A forum on the growing political and civic influence of Latinos in the United States, sponsored by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, will be held Thursday, September 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Washington Room in Mather Hall. The event begins with a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and the formal program will run from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The keynote speaker was expected to be U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, a Democrat who currently represents California’s 38th District – the eastern section of Los Angeles – but previously represented the 39th District since 2003. The districts include many of the same communities but were renumbered as a result of congressional reapportionment. However, due to the ongoing impasse over the passage of a continuing budget resolution and expanding the federal debt ceiling in Congress, she will be unable to appear in person. A videotaped greeting from Sanchez will be included in the program.
Sanchez has broken many barriers in Congress, including becoming the first Latina to serve on the House Judiciary Committee as well as the House Ways and Means Committee. Currently, she is the ranking member of the House Ethics Committee.
Mark Hugo Lopez, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, will take over as the keynote speaker at the event. The Pew Hispanic Center studies the attitudes and opinions of Latinos, Hispanic views of identity, the political engagement of Latinos in the nation’s elections and Latino youth. Connecticut legislator Andres Ayala, Jr. of Bridgeport, the state’s first Latino state senator, will also participate. The presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session featuring questions from the audience.
Latino voters were a decisive force in the 2012 race for the White House, when they accounted for 10 percent of all voters nationwide. The Pew Hispanic Center projects that Latinos will represent the largest new growth in the electorate in the United States between now and 2030, when 40 million Latinos will be eligible to vote.
Registration for the event has been requested by the foundation but professors who are planning to have their classes attend should contact Jason Rojas, director of community relations, at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is also available at www.hfpg.org/events. Those wishing to register should enter the code LATINO, or contact Kandianna Valiotis at 860-548-1888, Ext. 1035 or email@example.com.
The Latino Endowment Fund was established in 2003 by Latino leaders in Greater Hartford to increase philanthropy in their community and to strengthen nonprofits working to improve the quality of life for Latino residents. For more information about the Latino Endowment Fund, contact Betty Ann Grady at 860-548-1888, Ext. 1035 or go to www.@hfpg.org/latino.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for the 29-town Greater Hartford region, dedicated to improving the quality of life for area residents. The Hartford Foundation receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals and families, and in 2012 awarded grants of more than $27 million to a broad range of area nonprofit organizations.