In the News...
Advocacy Day for Latinos draws activists and politicians from across the state
The Denver Post
February 21st, 2012
Although she's only a junior at Skyline High School in Longmont, Anna Gutierrez says she hopes to run for political office "real soon." Which is part of the reason why Monday's Latino Advocacy Day was so important to her.
"A lot of people don't think young people care, but our voice has to be heard," Gutierrez said as she stood in the shadow of the state Capitol. "And it's not only for us. We represent our families and our communities and our schools."
Having a voice was indeed the focus of the sixth annual gathering, which drew representatives and activists from across the state over the past two days. On Monday, about 200 people braved the chill to rally on the west steps of the Capitol. Citing statistics that pointed to their increasing numbers in the political process - in 2008, 10 million Latinos voted in the presidential election, a 25 percent increase from four years earlier, said state Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver - a number of speakers said the group is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
"We have the power to change the outcome of the 2012 elections," Aguilar said.
Theresa Trujillo, the southern Colorado director of the Colorado Progressive Coalition, pointed out that those numbers could also be a means to help address some of the disparities that Latinos face in everyday life or in the fight for legislation to improve lives in the community.
Trujillo specifically referred to Senate Bill 15, also known as the Asset Bill. Heard last week in the state legislature, the bill would allow undocumented high school graduates to attend college at a cost between the in-state tuition paid by other residents and the amount paid by students from outside the state.
"All they need to succeed here is an opportunity," Trujillo said.