President's Message

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) is the leading civil rights voice of the Latino community.
December 2023

A message from Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel

As we look forward to the new year, we all know that we face a presidential election that will have no precedent in its rawness, its coarseness, and its implicit (and even explicit) appeals to white nationalism. While it has become cliché to identify the next presidential election as the most consequential in our times, the 2024 election outcome will undoubtedly be momentous in its effect on our future national progress.

At MALDEF, we know that Latinos will be at the center of the election campaign, whether in the essential background of policy issues like immigration or affirmative action, or in the implicit reference to racist tropes like “the great replacement theory.” Beyond being subjects of dialogue, Latinos will also be important agents, as the largest racial minority voting group in the nation; as such, Latinos will once more play a decisive role in the election outcomes.

But that will not be true unless we can continue to combat anti-Latino rights violations throughout the nation. Whether protecting ballot access, promoting equal educational opportunity, or fighting employment discrimination or consumer discrimination, MALDEF works assiduously to increase our impact in every region of the nation on behalf of the Latino community, as it grows in representation everywhere.

As we enter 2024, one important aspect of furthering our mission involves the forthcoming opening of a new regional office in Seattle, Washington. By doing so, we can continue to grow our impact in the northwest, where, in addition to the two trial verdicts described below, we recently filed our first banking discrimination case in Washington state.

Toward greater justice in 2024.

Thomas A. Saenz

President and General Counsel