2013 Inductee - Roberto A. Radrigán


2013 Inductee - Roberto A. Radrigán

Community Service

Roberto Antonio Radrigán was born in Valparaiso, Chile, on October 1, 1956. At 17, he was the youngest freshman at the Catholic University of Valparaíso’s School of Architecture. He later studied graphic and industrial design at the University of Chile. When a military junta seized Chile’s government in 1973, his family was blacklisted, forcing his sister and oldest brother abroad as political refugees. The family reunited in Stockton, where he joined them in 1978.

As a designer in the U.S., Roberto worked for sign companies in Stockton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, earning several international awards for creativity. Roberto was the conceptual designer of the Las Vegas World Tower (today’s Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower). Moving to Mexico City, he directed the overhaul of the International Airport sign’s system, and created graphics for Mexico’s Secretary of Health.

His journalistic journey started in late 1970s and early 1980s doing editorial drawings for Delta College’s Impact; Portavoz, the county’s first bilingual newspaper; and the Spanish weekly El Sur. In the mid-1990s, upon his return to Stockton, Roberto joined The Record (1997), designing graphics for the bilingual weekly El Tiempo, becoming translator, reporter, photographer, editorialist and associate editor. In 1998 he successfully urged the paper to reverse its support of Proposition 227, an initiative ending bilingual education in California. He became and remained Sunday Record columnist until 2006. While he directed the Council for the Spanish Speaking, La Voz newspaper, he and Gene Acevedo transformed it into The Bilingual Weekly, a publication Roberto helped produce until early 2011. In 2012, with political consultant Jess Cervantes and a group of local writers, Roberto launched Joaquín, the first intellectual and bilingual Latino magazine in the Central Valley.

Roberto served as vice-president of Stockton downtown revival project El Mercado (1998-2000),has been a member of the Fox Theatre’s Restoration Board, the Stockton Art Task Force, mentor for Delta College’s Puente program, motivational speaker for local schools, host of People to People International students’ exchange, and panelist on political and community forums. At El Concilio, he helped bring Mexican Mobile Consulates to Stockton. His coverage of Hispanic soccer league’s activities was a factor on the creation of the Stockton Soccer Complex. His volunteer work includes creating —under Portavoz Editor Andy Porras’ direction— the Migrant Education logotype; the design of logotypes for Stockton’s Cinco de Mayo Parade, Stockton Reads, and many others. Since 1997 Radrigan has written articles and archived countless photos of local Latino events and Cinco de Mayo parades. He also has served as Spanish/English interpreter in numerous community events throughout San Joaquin County.

He has helped create websites and graphics for El Mercado project, COMA, Mexican Heritage Center, San Joaquin County Mexican Hall of Fame, Latino Graduation, LULAC, Comerciantes Unidos, El Concilio, Proyecto Bracero, and Comisión Honorífica Mexicana. He was recognized by Hispanic Soccer Leagues of San Joaquin (2003), the San Joaquin Office of Education Migrant Education Program (2005), and Comerciantes Unidos (2012). In 2011, he was selected Grand Marshal for the Cinco de Mayo Parade.

Roberto married his college sweetheart, Monica Salas, in 1979, an educator with SUSD. They have one daughter, Monica Carina, a SFSU alumna and gifted photographer.