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

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

Por Judith Palma, Coordinadora de Redes Sociales, Latino Policy Forum 

To read this page in English, click here.

Este día del niño queremos celebrar 5 victorias en el presupuesto del año fiscal 2023, que beneficiarán la educación y salud de niños latinos en Illinois.  

Continue Reading

Illinois Latino legislators, advocates, and partners push forward as LUD returns to Springfield

By Judith Palma, Social Media Coordinator, Latino Policy Forum

On March 23, Latino Unity Day returned to an in-person gathering in Springfield for its 10th annual celebration. Community leaders and members of the Illinois General Assembly came together for a day packed with panel discussions supporting the Latino community.

The day's theme, “Latinos Pa'Lante: Beyond Recovery,” inspired conversations around education, pandemic response, Latino equity, representation, voting power, health care, and current legislative initiatives. In the first session of the day, members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus presented their “Raíces” document, which lays out policy priorities for 2022.

"Ese documento es lo que nos va... Continue Reading

By Latino Policy Forum Staff

On Saturday, April 9, 2022, the Illinois General Assembly passed a $46.5 billion balanced budget for FY23. It includes a $1.8 billion tax relief package that will provide relief for Illinoisans recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and from recent inflation that has caused the cost of living to rise. It includes freezes on grocery and gas taxes, back-to-school tax relief for families and teachers, and direct checks to working families, including those who file taxes with Individual Taxation Identification Numbers (ITIN).

The legislature also expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) to include a 2-percent increase of the federal EIC match and include taxpayers between 18 and 24 years of age,... Continue Reading

Por Judith Palma, Coordinadora de Redes Sociales, Latino Policy Forum

Hoy, el Latino Policy Forum se enorgullece de presentar Derechos de vivienda para inquilinos inmigrantes, una guía completa sobre las protecciones de los inquilinos, los recursos de vivienda accesibles y las responsabilidades y obligaciones de los propietarios.

El Latino Policy Forum cree que todas las personas tienen derecho a un hogar seguro y estable para construir un mejor futuro para ellos y sus familias. Creamos este manual como un recurso único para inquilinos y defensores de la vivienda. La guía incluye referencias a la Ley General de Derechos de Vivienda del Estado de Illinois, a las ordenanzas de la ciudad y del condado que se aplican a los... Continue Reading