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Latinos on the Move 2022: Driving Growth in Illinois

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 of Chicago.

Almost 300 attendees joined for the luncheon, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Deputy Governor Sol Flores, Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, State Representative Delia Ramirez, State Representative Theresa Mah, Judge Jesse Reyes and Consul General of Mexico in Chicago Ambassador Reyna Torres. Mayor Lori Lightfoot celebrated the Forum’s work and made a note of the need to continue supporting its mission of advocacy and analysis in building a foundation for equity, justice, and economic prosperity for the Latino community. 

Emcee’d by Mark Rivera of ABC 7 News, the event featured a keynote speech from Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Hayes-Bautista presented the findings of his new report about the large and rapidly growingeconomic contributions of Hispanic-Latino residents in the Chicago metro area. Watch his presentation below or download his report here. 

Mark River, ABC7 Chicago (left) and Dr. David Hayes-Bautista (right)   

This year, the program dove into the Forum's work to build equitable pathways so that Latino communities can navigate beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.  

While many of our government, civic, and philanthropic partners have been responsive to the COVID crisis, COVID is not done with us,” said Sylvia Puente, President, and CEO of the Forum. She pointed to two recent studies by the organization that illustrated how the pandemic has created a socioeconomic crisis that will likely negatively impact many Latinos and the general public for decades to come. Click below to view these studies.  

Long-Term Socioeconomic Consequences of COVID in the Latino Community: Creating a Path Forward
A 'Great Resignation' Not Due to Latinos: Latinos Still Working the Essential Jobs and Earning Too Little

The Forum alsoThe Forum also honored David Pesqueira with the 2022 Legacy Award for hisdecades-long leadership and commitment to improving Latino communities through his vast philanthropic efforts.


Pictured from left to right: Mark Rivera, ABC7 Chicago, Edgar Ramirez, Chicago Commons and Latino Policy Forum Board Member, David Pesqueria, 2022 Legacy Award Honoree, and Sylvia Puente, Latino Policy Forum President & CEO

Jose Gutierrez, McDonald’s Hispanic Owner-Operators Association Chicagoland, President was presented with this year’s Game Changer Sponsor. Gutierrez stressed the importance of investing in families to help support the success of future generations and help them achieve their full potential.   

A short video was presented about how the work of the Forum is positively impacting the men, women, and children of our community. Watch below.

“I am proud of the work the Forum has led and contributed, which resulted in 500 million dollars in housing assistance that went to all Illinois families, including seven thousand Latino households,” Puente said. “We also helped to secure the expansion of the earned income tax credit, which is going to help half a million immigrant households.” 


The economic burdens faced by Latino families were likely driving more Latinos into the workforce rather than out of it. This is a logical step in a community where half of all workers earn $15 an hour or less.  

Among the key policy recommendations the Forum outlines that will help raise the floor for Latino workers while also strengthening the overall state economy are: 

  • Enable more Latinas to contribute to the growth of the workforce by enhancing wages and benefits, including access to affordable childcare. 
  • Address worker shortages, stabilize the workforce and make significant economic contributions through immigration reform that resolve the process by which workers can move to and remain in the U.S., including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers. 

Imagine how much more economic growth Chicago and Illinois will enjoy once Latinos attain wealth equity.   

Imagine how much more economic prosperity there will be when the Latino community equitably benefits from the prosperity that it is creating.