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History of NALEO

In 1976, the late former California Congressman Edward R. Roybal founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, creating a national forum for Latino issues and opened
doors for a new generation of Latino leaders.

A devoted public servant for 43 years, the Honorable Edward R. Roybal was at the forefront of efforts to advance civil rights,
protect civil liberties, establish mental health programs, fund AIDS research, and improve support services for veterans and
the elderly.

Congressman Roybal served as President of NALEO from 1976 until 1999, when the NALEO Board of Directors named him
President Emeritus. He also served as Chairman of the NALEO Educational Fund from 1981 until 1994, and remained on the
Board until 1999, when the Board named him Founder Emeritus. In 1996, the NALEO Board of Directors established the
Edward R. Roybal Award for Outstanding Public Service, an award that provides an opportunity for Latino elected
and appointed officials to recognize the exemplary leadership provided by their colleagues in communities throughout
the United States. Congressman Roybal guided the organization from being an idea to becoming the nation’s premier
civic participation organization. Executive Directors who worked with Congressman Roybal included Mr. Edward Avila,
Dr. Harry Pachón, Karen Escalante (acting), and current Executive Director of NALEO and the NALEO Educational Fund,
Arturo Vargas.

© National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund