2002 Inductee - Jose Rodriguez


2002 Inductee - Jose Rodriguez

Jose Rodriguez To say that Jose Rodriguez is a member of Concilio is like saying Cesar Chavez was a member of the UFW. Jose is the catalyst that makes Concilio’s many social programs succeed. Jose has been the CEO, chief executive officer, of the Council for the Spanish Speaking/El Concilio since 1996. He started as a Concilio volunteer in 1988. He heads the “largest community based Hispanic organization in San Joaquin County and continues his lifelong mission to improve opportunities, not only for Hispanics, but for everyone in this community,” according to Annette Sanchez, who nominated him for this honor. Jose has initiated tremendous growth and development in Concilio by adding six new programs and adding offices in Tracy, Manteca and Lodi. The operating budget has increased from $1.5 million to $6 million per year. A good example of Concilio’s far-reaching influence and respect was the May 16th Amigo and Amigo of the Year dinner. The elegant River Mill restaurant was packed, despite the $125 cost per ticket. Dozens of VIP’s such as county supervisors, city council members, judges, school board members and other dignitaries were in attendance to help Concilio honor Fernando Moreno, Eva Chavez, and Frank Orozco for their many years of service to the Hispanic community. Concilio has become the “New Concilio” because of Jose. In the beginning there was only the Stockton office, but now nine sites in San Joaquin County are available to serve disadvantaged county residents. Concilio’s personnel has tripled in the last three years. Now 152 employees call Concilio their employer. In February 2001 the San Joaquin Council of Governments honored Concilio for its “outstanding achievements and dedication to improving our quality of life in San Joaquin County.” Jose is a young man, but he has been a community activist for over 11 years. He is a member of the Consumer Credit Counseling of Mid-Counties board of directors and president of the Coalition of Mexican American Organization. He is also a member of Latino Partnership for a Healthy Tomorrow and a founding member of the Concilio Coalition. He is a member of the State Bar of California. The Latino Peace Officers Association selected Jose “Man of the Year” in 2001 because of his “tireless efforts in helping people help themselves.” “Through his leadership and guidance the Council for the Spanish Speaking/El Concilio continues to make a positive impact in our community,” Annette Sanchez says proudly. El Concilio has worked with the National Institute of La Raza (NILR) to sponsor Su Corazon/Su Vida (Your Heart/Your Life). 40 families are participating in this program. This eight-week “health makeover program” is one of only five in the whole country and is considered the best one by NILR. Concilio’s most entertaining enterprise was the Cinco de Mayo celebration. The parade and Weber Point activities drew nearly 10,000 people. Just five years ago only 1,000 came. “This shows just how much the Hispanic population is growing,” says Jose. Concilio has also held meetings to inform the Spanish-speaking community about services available to them from government agencies such as CalWORKS and San Joaquin County Senior Services Program. Jose was named to the influential SUSD committee that will help decide how to spend $80 million in school bonds. He is one of only five members that will give input on how to proceed with modernizing SUSD’s old schools and the building and naming of at least five new schools. Naming the new schools has been a controversial matter because many favored naming the new high school after Cesar Chavez while others thought it should be called Stockton High.