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Letter to the Editor:

How the underserved communities are misrepresented in the politics and the leadership of Northwest Ohio

Recently, I attended a meeting with the Hispanic Affairs commission (HAC). I was disappointed at their philosophy and their lack of knowledge of the affairs of the Latino community of Northwest Ohio—this group is basically clueless about the real realities of the Latino Community. They spoke about Education, but their only source of reference was Adelante, Inc., which probably encompasses only ˝ percent of the Latino population, not even one percent.

HAC must do more consultation and research and get informed about the Latino Community. HAC cited that only about 40 Latino students in high school were able to meet a 3.0 average in high school in order to take advantage of a scholarship at the University of Toledo.

But I know many more Latino students who are bright and are succeeding in high school and college; however, we have to look at the larger picture of the Latino community. Agencies such as Adelante, Inc. have to create an environment that is more welcoming to the Latino community and so have other agencies in the area, if we want to succeed with the Latinos and gain their trust.

The Latino community is growing fast, because they are the ones having children. We have to make it a priority to have good services for them. The community is rising at a higher pace. The 2005 city-data.com & 2005 U.S. Census, tells us that the Latino population of Lucas County was 20,170. In the following year, the same source shows that the Latino population grew to 22,642—that is a 5.1% increase in just one year.

These statistics show that the Latino community is growing everywhere in the country. The population presents a challenge, but it also presents talents that we need to utilize well.

The leaders that have been representing the Latinos for more than twenty-five years should give opportunities to the younger generations to shine with their leaderships skills. We have just been misrepresented by people who do not even speak a word of Spanish.

Now it is the time, to get authentic Latinos and bilingual people to represent us. They should be knowledgeable of the multicultural aspects of the community. There is an explosion of diversity in our midst, and the Latino population is on the rise. In the next 10 years we will make up about 41 percent in church memberships of the United States.

The underserved communities—such as the Latinos—need positive leaders who understand their reality. We need leaders who are concerned about people, and not about their self-image.

I hope that we can collaborate and help the Latino Community rise and shine.

Sincerely,

Virgilio Guerra
Toledo, Ohio

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