About

Chicanos Por La Causa Action Fund is a 501(C)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization overseen by a nonpaid volunteer board. CPLC Action Fund is operated independently from Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), a nonprofit service provider. CPLC Action Fund was created to further the CPLC mission to advance Latino success through advocacy on key impact areas, including Education, Housing, Health & Human Services, and Economic Empowerment. CPLC Advocacy efforts will include community-based activism, events focusing on social justice and equity issues, and lobbying and leverage of elected officials and leaders. Voter engagement including voter registration, voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts also will be a focus. Candidate endorsements and elections activity will be done through CPLC Action Fund PAC.

Motto

Advocacy. Action. Advancement.

Mission

Chicanos Por La Causa Action Fund is dedicated to advocacy, action and advancement of Latinos and other underserved communities via empowerment, engagement and elections. The CPLC Action Fund focus mirrors the five Areas of Impact of Chicanos Por La Causa: Health & Human Services, Housing, Education, Economic Development, and Advocacy.

Leadership

Executive Director

Joseph Garcia is Executive Director of CPLC Action Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization. He also is Director of Public Policy at Chicanos Por La Causa, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit service provider. Prior to joining CPLC in November 2019, Garcia was Director of Communication and Community Impact at ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy. During his 10 years at ASU, he was founding director of the Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center. Garcia, who still teaches at ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has an extensive career as an award-winning editor, reporter and columnist at The Arizona Republic, The Daily Times (Farmington, N.M.), Tucson Citizen and the Associated Press. He often is quoted in news stories by local, regional and national media as a trusted source regarding Arizona issues related to politics and changing demographics, most recently in The Washington Post in 2020. Garcia is a frequent presenter of data, policy research and trends, including last August at UCLA at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Leadership Academy. In 2018, he testified before the Arizona Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights concerning Arizona's emerging Latino voters. Garcia is a member of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce DATOS Research Committee. He has served on numerous community boards, including presently as an executive board member of Arizona Children's Action Alliance. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Arizona and his master's degree at ASU.

Board of Directors

David Adame serves as Board Chairman of CPLC Action Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization. He also is President and Chief Executive Officer of Chicanos Por La Causa, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit service provider that is one of the nation’s largest Latino community development corporations. Adame has been with CPLC since 2008, serving as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer prior to being named to the top post. Adame got his professional start at CPLC in 1985 upon graduation from college, serving two years as CPLC’s Director of Economic Development before moving on into real estate and banking. Over the years, Adame has served on numerous boards, including: Greater Phoenix Economic Council; AARP Foundation; National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders; Arizona-Mexico Commission; Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation; Unidos US; Community Reinvestment Fund USA; Creighton University Presidential Health Sciences Phoenix Advisory Board; and the Arizona Housing Commission. Born and raised just south of downtown Phoenix, Adame holds a B.S. in Business from Arizona State University and an MBA from the ASU School of Global Management. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of Arizona, and an Honorary Doctorate from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM, or the National Autonomous University of Mexico).

Max Gonzales serves as Board Secretary of CPLC Action Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization. He also is Executive Vice President of Strategy & Relationship Management at Chicanos Por La Causa, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit service provider that is one of the nation’s largest Latino community development corporations. Prior to joining CPLC, Gonzales spent more than 20 years at SRP, a water and power utility based in Tempe, Arizona, where he provided marketing, direct marketing, market research, public relations, advertising, and strategic planning to the Hispanic Market. He has held board positions with Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Friendly House, and Valle Del Sol. He currently serves on the advisory board for ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy and The Arizona Chapter of the American Heart. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University. He recently completed the NeighborWorks America, Achieving Excellence Executive Leadership program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Alicia Nuñez serves as a Board Member of the CPLC Action Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization. She also is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Chicanos Por La Causa, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit service provider. She has been with CPLC since 2006 and has more than 23 years of financial and operational management experience in both for-profit and non-profit businesses. Nuñez previously was Assistant Director of Finance for The Ritz Carlton, Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, California. At CPLC, she also has served as Director of Business Enterprises and as President of CPLC Insurance, Inc., where she helped develop the infrastructure, process, and business model for the successful launch of the program. She served as Vice President of Business Enterprises for CPLC and has managed several for-profit entities within the organization. As Vice President of Accounting, she managed the accounting department at CPLC. Nuñez earned a BA in English Credential Program from California State University Northridge and received her Executive MBA from The University of Arizona in 2017.

John Ramirez serves as Board Treasurer of CPLC Action Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization. Ramirez retired in 2020 as Vice President for Business Enterprises at Chicanos Por La Causa, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit service provider that is one of the nation’s largest Latino community development corporations. Over the years, he served in various management positions for CPLC including oversight of the Real Estate Development, Economic Development, and Residential Housing/Housing Counseling. Prior to CPLC, Ramirez worked in various consumer and commercial lending positions, Vice President for Commercial Lending with financial institutions in Arizona, and Oversight Manager with The Resolution Trust Corporation. In 2014, he completed a nine-year term as a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank, Advisory Board for the 12th District (San Francisco) for affordable housing interests for Arizona, California and Nevada. Ramirez graduated from Arizona State University, College of Business, (Business Administration) and from the National Commercial Lending School in Norman, OK.

Legal

Maria Morales Spelleri serves in non-voting capacity as General Counsel of CPLC Action Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization. She also is General Counsel & Executive Vice President at Chicanos Por La Causa, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit service provider. At CPLC, Spelleri oversees CPLC’s legal, compliance, internal audit, human resources; risk management, insurance corporate services, and advises the CPLC Board of Directors on all legal matters. Prior to CPLC, she was an equity owner and partner at Lewis and Roca LLP. She is a member of the Board of Directors for The Industrial Development Authority of Maricopa County and has served as Chairwoman of Valle del Sol, Inc.; the Phoenix Residential Investment Development Effort (PRIDE); and the Secretary of New Arizona Family, Inc. She previously served as a member of the Phoenix Commission on Housing and Neighborhoods. Spelleri received her law degree from Boston University School of Law and an MBA from Boston University School of Management. She is a fellow in the Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellowship program at Sacramento State University.

Advocacy Team

Lydia A. Aranda
Maria Jesus Cervantes
Carlos Galindo
Emilio Gaynor
Max Gonzales
Lydia Guzman
Bill Irwin