In order to better serve the Latino Communities in Iowa, LULAC Council 10 of Davenport, IA welcomes Araceli Vazquez-Ramirez as their new Community Advocate to work with Columbus Junction and surrounding areas.
“A Community Advocate provides services in connection with council 10’s organization to provide community relief in Columbus Junction, Iowa and surrounding Louisa County,” explained Ms. Vazquez-Ramirez of her new position. “I will be working in Columbus Junction Iowa and surrounding areas the goal is to empower Latinos and build a strong Latino community.”
Through this work the organization will be able “to identify the needs in the areas that need improvement.” She hopes that this will also help create ways to bring positive and long-term change to the communities.
“Each community has its own needs and assets, as well as its own culture and social structure. This project will help us to uncover not only needs and resources, but the underlying culture and social structure and it will help us understand how to address the community’s needs,” Ms. Vazquez-Ramirez explained in-depth the goal of this special effort from LULAC. “We need to address the community’s priorities first. We need to see who are those who are most directly affected by adverse conditions.”
Vazquez-Ramirez explained that she will work closely with different groups of people in those communities. She is hoping to have some input from low-income families; residents who do not speak English; businesses; council members; church members; Hispanics; and other groups that are representative of the community.
“We need to see what is and what should be done. In order to have a positive outcome and a comprehensive view of our community we need to look at what we have and what we need. With these things in mind we can have a positive impact on the problem we need to address, in the community of Columbus Junction,” Vazquez-Ramirez stated.
Vazquez-Ramirez will focus on three areas: policy changes, system changes and environmental changes. She’ll conduct research through community surveys, interviews, community forums and other initiatives. Ms. Vazquez-Ramirez explained that when it comes to Columbus Junction, there are specific categories that need to be considered during this effort by LULAC Council 10.
“The categories to be considered in Columbus Junction will be health care (mobile clinic of University of Iowa), Hunger relief (Food, Vegan Drive, Christian Victory Drive), Financial assistance, legal assistance, as well as other areas and other programs in our community. This position will allow our community to get relief from the current situation that Columbus has been facing during the pandemic.,” she told.
Any volunteers or assistance from other communities during the research part of the project will be greatly appreciated.