Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto


Victoria is Assistant Dean at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a contributor to MSNBC and Telemundo. Her areas of expertise in the domestic policy landscape include immigration, Latinos, women and childcare, and economic equity. more→


Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding policy development and its intersection with institutional and political contexts. Underlying her academic work is the applicability of rigorous research to on-the-ground policy realities.

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Recent Media

This post originally appeared on NBCLatino.

Rule number one in politics:  don’t make the headlines of TMZ.

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has broken this cardinal rule three times in the last week.  TMZ, the celebrity gossip site has actually bestowed the title of Mayor Suave upon Villaraigosa.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Harvey Levin and the TMZ crew and right next to my POLITICO and RealClearPolitics phone app is my TMZ app.  But, this is not where I should be going to read about my national leaders and this isn’t the first time Villaraigosa has been fodder for TMZ.

This TMZ episode speaks to a larger question about what the mayor’s legacy will be.  Will it simply be that of a common Latino stereotype of the suave Latin lover?  Or does Mayor Villaraigosa leave office this year with a legacy—a lasting political accomplishment akin to Mayor Giuliani’s cleaning up New York’s Times Square or Richard M. Daley making Chicago a global city.

The short answer is no.  However this does not mean that he did not accomplish good things for America’s second largest city.  During his eight years in office he has overseen an improved police department in a city infamous for problems for its police force.  He has also streamlined the city’s bureaucracy by making it more accessible to the business sector while at the same time better connecting city agencies with the citizenry. (more…)