Over 160 Participants Gathered to Explore Policy Priorities, Make Recommendations

At the recommendation of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the 30 leading Hispanic organizations in the United States, the White House convened a Hispanic Policy Conference this week.

The Hispanic Policy Conference brought 160 Hispanic leaders from across the country to Washington to engage in a discussion with Obama Administration officials about how to work together on public policy that advances the Latino community. Latino leaders were able to engage in a dialogue about issues across the spectrum, including education, jobs, civil rights, health, immigration, and the environment.

“We are grateful that the President and other key White House officials were able to meet with NHLA members to discuss the role of the nation’s largest minority population during this important period of economic recovery,” stated Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, chair of NHLA. “We were pleased to hear that the President will not put important education, health and safety net programs in jeopardy during budget negotiations.”

NHLA members outlined the achievements made in the first two years of the Obama Administration that are at risk should an unbalanced budget deal result in deep cuts to spending on critical federal programs that keep millions of Latinos healthy and out of poverty, and which provide the educational opportunities needed for America to thrive in a global economy.

NHLA members also pressed administration officials to do more on key areas of concern to the Latino community, including the need for an executive order to halt the deportation of DREAM Act eligible students and the parents of U.S. citizen children, as well as the need to vigorously enforce the Voting Rights Act and address the under-representation of Hispanics in the senior ranks of the civil service.

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