By the Latino Policy Forum

The Forum provided feedback for a state report that indicated 26 percent of kindergartners demonstrate readiness in key areas. Those who do in each of three areas — social and emotional development, language and literacy development, and math — are considered to have demonstrated kindergarten readiness, and those who do not may need additional support.

See news story HERE.

Lower scores for English learners detailed in the report call out the need for more bilingual staff who have the linguistic skills to connect with children in their primary languages. The bilingual teacher shortage in Illinois needs to be addressed by preparation programs and policymakers.

The Forum is excited to have two years of statewide, comprehensive... Continue Reading

Posted In: Housing

Standing at a podium under the rotunda of the Illinois Capitol, Latino Policy Forum Executive Director Sylvia Puente was reminded of the day she first came to Springfield to work in the governor’s office as a twentysomething Latina.

“I walked under this beautiful rotunda, looked up and saw myself feeling very lonely here because there was no one else around who looked like me,” Puente said, speaking in front of hundreds of Latino activists and elected officials gathered around her to kick off the 8th Annual Latino Unity Day. “So much has changed since and now, this is what Latino unity looks like! I’m so proud to be here with you.”

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Latino leaders with the Latino Policy Forum’s Illinois Latino Agenda and its Acuerdo network met with staff of Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot’s transition team on Wednesday to provide valuable input regarding issues important to their communities in Chicago.

Fifty-five representatives from the Agenda and the Forum’s Immigration, Housing and Education Acuerdos, who collectively represent over 40 organizations and 160,000 constituents, were present at Casa Central in Humboldt Park to meet with Lightfoot’s Chief of Staff, Maurice Classen, and Intergovernmental Affairs Advisor Manny Perez to talk about issues relating to affordable housing, early-childhood education, immigration and building better relations between African American and Latino communities.

“We’re ushering in a new era in Chicago with a new... Continue Reading

Posted In: Representation in Government

By John Arenas, Housing Policy Associate

As National Fair Housing Month comes to an end, the Latino Policy Forum will continue to honor the work being done to promote discrimination-free access to housing in the Latino community, as well as reflect on the current challenges to progress fair housing.

It has been my privilege as the Forum’s Housing Policy Associate to provide housing rights education to our Housing Acuerdo partners. The Forum’s Training and Education Create Housing Opportunities (TECHO) curriculum was developed in 2013 with the input of many of our Acuerdo partners to create a resource that is culturally and linguistically relevant to Latinos. The final product was a series... Continue Reading