November 13, 1953 |
Ciales, Puerto Rico
|Occupation||President, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut|
Juan Figueroa is president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut and former president and general counsel of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 2010, he pursued the Democratic Party nomination for governor of Connecticut.
Born and raised in Ciales, Puerto Rico, Figueroa is the grandson of tenant farmer Don Claudio Figueroa Colon and the son of Juan Figueroa Nazario, a Korean War veteran, and his wife Josefa Agosto Rosario, a seamstress and chaplain. He attended Macalester College on scholarship and earned a law degree from Santa Clara University. He and his wife, Helene Figueroa, live in Meriden, Connecticut and have one daughter.
Professional and political careers
After Figueroa's undergraduate studies, he moved to New Hampshire and worked as a community organizer, going door-to-door to organize Latinos regarding employment and educational issues. Following law school, Figueroa moved to Hartford and served as an Assistant Attorneys General, where he litigated day care center abuse cases and violations of environmental laws. Subsequently, he won election to the Connecticut General Assembly from Hartford's Third District. After three terms, he left the legislature to become the president and general counsel of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now "LatinoJustice PRLDEF"), a national civil rights group based in New York City.
After nearly a decade in New York City, he returned to Connecticut as head of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. At the foundation he oversaw the effort to pass a Connecticut universal health care bill. The legislative undertaking was successful. Governor Jodi Rell vetoed the bill; Figueroa's group organized the coalition that successfully lobbied the legislature to override the veto. A nine-member board was established and charged with coming up with a specific plan for a statewide public health insurance plan entitled SustiNet by January 2011. In January 2010, he took a leave of absence to launch his Connecticut gubernatorial campaign.
Figueroa has appeared on national news programs, including The Today Show, Crossfire, The O'Reilly Factor, Fox and Telemundo. He is a former columnist for The Hartford Courant. He currently serves on the boards of the Progresso Latino Fund, Latinos for National Health Insurance, the Connecticut Public Health Association, and the Partnership for Strong Communities. The Hartford Business Journal, the region’s largest business publication, named him one of its “Health Care Heroes” for his contribution to the advancement of health care in Connecticut.
2010 Connecticut gubernatorial campaign
Figueroa was attempting to win the Democratic nomination through a direct primary, skipping the traditional nominating convention. This required him to obtain the signature of 15,000 registered Democrats. If he succeeded, he would have been the first statewide candidate to force a direct primary since the option was added to state law.
On May 7, Figueroa dropped out of the governor's race, citing the difficulty of raising money in a potential battle against millionaires.
In July, he returned as president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.
- Unlimited Studios (2010-03-07). "Ciales-born attorney shoots for CT governor - Puerto Rico Daily Sun - Timely news about Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and the world". Prdailysun.com. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Puleo, Tom (2000-05-27). "Proquest - Courant.com". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Hoffman, Jan (2000-05-09). "PUBLIC LIVES - PUBLIC LIVES - Memories of Paradise (Plus a Few Bombs) - Biography". Vieques (Puerto Rico); Puerto Rico: NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Former City Finance Chief Sues Over Loss Of Job - Hartford Courant". Articles.courant.com. 2002-12-18. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Universal healthcare advances in Connecticut". Reuters. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative Research, "Acts Affecting Insurance," July 21, 2009.
- "Figueroa plotting an uncharted course | The Connecticut Mirror". Ctmirror.org. 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Juan Figueroa. "Juan Figueroa | Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network". Cpbn.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- [dead link]