Six Prominent Hispanic Political Figures Leading Our Communities

The United States is home to over 53 million Hispanic residents who comprise nearly 17 percent of the entire population. Hispanic political leaders hold 34 out of 435 Congressional seats and 4 out of 100 Senate seats and similar numbers of public sector leadership posts, a small yet growing number. Hispanic leaders are making inroads into the United States political system in elected, appointed, civil service offices and also nonprofit leadership, paving the way to represent their peers on local and national levels and to lead committed lives of service in the public interest. In conjunction with their supporters and community groups, these Hispanic public leaders are inspiring the incoming generation of new leaders and making significant progress on administrative and political fronts.

The following 6 individuals among many Hispanic public administrators currently represent the public interest of the growing multicultural population of in the United States.

George P. Bush

George P. Bush
Current Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Jeb Bush is the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush, and son of Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Prior to launching his political career, Bush worked as a lawyer and teacher. In his current role, he’s making great progress in living up to his family legacy and fulfilling his own generation’s political aspirations. His official duties include managing the State’s public properties, mineral rights, and gas and oil royalties. As a member of the newest generation of public leaders, George P. Bush is likely to make many innovative political decisions during a long career.

Jorge Elorza

In Rhode Island, Jorge Elorza is one of several Hispanic public administrators rising in the political ranks. Analysts that observe the political climate of the state attribute the rise of Hispanic public leadership to education, professional experience, and grassroots backgrounds. His election as Mayor of Providence, the capital city of Rhode Island, is remarkably notable in that it is Elorza’s first run at public office. During the first 100 days in his new post, Mayor Elorza inducted an Innovation Officer that he then charged with streamlining city operations and activities. The officer also serves as a mayoral liaison to the city’s ethics committee.

Joaquin Castro

Prior to representing Texas’s 20th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, Joaquin Castro served in the Texas House of Representatives representing House District 125 for a decade. Recently the rising star has gained more influence and power among his political peers as a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Castro fervently supports and promotes social justice issues such as global human rights, universal access to quality pre-kindergarten, immigration reform and recognition of same sex marriage. As with his twin brother, Julian Castro, there’s talk among political circles about someday a future White House bid. In fact, past political forecasts considered either one of the duo as a serious candidate for Vice President with the nomination of Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Julian Castro

Before Julian Castro completed his first year as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration, political analysts forecast that this public administrator might soon land a role bringing him closer to the Oval Office. Until 2017, Castro worked to increase HUD’s $45 billion budget to improve the reach of the nation’s homeless and public housing agencies. Indeed, experts have long had their eye on this promising former Mayor of San Antonio. Castro was the first Hispanic political figure to deliver a keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which earned him even more acclaim and an affectionate moniker as the next Obama. His next act is yet to be announced.

Tommy Gonzalez

Tommy Gonzalez
Tommy Gonzalez has a decade and a half of experience as city manager and assistant manager in various Texas municipalities, currently serving as City Manager of El Paso. During his career, Mr. Gonzalez has provided extensive insight improving the workings of city governments. This public official is known for using Lean Sigma Six methodology to improve the performance of city operations. In his first year, Gonzalez saved El Paso $3.5 million, shoring up his reputation as an honest, results oriented public sector leader. City Manager of one of the nation’s most important border municipalities, Gonzalez’s future looks extraordinarily favorable.

Jaime Herrera Beutler

Jaime Herrera Beutler
At 36 years old, Jaime Herrera Beutler is among the youngest and most prominent public leaders serving in Congress. The first Hispanic to represent the State of Washington in the US House of Representatives, she holds an appointment as Vice Chairwoman of the Financial Services and Government Oversight Appropriations Committee. In this role, Beutler has successfully passed a legislative directive that mandates an investigation of the Department of Veteran Affairs due to an unacceptably high rate of loss in participating medical providers. Her success has earned her acclaim as one of TIME Magazine’s “40 under 40” top political leaders, the National Journal’s “Top 25 Most Influential Washington Women under 35”, and MSNBC’s “Top 10 Politicians to Watch”.

The United States is going through a period of demographic change. By the year 2050, analysts forecast that citizens of Hispanic origin will comprise approximately 26 percent of the population. Today’s public administrators and elected leadership, and those who hope to join them in public service, represent not only the future of their peers, but also that of the entire United States.

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If you seek to change the world on a local, national, or global level, the University of San Francisco is a great place to build on your existing education, experience, and skills. By learning more about the University of San Francisco Online Master of Public Administration (MPA), you take an important first step toward achieving your professional goals and powering your commitment to social justice. Our program is designed for public interest professionals who want to become increasingly effective managers and civic leaders who affect change through policy management and advocacy.

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