Dr. Alvaro Huerta holds a joint faculty appointment in Urban & Region Planning and Ethnic & Women’s Studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He’s one of the few Chicanas/os to hold a tenure-track/tenured faculty position in urban planning. In addition to peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, reviews and social commentaries, he’s the author of the book Reframing the Latino Immigration Debate: Towards a Humanistic Paradigm (San Diego State University Press, 2013) and the lead editor of People of Color in the United States: Contemporary Issues in Education, Work, Communities, Health, and Immigration. [4 Volumes] (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO / Greenwood, 2016).
As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Huerta teaches and conducts research on the intersecting domains of community & economic development, Chicana/o & Latina/o studies, immigration & Mexican diaspora, social movements, social networks and the informal economy. He holds a Ph.D. in city & regional planning from UC Berkeley—one of the first Chicanas/os to do so. He also holds an M.A. in urban planning and a B.A. in history—both from UCLA.
In addition to a recently submitted book manuscript on Latino politics and immigration to an academic press, he’s currently working on a fourth book and one journal article (review & resubmit). This includes: (1) book manuscript on Mexican immigrants and their social networks in the informal economy; and (2) peer-reviewed article on an ethnic labor niche in Los Angeles’s informal economy.
Additionally, Dr. Huerta writes social commentaries for various periodicals on key issues impacting racialized groups and the working-class, including The Progressive, The Progressive Magazine, Progressive Planning, Planning Magazine, The Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Daily News, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Business Journal, La Opinión, Boyle Heights Beat and The Hill. This includes online outlets: The HuffPost, CounterPunch, Latino Rebels, ImmigrationProf Blog, LA Progressive, LatinoLA, Latinopia.com and others.
As a nationally recognized speaker and public policy expert, Dr. Huerta has spoken at major universities, colleges, academic conferences, non-profit organizations, television programs (e.g., Tavis Smiley Show), news networks (e.g., Univision) and other influential forums, such as TEDx. His TEDx talks include: “Migration as a Human Right”; and “From Tijuana to East L.A. to Academia: Life Lessons from a Scholar.”
Prior to pursuing academia, Dr. Huerta was a highly successful community organizer. Among his many university and community-based campaigns, he co-led and led two of the most dynamic, grassroots campaigns in U.S. history: (1) defeating the City of Los Angeles’ draconian leaf-blower ban, forcing the city to eliminate harsh penalties against Latino immigrant gardeners (i.e., a misdemeanor charge, $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail) (video link); and (2) defeating a polluting power plant in South Gate, CA, (located in Southeast Los Angeles) (video link).
Moreover, Dr. Huerta has received numerous fellowships, awards, recognitions and grants for his scholarship, civic engagement and public policy advocacy towards a more diverse, just and humane society. This includes the Ford Foundation Diversity Pre-doctoral Fellowship, American Planning Association’s National Planning Leadership Award: Advancing Diversity & Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning’s Edward Blakely Award for Advancing the Cause of Social & Racial Justice in Urban Planning and many more. On a related note, Dr. Huerta is especially honored of Fox News’ rebuke against his criticism of SNL and Trump.
Born in the U.S., Dr. Huerta was raised in a slum (Colonia Libertad in Tijuana) and violent barrio (Ramona Gardens housing project or Big Hazard projects in East Los Angeles). As a first-generation university graduate and scholar, he’s the product of public schools, from inner-city schools (K-12) to elite universities.
On a more personal level, he’s happily married to Antonia Montes.