National Congress of American Indians
Mark Macarro is a leader in California’s American Indian community. He is serving his 14th year as tribal chairman for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. Mark Macarro concurrently serves on the board of governors for the National Congress of the American Indians (NCAI).
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the nation’s oldest organization representing the interests of American Indians and Native peoples. It advocates for beneficial policies and initiatives on a consensus basis, considering the viewpoints and concerns of tribes and tribal governments throughout the United States.
While the NCAI routinely fights against discriminatory and inflammatory conduct, it does not typically respond to name calling and inflammatory dialogue in politics. In May 2017, however, the wholly bi-partisan organization released a statement condemning particularly insensitive remarks made by the nation’s president.
President Trump used the name Pocahontas as an insult to attack Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of his political opponents. Stakeholders at the NCAI object to the use of her name as a racial slur. Pocahontas was a real American Indian, and her legacy is very important to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in particular. The NCAI statement condemns this behavior and expresses hope that the current administration will work positively with American Indian stakeholders in the future.
Pechanga TANF Program
Mark Macarro serves as tribal chairman for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, California. Currently in his 14th year as chairman, Mark Macarro is a respected leader in the local community.
The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians can trace its roots in California’s Temecula Valley back more than 10,000 years, and the band is one of seven that calls the area home. They have persisted through considerable adversity, from massacres to evictions to discriminatory legislation. Today, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians provides a wealth of valuable cultural and community services in the greater Temecula area.
These valuable services include the Pechanga TANF Program, a service that supports families from low-income backgrounds. This program is dedicated to promoting traditional two-parent families and helping those families become self-sufficient. To this end, it offers assistance with childcare and employment as well as providing some cash aid.
Qualifying families must live within the Pechanga Indian Reservation, have children, and meet financial guidelines. To learn more about these and other services available, visit: www.pechanga-nsn.gov.
Native American Rights Fund
For more than a decade, Mark Macarro has served the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians as elected councilman and tribal chairman. Dedicated to tribal advocacy, Mark Macarro sits on the board of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).
For more than four decades, NARF has provided legal counsel to help Native individuals and groups need to uphold their rights. Concurrent to this important work, the organization has focused much of its attention on sustainability. Through its Green Office Committee, NARF continually tracks its environmental impact at its main headquarters and two regional facilities in areas such as waste minimization and paper and energy use. In 2010, the organization also began working with the non-profit Trees, Water, & People to neutralize the carbon emissions that it produced due to its resource consumption.
As a result of these efforts, NARF has been able to reduce its paper and electric use with each passing year. In addition, the organization achieved a perfect balance of CO2 production and offsets in 2016.
In the same year, these impressive results helped NARF receive recognition from a number of sustainability organizations. Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) named the organization’s Boulder, Colorado headquarters as a Certified Partner for its dedication to scaling down its waste. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bestowed upon NARF headquarters its EnergyStar certificate and awarded it an impressive sustainability score of 93 percent.
North Campus Open Space
Ranked by Capitol Weekly among the Top 100 Movers and Shakers in California in 2013, Mark Macarro serves as tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. Mark Macarro holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), which is working to restore wetlands and habitats in its North Campus Open Space.
In 2013, UCSB received a donation of 63 acres of a former golf course from the Trust for Public Land, which bought the land with $7 million in grant funds. UCSB is working to restore this land and its adjacent uplands, which together form 136 acres known as the North Campus Open Space (NCOS).
Through this collaborative restoration project, UCSB aims to preserve the wetlands of the upper Devereux Slough. Wetland preservation is an ever-growing need in California, which has lost 90 percent of its wetlands as a result of development over the last 150 years. Upon completion, the restored North Campus Open Space will form part of a 650-acre open coastal area consisting of the South Parcel, the Coal Oil Point Reserve, and Ellwood-Devereux preserve.