DES MOINES- The second annual Latino Legislative Day drew about 25 legislators and dozens of Latinos from central and eastern Iowa.
The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa hosted the event today at the Iowa State Capitol. The day was created to give Latinos an opportunity to meet with their legislators, to develop relationships with elected leaders, and to address various concerns and legislation.
A handful of speakers provided those who attended with information about consumer protection laws, bills before the Iowa Legislature that affect the Latino community, and an update on efforts to reach out to elected leaders. Attendees then met with legislators to discuss various bills and the legislator’s position.
“We were very pleased with the reception we received from legislators and hope that they take our concerns seriously when the time comes to vote on bills that affect the daily lives of working Latino families,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, the state director of Iowa LULAC.
LULAC worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement to meet with legislators and discuss legislation designed to improve access to and affordability of health care; to increase funding for education, specifically for programs to assist students who are not native English speakers and come from low-income families; to provide driver’s licenses to immigrants; and to increase the state’s minimum wage.
“We are citizens, and we are entitled to every privilege of any other citizen in this country,” said Mary E. Campos, a longtime Latino community advocate and state LULAC officer.
State LULAC leaders also met privately with Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and discussed efforts to improve education in Iowa and access to technology for Latino students.
Founded in 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens is the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. There are more than 880 local LULAC councils, which hold voter registration drives, provide awareness to residents about language and immigration issues, sponsor programs and advocate for Latinos.
For more information, contact Joe Enriquez Henry at 515.208.7312; or Melissa Walker at 515.681.7731 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.lulaciowa.org.