Antonio Gonzalez is
President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education
Project (SVREP). SVREP, founded in 1974, is the largest and
oldest non-partisan Latino voter participation organization in
Gonzalez assumed the
presidency of SVREP in 1994, after serving during 1984-90 as
an SVREP organizer and 1991-94 as a policy program director
with the William C. Velasquez Institute, SVREP's sister
organization. Gonzalez and SVREP have been central figures in
the dramatic growth of Latino political participation across
the nation. Gonzalez was the central architect of the Latino
Vote USA and Latino Vote 2000 campaigns in 1996 and 2000 that
mobilized record numbers of new Latino voters across the U.S.
In 2001-2 Gonzalez led a
Latino coalition effort in several states that provided fair
redistricting plans using 2000 Census data to state
legislatures and local governments in order to increase
opportunities for Latino and other minority communities to
elect representatives of their choice to public office.
Currently, Gonzalez is
leading two national nonpartisan voter mobilization alliances,
the Ten Four Campaign and the Campaign for Communities.
Together both efforts aim to raise Latino voting to a record
10 million registered and 7.5 million votes cast in 2004.
Gonzalez is perhaps the
paramount expert on Latino voting characteristics and
tendencies. In that capacity he assumed the presidency of the
William C. Velasquez Institute, a non-partisan research and
policy institute, also in 1994.
Gonzalez put WCVI on the map
as the first national Latino organization to include
U.S.-Latin America relations in the U.S. Latino Agenda. Key
Gonzalez initiatives included: sending delegations to observe
the Nicaraguan and Salvadoran elections in 1990 and 1991,
leading the Latino Consensus on NAFTA movement that led to the
creation of the three billion dollar North American
Development Bank in 1993, promoting greater dialogue between
the U.S. and Cuba, and critiquing the War on Drugs.
Gonzalez has lectured and
written on U.S. Latino voting behavior, as well as Latino
participation in U.S.-Latino America policy. He currently
appears as a regular commentator on the National Public
Radio’s Tavis Smiley Show and hosts his own weekly show of
Pacifica’s KPFK in Los Angeles called “Strategy
Gonzalez has traveled
extensively in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean and
is fluent in Spanish.
A graduate in U. S. History of the
University of Texas, San Antonio in 1981, he also conducted
undergraduate coursework at UC San Diego during 1975-77 and
Masters course work in Latin American History at U.C.
Berkeley in 1981-82.