December 4, 2014

Amanda Bosquez                     
(202) 546-2536 ext. 112, (361) 548-6989 (cell)

Paula Valle Castanon,
(213) 747-7606 ext. 4414, (323) 253-6431 (cell)

A champion for the Latino community, Badillo was nation’s first 
Puerto Rican-born Congressman

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) issued the following statement regarding the passing of its co-founder New York City political trailblazer and nation’s first Puerto Rican-born congressman Herman Badillo:
“NALEO joins the state of New York and the Latino community nationwide in mourning the loss of former New York congressman Herman Badillo.  A devoted public servant for more than four decades, Badillo was at the forefront of efforts to advance civil rights, urban renewal, antipoverty programs, voting rights, jobs and education. In 1976 he co-founded NALEO and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, creating a national forum for Latinos and opening the door for a new generation of Latino leaders. Badillo passed away on December 2, 2014 at 85.

“Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Badillo came to the United States in 1941 at age eleven following the death of his parents in 1934 to tuberculosis. He attended City College of New York and earned a law degree at Brooklyn Law School.  Badillo’s career in public service began in 1962 and in 1965 was elected as Bronx borough president.  In 1970 Badillo was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 21st District in the South Bronx, becoming the first Puerto Rican to so serve. He was re-elected for three consecutive terms. 

“In addition to his four terms in Congress, Badillo served as a city commissioner, a deputy in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch, a counsel to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a candidate for state and city comptroller, and, for many years, a trustee and then board chairman of the City University of New York. 

“Throughout his life, Badillo was a fierce advocate with a true passion for public service. He was one of the first champions of federal investment in urban centers and funding for bilingual education programs. He was also an advocate in the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act to include language access provisions. 

“His commitment to the Latino community and vision of more Latinos serving in office has transformed the political landscape of this country. Badillo’s unwavering commitment to the community will be missed.  His legacy and many contributions to the city of New York and the nation will not be forgotten. We extend our deepest condolences to the Badillo family, friends and colleagues at this time.”


The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials is the leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials.  
Our mailing address is:
NALEO Educational Fund
1122 W Washington Blvd Fl 3
Los Angeles, CA 90015-3352

Copyright (C) 2014 NALEO Educational Fund All rights reserved.