The Maricopa Community Colleges have announced that Dr. Donald D. Covey, Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools, has chosen Alfredo Gutierrez to fill a vacancy on the governing board. Gutierrez, a former state legislator, will serve until Dec. 31. He was sworn in on Feb. 4.

Gutierrez was one of nine applicants for the position, which was created in November when board member Ben Miranda suddenly passed away. Covey interviewed three finalists and chose Gutierrez.

An election will be on Nov. 4 to determine the person who will hold office for the remaining two years of Miranda’s term, which expires on Dec. 31, 2016.

A native of Miami, Ariz., Gutierrez is well-known as an activist and organizer in the Latino community. He is a founder of Chicanos por la Causa and Valle del Sol and served as an organizer for United Farm Workers.

He was elected to the State Senate in 1972 and was elected by his peers to be majority leader two years later. He left the Legislature in 1986 and formed a public relations, lobbying and issues-management firm. Since 2002 he has primarily worked as a private consultant, speaker and teacher and is known as an advocate for public schools and immigration reform.

Gutierrez represents District 5, which comprises parts of Avondale, Buckeye, Glendale, Goodyear and Phoenix, as well as the Gila River Indian Community, Guadalupe, the Tohono O’Odham Nation and Tolleson.

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