Ohio & Michigan's Oldest and Largest Latino Newspaper

Since 1989




    media kit    ad rates    classified ad rates    about us    contact us


La Prensa Home

Upcoming Events

La Prensa Photos

La Prensa Links

LatinoMix Radio

La Prensa Scholarships

Directory of Latino Businesses and Services

La Prensa Obituaries

La Prensa Classifieds

Past La Prensa Stories

Submit a Letter to the Editor

La Liga de Las Americas

OCHLA elects new officers Gonzáles and Romero and opposes HB 654, SB 368


By Milagros Santiago,
La Prensa Staff Writer


The Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs (OCHLA) met on Oct. 10, 2006, in Columbus to welcome its two new chairs and to discuss its goal-expectancies for 2007.

L-R, are OCHLA Commissioners Simón Rodríguez, Phil Barbosa, Mary Santiago, Mike Florez, Ramona Reyes, Richard Romero, V. Anthony Simms-Howell, Dr. Silvia Jiménez-Hyre, and Humberto González.  


OCHLA serves as a liaison between the government of Ohio and its Latino citizens. It aids in the development of policies/programs to address the needs of Latinos, especially in education, employment, health, and housing.


Chair Dr. Silvia Jiménez-Hyre (of Youngstown State University) passed the leadership torch to OCHLA Commissioner Humberto González, who was named the new chair. González is the Human Resource Manager for Aegis Services Incorporated in Columbus, Ohio.

Lorain’s Richard Romero was named Vice-Chair and Michael G. Florez as Secretary.  


Romero is the president of IGM, a marketing firm based in Lorain. Florez is an attorney, practicing primarily in Cincinnati. Other commissioners of OCHLA are: V. Anthony Simms-Howell, Phillip R. Barbosa, Mary Santiago, Simón Rodríguez, and Ramona Reyes.


Numerous issues were addressed at this meeting including unanimous opposition to H.B. No. 654 (“Illegal Alien Enforcement Act”) and its companion S.B. No 368, and calls for a study as to the “origin, nature, scope, and contributions of Ohio’s immigrant population.”


When citing the reasons for its opposition to these bills, a resolution was passed stating three main points of OCHLA’s opposition:

Humberto Gonzalez

1) It is unknown as to the exact number of immigrants in Ohio. After fact-finding, the OCHLA has come to the conclusion that there is no evidence of the amount of the immigrant population. The OCHLA is requesting $92,000 for a detailed study to be done, to determine Ohio’s diverse immigrant population.   

2) The “hasty implementation of state-level public policy affecting immigrants may impinge upon federal supremacy and conflict with the end result of a dynamic and changing federal immigration policy environment.”

3) “Serious concerns have been raised by business, industry, faith-based organizations, civil rights advocacy groups....These concerns are about threats to civil rights, increases of racial profiling, and encouragement of discrimination against all immigrant groups.”

The commission questioned the costs of implementing these bills into law, estimating costs to be over $1,000,000 per year.


Since OCHLA has only two full-time employees—its director Ezra C. Escudero and Rosario Martínez, its Administrative Assistant—it’s difficult to address every issue that confronts them. For the past 3 years the commission has unsuccessfully sought a much needed funding increase, the staff level of the commission is at one-third of the necessary level.


The current funding for the commission is at $181,000 per fiscal year.


The population of Latino Ohioans has grown at a double-digit rate since 1990 and at a triple-digit rate in key counties during the same time frame.

Milagros Santiago


OCHLA Opposed House Bill 654  (PDF Format)





Web laprensa





«Tinta con sabor»     Ink with flavor!



Spanglish Weekly/Semanal

Your reliable source for current Latino news and events providing English and Spanish articles


Culturas Publication, Inc. d.b.a. La Prensa Newspaper

© Copyrighted by  Culturas Publication, Inc. 2005