With a record number of Latinos serving in the Colorado State House it has become abundantly clear that representation does matter and that Latino voices are being heard not only in the streets but in the voting booth as well.
More than 300 people have traveled from Pueblo, Greeley, Yuma and Grand Junction to fine tune their advocacy skills and lobby their elected officials as part of the 13th Annual Latino Advocacy Day.
A noontime rally today featured several Latino State Legislators who talked about the need for Latino representation and voices on a variety of issues affecting the Latinx community in Colorado and across the nation.
The 2019-2020 session will have the largest number of Latinos in Colorado history serving at the same time with 10 Latinos in the State House and 4 Latinos in the State Senate. A total of 154 Latinos have served in Colorado’s legislative bodies including the territorial legislature.
Latinos have continued to run and be elected on both sides of the isle for decades, gaining more seats each election. However, Latinos have never held the top positions until 1975 when Ruben Valdez was elected the first Latino Speaker of the House. The next Latino would not be elected to a top spot until 2017. That year, Crisanta Duran became the first Latina to be elected Speaker of the House.
January 4, 2019, also marked the day the Colorado State Senate celebrated the first Latino to be elected President of the State Senate: Senator Leroy M. Garcia from Pueblo.
Look for the full article coming soon to LatinLifeDenver.com. Photos by Latin Life Denver Media
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media