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National Latino group opens regional office in Arizona

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHOENIX — A national organization that encourages Latinos to participate in the American political process now has an office in Arizona.

The National Association of Latino Elected Officials has opened an office at Arizona State University’s downtown campus.

Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO, said the goal of the office is “to help the 400-plus Latinos and Latinas in elected office in Arizona be the most effective public servants.”

The office will offer training in governance, leadership development, policy making and other areas. Arizona was chosen for a regional office due to the state’s growing number of Latino elected officials.

“We have seen an increase in the number of Latinos and Latinas in elected office, so now is the moment to make sure that as these individuals begin their public service careers, that we can help them be as successful as possible,” Vargas said.

The vast majority of the Latino elected officials in Arizona serve at the local level, including county, municipal, school board, judicial and law enforcement.

According to NALEO, there are 25 Latinos serving at the Arizona State Legislature and two Latinos from Arizona are members of Congress.

ASU and the Helios Foundation provided funding and support for NALEO’s Arizona office.

Full programing and services at the office will begin in 2018, which will coincide with NALEO’s 35th annual conference that will be held in Phoenix in June 2018.

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