LOS ANGELES Building on last year’s enormously successful effort to develop a united Latino agenda, Latino leaders announced that organizations, elected officials and community leaders from throughout the country will once again convene for the Second Annual National Latino Congreso, to be held at the Sheraton Los Angeles downtown, October 5th through the 9th. The comprehensive gathering of more than 10 convening organizations and an additional half a dozen co-convening organizations represent one of the largest gatherings of Latino leaders from throughout the country.
In 2006, the National Latino Congreso broke new ground by bringing together 2,000 Latinos from 20 states to create a united Latino agenda on a variety of issues. In all, during the four-day Congreso, a platform of 64 resolutions were created by delegates representing over 700 organizations and elected officials, including such issues as education reform, immigrant rights, healthcare, urban greening, foreign policy and climate change.
For 2007, the Congreso intends to develop plans for public policy, advocacy, legislative and electoral strategies, blending historic Latino priorities with a broader set of issues associated with the future generation of an ever-increasing Latino community. Resolutions on myriad issues will once again be brought forward by Delegates to be voted on by Congreso participants.
Sessions for the Congreso include: Maximizing Latino Voter Power in 2008 and Beyond; Saving the Globe for our Children and Grandchildren; Strategies on Issues of Health Care, Social Security, Taxes and Debt; and Developing Latino Policy Initiatives on Education, Economic Development, Criminal Justice and Wealth-Building. Confirmed speakers for the Congreso include Congresswoman Hilda Solis, Speaker of the California State Assembly Fabian Nuñez, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, former San Antonio Mayor and HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, among others.
The Congreso will build on resolutions from last year and continue to establish a long-term Latino agenda and action plan, educate and train a wide range of Latino community leaders, elected officials and activists on critical issues, and mobilize Latino community leaders, with a special emphasis on establishing opportunities for new and young leaders. The event is expected to draw from 1,500 to 2,000 delegates representing leaders from community organizations, labor and business community, religious groups, student organizations, environmental, health and community development groups.
The convening organizations include Hispanic Federation (HF), the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Com-munities (NALACC), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), the National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC), Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) and Earth Day Network (EDN). The co-convening organizations include the Hermandad Mexicana Latino-americana, the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHA), the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), the National Alliance of Craftsmans Associations (NACA) and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL).