Arturo Carmona, Former Executive Director Presente.org
This profile was published in February 2015. No longer the Executive Director of Presente.org, Arturo Carmona is now the National Latino Outreach Director / Southwest Political Director at Bernie Sanders for President 2016 Campaign.
Arturo Carmona is a shining embodiment of the adage, “if you don’t like something, change it.” His dedicated body of work has spanned organizations, legislatures, and networks. Hispanic Magazine once honored him with the Hispanic Achievement Award as, “one of the most influential leaders in the country.” From 2012 until October 2015, Carmona was the Executive Director of Presente.org, the largest national Latino online engagement organization in the United States, and the title was a long time in the making. Carmona has over a decade’s worth of experience working with diverse communities in a variety of context.
He is a writer, a political analyst, and a community spokesperson and organizer. He has worked with the California State Legislature, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and he was the founding Executive Director of the Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM). Throughout Carmona’s career his, “quest has always been to ensure the maturation of the Latino community,” as he puts it, and many would argue that he is succeeding.
Based on his personal and professional priorities, it comes as no surprise that to Carmona, “giving is fundamentally important to changing our current society. Not enough is given today to efforts that address the root causes of the main challenges facing our communities,” he said, “and we need to expand that by sharing stories and the importance of the act of giving.” “My family has always been a very giving family,” he recalled. Both Carmona’s mother and father approach the world with a genuine sense of philanthropy for change. Carmona said that his father, “says we need to build a better, more equitable world that addresses issues like poverty and inequality.” For Carmona, who believes strongly in promoting fairness and justice, it’s all about creating sustainable pipelines for giving that can facilitate the type of structural changes needed for working families to progress. He, “wholeheartedly believes that in order to measurably expand Latino giving in the U.S., we must better understand giving patterns and practices and build on that in ways that better address the issues impacting our families in the U.S.” Latinos give far more than they receive, he said, and it’s time to encourage society as a whole to do the same. He said he has always been, “very hopeful that Latinos can be a positive force of change that creates a more just and equitable society by strengthening communities and neighborhoods.” Carmona’s work is rooted in the notion that nothing happens overnight, but that if we work together, change will come. His vision for the future is that of an economically self-reliant Latino community around a core of economic justice, civil rights, and expanded political power to effectuate positive change.