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Congratulations to Roger Cazares

Location: Washington, DC

CONGRATULATIONS TO ROGER CAZARES-HON. BOB FILNER (Extensions of Remarks - October 01, 2004)


Thursday, September 30, 2004

Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to recognize and congratulate Roger Cazares upon the occasion of his retirement as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee (MAAC) Project, a multi-purpose social service agency (with a successful 39 year history of serving various communities throughout San Diego County.

After graduating from San Diego State University with a Political Science Degree, Roger headed to the MAAC Project. Thirty years later, he leaves MAAC as one of the most successful social service agencies in the country with 400 employees, an annual operating budget of over $16 million and over $100 million in assets.

Under Roger Cazares' leadership MAAC Project has become an agency that serves over 35,000 individuals per year and staffs 35 sites bringing to its constituents empowering social services, health components, a state of arts charter school, technology centers, economic development, and affordable housing. Roger is a man with a vision that has empowered his staff at the MAAC Project to serve as many people as possible and not be afraid to expand to new services. Roger's legacy at the agency includes creating new leaders by mentoring a younger generation and inspiring them to believe in their potential.

The growth that the MAAC Project has seen under Roger's tenure includes an increase in the agency's North San Diego County Head Start Child Development schools center sites from 4 to 17. Enrollment at these centers went up from 400 to 1,100 children, directly impacting parental participation and involvement in those children's lives. Thanks to Roger's direction MAAC established two residential care facilities for recovering drug and alcohol dependent individuals housed at Casa de Milagros, for women, and Casa Nosotros, for men. Roger Cazares ensured MAAC's summer employment for over 1,000 South Bay youth annually, in cooperation with the Private Industry Council. The MAAC also provided English as a second language and government classes to over 12,000 adults in San Diego County through the Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986 for 5 years.

Roger has made an impact in the community not only by augmenting social services that local government provides but also by becoming involved in the Housing Crisis that San Diego County faces. Roger Cazares created the agency's Housing and Community Development Department in 1991 that has developed more than 1,000 rental units of affordable housing and 12 single family homes, developed, a community development strategy specifically targeting the residents of MAAC's apartment communities, and recently expanded the department to include a property management component. Under Mr. Cazares' leadership, MAAC Project has grown to be one of the premier affordable housing developers in the, region.

Roger Cazares also has left his footprint in the education arena by providing leadership and harnessing his national network for support to fund and open MAAC Community Charter School in Chula Vista. The Charter School is a first class operation that offers hope and opportunity for our deserving youth.

Roger's contributions to the community go beyond the MAAC Project. He was president of the National City Chamber of Commerce from 1994-1995; he served on the National Council of La Raza Board of Directors and Executive Committee for six years. Roger has received a multitude of awards for his community service such as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Leadership Award, Hispanic Heritage Local Heroes Award presented by KPBS & Union Bank of California, the United Way Ben Polak Community Service Award, the UCSD Excellence in Community Service Award, recipient of Reconocimiento OHTLI Community Service Award presented by the Mexican Government.

Roger is joined in celebrating his accomplishments by his wife and lifelong partner of 30 years, Norma Cazares; their daughters Leticia and Nicole; and their son Javier. My best wishes go to my friend Roger Cazares, a visionary, an activist, a great leader, and a good man.

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