Latino Leadership Alliance Presents US Senator Alex Padilla with Ollin Award

San Jose, Calif.–On Wednesday, March 24 the Latino Leadership Alliance presented the first Latino US Senator to represent the great state of California with its prestigious Ollin Award.

“This award is an honor and truly humbling,” said US Senator Padilla. “It is a testament to the work of countless people who have opened up the doors of opportunity and everybody played a part in helping me get here as the first Latino US Senator from California.”

The Latino Leadership Alliance was founded in 2009 by a group of dedicated community leaders who believed in strengthening Latino leadership, with the goal that Latino’s will be fully represented in leadership roles and positions throughout the Bay Area.

In 2020, LLA joined a statewide coalition of 32 Latinx organizations to advocate for the appointment of a Latino/a to the US Senate and were pleased to see Governor Gavin Newsom appoint the longtime champion for the Latino community in California.

“Es tiempo. It’s time for the Latino community to have the representation it deserves at all decision-making tables, including in the highest levels of government,” said LLA Board Chair Lennies Gutiérrez. “Honoring Senator Padilla offers us an opportunity to spotlight not only the possibilities but also the real impact felt on the ground by each and every member of our community when our lived experiences are included.”

The Ollin Award is LLA’s lifetime achievement award, stemmed in the Nahuatl word for movement, steeped in MesoAmerican Indigenous cultures and intertwined with the stages of human life: To be a great leader, one must always move to grow, learn, support, and break down barriers to create new paths for others to join.

The Ollin has been presented for five years. Previous recipients include former Santa Clara County Supervisor and the first Latina San Jose City Council member and Vice Mayor Blanca Alvarado (2020), Latino Leadership Alliance co-founder and former East Side Union High School District Trustee Eddie Garcia (2019), Stanford University Professor Emeritus and one of founding scholars of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano Studies Dr. Albert Camarillo (2018), and Actor/Producer, Founder of Centro Legal de La Raza, and Founder of the National Association of State Latino Chambers of Commerce Tony Quintero (2013).

Watch the full 2021 LLA Gala, and Ollin presentation, here: