Who will be honored at the 26th annual awards gala?
Who will be honored at the 26th annual awards gala? Photos: Getty Images.

LULAC to hold its 26th annual Legislative Conference and Awards Gala, and celebrate its 94th anniversary

U.S. lawmakers and Latino influencers will be present as LULAC honors six individuals who have made historical contributions to their Latino community.


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Latinos will be soon taking over D.C. as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) — the nation’s largest and oldest Latino civil rights organization — holds its 26th annual Legislative Conference and Awards Gala. 

Held from March 8 through March 9 at the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel, the organization is also celebrating its 94th anniversary. 

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Assistant Deputy Secretary Montserrat Garibay with the Department of Education, and Rep. Maxwell Frost from Florida’s 10th Congressional District will be among the U.S. officials present along with other Latino influencers. 

LULAC will honor six individuals who have made historic contributions to the Latino community. 

Get to know them below:

Richard Fierro: Fierro is the U.S. Army veteran who risked his life to stop the mass shooter in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

The former major was at Club Q in Colorado Springs with his family celebrating a birthday with his wife, their daughter and her friends when he became one of two people who took down the shooter armed with an AR-15 style rifle and wearing a flak vest. 

Five were killed that night. 

Javier Cazares: Cazares is a national advocate for gun reforms and father of nine-year-old Jacklyn, who was one of 21 lives lost in the tragic Uvalde, Texas, shooting. Cazares was most recently a county commissioner candidate for Precinct 2. He credited a promise he made to his daughter as the motivation. 

“I promised her from that day that I was going to fight to change the rules, for trying to fight for change as much as I could,” he said in an interview with KSAT. 

Iris Martinez: Martinez is the former Illinois state senator and the first Latina elected to serve as Clerk of the Circuit Court for Cooke County — one of the biggest unified court systems in the world. 

She was previously a member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 20th district starting in 2003. A Democrat, she was elevated to Assistant Majority Leader in the State Senate. As court clerk and as a state senator, she is the first Latina to have held either job. 

Rep. Pete Aguilar: The California congressman is another honoree and current Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives and a huge voice for the nation’s returning and current serving veterans as well as funding important youth programs.

Aguilar was previously mayor of Redlands, California, from 2010 to 2014, and as the president of the Inland Empire Division of the League of California Cities. He was also on the Redlands City Council from 2006 until his election to Congress.

He is currently the highest-ranking Latino in the U.S. House. 

Isabel Verver-de la Vega: Verver-de la Vega is the founder and first teacher of the LULAC Little School of 400. It is a program that former President Lyndon B. Johnson used as a national model for Head Start. 

It was a 1964 program spearheaded by Johnson that helped meet the emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs of preschool-aged children from low-income families after declaring a War on Poverty in his State of the Union address that year. 

Jose Altuvé: Altuvé is the current Second Baseman for the 2022 MLB World Series Champion — and two-time overall champion —  the Houston Astros. He is being honored for also being one of the best youth role models in professional sports across the country. 


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