That the American Civil Liberties Union mourns the loss, and celebrates the life, of its
board member, devoted civil libertarian Richard Alvarado.
In 2003, the ACLU of Texas board held a strategic planning retreat. Based upon recommendations from his lifetime of service to civil rights and civil liberties, and his expertise in non-profit governance, Richard was invited to facilitate the discussion. It was love at first meeting.
Within a few months, Richard was on the affiliate board, and quickly became its resident expert on all questions of nonprofit governance and organization.
In 2005 the Texas affiliate elected Richard as its national board representative. Even as a new member, Richard served with distinction and quickly earned the respect of his new colleagues.
In 2007, the ACLU of Texas executive director resigned. While the affiliate embarked on a national search for a replacement, Richard came out of retirement to serve as interim executive director for almost a year until the transition was complete.
Richard resumed his position on the national board as affiliate representative, ending his term in 2011 after promising his family that he would at last slow down. The national and Texas boards were fortunate that he did not keep that promise.
The national nominating committee prevailed upon him to take an at-large position, and Richard's first-place
showing demonstrated the regard and respect the ACLU had for him. Richard continued to serve on both boards until his death this week.
Though dying of cancer and suffering severe speech impediments due to a stroke, Richard made an emotional appearance at the ACLU of Texas October board meeting.
For the last four years, Richard served as the conscience of the ACLU's governance committee. In that process, as in his service to the national and affiliate boards, Richard was a strong but gentle warrior whose grace, compassion, and wisdom benefitted the entire ACLU family. He made us wiser and better people and stewards of the ACLU. We are all much poorer by his loss, but richer by the lessons and example he set for all of us.
In his work, as in his life, Richard embraced and celebrated the richness of diversity, and brought a rigorous and inclusive approach to leadership development. He was completely devoted to not only the ACLU, but also to his family. In word and in deed, he represented the very best of us.
With respect and appreciation for his dedication to his core values and our mission,
admiration for his achievements, and affection for his collegiality,
~The Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union
Dated January 26, 2013