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Western Slope Latino leaders organizing to create policy platform for 2022

Coalition eyes a stronger voice in next legislative session

Alex Sánchez is the founder and executive director of Voces Unidas Action Fund, a Latino-led advocacy organization based in Glenwood Springs.

Latino community leaders both locally and across Colorado are gearing up to give a stronger voice to issues of concern during the next state legislative session.

In the Roaring Fork Valley, Voces Unidas de las Montañas is organizing a Latina and Latino community forum on Sept. 25 to identify issues of local concern and discuss policy solutions it hopes to see the State Legislature take up when it reconvenes in January 2022.

On a broader level, Voces Unidas is also partnering with COLOR, the Latino Caucus, Protégete and other organizations to develop the first-ever statewide Latina and Latino policy platform.



“The goal is to put together a process to identify issues and come up with people-driven, community informed solutions to help guide the legislative agenda,” said Alex Sanchez, executive director for the area nonprofit Voces Unidas based in Glenwood Springs.

The coalition is using feedback and data from a first-ever poll of 1,000 Latino registered voters, as well as a statewide Latino grassroots leader survey and a series of in-person regional meetings across the state to inform the platform.

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A full report is anticipated in November, combining the observations, issues and possible solutions identified through the process, Sanchez explained.

Sanchez said the effort expands on Latino Advocacy Day, a single day each session where Latino leaders lobby their legislative representatives on a variety of issues. That platform has been in place now for about 14 years, he said.

The goal with the new grassroots approach is to have a policy platform before the legislature before the session starts, so that specific solutions can be address during the session, he said.

Regional forums are taking place across the state, facilitated by different groups. The Glenwood Springs forum on Sept. 25 will focus on issues of concern in the Roaring Fork, Eagle and Colorado river valleys, Sanchez said.

“For an organization like Voces Unidas, we too have an interest in organically identifying the problems and solutions that we want to fight for,” Sanchez said.

The community forum is slated for 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at Morgridge Commons in Glenwood Springs. Due to COVID-19 concerns, registration is required and the number of attendees will be capped.

Latino participants can register here.

If you go…

What: Latino Policy Listening Tour

Who: Sponsored by Voces Unidas

When: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25

Where: Morgridge Commons Conference Center, Glenwood Springs

Purpose: To discuss and identify public policies of interest to the Latino community in the mountain region

More information and registration here

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.


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