Feb 10, 2020
Some of the most effective nonprofits are designed to both help individuals in need and build collective community power. This is the case with NALEO-the National Association for Latino Elected Officials, founded in 1977 by Rep Edward Roybal, then one of just 5 Latinos elected to Congress. In 2020, NALEO supports 38 Latino congressional members and a bi-partisan bench of over 6,800 Latinos serving in municipal, state, and federal level positions. Consider the potential of a cohort of powerful leaders organized around the common aspirations of their communities. NALEO deploys its resources to meet 3 primary goals. First, it offers training that deepens the capacity of members to effectively serve their constituencies on topics ranging from emergency management and water conservation to census participation. Second, it provides direct services to community members, encouraging them to civically engage and become change makers themselves. Third, it advocates for public policies that promote citizenship, even in the face of anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy. NALEO’s Legislative Counsel, Erin Hustings, considers herself the community’s lobbyist, an advocate with clout, speaking for and with grassroots communities across the country.