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article imageChicano Latino Affairs Council unveils initiatives for Latinos

By Anthony Carranza     Mar 27, 2012 in World
Chicano Latino Affairs Council serves as a liaison between local, state and federal governments to better understand Minnesota's Chicano Latino community.
The Chicano Latino Affairs Council (CLAC), a Minnesota statewide government agency created by the legislature in 1978, will organize the Latino Legislative Day at the Capitol on March 29, 2012. The event has several goals that include exposing the concerns from Minnesota’s Latino Community at large and how different institutions can become more aware of them.
The event is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. that will go over a range of issues like the educational achievement gap, potential legislative initiatives to bolster economic development for Latino Businesses, health care and many more.
This two hour event will feature well-known state officials like Governor Mark Dayton, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Senator Patricia Torres Ray, Senator Carla Nelson, Rep. Carlos Mariani and Vice President Maggie Rivera for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
“We urge members of our community to take part in the Latino Legislative Day at the Capitol. It is a great opportunity for our community to be heard on issues of great importance by those whom they have elected to represent them at the Legislature,” said CLAC Executive Director Hector Garcia.
It has been conventional wisdom that Minnesota has been recognized for having one of the highest achievement gaps in the nation. This issue is predominantly more common among students of low-income families and affects students of color.
The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now (MinnCAN), a new education reform advocacy group launched in early 2011, emphasized how the achievement gap has not been tackled for some time and how “Minnesota’s nonwhite population and the economy’s demand for educated workers have grown, the achievement gap has barely budged.”
This event will highlight old, but not forgotten discussions that are worth addressing again. Finally, these conversations or public discussions have to move what is known within the educational system in Minnesota and move into the realm of crafting some tangible initiatives.
CLAC plays an advisory role for the governor and the Minnesota legislature. The agency is made up of 15 members, which 11 members get appointed by the current governor in office, and the four additional legislators get chosen by the legislature.
Ultimately, the issues that affect the communities of colors have been known to be a polarizing topic in the political sphere and at times do not get addressed fully on the local or federal level. There has not been comprehensive legislation geared towards Latino community in spite of becoming the fastest growing demographic that demands a further examination of all the issues that exist within it.
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