to commuters who use public transit on a full-time basis. Gutierrez joined community and business leaders to implement creative ridership incentive programs and to press for the restoration of full service on the CTA. Gutierrez was born in Chicago on December 10, 1953 and later moved to Puerto Rico, his parent’s birthplace, before returning to Chicago to attend college. He graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in 1977 with a degree in English and worked as a teacher, social worker, cab driver, community activist, and city official until his election in 1986 as Alderman from the city’s 26th ward. In the Chicago City Council, he led the fight for affordable housing, tougher ethics rules, and a law to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and was a key lieutenant in Mayor Harold Washington’s progressive multi-ethnic coalition. Rep. Gutierrez and his wife Soraida have two daughters, Omaira and Jessica, and a grandson, Luisito.
Maria Elena Durazo was elected to serve as executive secretarytreasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO on May 15, 2006. In 2010, she was re-elected to her second term with overwhelming delegate support, affirming her track record of energetic leadership and innovative growth in Los Angeles County’s labor movement. Through more than 300 local unions, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor represents over 800,000 workers in every key industry, including transportation/goods movement; entertainment/ media; services including janitorial and hospitality; education and construction; public sector and retail; health care and communications, to name a few. The daughter of Mexican immigrant farm workers, Maria Elena learned the importance of hard work and determination at a very young age. As a child, she traveled from Oregon to California with her parents and nine siblings to work in the fields. In 2010, Maria Elena was elected an Executive Vice President of the national AFL-CIO Executive Council, where she serves as the only leader of a local labor movement in the country. She is also the chair of the National AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee. She previously served in this Committee from 2000 to 2004. In 2013, Maria Elena was elected a vice chair for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). She served as a national co-chair for President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. Maria Elena also had the great honor of serving as vice chair to the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee.
MARIA ELENA DURAZO PANELIST
Before leading the L.A. County Federation, Maria Elena was elected as President and built the hotel workers union UNITE-HERE, Local 11, into one of the most active unions in Los Angeles County. Her hard work led her to become the first Latina elected to the Executive Board of HERE International Union in 1996. In 2003, Maria Elena became national director of the Immigrant Workers’ Freedom Ride, a national mobilization campaign initiated by HERE International to address the nation’s immigration laws. In 2004, she was elected executive vice president of UNITE-HERE International. Maria Elena has served on several commissions including the Los Angeles City Commission on Airports where she was appointed by Mayor Bradley, followed by her appointment to the Parks and Recreation Committee by Mayor Richard Riordan. She was also appointed to the California State Coastal Commission by former Speaker of the California State Assembly, Herb Wesson. Maria Elena is the chair of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s appointee to the Los Angeles Economy and Jobs Committee, Board of Directors for LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the California League of Conservation Voters. A resident of Los Angeles, Maria Elena is the mother of two sons, Mario and Michael, grandmother to Seneka and Sydney and the widow of Miguel Contreras, former executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Capitol Weekly named Maria Elena the third most influential nonelected California official in its 2010 Top 100 List. Maria Elena is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga and earned a law degree from the People’s College of Law in 1985.
Mary Rose Garrido Wilcox, District 5 Maricopa County Supervisor, has played a major role in Maricopa County Government, embracing its diversity as an organization. Born in Superior, deep in the mining country of Arizona, Mary Rose is a fourth generation native from a pioneer Mexican-American family. She is the first Hispanic woman to serve on both the Phoenix City Council and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and is serving her fifth four-year term on the Board in Maricopa County – named “best run county” by Governing Magazine and Syracuse University. Mary Rose has been in the forefront in the push for comprehensive Immigration Reform and serves as President of the National Association of Counties Hispanic Elected Officials Board and co-chair of the National Association of Counties Immigration Task Force. She has created numerous programs to strengthen families and communities, including leading the County’s efforts to create a homeless campus to centralize services for the homeless in downtown Phoenix. Along with her husband, Earl Wilcox, she coordinates a tremendously popular annual Late Night Basketball Program designed to keep kids off the streets. Some of the highlights of Mary Rose’s career include revitalizing downtown Phoenix through both county work and efforts as a member of the City Council. Mary Rose cast the deciding votes in favor of funding for the America West Arena and Chase Field Ballpark. She is a leader in comprehensive land planning and has championed such projects as the El Rio Masterplan, Laveen Area Conveyance Channel and Hassayampa Master Plan. Currently, she is leading efforts in ushering in the solar energy industry in Maricopa County. She is a fearless, indefatigable advocate for her constituents, particularly those who have very little clout in government policy circles.
MARY ROSE GARRIDO WILCOX PANELIST
Recent honors, awards and recognition she has received include: the 2012 “48 Most Intriguing Women Award,” a Centennial Legacy Project from the Arizona Historical Society and the Arizona Community Foundation, the 2011 Award of Excellence in Appreciation by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO); 2011 Latina Trailblazer Award by Latino Perspectives Magazine. Supervisor Wilcox serves on various national boards including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), former chair of the NALEO Education Fund, former board member of the National Council of La Raza, vice president of the NACo Health Services and Education Committee, co-chair of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Immigration Task Force. Mary Rose has been involved in numerous local boards and commissions, including her membership on the boards of the Greater Phoenix Convention Bureau, Friendly House, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, ASU/U of A Medical School Advisory Board, and chairman and founding member of the Arizona Diamondback Ambassador Club. She also serves on the Maricopa Association of Governments’ (MAG) Regional Council, MAG Air Quality Policy Committee, MAG Human Services Coordinating Committee and Ryan White Planning Council and the Maricopa County Head Start Policy Council. She and her husband, Earl, a former state legislator and justice of the peace, reside in downtown Phoenix and continue to stay involved in the community. For more than a decade, the Wilcoxes have been working to revitalize downtown’s Grant Park neighborhood. They are the owners of El Portal, a local authentic Mexican restaurant. They also recently dedicated the Grant Park Boxing Club so neighborhood kids can box for free. For Mary Rose and Earl, their greatest source of pride is their daughter and five grandsons.
Oscar A. Chacón has served since 2007 as executive director of the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC), an umbrella of immigrant-led organizations from around the country dedicated to improving the quality of life of Latino immigrant communities in the U.S., as well as those in Latin America. Prior to his designation as NALACC’s executive director, Oscar served in leadership positions at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Centro Presente (a leading Latino community based organization in Massachusetts), and several other community based and international development organizations. Oscar is a frequent national and international spoke person on migrant issues, migration policy, Latino community issues and international economic policy.
OSCAR A. CHACÓN PANELIST
In 2009, Thomas A. Saenz returned to MALDEF as President and General Counsel. Previously, as Counsel to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Saenz served on the four-person executive team to the mayor, where he provided legal and policy advice on major initiatives. During his four-year tenure with the City of Los Angeles, Saenz helped to lead the legislative effort to change the governance of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and served for two years as the lead liaison on labor negotiations, with a goal of addressing serious financial challenges in partnership with the city’s workers. Saenz previously practiced civil rights litigation at MALDEF for 12 years, including four years as vice president of litigation. He was MALDEF’s lead counsel in the successful challenge to California’s anti-immigrant Proposition 187, and he led numerous civil rights cases in the areas of immigrants’ rights, education, employment, and voting rights. Saenz achieved several victories against ordinances unlawfully restricting the rights of day laborers, served as lead counsel in the 2001 challenge to California’s congressional redistricting, and initiated the employment discrimination lawsuit resulting in a $50 million settlement with Abercrombie and Fitch. He also served as MALDEF’s lead counsel in two court challenges to Proposition 227, a California English-only education initiative. Saenz was also the lead drafter of the amicus brief on behalf of Latino organizations supporting affirmative action in the Supreme Court case of Grutter v. Bollinger.
THOMAS A. SAENZ PANELIST
Saenz currently serves as a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, the American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission. He also serves as steering committee co-chair of the California Civil Rights Coalition and on the boards of the Campaign for College Opportunity, ENCOMPASS, and the Impact Fund. He served on the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations for four years. For eight years, Saenz taught Civil Rights Litigation as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Southern California (USC) Law School. Saenz has been recognized on numerous occasions for his work. He was selected as one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in October 2009. Among many honors, he received the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) Ohtli Award in 2006 and the 2010 Corazón Award from Univision. Saenz was born and raised in southern California. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, and he received his law degree from Yale Law School. Saenz served as a law clerk to the Honorable Harry L. Hupp of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Stephanie Sanchez is a Chicago native currently attending Chicago State University. As a junior at Chicago State University, Stephanie Sanchez is majoring in Occupational Therapy. Stephanie Sanchez is currently the Student Trustee at Chicago State and was a Student Laureate Recipient of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. As a student at Chicago State University Stephanie Sanchez has pursued several goals those of which have been achieved are becoming an honor student in the Honorâ€™s College at Chicago State University as well as a member of the Honorâ€™s College Judicial Review Board, a Presidential Ambassador, a Delta Alpha Freshman Honor Society, a member of the Organization of Latin American Students, Collegiate Leadership Development Program for the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, a mentor in the mentoring program for the Latino Resource Center, a newly active member of C.R.E.W (Classy Refined Educated Women), student representative on several University committees, and Student Government Association for the 2012-2013 Academic school year. When Stephanie is not active in classes, on-campus events, meetings and events, she works towards building a healthier stronger environment for the Chicago State University student body as well as the community.
STEPHANIE SANCHEZ PANELIST
Xavier A. Gutierrez serves as President and Chief Investment Officer for the Meruelo Group. Mr. Gutierrez oversees both private equity and public equity investments and acquisitions for the Meruelo Group, and is responsible for deal origination, underwriting, execution, and capital sourcing. He also leads the strategic management of the Meruelo Groupâ€™s twenty-four companies across ten different industries. The Meruelo Group is a privately held, diversified holding and investment company. Founded in 1986 by US Latino business executive Alex Meruelo, The Meruelo Group has expertise and experience in a wide range of industries including: Banking & Financial Services; Construction; Hospitality & Gaming; Television & Media; Restaurant & Food Services; Real Estate; Public Equity; and Private Equity. The Meruelo Group strategically targets growth industries, acquires assets with untapped potential, and implements cutting edge management techniques to create operational efficiencies and increase company value and profitability. Prior to the Meruelo Group, Mr. Gutierrez was principal & managing director of Phoenix Realty Group, a national real estate private equity firm managing approximately $1 billion in institutional capital from many of Americaâ€™s leading public pension funds, banks and insurance companies. In addition, Mr. Gutierrez has held positions with the law firm of Latham & Watkins working with private equity and venture capital funds, worked as a financial analyst with the investment bank Lehman Brothers, and worked as a financial analyst in the League Office of the National Football League in a 15+ year career focused on investment management, finance, business development, law, and the institutional capital markets.
XAVIER GUTIERREZ PANELIST
Mr. Gutierrez has served on several academic, non-profit and government boards including the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA), the Board of the Harvard Club of Southern California, the Stanford Law School Board of Visitors, the Young Alumni Committee of the Harvard Alumni Association, the Executive Committee for the Los Angeles District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Co-Chair of New Programs for the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), the Advisory Board for the Ross Program in Real Estate at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, the Board of the East Los Angeles Community Corporation (ELACC), and member of the Construction Services Committee for the City of Los Angeles. Mr. Gutierrez received his Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School and his Bachelor of Arts in Government with honors from Harvard University. Mr. Gutierrez lives with his wife and son in Los Angeles, California.
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