Message from the President & General Counsel

Three weeks ago, MALDEF hosted its first Latino State of the State -- Texas issues discussion in San Antonio at the iconic Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. The historic event came 45 years to the month after MALDEF opened its doors, in San Antonio, as the first legal organization dedicated to protecting the rights of the Latino community nationwide. Of course, four and a half decades later, MALDEF continues to maintain an office -- and a thriving docket of civil rights cases and policy matters -- in San Antonio. And, despite many victories since our founding in 1968, there remain many challenges to the Latino community's enjoyment of equal rights and access in Texas, as throughout the nation. The event three weeks ago highlighted some of the most important continued civil rights concerns in Texas. Following an astute summation of some of these issues by MALDEF Regional Counsel David Hinojosa, I had the opportunity to talk briefly about the historic and continuing significance of Texas to the national civil rights struggle and then to moderate a vigorous discussion of issues of immigration reform and immigrant integration, education equity, access to health care, Latina women's reproductive rights, and voting rights and ballot access. We are grateful to our incredible panelists for a terrific discussion of many of the most salient civil and human rights issues in the nation and in the state: Texas Representative Rafael Anchia; Yvonne Gutierrez, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast; Dr. Maria "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, President of the Intercultural Development Research Association; and MALDEF's own Vice President of Litigation, Nina Perales. The Latino State of the State -- Texas discussion was well-attended three weeks ago at the Cultural Arts Center and online through a live webcast. But, for those who missed it, you can still view the event online here:

And, for those in Texas or close by, you can join us next Friday, September 13 for a continued discussion of some of the critical civil rights issues in Texas and beyond, as well as for some good food and networking, at our annual San Antonio Awards Gala. The invitation is below. We will recognize and celebrate three compelling honorees, including one of Latino State of the State panelists, and raise some critically needed support for MALDEF's ongoing, challenging work. Please join us in person, or virtually, through support of the event here: See you next week!

Sincerely Yours,

Thomas A. Saenz
President and General Counsel


Join us at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday, September 13, 2013 as MALDEF celebrates the work and achievements of the Latino community's best and brightest.

The MALDEF Board of Directors and MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz welcomes our Master of Ceremonies, John Quinones and our honorees: The Honorable Alicia Rosencrans Chacon, Former County Judge, County of El Paso; The Honorable Julian Castro, The Mayor of San Antonio; and, Dr. Maria "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, President and CEO, Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA).

For more information, please contact Stephanie Loera at or call (213)629-2512, Ext 143.

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:

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Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund