Jerry Gonzalez is the founder and current executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. Gonzalez has been named one of “Georgia’s 100 Most Influential” by Georgia Trend Magazine. GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.
Previously Gonzalez worked with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) as a Legislative Policy Analyst, focusing upon immigrants’ rights issues at the Georgia General Assembly and in several local jurisdictions across the Southeast. Through his efforts, DeKalb County became the largest municipality to accept the Mexican Matricula Consular ID card as a form of identification for Mexican nationals in DeKalb County and he worked towards the passage of a new Georgia flag without the confederate battle emblem.
During the 2010 Census, Gonzalez advocated for strong participation of the Latino community in Georgia, which ended up having a 96% increase, representing 28% of the state’s overall growth. In voter engagement efforts, the Latino electorate has grown to well over 150,000 from a mere 10,000 in 2003. In addition, the Latino voter participation rates in most jurisdictions in Georgia during the 2008 election out-performed the national Latino voter participation rates.
Most recently Gonzalez and GALEO have been actively fighting passage of Georgia’s HB 87, an Arizona-style anti-immigration legislation. After the passage of HB 87, Gonzalez worked with community leaders and lawyers on a lawsuit that sought to halt its implementation and filed an Amicus Brief in support of the litigation to stop HB87 which resulted in the judges halting the “show me your papers” provisions of the law.
Founder, Executive Director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials
Areas of Expertise: Latino Issues, Immigration, Politics, Latino Vote, Latino Politics,Leadership Development, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Gay Rights, Marriage Equality
Location: Atlanta, GA
Office: (404) 745-2580
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