Emilio is a life-long community activist who has dedicated his personal and professional life to making a positive impact on the daily lives of working families. He has litigated for workers’ rights and advocated for affordable housing, primary healthcare clinics, credit unions, and community based non-profit organizations. Emilio currently serves as General Counsel for the Dolores Huerta Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income residents through grassroots organizing, civic engagement, and leadership development.
Growing-up, Emilio witnessed firsthand the organizing leadership of Cesar Chavez and his mother Dolores Huerta. At a young age, he learned to appreciate the value of committing to a life of service to others.
Emilio received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California State University Bakersfield and a Juris Doctorate degree from Santa Clara University School of Law.
Prior to attending college, Emilio volunteered full-time for the United Farm Workers union. At the age of 20, he was trained as a labor-negotiator for the UFW to represent farmworkers throughout California who had won their right to organize and collectively bargain under California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act.
Emilio has always believed that successful nonprofit organizations can make a sustaining impact on the lives of low-income families. Emilio has served as corporate counsel for Omni Family Health (a Kern County based FQHC health-care organization), General Counsel for the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Board Chair for Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (Kern County’s legal aid), and Board Chair of Self-Help Federal Credit Union (a national credit union).
As General Counsel for the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Emilio played an instrumental role in developing more than 4,000 units of affordable housing ($500 million in assets), in California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. His knowledge of real estate, nonprofit law, and public financing has resulted in the development and construction of dozens of primary health clinics throughout California, and he has personally helped establish at least a hundred non-profit organizations throughout his legal career.