Non-profit

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)

Website:

naleo.org/

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Status:

Nonprofit

Founded:

1976

CEO:

Arturo Vargas

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) is a membership organization that pushes left-of-center talking points on issues such as education, health, infrastructure, voting rights, and immigration. The organization created the NALEO Educational Fund, the charitable arm of the NALEO, to focus on funding initiatives that promote Latino political engagement while promoting left-of-center talking points on immigration, voting rights, the Census, and election reform. [1] [2]

The NALEO has been a large proponent of voting rights for illegal immigrants and has claimed the use of photo identification during voting procedures is “discrimination in the electoral process” for Latinos. [3]

Founding

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) is a nonprofit membership organization that supports Latino elected officials and pushes left-of-center talking points on issues such as education, health, infrastructure, voting rights, and immigration. [4]

The organization was founded in 1976 as the National Association of Latino Democratic Officials by then-U.S. Representative Edward R. Roybal (D-CA), a member of Congress from 1963 to 1993, who also co-founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The organization changed its name to the NALEO in 1978 to “reflect nonpartisan status.” [5] [6]

The NALEO created the NALEO Educational Fund in 1981. The NALEO Educational Fund is the 501(c)(3) funding arm of the NALEO that focuses on funding initiatives that promote Latino political engagement while promoting left-of-center talking points on immigration, voting rights, the Census, and election reform. [7] [8]

Arturo Vargas joined the NALEO as its CEO in 1994, a position which he held as of March 2022. Vargas is also the CEO of the NALEO Educational Fund. [9]

Funding

Most of the NALEO’s revenue comes in the form of contributions and grants.

The organization had a total revenue of $86,797 in December 2018, $86,773 of which came from contributions and grants. Its total revenue increased to $109,955 by December 2019, $89,911 of which was from grants and contributions and $20,000 from program services. It also received $44 from investments. [10]

NALEO’s total expenses amounted to $109,160 by December 2018. The organization spent $12,392 on the compensation of officers, $4,374 on employee benefits, $28,615 on travel, and $13,916 on occupancy. NALEO’s expenses dropped by December 2019 when it had outgoings of $95,467. The organization increased its executive compensation to $39,138, spent $4,921 on employee benefits, $18,200 on office expenses, $20,060 on travel, and $6,506 on occupancy. The organization spent $39,138 in compensation to Arturo Vargas alone in 2021. [11]

Political Activities

Opposition to Senator Jeff Sessions

The NALEO sent a letter on January 11, 2017, to Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to oppose the nomination of then-U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to serve as the United States Attorney General in the Trump administration. [12]

NALEO alleged that Sessions’ “statements and actions as a lawyer and a public official” proved he would “significantly impair” the federal government’s “fair treatment and equal opportunity for historically underrepresented communities.” [13]

The letter continued to claim that as Attorney General, Sessions would “act in ways that threaten the progress Latinos have achieved” in terms of equality and political participation. The organization also accused Sessions of expressing “tolerance” towards “discriminatory behavior.” The NALEO noted that Sessions advocated for tougher laws against illegal immigration and phrased his vote against the DREAM Act, legislation to grant legal status to certain illegal immigrants, as a negative. [14]

Illegal Immigration

During a conference call in 2014, members of the NALEO alleged that voter discrimination was a big problem in Florida. Luz Urbaez Weinberg, an Aventura city commissioner at the time, claimed that the NALEO wanted a “bipartisan modernization of the Voting Rights Act.” The NALEO claimed that the purging of voter rolls for people suspected of being illegal immigrants was discrimination against voters in Florida. [15]

The NALEO has also called the use of photo identification during voting procedures “discrimination in the electoral process” for Latinos. [16]

The NALEO also issued a statement in 2011 calling for President Barack Obama to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as the DREAM Act, which would allow temporary conditional residency with the right to work for illegal immigrants who enter the United States as minors. [17]

PeopleArturo Vargas is the CEO of both the NALEO and the NALEO Educational Fund, a position which he has held for both organizations since he joined them in 1994. [18]

Before joining the NALEO, Vargas held multiple positions at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a left-wing litigation and advocacy group focused on immigration, election procedure, and Census and demographic interest issues. He also worked as a senior education policy analyst at the left-of-center National Council of La Raza, now known as UnidosUS, and served on the United States Census Bureau National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. [19]

References

  1. “About Us.” NALEO. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://naleo.org/about/. ^
  2. “About NALEO.” NALEO. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://naleo.org/about-naleo/. ^
  3. “NALEO Calls on President Obama to Act on Priorities for U.S. Latinos.” July 21, 2011. Accessed March 11, 2022. www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/naleo-calls-on-president-obama-to-act-on-priorities-for-us-latinos-125946528.html. ^
  4. “About NALEO.” NALEO. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://naleo.org/about-naleo/. ^
  5. “History.” NALEO. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://naleo.org/history/. ^
  6. “Edward R. Roybal.” history.House.Gov. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://history.house.gov/People/Listing/R/ROYBAL,-Edward-R–(R000485)/. ^
  7. “About Us.” NALEO. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://naleo.org/about/. ^
  8. “History.” NALEO. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://naleo.org/history/. ^
  9.  Hernandez, Alejandra Perez. “Leadership.” NALEO Educational Fund. Accessed April 5, 2022. https://naleo.org/leadership/. ^
  10. “National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.” Cause IQ. Accessed March 11, 2022. www.causeiq.com/organizations/national-association-of-latino-elected-and-appoint,521076236/. ^
  11. “National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.” Cause IQ. Accessed March 11, 2022. www.causeiq.com/organizations/national-association-of-latino-elected-and-appoint,521076236/. ^
  12. “NALEO Letter on Jeff Sessions Appointment.” Senate Judiciary. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/01.11.17%20NALEO%20and%20NEF%20Letter%20fin%20re%20Sessions%20Nom.pdf. ^
  13. “NALEO Letter on Jeff Sessions Appointment.” Senate Judiciary. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/01.11.17%20NALEO%20and%20NEF%20Letter%20fin%20re%20Sessions%20Nom.pdf. ^
  14. “NALEO Letter on Jeff Sessions Appointment.” Senate Judiciary. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/01.11.17%20NALEO%20and%20NEF%20Letter%20fin%20re%20Sessions%20Nom.pdf ^
  15. “Hispanic Officials Call For More Protection Against Voter Discrimination.” June 3, 2014. Accessed March 11, 2022. miami.cbslocal.com/2014/06/03/hispanic-officials-call-for-more-protection-against-voter-discrimination/. ^
  16. “NALEO Calls on President Obama to Act on Priorities for U.S. Latinos.” July 21, 2011. Accessed March 11, 2022. www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/naleo-calls-on-president-obama-to-act-on-priorities-for-us-latinos-125946528.html ^
  17. “NALEO Calls on President Obama to Act on Priorities for U.S. Latinos.” July 21, 2011. Accessed March 11, 2022. www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/naleo-calls-on-president-obama-to-act-on-priorities-for-us-latinos-125946528.html. ^
  18. “Leadership.” NALEO. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://naleo.org/leadership/. ^
  19. “Arturo Vargas.” Congress. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://www.congress.gov/116/meeting/house/110060/witnesses/HHRG-116-HA08-Bio-VargasA-20191017-U1.pdf. ^
  See an error? Let us know!