LCLAA Welcomes Jose Vargas as New Executive Director - LCLAA


Washington D.C.– LCLAA National, its National President, Yanira Merino and National Executive Board, are excited to welcome Jose Vargas as the new Executive Director for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. 

Jose Vargas is a member of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), he began his career as a paraprofessional at PS 157 in New York’s District 7, and spent most of his career working in the Bronx as an early childhood teacher in Community School 198 and Community School 211.  

Jose has also sat on prominent local and international boards including;The Working Theater in NYC, The New York State United Teachers Board of Directors, and the National Treasurer of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.  He was also one of the founding members of the American Federation of Teachers Latino Caucus.

Jose’s connection to LCLAA dates back to the early 1990’s, when fellow UFT union leader and one of LCLAA’s founders, Maria Portalatin encouraged him to join the organization. In 2012, Jose became LCLAA’s second Secretary Treasurer, a position that had previously been filled by Maria Portalatin. His long standing commitment and knowledge of LCLAA, the labor movement, and Latino and immigrant communities will unequivocally be instrumental as he takes on his new role. 

LCLAA welcomes Jose Vargas to the position of Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement!

“Our nation, communities and people face trying times which pose many challenges, as well as opportunities for our organization,said Yanira Merino, LCLAA National President. “I am sure Jose’s leadership will be of dire importance as we strive to address a variety of issues that affect Latino working families. I welcome Jose to his new role and wish him success as he embarks in this important journey.” 

“It has been a great honor to work with Jose on LCLAA’s National Executive Board,” said Evelyn DeJesus, AFT Executive Vice President. As I look back I can say that I am very proud of all our accomplishments, and in that regard I am sure that Jose’s leadership will contribute to LCLAA’s growth and impact across our nation.”

“I have had the opportunity to work with Jose while he served as LCLAA’s Secretary Treasurer. I am now very excited to welcome him to his new role as Executive Director,” said Karla Pineda, LCLAA Deputy Director. I know that Jose’s dedication and passion will undoubtedly contribute to the success of LCLAA’s endeavors. I welcome Jose to LCLAA’s National team!

The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is the leading national organization for Latino(a) workers and their families. LCLAA was born in 1972 out of the need to educate, organize and mobilize Latinos in the labor movement and has expanded its influence to organize Latinos in an effort to impact workers’ rights and their influence in the political process. LCLAA represents the interest of more than 2 million Latino workers in the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), The Change to Win Federation, Independent Unions and all its membership. Visit LCLAA on the web at, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram