Iowa Hispanic PAC expresses sympathy over death of long-time Latino leader Lorenzo Jasso

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DES MOINES – Iowa Latino leaders this week expressed their sadness over the death of Lorenzo Jasso, a founding member of the HISPANICS political action committee and a long-time elementary school principal.

He unexpectedly died on Monday, Sept. 8.

Jasso, 61, was principal of McKinley Elementary School in Des Moines from 1992 to 2010. The school has a large Spanish-speaking population, which made Jasso a perfect fit for the building, said Rose Vasquez, president of the Hispanic PAC of Iowa. Jasso was the first and only Latino principal in the Des Moines public school district.

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“Lorenzo lived in the neighborhood and poured his heart and soul into the school, Vasquez said. “He worked tirelessly to help McKinley students and their families.”

The school plans to create a permanent memorial tribute to Jasso.

“Most of us describe Lorenzo as a thoughtful, intelligent man, Vasquez said. He was kind and gentle. He loved his family, and he loved McKinley.”

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Jasso oversaw renovation of McKinley in 2004. When the building reopened, he renamed the school mascot the Eagles. He wanted the mascot to be more reflective of the neighborhood and the many eagles that gathered along the river just north of the school.
Jasso also was one of the founders of Hispanic Educational Resources (HER). He was known for working quietly and out of the spotlight to help the children and families in the Latino community.

Vasquez worked with Jasso when the HISPANICS PAC fought an attempt to make
English the official language of Iowa in the early 2000s.

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For more information, contact Rose Vasquez at 515-280-3422 or e-mail at [email protected].

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