The 7th National Latino Congreso concludes in Chicago - Delegates adopt multiple resolutions reflective of the political agenda of the nation’s Latino community
Chicago, IL—May 19, 2012—The 7th annual National Latino Congreso, the first held outside the Southwestern United States, concluded this afternoon in Chicago at the Arturo Velazquez Institute. Over the three days of the convening, elected officials—including US Senator Dick Durbin and US Representative Luis Gutierrez—joined hundreds of Latino leaders and community members in dialog around a collective advocacy agenda ahead of November elections.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez addressed Congreso participants on Saturday morning and received thunderous applause for challenging the Obama administration to fulfill its promises to the immigrant community. “The man we have elected to be President of the United State has not used his executive authority to do what we have elected him to do.”
With a focus the Latino vote, economic justice, immigration, and migrant rights, delegates at the 2012 National Latino Congreso voted on a collective advocacy agenda for the Latino community, reflective of the array of issues that will determine how Latinos will cast their ballots in November. This collective agenda was set forth in a series of resolutions passed by the Congreso. Resolutions will be shared with both presidential candidates ahead of the 2012 elections.
Highlights of resolutions include:
- The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) called on members of the Congreso to support the collective bargaining rights of tobacco farm workers employed by R.J. Reynolds.
- A resolution submitted by United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) called for “retail workers summits” to be held around the country to highlight the exploitation of workers in the retail sector.
- The William C. Velazquez Institute (WCVI) proposed resolution on protecting home ownership from the predatory practices of banks.
- Red Mexicana put forward a resolution committing members of the Congreso to make a sustained push for passage of the AgJOBS and DREAM Act legislation in the coming legislative year.
- A resolution submitted by Frente Unido de Inmigrantes called on the Obama Administration to end the “Secure Communities” program.
- A resolution proposed by Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO), called on Congreso members to advocate for a new, legally binding international agreement on the status of “climate refugees.”
- A resolution by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) called on Congreso members to commit themselves to the fight against the construction of more immigration detention facilities, particularly those privately owned.
- The Latino Policy Forum proposed a resolution to increase access and equity for Latinos in state government and leadership positions in Illinois.
- LCLAA proposed a resolution urging President Obama to move forward with incremental immigration reform, specifically including categorical relief for DREAM-eligible youth in the United States.
- LCLAA also proposed a resolution opposing the reduction of Social Security benefits or an increase in retirement age for workers, specifically calling for the provision of Social Security payments to deported workers who have contributed to the system.
All of these resolutions meet with overwhelming support by the Congreso and were adopted.
Dozens of groups representing the Latino Community nationally participated including the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC), the William C. Velazquez Institute (WCVI), the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Latino Policy Forum, and The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Several local politicians also participated including Illinois Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez.