Strengthening Our Voices
Letter from the President
It has been a privilege to serve as President of NHCSL for the past two years. I am very proud of the work we have accomplished together. Thanks to you, our members, NHCSL’s staff, our BBA, and other partners, we have been able to raise the profile of this organization and ensure it is an impactful voice of the national conversation on the major issues of the day.
When I was elected in 2015, we were fast approaching a general election year where Latino issues were at the forefront. Our community was poised to make a major impact on the future of the country through our vote. Few realized the scope of the challenges we would soon face and the hard work that ensued to defend Latinos in our nation.
NHCSL was there at the beginning. From the meeting table with the presidential transition team, to the White House and the halls of Congress, our Caucus has taken every opportunity to fight for our community. Our engagement with the White House or the top leadership in Congress has not diminished our resolve in pushing forward an agenda that is bold, refreshing and has set us apart from other Latino organizations.
In the last two years, NHCSL has taken bold steps to be the first Latino organization to call for the decriminalization of cannabis, advocated for strict anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTQ Americans, pushed for a clean DREAM Act, and took the lead by being the first to propose a Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María. In addition, NHCSL was also the first national Latino group to call for a boycott of the state of Texas after it approved the anti-immigrant SB4 law.
We are on track to set a new record for NHCSL: almost 30 resolutions this year alone, ensuring that we have addressed every single major issue and proposed policy solutions for the communities we represent, through all of our 11 task forces. NHCSL is now on record for taking a stand on critical topics ranging from farmworker justice, consumer financial protection, health care, energy, and a host of other critical matters.
NHCSL had never weighed in on many of these issues, and these forward-thinking policies have also opened wider spaces to get our message across. These efforts have garnered the attention of prestigious news outlets, such as The Washington Post, The Hill Newspaper, Univisión, NBC News, Telemundo, CNN en Español, and other major outlets. Once again, none of this would have been possible without the leadership of our legislators and our staff.
The list of accomplishments is too long to mention in its entirety. The issues we still need to address, or continue working on, is even longer. I have no doubt, however, that our new leadership team will take this momentum to new levels and ensure that NHCSL consolidates its position as an example of excellence and quality amongst the most respected national membership and advocacy organizations.
I look forward to celebrating the next series of achievements we will accomplish together under new leadership in the next two years and beyond.
Rep. Ángel Cruz (PA), President,
National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators