This week, Voces Unidas de las Montañas and Voces Unidas Action Fund led the largest Colorado delegation of Latinos yet to advocate for federal policies at the second annual D.C. Latino Advocacy Day (LAD).
Thirty-one Latino and Latina leaders from Parker, Lakewood, Denver, Broomfield, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lamar, Steamboat Springs, Leadville, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Rifle and Montrose spent three days in our nation’s capital learning about how the federal government works and how to effectively advocate for issues critical to our community. Leaders had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper in their offices, both of whom pledged to continue to work on policies that improved the lives of all Coloradans, including continuing to lead on immigration reform.
Informed by our 2022 Colorado Latino Policy Agenda and in partnership with Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity & Reproductive Rights (COLOR), COLOR Action Fund, Servicios de la Raza, Lamar Unidos, Latino Coalition of Weld County, Hispanic Affairs Project, Latinx Alliance, and Integrated Communities, leaders also focused policy discussion on climate action, increasing access to health services, and addressing the housing crisis.
This was the first time in Washington, D.C. for many of these leaders and also the first time meeting with their federal representatives. Although the U.S. House of Representatives was not in session this week, participants still had an opportunity to meet with key policy advisors from several congressional offices.
While in D.C., participants also got to experience local events, tour important federal buildings and visit historical landmarks. This year, participants attended the UnidosUS Capitol Awards and toured both the White House and U.S. Capitol building.
We believe these opportunities are not only educational, but impactful and inspirational. Eighteen years ago, COLOR CEO Dusti Gurule and Voces Unidas founder Alex Sánchez met in D.C. during a lobby day event with the National Council of La Raza, now UnidosUS. They returned to Colorado to partner on the first Latino Advocacy Day event in Denver in 2007, which returns for its 17th year March 18-20.
In 2022, Voces Unidas organized the federal Latino Advocacy Day, which has quickly become an important part of our annual LAD efforts. In July, we will travel to Mexico City to participate in the Civic Leaders Education and Advocacy Program to further broaden our reach.
For more information, visit www.vocesunidas.org/advocacy.