Lifting Latinos, One Grant at a Time

Aida M. Alvarez, a former Clinton administration official, has called the Bay Area home since 2002. Today, as chairwoman of the Latino Community Foundation, she brings her varied experience to the region's leading Hispanic philanthropy.

After graduating from Harvard University, the Puerto Rico native worked as a reporter in New York, then became a banker on Wall Street. Ms. Alvarez later moved to Washington to run the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. She served as head of the Small Business Administration from 1997 until 2001.

The San Francisco-based foundation, launched in 2003, has disbursed around $1.8 million, raised from individuals and corporations aimed at helping needy Latino families. The 61-year-old Ms. Alvarez, an Oakland resident, recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal about the Bay Area's Latino community and the foundation's work.

WSJ: How are the Bay Area's Spanish speakers faring compared to those in the rest of California?

Ms. Alvarez: According to the 2010 Census, Latinos are now 37.6% of California's population, or just over 14 million in the state. The majority of children in California are Hispanic. In eight Bay Area counties, of 6,737,395 total residents, almost a quarter are Latino, about 1.6 million. And while it's true Latinos rank lowest in many areas, there are also very positive glimmers of hope, especially in the Bay Area. READ MORE

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