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A call for immediate action

By Noreen Sugrue, Director of Research, Latino Policy Forum; and Alejandra Ibáñez, Executive Director, Illinois Unidos

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, the Latino Policy Forum has been arguing for differentiating among what COVID has broken, exposed, and exacerbated while also highlighting COVID’s disproportionate impact on the Latino community. The Forum’s data-driven advocacy has emphasized the need for hyper-local data analysis, equitably allocating resources to redress what COVID has broken, and not using immigration status as a criterion for providing assistance. 

Too often these calls have been unanswered. For example, the reporting of 68.4 percent of vaccine eligible people in Illinois being fully vaccinated paints a somewhat optimistic picture of how we as... Continue Reading

Fighting Omicron

Latinos face far too many barriers.

By Noreen Sugrue, Director of Research, Latino Policy Forum 

The best defense against any COVID variant, including Omicron, is getting the vaccine and any booster shot. 

The boosters, like the initial shots, are free. However, appointments for both the first round of vaccines and then the booster can be difficult to secure, with many places requiring that you have access to the Internet and have time to spend “shopping for an appointment.” In some cases, you must have a “My Chart” account or be a patient of the hospital or health center, or answer questions about health insurance status that are off-putting to many who work in the gig or cash... Continue Reading

Friends and neighbors,

For over 12 years, the Latino Policy Forum has proudly been a small shop with big ambitions. Advocating for Latinos throughout the state of Illinois is forever at the heart of our mission, but over the years, we have had occasional opportunities to influence public policy on a federal level. We certainly never pass them up when they come.

The Biden administration is the third presidential administration to hold office since the Forum’s beginning, and of all three, I have never felt so invited to sit at the national table, so welcome to share what we are seeing in our communities here in Illinois. The... Continue Reading

The community deserves better.

Noreen Sugrue, Director of Research, Latino Policy Forum 

The pre-pandemic socio-economic gains by Latinos, the release of the preliminary 2020 census data, and the roller coaster that is COVID all together provide an opportunity to understand how COVID is far more than a health issue. It is a threat to the ability of the Latino community to extend their pre-pandemic gains in educational attainment, income, and labor force participation, among others. And the start of Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect opportunity to look at all that.

Two studies provide a detailed and illuminating story of the pre-pandemic Latino gains and contributions. Prior to March 2020, both nationally and in Illinois, Latinos were... Continue Reading

By Noreen Sugrue, Director of Research, Latino Policy Forum


COVID has certainly elevated the importance of undertaking global analysis about economic and social inequities in order to more fully understand that those have led to COVID’s disproportionate impact across the globe. This is especially true among the economically disadvantaged.

We know that COVID has had and continues to have a disproportionately devastating impact on Latino, Black, and other communities of color. In the United States, the disproportionate impact COVID has had on racial/ethnic minorities is mentioned quite often in many analyses and discussions of COVID. Nonetheless, what has not been mentioned nearly enough is just how disproportionately Latinos in the United States have been impacted by COVID. For instance,... Continue Reading