Friends and neighbors, 

Happy New Year! I wish you all a year filled with love, laughter, and cheer! 

There is plenty for us at the Forum to cheer about…we are celebrating our quinceañera in 2023. Fifteen years of building the Latino community's power, influence, and leadership. It takes a... Continue Reading

By Nina Sedeño, Immigration Policy Analyst

Earlier this month, the Illinois Latino Agenda (ILA) convened its first meeting of the “Welcome to Illinois” coalition. The purpose of this new coalition is to provide a space for those responding to the ongoing migrant situation to share information, provide updates, and determine if there are synergies to teamwork.

As of mid-October, Illinois has received over 3,600 asylum-seekers from Texas and Florida. State, city, and local organizations have worked around the clock to meet the immediate needs of these families, providing everything from food and shelter to medical screenings and legal advice. Early on, community organizations expressed a need for coordination of these efforts and... Continue Reading

The Latino Policy Forum hosted its annual Latinos on the Move fundraiser,Latinos on the Move: Driving Growth In Illinois,on Friday, November 4, 2022.

After two years of hosting LOTM virtually, the event was back in-person at the Union League Club Continue Reading

Friends and neighbors, 

It's heartbreaking to learn about the growing number of victims in Florida due to Hurricane Ian. As rescue crews go door-to-door to search for survivors and help in recovery, I consider myself blessed in that my family is among the lucky ones. My father and his wife, who live in central Florida, sheltered in a hospital for two nights. I waited anxiously, not hearing from them, to learn that in their haste they had forgotten their phone at home.  It was an anxious two nights. I breathed a sigh of relief when I learned that... Continue Reading

By Alaynah Rose Garibay, Senior Consultant Latino Policy Forum and Dr. Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro, Education Director Latino Policy Forum

Nearly one in four children in Illinois speak a language other than English in their homes. In 2019-20, there were 261,454 students classified as English Learners, roughly 11.7%. In addition, 655 school districts across the state offered English learner instructional programs to support the unique learning needs of those students. 

Until now, there has not been a sustained series of training designed to build the skills of school leaders responsible for student outcomes in those programs. There are unique factors that impact the learning trajectories of English learners over the long term, and administrators... Continue Reading

By Sylvia Puente, President & CEO

Latinos make solid and consistent contributions to Illinois' population and labor force.

Were it not for Latinos, the state's population and workforce would have contracted. The group contributed more than $97 billion to Chicago's economy from 2010-2018, according to the recently released 2022 Chicago Metro Latino GDP Report.

The Forum is thrilled with the author's details in outlining the Latino communities' wealth-making success, driven by swift gains in human capital and a strong work ethic. 

However, missing from the narrative is the Latino wealth paradox. The community continues to not benefit from the prosperity it creates.

To amplify, the data published by California Lutheran University... Continue Reading

By Vanessa Peña, Education Policy Analyst

The Forum was honored to join with forty-one community organizations to partner with the Regional Office of Education West 40 and Morton College in Cicero for the annual “Backpack Giveback” event that took place on Saturday, August 6, 2022. The Regional Office of West 40 serves 41 school districts and three co-ops in West Cook County. 

Excited families formed a line that wrapped around the Morton College campus in Cicero to pick up free backpacks and school supplies for their kids in elementary school, middle school, and high school.  Each backpack contained basic school supplies such as notebooks, crayons, pencils, and a ruler.

Inside the gymnasium of Morton... Continue Reading

Friends and neighbors,

I hope that you are all having an enjoyable and safe summer.

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of the victims and survivors of the Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park. That most recent gun violence is another example of what has become frighteningly commonplace in our country, robbing us of our sense of peace and security. It is imperative that all of those affected by the tragedy get the proper help during the healing process.

I look to the members of the Illinois Latino Agenda (ILA), a growing coalition of Latino leaders that the Forum convenes, to lead... Continue Reading

Action Tank

Removing Barriers To Resourse Sharing and Services

By Edwin Ortiz Reyes, Housing Policy Analyst, Latino Policy Forum

In April I had the opportunity to be a part of the Complex Care Regional Convening hosted by Rush University Medical Center. The convening, titled Healthcare and Housing Access for All, brought stakeholders from many different fields to meet and discuss barriers and obstacles in healthcare and housing access for immigrants. Participants were split into groups called “Action Tanks,” which focused on specific topics and worked to build consensus and develop actionable solutions that would remove barriers to resource sharing and access to services for immigrants. 

Due to my work on the Housing Rights... Continue Reading

The Latino Policy Forum is pleased to accept the 2022 UnidosUS Midwest Regional Affiliate of the Year award!

The regional award is an honor bestowed on Affiliates for their exemplary work in serving its community and advancing the mission of UnidosUS.

 commend your dedication to the Latino community, and the support you provide to the UnidosUS Affiliate Network, specially in the Midwest region,” wrote Irene Cuyún Vice President, Affiliate Partnerships & Development in a letter to Sylvia Puente, President and CEO, Latino Policy Forum.

“This award is a testament to the collective vision... Continue Reading

Friends and neighbors,

On March 23rd, we celebrated our tenth Latino Unity Day: "Latinos Pa'Lante: Beyond Recovery." Oh my goodness, how far we have come in that time. It has been nothing short of a sea change over the past decade—especially the last few years. Not only in democratic leadership, but in our Latino leadership in Springfield. 

We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of our Latino elected officials, including in suburban representation. We now have six Latino legislators representing our suburbs, which is so important because that’s where the Latino growth is occurring. And in my lifetime, I have never seen so many Latinos within the Governor’s inner circle—and... Continue Reading

By Judith Palma, Social Media Coordinator, Latino Policy Forum

Para leer esta página en español, haga clic aquí.

On April 30th, we celebrated Children's Day. In honor of this holiday, we celebrate five gains from the Illinois fiscal year 2023 budget that benefit the education and health of Latino and English Learner children across our state.

#1: The budget for the Illinois Department of Human Services increased funding for the Early Childhood Block Grant to $598.1 million, a 10-percent increase from last year.

The investment provides funding for two programs that increase access to health and early learning services for children from birth to age 5. The... Continue Reading