On Tuesday, members of the Senate Democrat caucus and members of the Latino Roundtable hosted an event in the Indiana Statehouse to celebrate the annual Latino Advocacy Day. The event – attended by Latino advocate groups, Congressman Andre Carson’s office, the Mexican Consulate of Indianapolis, the Ecuadorian Consulate of Chicago, and the Immigrant Welcome Center, among others – provided an opportunity for attendees to listen to speakers and to learn about some the issues facing the growing Latino community in Indiana.
Senate Democrat Leader Tim Lanane took the opportunity to discuss a number of the proposals being introduced by Senate Democrats, including:
- an extension of the Indiana DREAM Act allowing a student who has attended an Indiana high school for at least three years to receive in-state tuition at public universities
- a public safety initiative that would allow undocumented individuals to receive driver’s licenses and prevent undocumented drivers from taking to the road without the financial means necessary to operate a vehicle as required by law
- an initiative that allows identification provided by the consulate of a foreign government to be used as valid identification in most situations in Indiana.
Other speakers at the event – including Representative Earl Harris, Jr. and Representative Candelaria Reardon – discussed raising awareness and support for legislation that assists the Latino community. Additionally, there were a number of booths hosted by over a dozen organizations.
The organizations that participated in Latino Advocacy Day were as follows:
- Health and Science Innovations
- Munoz Law
- Immigrant Welcome Center, Exec. Director Terri Morris-Downs
- Mexican Consulate of Indianapolis, Vice Consul Jorge Sanchez Contano
- Ecuadorian Consulate of Chicago
- Congressman Carson’s Office
- Lawrence Township Trustee’s Office
- Latino Institute
- Latino Expo
- Corado Law
- Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance
- LGC Associates
- Indianapolis Public Schools, ESL Director Jessica Feeser
- Hammond Hispanic Community Committee
- Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs
- Latinos Count
Additionally, food was provided by El Herradero, La Mestiza Restaurant and El Puerto de San Blas. The Senate Democrats are thankful for all those who participated in today’s event and the opportunity to celebrate Indiana’s diversity.