Latino Victory Fund Honorary Co-Chairs

The Latino Victory Fund works to build support for candidates who espouse our community’s values and advance Latino issue priorities. The Honorary Co-Chairs of the Latino Victory Fund, the political arm of the Latino Victory Project, work to extend the reach of the organization while shaping the course of future elections. The Latino leaders who make up this committee are respected and valued members of the community devoted to increasing political power of Latinos across the country.

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Joaquín Castro was born in San Antonio, Texas. After finishing high school a year early, Joaquín left San Antonio to graduate with honors from Stanford University in 1996. He then went on to attend Harvard Law School where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 2000. Having experienced America’s promise firsthand, Joaquín wants to help build out what he calls the Infrastructure of Opportunity so that future generations will have the same chance to pursue their American Dream. He served five terms in the Texas state legislature representing District 125. In 2012, Joaquín was elected to serve in the U.S House of Representatives as representative of Texas Congressional District 20, which covers a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County. Now in his second term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Joaquín serves on the House Armed Services Committee, as well as the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He was the 2013 co-President for the House freshman Democrats and serves in House Democratic Leadership as Chief Deputy Whip.

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Melissa Mark-Viverito was unanimously elected to serve as New York City Council Speaker in January 2014. She is the first Puerto Rican and Latina to hold citywide office. Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and raised in San Juan, Melissa has worked for over a decade in local activism, nonprofit organizations and grassroots labor organizing before being elected to the City Council to represent East Harlem and the South Bronx in 2005. As Speaker, she has focused on transparency in government and policies that generate socioeconomic access and opportunity for communities – including comprehensive immigration reform, women’s equality, criminal justice reform and participatory budgeting.

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Antonio Villaraigosa is a respected voice in American politics and a prominent policymaker with a keen understanding of America’s mainstream and emerging communities. Known for his exceptional skill at building broad bi-partisan coalitions, he draws support from the broad center of both Democratic and Republican voters. In 2013, Mr. Villaraigosa finished his two terms as 41st Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, after eight years of major strides in transportation, crime reduction, infrastructure, energy and resource sustainability, right-sizing government, business development and education reform. Prior to his election as Mayor, Mr. Villaraigosa served as a member of the Los Angeles City Council from 2003 to 2005. From 1994 through 2000, Mr. Villaraigosa served in the California State Assembly as Democratic Whip, Majority Leader and Speaker of the Assembly. Mr. Villaraigosa also has served in academia, as a fellow at Harvard University and a professor in public policy at the University of Southern California. He also is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he works in the private sector as a Senior Advisor with Banc of California, amongst others, and serves on the McGraw Hill Global Education board of directors.

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Tom Steyer is a business leader and philanthropist who believes we have a moral responsibility to give back and help ensure that every family shares the benefits of economic opportunity, education, and a healthy climate.
In 2010, Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, pledged to contribute most of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes. That same year, Tom worked to defeat Proposition 23, an attempt by the oil industry to roll back California’s historic plan to reduce pollution and address climate change.
In 2012, Tom led a campaign to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in California schools annually by closing a corporate tax loophole. To date, Proposition 39 has put nearly a billion dollars into California schools and clean energy projects, saving millions of dollars in annual energy costs.
Tom founded a successful California business, which he left to work full-time on non-profit and advocacy efforts.  He now serves as President of NextGen Climate, an organization he founded in 2013 to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans. Tom also serves as co-chair of Save Lives California, the coalition to prevent teen smoking and fund cancer research.
Tom’s dedication to public service is greatly inspired by his wife, Kat, the co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank in Oakland. They founded this nonprofit community bank in 2007 to provide loans to people and small businesses shut out by the traditional banking system. Unlike most banks, by statute Beneficial State Bank invests any profits back into the community.
Tom and Kat live in San Francisco and have four children.