Jesse Melgar is a consummate public affairs and public relations professional who leads statewide media strategies as communications director for the influential California Latino Legislative Caucus in the Office of State Senator Ricardo Lara.
Melgar is instrumental in advancing the Caucus’ legislative priorities, including groundbreaking legislation to reverse California’s English-only educational mandate. Additionally, he led communications for eleven bills signed into law including legislation establishing the California DREAM Loan Program and first-in-the-nation legislation to allow undocumented Californians to obtain professional licenses if they meet certain criteria.
Previously, Melgar directed communications strategies for California’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization working to secure full and lasting equality for, and acceptance of, LGBT people. As Statewide Communication Director for Equality California, he designed all strategic communication campaigns for the Equality California Institute and Equality California’s Candidate and Issues PACs. His efforts won recognition from the Public Relations Society of America Los Angeles with a PRism Award for best one-time non-profit media event in 2013.
Melgar also served as an Account Executive at Cerrell Associates Inc. (CAI), speicializing in strategic communications, media relations, alliance development and campaign management for private and public sector clients including Time Warner Cable and the successful election of a State Assembly candidate.
In 2013, Melgar was recognized with the Los Angeles area’s highest young professional recognition, earning first place in the Public Relations Society of America Trevett Award, bestowed to a professional under 30 for making a lasting impact in the communications field. In 2013, Melgar was featured in the Holmes Report – a national PR professionals publication – as a communications professional “shattering the LGBT glass ceiling.”
In 2014, Jesse was profiled as one of the top ten young Latino leaders in the United States by La Opinión, the United States’ largest Spanish Language newspaper, for his work on behalf of the Latino community.
Fluent in Spanish, Jesse earned a Bachelor’s Degree with double majors in Political Science and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). While at UCLA, Jesse served as Chairman of the University of California Student Association and student body vice president. Jesse is committed to working with organizations that promote Latino and LGBT rights. He is a founder and advisor of the National Association of Salvadoran Professionals and a Board Member of TruEvolution, Inc.