Norma Vega served as Executive Director of the Office of the Census 2010 in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. She developed a citywide educational and community outreach campaign that resulted in the highest mail participation rate than any other comparable city and thus ensured that California did not lose a congressional seat as originally predicted. Previously, she worked in the Mayor’s office as Area Director where she served as the liaison to the community, civic groups, and city departments. She is currently a Senior Advocacy Consultant at the Ibarra Strategy Group (ISG) -- a government and public affairs firm in Washington, DC. She assists ISG with intergovernmental support, external communications, Latino outreach, and political affairs and has recently returned to Los Angeles.
Prior to joining the Office of the Mayor, Ms. Vega began her career at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) as a paralegal. Later as the Belmont Parent School Partnership Director, she organized parents to ensure the construction of the Ed Roybal Learning Center and the Vista Hermosa Park. She then served as a national trainer where she partnered with parent groups, teachers, school district administrators, and community stakeholders to implement effective parent engagement strategies. At the same time, she worked with parents locally to develop and execute a successful grass-roots/legal campaign and organized a coalition of community stakeholders, which resulted in the savings of $95 million and the construction of the three schools at the former Ambassador Hotel site -- Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools.
Norma is a passionate and motivated community leader who has dedicated her career to advocating and organizing for social justice issues and enhancing the quality of life for under-served communities. She was recently appointed to serve on the inaugural board of trustees of the American Latino Heritage Fund – a fund of the National Park Foundation established by Secretary Ken Salazar. She also serves on the advisory board for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Additionally, she offers voluntary support to MALDEF and the Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory. She was awarded an American Marshall Memorial Fellowship and traveled to Europe on a trans-Atlantic exchange of emerging leaders. Additionally, she has participated in visitation programs to South Korea and Mexico. Ms. Vega graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law & Society from the University of California, Irvine. She was born in Guadalajara,Mexico and raised in Los Angeles where she currently resides.
I have been a champion for educational equity because I believe it is the civil rights issue of our time. Access to a quality education is a right not a privilege. And, I’m one of those fortunate people who gets paid to do what I love because there was a civil rights movement that ensured the doors to our universities were open. I now get to pay it forward. Si Se Puede!!