Lansing, Mich (WLNS)– The Michigan Legislative Latino Caucus hosted the inaugural Michigan Legislative Latino Day at Michigan’s State Capitol.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet with legislators, hear and learn from statewide leaders during the luncheon ceremony, and connect with Latino organizations from across the state.
One of the people in attendance was Lupe Ramos-Montigny, an Elected Official on Michigan’s Board of Education.
“We feel that we can be the voice, we want to be the voice,” Ramos-Montigny said. She knows firsthand how it feels to be treated as less than equal.
“Just last week I went to a theater– everybody was white except me. Nobody says hi… everybody just looks at me like what are you doing here. I got to my grocery store and it’s the same kind of treatment,” Ramos-Montigny said.
It’s treatment like this that Latinos face more than many people realize. That’s why today– Latinos from across the state gathered to meet with political leaders and speak up about the issues they see in our community.
Latinos have been in Michigan for over a hundred years, but it wasn’t until just 20 years ago that Michigan saw it’s first Latino representatives.
“We need more representation, we need more Latinos, across the state in different offices. We need more minorities, not just Latinos,” Juanita Bocanegra, Secretary of Hispanic Latino Commission and Asst. Prosecuting Attorney for Ottawa County said.
Bocanegra said after hearing the support from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, and many more, she feels optimistic.
“For a while there I was thinking that we had a long ways to go and we probably still do, but I’m filled with hope now.”