Press Release: Latino Community Foundation Tackles Environmental Justice and Higher Education

LCF Sacramento Summit 2016

 Latino Community Foundation Tackles Environmental Justice and Higher Education 

Sacramento, CA (March 30, 2016) – The Latino Community Foundation (LCF) will host its 4th annual Latino Equity Summit on March 30th at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. This year’s Summit will bring together over 250 Latino elected officials, government representatives, community leaders, and advocates from across the state of California. The annual Sacramento Summit is the only program of its kind that raises Latino issues and effective solutions in a one-day forum. Juan Hernandez, Executive Director of La Luz in Sonoma County said that “The candid discussions among Summit participants combined with the policy analysis and networking creates an atmosphere of comradery and hope.” The Summit will address two urgent topics for the Latino community— environmental justice and higher education.

LCF’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, will kick off the day by setting a framework for a Latino Equity Agenda and introduce Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León. For the first time in history, Latinos hold the top two leadership posts in the state legislature. “The appointments of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Kevin de Leon present an important opportunity for our communities to unify and champion policies that will advance greater equity for Latino families.” Said Jacqueline Martinez Garcel.  Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is confirmed as the keynote luncheon speaker.

Guillermo Mayer, President and CEO of Public Advocates, will host the conversation on Latinos and the Environment. Dr. Belinda Reyes, Director of the Cesar E. Chavez Institute for Public Policy will host the conversation on Latinos and Higher Education. Renowned leaders from these sectors will showcase successful Latino-led strategies for advancing opportunities and policies on these issues.

The day will conclude with an Afternoon of Action at the state capitol. LCF has organized Legislative visits with key decision-makers and their staff to establish and strengthen relationships and to help move the day’s discussions into action. These visits will start a dialogue about opportunities for change to help California’s Latino families and communities. Immediately following the Legislative Visits, LCF, will host a networking reception at Cafeteria 15L.

Learn more at: http://www.latinocf.org/sacramento-summit.html

 

About the Latino Community Foundation

The Latino Community Foundation (LCF) is the premier Latino foundation in California. The mission of LCF is to inspire philanthropy, invest in Latino communities and lead transformative solutions for change. LCF fulfills this mission by investing in high-impact solutions, uniting leadership and inspiring philanthropy among Latinos. LCF is igniting a new generation of Latino philanthropists focused on inspiring positive changes in the Latino community.

Since 2008, LCF partnered with 65 Latino-based community partners and invested over $3.4 million in California’s Latino community.  LCF launched the California Latino Agenda, which brings issues that affect the Latino community to the forefront and connects philanthropic, business and community leaders to advocate for solutions that will empower Latino families, and create a better future for all Californians.

 

For more information about LCF visit www.latinocf.org  and www.facebook.com/latinocommunityfoundation

 

Mi Familia Vota // Organizing in the Central Valley

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By: Samuel Molina, California Sate Deputy Director, Mi Familia Vota. 

Tell us about Mi Familia Vota and why your work is important? Mi Familia Vota is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to promote and increase civic participation among Latinos. We do this by promoting citizenship, increasing voter registration, participation and education. This is very important because we, Latinos are an important part of our nation. Our civic leadership and participation is critical. Latinos have the power to elect our next president.

How would you describe your mission in one sentence? We build political power for the Latino community by mobilizing Latinos to vote and to become lifelong advocates.

How do you motivate Latino (youth & adults) to register to vote? We really try to bring the message close to home when we meet with Latinos. We make it personal, about people and about families. We discuss the need for Latinos to be involved and how voting can change their lives and our community. We discuss political issues that matter to them and their livelihood: issues such as water quality, immigration, jobs, the environment, healthcare, education and many other topics that affect them.

What is the opportunity in the Central Valley, specifically in Fresno? There are currently over 100,000 Fresnans that need to be registered to vote before the next presidential election. Mi Familia Vota’s Fresno team has a goal to register 6,000 voters before that. Recent funding support we received from Latino Community Foundation Giving Circles will help us do that!

Millennials make up almost half of Latino eligible voters in 2016. Do you think they will show up to the polls?   Yes, I believe they will show up to the polls. Millennials are starting to understand the power of being involved. They can create policies that impact the future of our communities, and improve the lives of their parents, their tios. Many Latino youth in the Cental Valley have parents whom are Campesinos. They see and feel the direct effects of climate change and its immediate impact on jobs.

Do you use any online platforms to register people?   Yes, we use Facebook and Twitter to motivate and encourage our community to vote. We also have our own website, mifamiliavota.org, where visitors can register to vote via TurboVote. It’s very fast and easy, making the registration process very convenient.

Is social media a good organizing tool or is face to face, door to door still the most effective strategy?   Social media has its benefits, but nothing beats a face-to-face meeting with members of the community. It is the only way you can really draw someone in and get them engaged. Also, it provides us with a unique opportunity to passionately express what we do and why it is so important. We want people to join us.

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is helping others. I am grateful for the opportunity to educate my community. I can help my neighbors navigate the system and help them to understand that they too, can make a difference in our community. Once people feel empowered to make a difference, they are unstoppable. As Cesar Chavez once said, “The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.”

How can we help?  As of today, we have 231 day, 6 hours, and 28 minutes left before the election. We have a lot of work to do and we need your help. Join us. Get involved. Help inspire our community to exercise our political power.

To learn more about our work, visit: www.mifamiliavota.org 

You can reach me directly at: samuelm@mifamiliavota.net

mi familia vota

Meet Mina: The new face of leadership in Vallejo

 

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Mina Diaz is the Founder and Director of Diaz & Loera Centro Latino in Vallejo, CA. The organization recently received a $2,500 grant from the Pleasanton Latina Giving Circle to help the organization obtain 501(c)3 status. Mina shares her personal story and what inspired her to run for City Council and serve her fellow Latino Community.

Tell us who you are and the role you have in your community?

My name is Mina Diaz, I am a community organizer and activist. I am also the founder and director of Diaz & Loera Centro Latino, an organization that empowers Latino families to become self-sufficient. We provide critical resources to Latino parents and students to help them navigate the educational system in the United States.

After founding Diaz & Loera Centro Latino, I have come to realize that I am called to a higher purpose – to serve my fellow Vallejoans. In October of this year, I will be retiring from Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department and have decided to run for Councilmember of the City of Vallejo 2016.

I am compassionate but also firm and strong, capable of making hard decisions that will benefit my city and community. I bring a strong voice of advocacy for those in need.

What inspires you to lead?

My parents and my family are my daily motivation in doing what I do for our community. One of the things I learned as an immigrant was the value of asking questions and being able to make informed decisions. My parents came to the United States from Aguascalientes, Mexico when I was 5 years old. I learned early in life that you have to stand up for what you believe in. To work independently towards your dreams but also work as a team to reach you goals.

What are you proudest of?

The greatest gift I have received in my life have been my three children Damian, Javier, Jr. and Marlene, including my grandson Abel. I am very proud of them and support them in all they do. It is such a blessing to see how they have grown up to be compassionate, independent and hardworking individuals. They are my American Dream.

What does it mean for you to receive a grant from the Pleasanton Latina Giving Circle?

I am sincerely thankful to the Pleasanton Latina Giving Circle for believing in me and what we do at Diaz & Loera Centro Latino. The grant that we received will be used to file for our 501c3 Non-Profit status. This will assist the Centro in providing much needed services to youth and families in our community.

What is your hope for the future of your community?

Vallejo is the city my family chose to call home. We have lived here for over 31 years. It is where my children and grandchildren were born and where our legacy has taken root. I would like to see everyone living here have a better quality of life. Let’s make Vallejo a safe place to live and bring economic development to our city. As a community, we all need to work together to make our city a better place for everyone.

What inspired you to run for Vallejo City Council?

I was inspired to run for Vallejo City Council because I would like to be a part of the decision making for our city. As a City Council member, I can bring a strong voice of advocacy for those in need. Our city is one of the most diverse cities in the country and it should have a city council that reflects the diversity of its people.

A united community is a prosperous community. My experience, dedication and love for my city shines through in everything I do. I know that working together we can move our city forward.

Diaz&Loera