Antonio Gonzalez is President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP). SVREP, founded in 1974, is the largest and oldest non-partisan Latino voter participation organization in the U.S.
Gonzalez assumed the presidency of SVREP in 1994, after working in various capacities for SVREP founding President Willie Velasquez as well as his successor Andrew Hernandez during 1984-94.
Gonzalez and SVREP have been central figures in the dramatic growth of Latino political participation across the nation. Gonzalez was the central architect of the Latino Vote USA (1996), Latino Vote 2000, Campaign for Communities (2004), and the Ten-Four campaigns that mobilized record numbers of new Latino voters across the U.S.
During the first dozen years of Gonzalez' tenure, SVREP has helped double Latino registration, from 5.4 million in 1994 to more than 10 million registrants in 2006.
In early 2005, Gonzalez led a 55-organization nonpartisan coalition in the historic Los Angeles City Mayoral election that resulted in the first Latino Mayor in modern history in America’s 2nd largest city. The massive effort combined voter registration canvassing, voter education billboards, targeted mail, TV and radio commercials, GOTV phone banks, and GOTV precinct teams into an integrated participation effort that smashed previous Latino voting records.
Currently Gonzalez is leading four different nonpartisan campaigns that aim to increase Latino voting to 12 million registered and 10 million voting in the 2008 national elections.
These efforts (Campaign for Families and Communities, Latina Vote, YouthVote, and Movimiento 10-12) target communities, Latinas, youth and immigrants through organizing techniques that focus on schools and colleges, Latina-owned businesses, barrios and churches in the largest voter organizing effort in US Latino history.
Gonzalez is the paramount expert on Latino voting characteristics and tendencies in America. As such, he assumed the presidency of the William C. Velasquez Institute, a non-partisan research and policy institute in 1994 as well.
Gonzalez has lectured and written on U.S. Latino voting behavior, as well as Latino participation in U.S.-Latino America policy. He currently appears as a regular commentator on the Public Radio International's Tavis Smiley Show and hosts his own weekly radio show on Pacifica ’s KPFK in Los Angeles called “Strategy Session”. Most recently, Time Magazine named Gonzalez in August 2005 one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America.
Gonzalez has traveled extensively in Latin America and Europe, and is fluent in Spanish. A graduate in U. S. History of the University of Texas , San Antonio in 1981, he also conducted undergraduate coursework at UC San Diego during 1975-77 and Masters Course work in Latin American History at U.C. Berkeley in 1981-82.