Posts By Sylvia Puente

Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope you are enjoying the plentiful colors of the season. Our state is beautiful year-round, but it shows off in autumn!

In thinking of this season of change, I reflected on a change of my own when recently celebrating a milestone birthday, not just another number, but I feel it is a symbol of the wisdom and experiences I have gathered over the years. I am claiming my transition to being an elder, a stage of life in which I will seek to be more deliberate in sharing my lessons learned and providing guidance in the quest for justice and equity.

My heart is filled with gratitude... Continue Reading

Friends and neighbors,

Happy Spring! May the season of new beginnings revive and reinvigorate you.

We at the Forum are revitalized this April as we celebrate 15 years, our quincinera, of building the Latino community's power, influence, and leadership. My continued heartfelt thanks to the generous support of our friends, donors, and the many foundations that see the Forum as a wise investment. Thank you to the organizations, communities and individuals with whom we have been privileged to work with to strengthen the mosaic of Latino families and neighborhoods. 

Speaking of new starts, in a few weeks, Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson will take office. We, at the Forum,... Continue Reading

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

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 and UCLA Health and funded by Bank of America... 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

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

This letter is an excerpt from Sylvia Puente’s keynote comments from Latinos on the Move 2021: Together We Persevere.

Friends and neighbors,  

It has been a world of difference since this time last year, when the COVID-19 vaccine first became available to the public. I will never forget when our Illinois Unidos partner Dr. Marina Del Rios received the first vaccine in Chicago. Thankfully, the vaccine is now widely available, but I’m sure that many of you are feeling the same as I am today: tired, worn out, and having trouble focusing when thinking about all of these stresses and challenges arising from our recent crises and... Continue Reading

Friends and neighbors,

As days of summer are upon us, and our mood and psyche hopefully lighten as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we cannot forget that the impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community will be long-lasting.

As I’ve stressed before, given the high prevalence of COVID among Latinos (over 10 percent of Illinois Latinos have been infected), if even a fraction of those infected show long-term symptoms, it will have a debilitating impact on our health system and on many of our families. Keep in mind that a preponderance of those cases have been to young, working Latinos. The mortality rate among... Continue Reading

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