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Twelve Stories: How Democracy Works Now | Participants



Cecilia Muñoz

Cecilia was working at the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, when we were gearing up to start filming in the summer of 2001. Her official NCLR title was something like Vice President for Policy, but it seemed to us she was doing an awful lot more -- and her explanations of what was happening, both in the political realm on the Hill and with the administration as well as within the special world of “the Groups”, turned out to be a goldmine for us all the way through the next 6 years. She was truly a policy strategist, as we learned, and her responsibilities covered not just figuring out WHAT she thought should be done, but HOW it might be possible to do it.

We learned another thing about Cecilia, too -- she held communities together, all sorts of them, from the various high level and grassroots organizations in Washington and around the country that made up the Groups, to the network right inside her own shop. She could be as tough as she needed to be, but always with respect and it seemed to us, with charm. We didn‘t move into her office quite as much, or for quite as long as we would have liked to, but we did spend some great time following her around a couple of NCLR‘s national conventions. She was the perfect ambassador for us and our movie, both in Washington and away.

So we weren‘t all that surprised when she was offered a job at the White House after the elections in 2008. Here‘s what her current bio says: Cecilia left NCLR after twenty years to accept the post of Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for President Obama. While her primary role is to work with state and local governments, she also works closely with the Domestic Policy Council on immigration issues.

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