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Arturo Vargas
Arturo Vargas is the Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, a national membership organization of Latino policymakers and their supporters governed by a 27-member Board of Directors. Arturo also serves as Executive Director of the NALEO Educational Fund, an affiliated national nonprofit organization that strengthens American democracy by promoting the full participation of Latinos in civic life.

The NALEO Educational Fund’s programmatic activities include U.S. citizenship outreach and assistance, civic participation and integration, voter engagement, technical assistance to elected and appointed Latino officials, research on Latino demographic and electoral trends, and policy analysis and advocacy on access to the democratic process. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the NALEO Educational Fund is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors, maintains offices in Houston, New York, Orlando, and Washington, D.C., and has an annual budget of $7 million.

Prior to joining NALEO, Arturo was Vice President for Community Education and Public Policy of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund where he supervised and directed MALDEF’s community education and leadership development programs. His prior positions at MALDEF included Director of Outreach and Policy where he coordinated the organization’s 1991 redistricting efforts which led to an historic increase in the number of Latinos serving in the California legislature. Before that, Arturo directed MALDEF’s National 1990 Census Program, an award-winning national outreach and public policy effort to promote a full count of the Latino population. Before joining MALDEF, Arturo was the senior education policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C. Arturo is a nationally recognized expert in Latino demographic trends, electoral participation, voting rights, the Census, and redistricting.

Arturo presently serves on the boards of Zero Divide, the Independent Sector, and the Alliance for a Better Community. He also serves on the 2010 Census Advisory Committee, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Arturo has received Hispanic Magazine’s Hispanic Achievement Award for Community Service, the National Federation of Hispanic Owned Newspapers’ Leadership Award, the National Association for Bilingual Education President’s Award, the City University of New York’s Civic Leadership Award, Univision’s Community Service Corazon Award, and the National School Board Association’s Hispanic Caucus Abrazo Award. He has been included in Hispanic Business Magazine’s List of 100 Hispanic Influentials twice, and has been named one of the 101 most influential Latinos five times by Latino Leaders Magazine.

Arturo holds a masters degree in Education and a bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish from Stanford University. He is from Los Angeles, and was born in El Paso, Texas.

Blog Entries by Arturo Vargas

Election 2012 and the Future of Latino Politics

(0) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 3:08 PM

Less than four weeks ago, Latinos reshaped the nation's political map and exercised the strength of their political power, both as voters and candidates.

Election 2012 demonstrated the ability of Latino candidates to successfully pursue office in states and communities nationwide. Significant gains were made at the state level for...

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Driving Blind: The Dangers of Defunding the Census

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 1:22 AM

It's Public Policy 101: before you step, you should look. Before charting a course and spending money, lawmakers should get the information they need to make the best decision. Take schools, for example: government officials must know where student populations are growing and shrinking so that limited funds for new...

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This Is the New Face of America

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2011 | 4:05 PM

New Census data confirms what we've been seeing for some time now: America has a new face. Latinos are now more than 50 million strong and represent one in 6 Americans. We accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase since 2000, and we exceeded estimates...

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New Census Numbers Portend Significant Latino Role

(122) Comments | Posted December 20, 2010 | 7:38 PM

For the Latino community in particular, Tuesday December 21 is a very big day, and it has nothing really to do with the holidays but rather with numbers and more numbers. The U.S. Census Bureau today releases its official 2010 population figures for the nation, and congressional apportionment totals for...

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Don't Let the Senate Stop the Dream

(40) Comments | Posted December 15, 2010 | 10:40 AM

It's nearly the zero hour for a vote on legislation vital to our society and one that will help thousands of motivated and accomplished immigrant students continue their education and journey toward becoming full Americans.

It would also strengthen our military by allowing thousands of patriotic young people to...

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We are Not Staying Home on Election Day!

(4) Comments | Posted October 8, 2010 | 2:53 PM

My apologies to Shakespeare, but, will they or won't they, that is the question.

That is, will Latinos vote in November, or, as the recent Pew Hispanic Center poll suggests, they might not? As an organization that has been focused on encouraging civic participation in the Latino community for...

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Ready for This High-Stakes Process?

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2010 | 4:41 PM

With the myriad of issues being discussed these days, there is a real important one we cannot forget. As the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to report the reapportionment count to President Obama by the end of the year -- and redistricting data to state legislatures by next April -- a...

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Latinos Are Riled, Restless and Ready

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 5:20 PM

August in the nation's capital is usually a languid time to recharge during a congressional recess in anticipation of the hurly burly after Labor Day. But there is nothing slow about the dog days of summer this year, what with an important midterm congressional election just around the corner. People...

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Arizona Law Exposes An Ugly Truth About Our Country

(14) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 4:47 PM

The news that U.S. Judge Susan Bolton blocked major sections of Arizona's SB 1070 law from going into effect has naturally made headlines around the world. However, in quite an ironic way, this land of immigrants has become known as the land of immigrant intolerance.

That is not the American...

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Latinos Ready to Make the Difference in Battleground States

(13) Comments | Posted October 7, 2008 | 5:05 PM

As the electoral map takes its final shape, we all know the contest inevitably will come down to a handful of states. Now, a new survey confirms that the outcome in some of those battleground states may be decided by Latino voters turning out in record numbers.

A poll of...

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