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Community Urged To Help Set Legislative Agenda At Latino Summit

Ryan Poppe
Texas Public Radio
State Senator Jose Menendez

Members of the local community are asked to join in a summit this weekend to help determine policy objectives and legislative priorities for the state’s Latino communities.
It’s the third Latino Summit for Texas since 2013, hosted by the Senate Hispanic Caucus, and this year has made the rounds in seven other regions.
State Senator Jose Menendez says the community is asked to come with ideas in several key areas including immigration, public and higher education, health care, economic opportunity, and civic engagement – especially voting.
"And the point is really, rather than have a retreat amongst ourselves and hear ourselves talk about our ideas, we want to talk to some subject-matter experts and we want to have the community gather information and share their concerns, their experiences, and what we need to be working on,” Menendez says.

He went on to say the disproportionate rate of poverty is directly tied to a lack of education, and two-thirds of elementary school students are Latino.   He says lawmakers must start addressing the needs on a statewide basis or Texas will wind up with an uneducated majority.
“We need to try to break the cycle at some point. And so we have to address the real symptom of people not eating, because a lot of these kids if they get to school with an empty stomach, they can’t study and they won’t be able to concentrate. And so we have to meet the basic needs so that they can do well.”

The summit starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Nursing School complex at San Antonio College.  Voting in the Latino community will be addressed at a lunch meeting with Menendez and others.
An agenda and registration are available here.



Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.