NHLA Seeks LGBTQ Community Input To Enhance Its Federal Latinx Advocacy Priorities


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, is launching an online survey to collect input to make the coalition’s public policy agenda more inclusive of policy priorities that could have a significant impact on improving the lives of LGBTQ Latinos.

NHLA’s current public policy agenda is the most LGBTQ-inclusive in the coalition’s 26-year history, covering the unique health challenges facing LGBTQ Latinos, as well as the need to protect our community from employment discrimination and abuse in immigration detention. In the criminal justice context, the coalition calls for better data collection that includes sexual orientation and ending the use of solitary confinement for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. NHLA’s board of directors established an LGBTQ Task Force to intentionally identify ways for the coalition to ensure that the specific needs and interests of these members of our community are included in the coalition’s advocacy work.

During the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change 2018 conference in Washington, D.C., the largest annual gathering of queer grassroots activists in the country,  NHLA leaders hosted a workshop to solicit input from LGBTQ Latinx advocates, policy analysts, activists, and community members about which LGBTQ priorities NHLA should consider incorporating in its federal advocacy agenda. The survey launched today enables NHLA to receive feedback from those across the country who could not attend the workshop at Creating Change. The survey is available at https://goo.gl/YVEoKy and will be live through March 12.

NHLA’s LGBTQ Task Force will review the survey responses and propose recommendations to the NHLA board on how to best incorporate the input received from the community into the coalition’s advocacy work and policy priorities.

“As Latinos face hostile federal policies across a range of issues, it is more important than ever to ensure that our advocacy leaves no member of our community behind. We are proud of having issued the most LGBTQ-inclusive policy agenda to date, and at the same time know that there is more we can and must do to ensure that our LGBTQ sisters and brothers are not left behind. We look forward to hearing from the community and building an even stronger, united Latino advocacy voice in our nation’s affairs,” said Hector Sanchez, NHLA Chair and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

“NHLA recognizes that a truly inclusive LGBTQ policy agenda requires input from our community and stakeholders throughout the country.  We welcome additions and critiques as we strive to ensure the NHLA Policy Agenda is as complete and responsive as possible,” said Arturo Vargas, Co-Chair of NHLA’s LGBTQ Task Force and Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

“LGBTQ Latinxs are deeply and personally affected by reproductive health and justice issues like abortion restrictions, access to contraception, and comprehensive sex education. We are proud of NHLA’s LGBTQ-inclusive policy agenda for pushing these issues to the forefront and ensuring we can better advocate for the needs and interests of our LGBTQ family. The input from this survey will guarantee that the voices of our community are heard, and will serve to further strengthen our fight for LGBTQ liberation and equality,” said Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and Co-chair of NHLA’s Latina Task Force and Health Committee.​​

“We applaud NHLA’s  commitment to ensure that its policy agenda includes issues of concern to the LGBTQ Latinx community, and its efforts to seek feedback and input from LGBTQ Latinx advocates across all sectors. As legal advocates committed to advancing the rights of the LGBTQ Latinx community, we stand ready to assist the NHLA with this important survey, and with the comprehensive LGBTQ Latinx policy and advocacy efforts that will undoubtedly result from such an outreach,” said Raquel M. Matas, Chair of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)’s LGBT Division.

“The launch of this survey is critically important during a politically tumultuous time in our country where we are seeing an assault and rollback of civil rights protections for LGBTQ populations across immigration, health, and education. This survey ensures NHLA’s public policy agenda more fully incorporates the issues of our LGBTQ communities and individuals who find themselves at the intersection of other identities such as race, class, citizenship status, etc. NHLA’s LGBTQ Task Force is eager to build upon the inclusivity of the current policy agenda to reflect the realities and lived experiences of our communities and we encourage as many people as possible to provide feedback,” said Laura M. Esquivel, Director of National Advocacy for Hispanic Federation.

NHLA’s public policy agenda reflects the unity of leading Latino advocacy organizations in advancing policies that improve the lives of Latinos in the United States, covering subject areas that include civil rights, education, economic empowerment, the environment, government accountability, health, and immigration. The document serves as the basis of the coalition’s federal advocacy work and is published every four years with input from each of NHLA’s member organizations, which bring their particular experience and expertise to shaping the document. NHLA periodically adds additional priorities to its agenda.

[From a News Release]


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