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La Liga de Las Americas

Hispanic/Latino Alliance is moving forward Jan. 23  


By Alan Abrams

La Prensa Senior Correspondent


The name may be new, but the Hispanic/Latino Alliance of Greater Toledo is moving forward in its specified goals of creating a unified voice for Toledo’s diversified Latino community.


Gone is the “Strategic Alliance” designation, replaced by a name that promises full inclusion.

“Our purpose is for the entire community to get representation,” says community activist Bob Vásquez, who has been taking the lead in organizing the Alliance. He explains that one rationale for the name change is to “help us reach out to more people …and not be so limited.”

Bob Vásquez


Vásquez was referring to the original six members as all being rooted in the south end, whereas the majority of Latinos live in other parts of the city. [See June 14, 2006 issue of La Prensa on line at: laprensatoledo.com/Stories/2006/June%2014,%202006/ South%20Broadway%20Five.htm

In addition to the HAC, whose function is to advise the council and mayor on legislation and not to provide services to the community, the founding members of the Alliance are:


Adelante, Inc.—a non-profit, service-oriented organization serving the south end.

Aurora González Community and Resource Center

Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)

Northwest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Sophia Quintero Arts and Culture Center

Viva South Toledo


Organized over one year ago, the then Strategic Alliance received funding from United Way and other sources for a $25,000 study conducted by a Latino-owned consulting firm based in Chicago.

According to Vásquez, United Way has declined to further fund the Alliance beyond its initial grant.

David Ibarra


Vásquez stated that the H/L Alliance wants to expand beyond geography.

“One move in that direction is that we’ve decided upon an advisory board to be comprised of outstanding leaders of the community, and we’ve taken some steps to implement it. There is a sense of urgency right now that the Latino community needs to come together with an agenda,” says Vásquez, who holds an executive position with The Twelve  Inc., the fiduciary for the Alliance.

Could Vásquez been talking about coordinated political efforts by the H/L Alliance? Certainly the partners all have, in varying degrees, the influence needed to make a political statement.


Vásquez said other organizations will be encouraged to join the Alliance. Membership is available for a fee of $100.


Next meeting is Jan. 23

The directors and chairman of the board are the temporary board of governors. Officers will be elected at a Jan. 23, 2007 meeting to be held from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., at the Twelve Inc. on Heatherdowns Boulevard.

Vásquez said he is working on the articles of incorporation for the H/L Alliance.


Robert Torres, active in the H/L Alliance through the HAC where he acts as its director, says the organization now has a plan to implement. He acknowledges the necessity to formalize the group in order to present a unified campaign for additional funding.

Robert Torres


Torres also recognizes the potential of the H/L Alliance as a political entity “when and if it flexes its muscle.”  


Reached during his Florida vacation, Commissioner David Ibarra, who chairs HAC, stressed that although the member agencies all have their own strengths, “combined they have a unique opportunity to impact larger segments of the community.”





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