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Register of the Arnold Torres Papers
MS 272  
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Arnold Torres Papers
    Collection number: MS 272
    Creator: Torres, Arnold
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Arnold Torres Papers, MS 272, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


    Arnold (Arnoldo) Torres is a political activist especially concerned with issues important to Hispanics. The materials in this collection describe his education and subsequent work as a congressional aide, lobbyist and political consultant.
    Torres (b. 1954) was raised in Sacramento, Calif. by his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. G. Sanchez. He has given these papers to Holt Atherton Special Collections in their honor.
    Arnold began working in the fields at age ten while attending local public schools. Following graduation from Sacramento High School (1971), he received a B.A. in Political Science & Inter-American Affairs from the University of the Pacific's Spanish-language Covell College (1975) and an M.A. in Public Admini-stration and Urban Affairs from American University in Washington D.C.
    Arnold Torres learned Washington politics while working on the staffs of a variety of officials and organizations between 1975 and 1977. He began as an intern with Congressman Fortney "Pete" Stark [D-Calif.] (Summer 1975) and was subsequently a legislative aide for Senator John V. Tunney [D-Calif.] (September 1975-January 1977). From January (1977) through May Torres was legislative assistant for the National Congress of Hispanic American Citizens, while between May and September he worked as Assistant for Public Affairs of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
    In September 1977 Torres returned to Sacramento where he became Assistant Administrative Analyst for the Office of Legislative Analyst, California Legislature. In this role he made budget and policy recommendations to the legislature pertaining to the Departments of Employment Development and Aging (1977-1979).
    In September 1979 the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) opened a Washington D.C. office and Arnold Torres was recruited to serve as LULAC's Congressional Liaison. LULAC is the country's oldest and largest Hispanic organization with over 100,000 members in forty-five states. It had traditionally been a quiet, conservative group representing the Hispanic middle-class, but, during the late 1970s under the National Presidency of two Texas attorneys, Ruben and Tony Bonilla, LULAC became both broader-based in its social concerns and more aggressive in its efforts to influence legislation favorable to Hispanic Americans. Arnold Torres was hired to develop and implement the Bonilla agenda in Washington.
    As Congressional Liaison, Torres researched legislation, wrote LULAC position papers and press releases, testified at Con-gressional hearings and discussed LULAC positions with Congressmen and representatives of other political action committees.
    In 1981 Tony Bonilla made Arnold Torres National Executive Director and Chief Lobbyist of LULAC. In this role he appeared as spokesman for LULAC in public debate, at conferences and on various national television programs. Issues of particular concern to Torres included immigration, affirmative action, civil rights, police/community relations, and US involvement in Central America. Torres was outspoken in his criticism of Reagan administration budget cuts and policies that hurt Hispanic Americans.
    When Bonilla stepped down as National President (1984) he was replaced by the more conservative Mario Obledo. At this time conservatives within LULAC began calling for Torres' ouster. They felt that his reputation with the newly re-elected, ultra-conservative Reagan administration as an aggressive liberal would render him an ineffectual spokesman for Hispanics. Frustrated by organizational in-fighting, Torres resigned and returned to Sacramento (April 1985). By the time of his departure he wielded considerable influence over the shaping of U.S. immigration policy.
    Since mid-1985 Arnold Torres and his brother Rodrigo have operated a political consulting firm in Sacramento. They have represented clients concerned with health care, affirmative action, budget reform and other social issues. In addition to his work as a political consultant, Torres has lectured on Hispanic issues at various universities. Torres and his wife, Veronica, have a son, Alejandro.

    Related Collections

    • The Arnold Torres Papers complement the Ruben Bonilla Papers and LULAC Archives at the University of Texas, Austin.