Elected: November 3, 2015
Terms Expires: November 3, 2020
Term Length: 5 Year
Biographical Information JERRY G. VELASCO has been in the entertainment industry for over forty years as an accomplished actor, producer, union organizer, personal manager, Arts Advocate and as head of his own multimedia entertainment company, Velasco & Associates. JERRY’s resume reflects his unwavering persistence to achieve his goals.
A native of Jalisco, Mexico, JERRY was raised in Los Angeles from an early age. He began his involvement in the arts when he received a two-year scholarship to the renowned Actors Studio, studying under Lee Strasberg and Shelley Winters, among others. After completing his studies, he began to work extensively in the entertainment industry. His acting credits include co-starring roles in such TV shows as, “Club Med”, “Hunter”, “Fantasy Island”, “Seguin” and “Chico & the Man”. He was also a series regular on ABC-Mel Brooks’ “When Things Were Rotten”. On film, he co-starred in “Mercenaries of Death”, “Heartbreaker”, “The Jerk”, and “Crossfire”. In theatre, he was seen in productions of “A View From The Bridge”, “Butterflies Are Free” and “Charlie’s Aunt”. He also ventured into Mexico to film Mexican soap operas such as “El Maleficio”, among others, becoming one of the first American actors to cross over.
JERRY G. VELASCO has also been involved for over four decades in the non-profit sector and has been credited with being one of the most outspoken advocates in the country for the improvement of the Latino Image and employment in the media, in front of and behind the camera. He served for thirty years as President of NOSOTROS, the oldest nonprofit Latino arts advocacy organization founded by the iconic actor Ricardo Montalban, with the expressed goals of training Latino Talent, seeking employment opportunities and improving the Image of Latinos in the entertainment industry. As President, JERRY led NOSOTROS into one of the most influential Latino Arts organizations in the country. JERRY also established the prestigious NOSOTROS GOLDEN EAGLE AWARDS, the oldest and most respected Latino Arts Awards Show, which many equated to the Latino Oscars, and which honored celebrities such as Anthony Quinn, Rita Moreno, Desi Arnaz, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Cantinflas, Gilbert Rowland, Robert Rodriguez, Dolores Del Rio, Juan Gabriel, Perez Prado, Edward James Olmos, Paul Rodriguez, Mike Gomez, Eva Longoria, among many others. JERRY presently serves as President Emeritus of NOSOTROS.
JERRY is also one of the co-founders of the Ricardo Montalban-Nosotros Foundation. Under his tenure as Executive Director, and due to the successful fundraising efforts headed by JERRY, the Foundation purchased the historic 1100-seat Doolittle Theatre on Hollywood and Vine, which has been renamed The Ricardo Montalban Theatre, the first major legitimate theatre of that size in the U.S. that carries a Latino name.
In 1982, JERRY opened his own multimedia entertainment company, Velasco & Associates, and became one of the first to market Latino celebrities from Hollywood and Mexico to the Hispanic consumer market in the United States, working on a great number of projects, including “Cantare, Cantaras!”, “We are the World”, “Fiesta Broadway”, “Navidad En El Barrio Telethons”, and many others over the years.
Well known for his humanitarian work, his lifelong commitment to social justice, labor and workers’ rights, but especially his work in the nonprofit sector, JERRY’s dedication has insured an improved quality of life which garnered many benefits for workers and their families, not only in the entertainment industry, but in the U.S. labor movement in general. He has dedicated the majority of his life to the nonprofit world, serving communities across the United States and abroad. His unwavering dedication as an advocate for the Arts, the labor unions and Latinos in the Entertainment Industry, has brought many opportunities to the U.S. Latino community. JERRY has served on many boards, including the national and local boards of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), as well as numerous committees for the entertainment unions, which have brought about many significant changes and benefits for actors in general but especially for Latino artists.
JERRY’s community involvement has been extensive over the last forty years. JERRY is a longtime member of the National Council of La Raza, NALEO, LULAC, The Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, the El Monte Promise Foundation, founding member and Chair of the San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance, World Vision and St. Turibius School Advisory Board, among many others.
One of JERRY’s most proud associations is as a longtime supporter and friend of the late Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. JERRY is also a friend and strong supporter of Dolores Huerta and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Among JERRY’s enduring commitments is in providing continued support toward a national holiday for Cesar Chavez.
Included in Who’s Who Among Hispanic Americans (1992-1993), JERRY’s awards and recognitions include: the Friendship “Amistad” Award, the World Children’s Transplant Fund, The Los Angeles Music and Arts Advocate Award, the SAG-AFTRA-EQUITY Award, the Ricardo Montalban Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, the City of Los Angeles “Latinos in Hollywood” Award, the NALIP Life Achievement Award in Media Advocacy, the Aztec Award from the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, among others. In 2003, JERRY received a commendation from Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn for his selfless service to the poor, needy and underprivileged children, adults and teenagers. Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush and George W. Bush invited him as a White House Guest during the National Hispanic Heritage Week Celebrations. In 1987, JERRY was also invited to Mexico as a Guest of Mexico’s President Miguel de la Madrid and in 2005 by President Vicente Fox.
After serving the community in many aspects for over forty years, JERRY’s most recent venture has been into the political arena. After serving as a Planning Commissioner for the City of El Monte for two years, JERRY was elected as the El Monte City Treasurer 2013-2014. In 2015, JERRY was elected to the El Monte City Council and currently serves on the City Council and previously as the City of El Monte Mayor Pro Tem (Vice Mayor). He also serves as a Los Angeles County Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission on Local Government Services, having been appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
As you can see, JERRY is an individual who is very busy in different fields, whether it be in his personal business in the entertainment industry, or whether it be in the political world he has now entered. One thing that he has committed to and has never forgotten is to help the nonprofit world so that they can be able to help others in our community. He will never forget the nonprofit organizations because that’s where he started and that’s where he comes from, community first! Si Se Puede, Yes We Can!
Only one has to wonder what the future holds for the constantly active HONORABLE JERRY G. VELASCO!