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Aug 2, 2023

State Legislators Gathered in San Francisco for NHCSL 2023 Summer Executive Committee and BBA Meeting

Topics discussed included criminal justice, sustainability and Latino homeownership.

Check out the photos of the event here.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Last week, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) held its 2023 Summer Executive Committee and BBA Meeting in San Francisco, with San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi as special guests.

Mayor London Breed, during the Welcome Reception, reminded our legislators of the importance of centering marginalized communities in their policies, and on how crucial convenings like NHCSL’s Summer Meeting are. “This is where you will find your strength to get through challenging times. As a mayor during the pandemic, I was able to lean on so many other extraordinary mayors throughout the country, and it makes a difference when you come together like this to support one another, learn from one another”, remarked Breed.

NHCSL’s Vicepresident for Membership Rep. Ángel Matos (PR) welcomed Rep. Lydia Hernández (AZ), Rep. Javier Mabrey (CO), Rep. Johanna López (FL), Sen Javier Loera Cervantes (IL), Rep. Angela Martínez (KS), Rep. Verónica Paiz (MI), Del. Ashanti Martínez (MD) and Rep Annie Menz (OK) as the incoming class of 2022 and stated: “These amazing leaders represent the future of NHCSL. For some of them, the road ahead might be challenging because they might be the only, or part of a handful, of the Hispanic legislators in their state. To you, I want to convey that we are here to support you.”

During the convening, legislators from across the country attended policy sessions about several important topics for Hispanic communities, beginning with a presentation from William Ramos, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA), on the agency’s funding opportunities for states under the existing and upcoming programs.

The second policy session, titled Criminal Justice: A Decade of Probation and Parole Reform, was moderated by Rep. Antonio Maestas (NM), and featured presentations by Anthony DiMartino, from Californians for Safety and Justice, and Connie Utada from Pew Charitable Trusts.

Pew Charitable Trusts selected this convening to capstone research they have been conducting over the past decade.

In addition, NHCSL President Sen. Nellie Pou (NJ) gave a keynote address on the Caucus’ work around criminal justice and remarked: “It’s crucial that conversations around these topics happen in rooms like this, analyzing them through a Latino lens, so we can guarantee that the conclusions and recommendations we put forward have our impacted communities at its core and not as an afterthought.”

Legislators also addressed sustainability and extended producer responsibility while leveling expectations in a competitive market, featuring Sen. Julie Gonzales (CO), who recently spearheaded Colorado’s Producer Responsibility Program For Recycling Bill (HB22-1355), and PepsiCo’s Rebecca Acuña, moderated by Del. Elizabeth Guzmán (VA).

Morevoer, NHCSL highlighted a recent initiative on housing policy from Wells Fargo and UnidosUS, in a conversation moderated by Asw. Yvonne López with Patricia Duarte from Chicanos Por La Causa and Wells Fargo’s María Vergara.

Another policy session focused on discussed skills-based training programs and how they can create pathways to in-demand jobs for high school seniors, college students (both community college and four-year institutions), and adult learners returning to higher education. This discussion was lead Google’s Lucy Pinto and Amazon Web Service’s Mariana Holliday.

Furthermore, as part of NHCSL’s work during the convening, the Executive Committee moved the following resolutions to this year’s Annual Summit: Calling for more Community Schools, sponsored by Del. Elizabeth Guzmán (VA); Condemning and Prohibiting the Discriminatory Book Bans, sponsored by Sen. Teresa Ruiz (NJ); and Repeal Legislation that Criminalizes Helping Undocumented People, sponsored by Sen. Víctor Torres (FL).

Lastly, Rep. Victoria Neave’s (TX) and Rep. Armando Martínez, as chair and secretary, respectively, of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, asked NHCSL to work with them to fight the Texas’ Operation Lone Star, that has been systematically violating the Constitutional and human rights of asylum seekers at the southern border.

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators will convene again from November 30th to December 3rd for its 2023 Annual Summit in the city of Philadelphia.