Roberto Maestas

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Roberto Maestas
Roberto Maestas 01C.jpg
Roberto Maestas, 2008
Personal details
Born(1938-07-09)9 July 1938
New Mexico
Died22 September 2010(2010-09-22) (aged 71)
Seattle, Washington
NationalityUnited States
Spouse(s)Janet Tassin
OccupationSocial activist
Known forCommunity leader of Seattle

Roberto Maestas (July 9, 1938 - September 22, 2010) was an American social activist who was prominent between the 1960s and the 1990s in Seattle, Washington. Maestas was a member of the Gang of Four and one of the founders of El Centro de la Raza.[1][2]


Maestas was born in rural New Mexico and raised by his grandparents and after working throughout the Western United States as a migrant worker eventually settled in Seattle in the 1950s.[3] Maestas was a high school teacher at Franklin High School and then enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Washington in 1968. In the early 1970s he helped begin an ESL program at South Seattle College. In 1972, funding to the program was abruptly cut off which lead to Maestas and a number of other activists to occupy an abandoned school building in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood which eventually became El Centro de la Raza.[1]


On April 25, 2011, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to rename the segment of South Lander Street between 16th Avenue South and 17th Avenue South (immediately south of El Centro de la Raza) as South Roberto Maestas Festival Street.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b Prominent civil rights leader Roberto Maestas dies, KOMO news, September 22, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Jerry Large, Roberto Maestas, leading advocate for social justice, dies at 72, Seattle Times, September 22, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  3. ^ Daily, The. "Roberto Maestas: activist for life". The Daily of the University of Washington. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  4. ^ Council Bill Number: 117136, Ordinance Number: 123588, Seattle City Clerk's Online Information Resources, City of Seattle. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  5. ^ "SAVE THE DATE! Roberto Maestas to be honored during Beacon Rocks! August 28th". Retrieved 2018-09-05.