Latino Caucus to Mayor: ‘Invest in Latino Population’

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

Members of the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus had a few choice words for Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this week. After Mayor Emanuel presented a budget that tended to the city’s needs, Alderman George Cardenas and Alderman Sue Garza, both members of the Latino Caucus, criticized him for disregarding the mounting need within the Latino community. “The Caucus applauds the Mayor for his commitment throughout the years to increasing economic opportunity within the African American community and it is the hope of the Caucus that the same efforts will be realized throughout all Latino communities,” stated the Latino Caucus.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Nearly 30 percent of the population of Chicago is Latino. Over 40 percent of Chicago Public School students are Latino and large numbers of Latinos also attend Chicago community colleges and universities. 26th Street in Little Village is the second highest grossing shopping district in the city and consumers spend nearly $900 million a year in the two mile stretch. However, not all neighborhoods have such an economic engine. Investing targeted resources in economic development towards Latino businesses would expand growth throughout the entire city. Departments such as Business Affairs and Consumer Protection along with the newly announced Community Catalyst Fund can drive this focus. Alderman George Cardenas, 12th Ward, Chairman, said “Our community is vibrant but it is not without its difficulties and we face daunting challenges. We are a silent majority that has time and again risen to ever changing circumstances. It would be detrimental to the city as a while to ignore the needs of the Latino community.”

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

“It is disappointing that positive accomplishments in Latino neighborhoods were mentioned only once in the budget address” said Alderman Sue Garza, 10th Ward, “given that Latinos generate greater numbers than ever in business and retail dollars, it is imperative that we give focus on continuing their development.” Mayor Emanuel was spot on in that we need to help existing small businesses grow and become big businesses,” said Alderman Gilbert Villegas, 36th Ward “but Latino businesses have historically been underrepresented in city contracts and this needs to change. We will be focusing on addressing these issues in the upcoming budget hearings.”

Members of the Latino Caucus are Alderman George Cardenas – 12th Ward – Chair; Alderman Proco Joe Moreno – 1st Ward; Alderman Sue Garza – 10th Ward; Alderman Raymond Lopez – 15th Ward; Alderman Ricardo Munoz – 22nd Ward; Alderman Danny Solis – 25th Ward; Alderman Roberto Maldonado – 26th Ward; Alderman Ariel Reboyras – 30th Ward; Alderman Milly Santiago – 31st Ward; Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa – 35th Ward; and Alderman Gilbert Villegas – 36th Ward

Comments are closed.