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Meet Toño

Antonio Arellano was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and migrated to the United States at an early age. He was raised with a strong sense of determination, perseverance, and hard work ethic. Due to economic hardship, the lack of healthcare access, and educational opportunities in Mexico, Antonio’s family made the difficult decision to leave their home country for a chance at a better life in the United States. Thanks to the tremendous sacrifices his parents made, Antonio’s upbringing was drastically different from theirs, yet still filled with endless obstacles.

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Antonio’s immigrant upbringing exposed him to the discrimination and racism communities of color have endured. These injustices sparked his lifelong passion to win marginalized communities the respect and representation they deserve. As a Latino leader for progressive change in the United States, Antonio taps into his life experiences to raise awareness and recognizes that his dreams of an equitable and inclusive nation are not his alone, but rather the shared dreams of our ancestors and millions of immigrants that call this country home.


Antonio has worked at some of the most notable newsrooms in America. While at the Houston Chronicle, Antonio advanced digital coverage of a variety of issues impacting one of the most diverse markets in the nation. In 2016, Antonio was offered the opportunity to join ABC News as a social media contributor, where he was instrumental in developing an innovative approach to news dissemination using social media to engage and educate a younger audience.


In September 2018, Antonio joined Jolt Initiative, the largest Latino civic engagement organization in Texas, and served as Communications Director. During his tenure, he developed and led statewide culturally competent campaigns to empower and educate young Latino voters. Antonio also helped shift the narrative that has historically depicted Latino voters as dormant by launching innovative programs to uplift the voices of the growing Latino electorate. 


Antonio was promoted to lead Jolt in August 2019, ahead of the historic 2020 presidential election and decennial Census. Under his leadership, Jolt launched a massive nonpartisan voter registration effort and get-out-the-vote campaigns, delivered the largest Latino census count in modern Texas history, and secured numerous multi-million dollar grants for the organization. Antonio worked in coalition with the Texas Youth Power Alliance to expand and solidify a robust youth-focused voter infrastructure in the state. Additionally, Antonio helped develop a multi-prong approach toward tackling climate change and establish Texas as a leader in renewable energy.


Remaining committed to ensuring justice and breaking down barriers on behalf of the most vulnerable, Antonio assumed the role of Press Strategist for the Texas affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in January 2022, where he advanced the media relations work of the leading civil rights organization in the Lone Star State by influencing how key issues were framed in print, radio, television, and online media. Antonio worked across all departments to support all of the ACLU’s initiatives, including voting access, LGBTQIA+ equality, immigrants’ rights, smart justice, and reproductive freedom. 


Today, Antonio serves as the Vice President of Communications at NextGen America where he oversees the implementation of a national strategy to increase the progressive power of young Americans and advances economic equity, racial and climate justice as well as efforts to safeguard our democracy. In 2022, Antonio helped NextGen America secure the second-largest youth voter turnout in history.


Antonio represents a new era of bold and fearless leadership, emerging from a social climate that is actively demanding fresh perspectives on key issues. His innovative use of digital media and narrative shift work has quickly catapulted Antonio into one of the leading progressive voices in the United States. His work has been mentioned in Time Magazine, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Telemundo, and Univision, among others.

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