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Impacto Illinois Campaign Update

By Daniela Bardon

Image: Moderator and panelists. From left to right Sylvia Puente, Latino Policy Forum’s Executive Director, Larry Gonzalez, Principal at The Raben Group, Marty Castro, Chair, US Civil Rights Commission and CEO of Castro Synergies, Colleen K. Connell Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU)

The Forum recently brought together a panel of policy experts with Acuerdos leaders for a frank discussion about President Trump’s first 100 days in office and how changes in the federal environment could affect vulnerable populations and organizations that serve them. In an effort to better understand community concerns, the Forum surveyed the 110 attendants through electronic polling and issue-based focus groups. Here is a compilation of the results:

Focus Groups: Common Needs and Forum’s Involvement 

Focus groups were divided into the following issues immigration, housing and education. Below are three needs that all groups had in common, along with some information on how the Forum is actively involved in helping to fulfill them:

1)    Work together across organization and support each other. La Casa Norte representatives expressed a desire to align with partners and organizations that have similar concerns. The Forum expects to organize more events of this nature throughout the year to continue bringing together organizations and highlighting important issues.

2)    Create resources to help vulnerable groups know their rights and protect themselves. Under the threat of deportation education representatives from institutions such as Loyola and others discussed their efforts to create emergency preparedness kits for students with important documents and action plans. The Forum is also working on developing resources to help the community, such as an upcoming mental health fact sheet which will be released during the spring.

3)    Remain empowered with up to date information about changes in federal policies that will affect Illinois' Latinos. Despite not being typically funded for this type of work, the Forum’s Impacto Illinois campaign is focused on this specific need and started working on it even before conducting this community survey.

Image: Karen Garibay-Mulattieri, Latino Policy Forum’s Manager of Education Policy and Research, leading education focus group.

Electronic Polling

The Forum’s Associate Director, Martin Torres provided the following analysis of the electronic polling results:

  • People are most concerned with immigration at a federal level (see word aggregate image below)
  • Organizations plan to respond to the new federal environment by focusing on community engagement and know your rights training
  • Seventy-five percent of respondents plan to focus the most on state and local advocacy
  • News media, especially the National Public Radio,  continues to be  the most popular source of information outlet among participants, followed by social media feeds
  •  “Informed” was the most used word to describe what people took away from the gathering

Media Partnership and Upcoming Events  

As part of the Impacto Illinois campaign, the Forum partnered with Univision and developed initiatives to keep the community informed. The first of these efforts was a bilingual digital forum that brought together a panel of experts to discuss immigration and attracted over 60,000 views along with hundreds of comments and shares, click here to see it. The Forum expects to hold a public town hall later in the spring to reconvene community leaders and continue to advocate for the Latino community’s interests.

Image: From left to right Oscar Chacon, co-founder and executive director of Alianza Americas, Julian Lazalde, Latino Policy Forum’s Civic Engagement Manager, Erika Maldonado, News Anchor at Univision Communications Inc. and Viviana Mendez, Erie Neighborhood House Immigration Attorney.


Posted In: Strengthening Leadership