Statement on the Passing of Albert Jacquez, Senior Director of Legislative and Political Affairs at UnidosUS

WASHINGTON, DC—UnidosUS (formerly NCLR)—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—today issued the following statement by President and CEO Janet Murguía regarding the passing of a colleague and lifelong advocate of the Latino community:

“With great sorrow, UnidosUS is mourning the loss of our Senior Director of Legislative and Political Affairs, Albert Jacquez, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this past Sunday. In addition to serving as our legislative director, Albert was also the Executive Director of the UnidosUS Action Fund. Most recently, he was instrumental in helping to make our Democratic presidential candidates’ session at the 2019 UnidosUS Annual Conference in San Diego a huge success.

Albert had a long and illustrious career and spent his life serving our community, and our relationship with him dates back nearly four decades. While it’s impossible to sum up his many accomplishments, I’d like to share a few of them.

For many years, Albert was the key legislative staff person for former Congressman Esteban Torres of California, including serving as his Chief of Staff and also Staff Director for the House Banking Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs. Representative Torres was a fierce champion for the Latino community and one of UnidosUS’s strongest and closest allies on Capitol Hill. Albert was his right hand.

Albert played a pivotal role in shaping countless issues, and chief among them were: the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which legalized nearly three million previously undocumented people; the pro-worker and pro-environment North American Development Bank as part of NAFTA; the homebuyer counseling program in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which spawned a vital network of supports for first-time homebuyers; and helping protect the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which lift millions of Latinos out of poverty every year. After leading the Latin American Management Association, serving as the head of the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, and doing a stint as a private consultant, where his clients included small family farms owned by Latinos, Albert joined us in 2013 and provided invaluable political advice and counsel to me and the entire UnidosUS leadership team.

We were very fortunate to have had someone of Albert’s many talents, multifaceted years of experience, and keen political acumen and expertise with us at UnidosUS. With a comfortable financial situation afforded to him after years of government service, Albert did not need a job. It says a lot about him, and I hope about UnidosUS, that he chose to spend the twilight years of his career serving UnidosUS and providing mentorship to a host of our policy staffers, who benefited from his sage advice and willingness to discuss any and all issues, whether it was politics, policy, career advice or perhaps his favorites: his kids and sports.

This loss is also deeply personal. I had the privilege of working three doors down from Congressman Torres’s office and Al when I first started on Capitol Hill more than 30 years ago. He was a giant for many of us who followed him in service to our community. We’ve lost a great leader, a wonderful husband and father, a devoted public servant, and my husband Mauro and I have lost a dear friend.

Our deepest condolences go out to his beloved family, wife Lynn and sons Alex and Evan.”

Additional information will be provided on the Money & King Funeral Home website regarding services and memorial donations to honor Albert.