Governor Kasich Maintains Latino Affairs Commission in State Budget

 

Columbus, OH, March 15, 2011:  Governor John Kasich maintained the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs today in the long-anticipated biennial budget for Fiscal Years 2012/2013. While the Commission faces a 6.8% budget reduction, it will continue to carry-on its mission to advise, connect, and build the Latino Community. 

 

 OCHLAs budget must now survive through the House, Senate, and Legislative Conference Committees budget deliberations process.

 

To ask your legislators to continue to support OCHLA by maintaining the Governors proposed budget, please visit OCHLAs homepage for a sample legislator letter: http://ochla.ohio.gov/
Constituents can find their Ohio House/Senate legislator emails or addresses through our Understanding the Legislative Process page: http://ochla.ohio.gov/ohla/tpb-legis101.aspx

The Ohio Latino Affairs Commission is the only state agency with capacity and experience to attend to a fast-growing Latino constituency. According to new Census data, while the state has suffered a severe net loss in total population, the Ohio Latino community has actually increased sharply by 63% to 354,000.   Likewise, during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the 2009 purchasing power of Ohio s Latino community totaled $6.8 billion, which is an increase of 335% since 1990.

 

For 34 years, the Commission has offered versatility of cultural competence and in-depth knowledge of our growing Latino communities in order to maximize efficiencies and positively impact the work of federal, state, and local government agencies as well as non-profit community organizations and local businesses.  OCHLA saves State resources and revenue by:

Offering our expertise as an in kind contribution to federal, state, and local agencies thus providing a competitive edge that resulted in cost savings and efficiencies for the citizens of Ohio . For example, if these agencies had to hire staff or external contractors to replace OCHLAs performed services  - including recruiting, training, and acquiring a qualified bilingual employee - the state would incur approximately $1,215,000 to $1,755,000 in additional annual costs to secure just one Latino community liaison per agency.

Constituent Services and Public information to deliver mandated public services. Our OLAnet organizations directory supported the work of state government by using OLAnets e-campaign feature, our website, and electronic mail to reach Latino Ohioans to deliver important educational information and resources for 32 outreach campaigns in 2010 alone. For example, without OCHLA, each agency would have to create and distribute their own outreach publications at a cost of $8 to $10 thousand dollars for materials and translations for each outreach campaign (such as H1N1 flu epidemic prevention, Emergency Management, Complete Census Count, etc.).

Economic and Workforce Development - OCHLA created Project OPEN - an economic capacity building project in partnership with the Ohio Department of Development and the Ohio Business Connection - to develop a Latino Small Business Development Center . This pilot project, located in Central Ohio , has counseled 50 small businesses for over 300 hours and has facilitated 64 contracts for small businesses.  With continued support this initiative could be replicated in other areas of the state such as Cincinnati , Cleveland and Toledo .