Date First Appointed: 2014
Date First Elected: 2014
Date Re-Elected 2016
Years of Service: 2014-present
Current Term Expires: December 31, 2020
Alfredo Gutierrez was born in Miami, Arizona, and attended both elementary and high school there. He enlisted into the United States Army upon graduation, and served three years until he was honorably discharged. He enrolled at Arizona State University with assistance from the G.I. Bill but did not graduate. His tenure there ended after he led a student strike against the administration for what he felt was the University's abuse against laundry workers at the facility that supplied the University. He was the public face of the demonstrations and was singled out by the Board of Regents and the Administration. In 1999, the Arizona Board of Regents awarded him a Ph.D. Honoris Causa.
The years immediately following his departure from ASU were a whirlwind of organizing activity in the Latino community. He was an organizer with the United Farm Workers and he helped found Chicanos por la Causa and Valle del Sol community organizations in Phoenix. He was active in seeking reforms at Phoenix Union High School District. He was an organizer in petitioning, pressuring, demonstrating for better healthcare for the poor in Maricopa County and for the adoption of Medicaid in Arizona. During that time he was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship in its inaugural year.
He ran for Arizona Senate in 1972 and narrowly won. He was elected by his peers as the Majority Leader in 1974 and would serve as either Majority or Minority Leader of the Senate for fourteen years. During his tenure in the legislature, he was involved in every major public policy debate that affected the State of Arizona. He, along with Burton Barr, Art Hamilton, and Governor Bruce Babbitt, led the reorganization of State government from a rural, southern-inspired governance model to a modern, forward-leaning decision structure.
Choosing not to run for re-election in 1986, he and his partner Bill Jamieson, a former President Carter and Governor Babbitt appointee, formed Jamieson and Gutierrez, a public relations, lobbying, and issue management firm that would grow into the largest and most influential firm of its era. Clients included the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Baseball (later to become the Diamondbacks), America West Airlines, PacificCorp, the City of Phoenix, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Phelps Dodge, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and many others. He sold the firm to his partners in 2000.
Since 2002, he has primarily worked as a private consultant, speaker, and teacher. He has conducted a series of seminars on behalf of the Margueritte Casey Foundation in various community organizations across the country. He has participated in and spoken at seminars on behalf of the Monsignor Ryle Fund. He assisted ASU in its efforts to extend its Public Policy Institute into Mexico. He has frequently been asked to speak on the issue of immigration history and immigration reform. He continues to advocate for public schools and immigration reform.