In January 2012, over 200 community leaders from across the State of Colorado gathered for the 3rd annual Public Policy Summit. The policy summit provided the framework for the policy platform laid forth in this document. The participation of the community members in crafting the policy platform is a critical part of the civic engagement process. The objective is to provide a platform for the community to voice actions and solutions on issues for their elected and appointed officials. Colorado is currently ranked ninth in the country for the number of eligible voters who are Latino, which is why it is important to engage community members directly with the issues they are most concerned about.
The event also included remarks from prominent national and local Latino leaders including Janet Murgia, NCLR President and CEO, Secretary Federico Peña, Lieutenant Governor, Joseph Garcia. Also adding value and insights to the conversation was the presence of current and former elected officials, at the local, state, and national level and a panel conversation on the Latino voter landscape and the Lobato Decision.
The policy summit focused on developing policy platforms in the following areas:
Presented below is a comprehensive set of issues that must be addressed if Colorado is going to continue to thrive in the future.
Overview of Current Priority Issues
- Predatory lending and foreclosure issues.
- Inadequate Latino job development and job training targeting Colorado growth industries.
- Inadequate provision of economic opportunities and utilization of strategies that include full wrap around services for incubation of new businesses, including access to legal services, capital, markets, and training.
- Disproportionate lack of coverage and access to healthcare in the Latino community.
- Lack of understanding of the impact and issues involved in healthcare reform.
- Lack of culturally responsive navigators that assist in decreasing health disparities.
- Inadequate support of and access to healthy, nutritional food, recreational infrastructure, and indigenous healing practices.
- Continued large achievement gap and dropout rate disparity between Latino students and their peers.
- Inadequate community and parental involvement.
- Inadequate coordination of education with other services and agencies, such as juvenile justice, child and family services, health and mental health services, etc.
- Inadequate access to affordable and non-discriminatory higher education.
The CLF and CLLARO will work with other nonprofit organizations, businesses, government, and media, both locally and nationally, to help build coalitions that will maximize the effectiveness of the collective efforts and success of this policy platform. These coalitions will be nonpartisan intended to work with organizations whose purpose is to positively impact the lives of Latinos and ultimately improve the quality of life for the Latino community. Including the identification of forums and/or workshops geared to creating economic synergy.
This work will move forward through communication with membership and the broader community regarding critical updates on policy decisions. The communication will include:
- Policy Forums and Town Hall meetings
- Opinion Editorials/Press Releases
- Speakers as key experts on topical issues
- Public Service Announcement
- Publisher/Editorial Board Meetings