Recent Comments

    Erick Arguello, An Extraordinary Community Leader

    By Eduardo Morales, Ph.D.–

    I want to relaunch my column in this new year to acknowledge and honor Latinx persons who are making wonderful contributions to our community and our county and city.

    Erick Arguello is an exceptional leader whose contributions are numerous and impactful. Forthright and collaborative, he uses his skills and talents to bring together other leaders and concerned citizens for causes that are important to them and to their communities. Notably, Arguello led the effort to have the South Mission District become the Calle 24, the Latino Cultural District for San Francisco. He united business owners, residents, the San Francisco Latino Historical Society, San Francisco Heritage, community leaders and then Supervisor David Campos in the petition campaign to have the South Mission declared a Latino Cultural District in the City and County of San Francisco.

    He also led the formation of Calle 24 Latino Cultural District as a nonprofit organization and is a leader on the organization’s board. His strategy for leading the formation of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District has been acknowledged as a model for other groups to use.

    Auguello has received many awards, including the 2018 San Francisco Tenants Union Community Ally Award, 2014 San Francisco Latino Heritage Award, 2014 Cesar E. Chavez Legacy Award, 2011 KQED Latino Heritage Month Local Hero Award, and in 2008, he was named LGBTQ Individual Community Grand Marshall for the SF LGBTQ+ Parade.

    Erick Arguello with AGUILAS Members

    Since 1994, Erick Arguello has worked and volunteered at AGUILAS, an HIV prevention program currently located in the SF LGBT Center in San Francisco. As AGUILAS Program Director he was credited with having helped develop office policies and procedures; helped maintain the program participant database; initiated and executed agreements among a cross-sector of agencies; and organized community forums on HIV/AIDS funding, support services, and stigma for Latinx persons. In 1998, he became the Volunteer Manager at AGUILAS and successfully created the organization’s Volunteer Engagement Program, recruiting over 175 volunteers and producing its policies and procedures.

    The policies and procedures he designed were then selected by the Centers for Disease Control as the standard for all south peninsula agencies. Additionally, he published the AGUILAS newsletters and facilitated the volunteer orientations and staff trainings for the agency. In 2008, Arguello became Program Manager at AGUILAS. In that role, he managed the day-to-day operations of the agency ensuring culturally competent programs and protocols that promote health and wellbeing and also foster positive self-identities and healthy relationships among Latinx gay/bisexual men. As Program Manager he also managed staff and monitored programs to evaluate if they are meeting goals and objectives for HIV/STI testing and the prevention interventions.

    In 2019, he accepted a position at GLIDE as Community Engagement and Volunteer Program Manager under the Center for Social Justice. In that role, he has worked closely with other departments to build collaboration, and support systems o integrate and streamline volunteer engagement. He developed and updated internal policies for the agency, conducted outreach and engagement with other service providers and agencies, managed staff and built the data system for implementation and improvements of the volunteer services. In 2020 he was promoted to Engagement Manager at GLIDE representing the organization in over 10 local coalitions and community groups. In this capacity, he has addressed issues around COVID-19, housing, hunger, and water access for the unhoused.

    In 2022, he was named Advocacy Manager at GLIDE and built internal advocacy systems city wide. He provided trainings to marginalized persons on housing and land use, and to people of color on lifting the voices of marginalized communities at hearings, marches, and rallies. Through this role he worked with coalition allies to assist and build community power and engagement.

    Through his mild mannered and collaborative style, Arguello is extremely effective in unifying group members in working together for common causes and achieving impactful outcomes. It was a privilege to work with Erick while he was at AGUILAS. If you ever have a chance to work and collaborate with Erick Arguello, I am sure you will find the experience quite gratifying and beneficial.

    He is a founding member of United to Save the Mission and Our Mission No Eviction, and is a member of the Race and Equity in all Planning Coalition. The City and County of San Francisco is very lucky to have Erick Arguello, who keeps his focus on those who have great need and who are marginalized.

    Eduardo Morales, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus, retired Distinguished Professor, current adjunct professor, licensed psychologist, one of the founders and current Executive Director of AGUILAS, an award-winning program for Latinx LGBTQ+. Of Puerto Rican decent he received numerous distinguished awards, citations and made Fellow of 12 Divisions of American Psychological Association.

    Nuestra Voz
    Published on January 12, 2023