Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Ohio Hispanic commission meeting here

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        In an effort to make the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs more accessible to the growing number of Hispanics in the Tristate, the commission will bring its monthly meeting to Cincinnati March 5.

        It will be the first time in at least five years the commission has hosted a meeting in Cincinnati. The 9:30 a.m. public meeting will be at the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 441 Vine St., Carew Tower Suite 300.

        The commission will address issues affecting Ohio's Hispanic population, said Juan Lara, director of the commission.

        “We were in Cincinnati a couple of times to do an education forum, where a number of people came up to us and said, "Hey, listen. There are some issues and some concerns that we have here in Cincinnati. We would like to meet with you guys,'” Mr. Lara said.

        “It is to that end that we decided to have a meeting in Cincinnati to give all these guys an opportunity to come tell us what they need help in or (how) they would like assistance from us.”

        Concepcion A. Reyna of West Chester said she plans to attend the meeting.

        “I think it's great that the commission is having its March meeting in Cincinnati. That should give them a wider audience and will help educate the community about the commission,” she said.

        The Tristate's Hispanic population has more than doubled during the past decade to 22,000, according to the 2000 Census.

        Resident commissioners V. Anthony Simms-Howell and Michael G. Florez, both of Cincinnati, will run next month's meeting.

        The 11-member commission, created in 1977, is a liaison between government and the Hispanic community in Ohio and advocates policies and programs to address the needs of Hispanics, including education, employment, economic development, health and housing.

       



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