Ignacio De La Fuente is the Founder and President/Chief Executive Officer of IDLF Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in government affairs and labor relations serving clients in the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento. With significant public and private sector experience and unparalleled expertise in municipal budgets, local and regional economic development, and labor relations, Ignacio has proven to be a skilled tactician and strategist who efficiently navigates the complex dynamics of business and government. Ignacio’s career in labor relations began at the grass roots level working as a machinist in a local foundry, where he quickly rose through the union ranks. In 1978, he was elected as a union representative and has served as an International Vice President for the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, and Allied Workers International Union AFL-CIO until his retirement in January 2014. Meanwhile, in 1992, Ignacio was elected to the Oakland City Council where he served as City Council president between 1999 and 2007. Ignacio’s well-earned reputation as a gifted political strategist and organizer was reinforced while working closely with Governor Jerry Brown during his eight years as Mayor of Oakland; an era in which Oakland experienced a record rate of housing and business development, paving the way for much of Oakland’s most recent growth. In addition to serving as the Chair of the Finance & Management and Economic Development Committees, respectively, Ignacio also co-chaired the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority between 1996 and January 2013, overseeing the City’s Coliseum-Arena complex and three professional sports franchises. Throughout his almost 20 years in public office, Ignacio left a lasting legacy in Oakland. He led the City Council in negotiating and approving a series of innovative private-public partnerships and real estate, retail, and entertainment projects.
Ignacio is credited with the revitalization of Fruitvale’s International Boulevard shopping area, taking its vacancy rate from 40% to nearly 0%, as well as adding major developments like the Fruitvale Station Shopping Center, Super K-Mart (now Home Depot) and the Fruitvale Transit Village.”
He is also credited with leading efforts to build two new public schools and ball fields, and beautification efforts in his district resulting in the complete rehabilitation of the Cesar Chavez Park, Josie De La Cruz Park, Fremont pool, building of Union Point Park, safer crosswalks, dedicated bike lanes, street banners, new street trees and several aggressive community policing initiatives. Working in partnership with several community-based organizations, Ignacio sponsored groundbreaking policies to create jobs for Oakland residents and greater access for Oakland’s immigrant communities to policing, libraries, planning and other city services.
Additionally, he led innovative crime reduction efforts, including creating the Public Nuisance Case Manager position to go after problem properties, and the Nuisance Eviction Ordinance to allow the city to evict drug dealers from problem properties. He has also authored anti-predatory lending legislation and smart-growth big box regulations replicated in other cities. Now in the private sector, Ignacio remains committed to growing the local economy and promoting policies that support small and emerging Oakland businesses. To that end, he continues to relentlessly pursue distinctive economic development projects and dedicates countless hours to building new relationships. Most recently, Ignacio has set out to transform the academic potential of students in Oakland with the creation of the De La Fuente Scholarship Foundation. The 501c3 that he founded in 2011 provides high-achieving students with financial aid for college tuition and sector specific certificate programs.