Dear Friends of MALDEF:

If your email box is anything like mine, it has been filled of late with end-of-year appeals from a large number of worthwhile non-profit organizations (indeed, a number of organizations have sent several appeals). With such a flood of worthy requests, I hope you will not forget MALDEF. So many of you have included us in your giving in the past, and others of you may for the first time be in the position to consider a tax-deductible donation. Our efforts at MALDEF remain critical and critically-needed. Our ongoing work sometimes doesn't attract notice unless and until a significant court decision comes down that vindicates the constitutional rights guaranteed to all of us. Still, that ongoing work is critical to securing such outcomes, and is often quite costly. Our work includes all of the following and much more:

  • We continue to fight anti-immigrant laws in court. While the statewide laws enacted two and three years ago, beginning with Arizona‚Äôs SB 1070, have fallen out of the headlines, we continue to fight those laws and local laws, such as the Farmers Branch, Texas tenant-licensing ordinance, that targets immigrants simply for seeking to rent an apartment in the city.
  • We continue to defend the voting rights of all, through ongoing litigation on Texas redistricting, recent cases challenging at-large election schemes, and defending against onerous and unnecessary proof-of-citizenship laws whose sole aim is to block or deter new voters.

  • We continue to challenge employers who take advantage of their workforce by failing to provide legally-required compensation and protection from unfair and unsafe working conditions. Our docket currently includes cases on behalf of car wash workers, farmworkers, hotel workers, restaurant workers, and others.
  • We continue to advocate for greater education equity through lawsuits challenging the inadequate and inequitable provision of education resources to Latino public schoolchildren, and through challenging practices with an unfair effect on Latino kids.
  • We continue to educate parents in advocating for their own children, as well as all neighborhood children, to receive the educational opportunity they need to excel at the highest level. We also continue our new work with high school students to use civil rights education and arts training to inspire and educate them to go on to higher education.

Our hardworking, self-sacrificing staff continue to work on these and many other matters to promote the civil rights of all Latinos living in the United States, and to vindicate the shared values expressed in our Constitution.

Please remember our work and our workers for justice. Consider an end-of-year donation to MALDEF as a New Year's toast to their accomplishments and efforts.

Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful new year!

Thomas A. Saenz
President and General Counsel

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund