MALDEF Congratulates President-Elect Obama and Commits to Working with Transition Team

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MALDEF Congratulates President-Elect Obama and Commits to Working with Transition Team

Latinos with talent and expertise must be part of the new administration

NOVEMBER 10, 2008 – This week, MALDEF’s President and General Counsel, John Trasviña congratulated President-elect and Vice President-elect Barack Obama and Joseph Biden on their historic election. The Latino community played a major role in the election outcomes of key states, including Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, and participated at historically high levels throughout the nation. Between now and President-elect Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, transition teams are underway to fill positions for the new Administration. “By all accounts, Latinos were a key part of the historic electoral victory. Now, Latinos have the talent and expertise to have a major role in governing, at the Cabinet level and throughout the federal agencies,” stated Mr. Trasviña, who also chairs the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA).

NHLA unites 26 national Latino organizations in support of policies critical to the advancement of the Latino community including immigration, education, health, civil rights, economic empowerment and government accountability. NHLA transition activities are already ongoing and are designed to increase Latino representation at every level of the Obama Administration. NHLA will launch a website ( later this week and conduct a teleconference on Monday, November 17th to guide Latinos on how to apply for appointments to Cabinet, sub-Cabinet, Senior Executive Service, “Schedule C” and judicial posts under the new Administration.

There are three phases to the NHLA appointment approach. First and most immediate is to gain consideration of Latinos for the Cabinet. Second is to encourage and advise Latinos interested in serving the new Administration on how to fit their qualifications to particular positions and increase their chances of consideration. Third is to promote Latino applicants and non-Latinos who advance equal opportunity and understand our community’s needs. Earlier this year, NHLA presented a 33-paged platform to both national political parties on the priority issues and policy needs of the Latino community. Finally, MALDEF will also work closely with the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) to recommend to the Obama Administration Latinos for appointments to the federal judiciary.

“Latinos must be a major part of the new Administration and needed changes in national policy. Latinos serve the nation in innumerable ways. Public service at the highest levels is the next step,” concluded Mr. Trasviña.

For further information on the presidential transition process, please go to

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund