First Latino Policy Day in Connecticut on Thurs. Feb. 4


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Register here.

First Latino Policy Day at the Capitol (210 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT) on February 4, 2016.  This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for attendance.  There will be six sessions throughout the day and you can register to attend all sessions or only those sessions of interest to you.  Sessions are expected to be filled early, so we encourage everyone to register as soon as possible.  This public non-partisan forum is co-sponsored by the Latino & Puerto Rican Affairs Commission and the Hispanic Federation.  It will be held from 9:00 AM to 4:40 PM in room 310 at the Capitol.  (Snow date is February 5.)  Information on how to register for Latino Policy Day is below.  Registration is limited to one per person.

Event and registration page:


Welcoming Remarks

9:00 am – 9:10 am

Richard Cruz, Chairman, Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission

Jose Calderón, President, Hispanic Federation

5 Years to Eliminate Political Gerrymandering in Connecticut

9:20 am – 10:20 am

While the next national census count and redistricting seems a long way off in 2020, now is the time to consider how redistricting decisions are made.  Please join the League of Women Voters of Connecticut and the National Conference of State Legislatures in an exploration of the possibilities for ensuring non‑partisan redistricting in Connecticut.

LPRAC Moderator: George Hernández

Presenters: Gloria Bent, President of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut; Wendy Underhill, Program Director for Elections and Redistricting, National Conference of State Legislatures

Second Chance Society, What’s Next?

10:30 am – 11:30 am

Last year, the legislature passed a sweeping set of criminal justice reforms that will spare more than 1,100 non-violent drug offenders from prison and save millions in corrections costs.  In 2016, the legislature will continue to look at both making Connecticut’s criminal justice system fairer and getting ex-offenders back to work. 

LPRAC Moderator: George Hernández

Presenter: David McGuire, Legislative and Policy Director, ACLU of Connecticut

Two-way dual language immersion – a new model for regional magnet schools in Connecticut?

11:40 am – 12:40 pm

The Hartford School District has both the largest number of Hispanic students in Connecticut and the largest population of Spanish-dominant English Language Learners.  This is a unique opportunity for English-dominant children from throughout the Hartford area to engage in mutual learning with Spanish-dominant children in a proven academic model and increase college and career opportunities for both. This model can be developed as part of the Sheff v. O’Neill system and then expanded in other parts of the state.

LPRAC Moderator: Dr. Agnes Quiñones

Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Howard, Associate Professor of Bilingual Education, University of Connecticut

Connecticut’s Changing Face: A Catalyst for Fair School Funding

12:50 pm – 1:50 pm

Over the next 10 years, Connecticut will experience significant shifts in its population of school-age children as many higher-need schools districts will see increases in enrollment, while many lower-need districts will experience declining enrollment.  To meet the changing needs of Connecticut’s students, schools, and communities, Connecticut needs an equitable school funding system based on the learning needs of students where all students are treated fairly and the changing needs of communities and the state are adequately met.

LPRAC Moderator: Dr. Agnes Quiñones

Presenters:  Katie Roy, Director and Founder, Connecticut School Finance Project; Steve Batt, Associate Director, Connecticut State Data Center; Patricia Calvo, Director, Windham Youth Services Bureau; Victor de la Paz, Chief Financial Officer, New Haven Public Schools; Jason Rojas, Connecticut State Representative for East Hartford and Manchester; Derek Thomas, Fiscal Policy Fellow, Connecticut Voices for Children

Data Needed for Better Housing Investments

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Connecticut is one of the most racially, ethnically, and economically segregated states in the country.  This triggers vast disparities in both housing options and educational outcomes that damage Connecticut’s economic competitiveness.  We must make well-informed decisions on where to make investments in housing that result in tangible improvements in K-12 educational achievement so we have a well-educate homegrown workforce to expand the state’s economy.

LPRAC Moderator: Elena Trueworthy

Presenter: Erin Boggs, Esq., Executive Director, Open Communities Alliance               

Health Equity and Supporting Healthy Lifestyles for Connecticut’s Latinos

3:10 pm – 4:30 pm

Serious health disparities persist between Latinos and the general population, including increased incidence of preventable diseases and disproportionately high mortality rates.  Illness in the Latino community, especially the immigrant community, is compounded by poverty, language barriers, and limited healthcare interaction.  Additionally, cultural competence of health care providers and health systems’ ability to understand and respond effectively to cultural differences exacerbate the prevalence of preventable diseases and conditions.  Connecticut’s Latino families are less likely to be insured, more likely to lack basic health knowledge and less likely to access health education and prevention opportunities to alleviate health disparities.

LPRAC Moderator: Emanuela Palmares-Leaf

Presenters: Ingrid Alvarez, Connecticut State Director, Hispanic Federation; Jillian Gilchrest, Senior Policy Analyst, PCSW

Closing Remarks

4:30 pm – 4:40 pm

Werner Oyanadel, Executive Director, Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission

NOTE: Parking is not available at the State Capitol. Attendees can park in the Legislative Office Building garage, located on 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT.

Thursday, February 4, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EST) Add to Calendar
Connecticut State Capitol – 210 Capitol Avenue. Room 310. Hartford, CT 06106 – View Map