ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – The League of United Latin America Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s longest-standing and largest civil rights organization, hosted thousands of delegates, speakers, and Latino leaders this past week during its 94th Annual National Convention and Career Expo held at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The event injected more than $13M into the local economy, according to the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber.
In addition to providing informative and educational sessions to members and guests, LULAC hosted its biggest career fair to date which included more than 60 federal agencies and private organizations offering 500+ diverse job opportunities on site. The week ended with a celebratory event featuring American labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta with performances by Little Joe and La Familia and Grupo Control.
Featured speakers included Under US Secretary of Defense Gilbert Cisneros, Ambassador of Mexico to the US Esteban Moctezuma Barragan, Deputy Under Secretary of the Army Mario Diaz, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary Gloria Montaño Greene, US State Senator Ben Ray Luján, AZ Congressman Rubén Gallego, NM Lt. Governor Howie Morales, NM Attorney General Raúl Torrez, TX State Senator Roland Gutierrez, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, and Small Business Administration (SBA) Associate Adminstrator Francisco Sanchez, among others.
“From military service, farming and entrepreneurship to holding key roles in multinational corporations, Latinos have long played an integral role in shaping our nation’s economy, innovating across various sectors, strengthening the fabric of our diverse workforce, and serving as the backbone of our economic infrastructure,” said LULAC President Domingo Garcia. “We are proud to continue to serve as the leading organization for economic empowerment in the Latino community, championing unity and strength through education and legislation.”
Held in Albuquerque for the first time since 2010, the event’s speakers and discussions also emitted calls for continued efforts in the fight for social and racial justice and the need to enact policies and legislation that will enable the Latino community to protect and secure Latino civil rights in the United States. Chief among these, the need for more accountability in the treatment of Latinos as civilians and as veterans, increased investment in voter engagement and mobilization, and the creation of humane and just immigration reform.
“The 2023 LULAC National Convention underscored the importance of action over distraction and the need for unity over division,” said LULAC President Domingo Garcia. “All over this country, Latinos are facing critical challenges which threaten their ability to move forward and opposing forces which seek to undermine their contributions to this great nation and strip away their civil rights. It was made clear this past week that our community is more united than ever before in the mission of securing justice and economic freedom for all.”
Key announcements and sessions during the three-day event included:
The Dignity Act of 2023 Town Hall with Congresswoman Veronica Escobar
U.S. Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-TX 16th District) discussed the bipartisan legislation proposed by her and U.S. Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL 27th District) and aimed at reshaping the border security approach and immigration policy to provide a just and humane way to deal with the border crisis. The bill acknowledges the millions of undocumented immigrants who already contribute to our society, offering them a much-needed pathway to legal status and, eventually, citizenship.
Chicanos por la Causa (CPLC) Announces Voter Mobilization Efforts in the Southwest
The road to the White House must go through Hispanic barrios and the importance of Latino voter mobilization cannot be understated. This week, Chicanos por la Causa (CPLC) and LULAC announced that they are committed to joining forces to bolster the Latino vote in the southwest region for the 2024 presidential election. To date, CLPC has invested $10 million to build a successful model for engaging and empowering the Latino electorate, which successfully impacted the midterm elections in Arizona.
Read the full announcement here.
The Daniel Barajas Safe Interstate Travel Act
LULAC joined forces with the family of Daniel Barajas in the pursuit of justice for his wrongful death after being struck in traffic on I-30 in 2022, and to amplify broader concerns about racial profiling, which disproportionately affect drivers of color. The family, next to LULAC and their civil rights attorney Mike Faux, announced the Daniel Barajas Safe Interstate Travel Act, a legislative bill that aims to end racial profiling on the road and ensure that driving while brown does not equate to risking your life.
During the week, LULAC also hosted its annual Youth Convention, an extensive track of workshops designed to develop young people into impactful community leaders through positive educational experiences, social events, and civic activities.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.