LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced the appointment of six Michigan residents to the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan. Her appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
The Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan was created to develop a unified policy and plan of action to serve the needs of Michigan’s Hispanic and Latino people. The law directs the Commission to advise the Governor, the Legislature, and the office concerning the coordination and administration of state programs serving the Hispanic and Latino population.
The Governor’s appointees to the Commission include:
Consuela Barber Lopez, of Detroit, is the executive director of AMANDLA, a council of Metro Detroit grassroots organizations that are concerned with crimes against children. She is also the co-director and founder of BombaRíca Cultural Arts Organization. Ms. Barber Lopez holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wayne State University. Ms. Barber Lopez is reappointed for a term commencing April 13, 2023, and expiring December 10, 2024.
“It has been a rewarding experience and honor to represent Wayne County in the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan these past 3 years and I am definitely looking forward to the next three, said Barber Lopez. “It has been an honor to serve with my fellow Latinx leaders across the state in recommending and supporting legislation that will help to improve the quality of lives of our people.” (See related article regarding proposed Drive SAFE legislation on this page.)
Monteze Morales, of Kalamazoo, is currently the Kalamazoo County Commissioner for District 2. Previously, Monteze served as the Director of Kalamazoo Promise Services at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and as a Kalamazoo Promise Expert for Higher Education. Ms. Morales received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and Teaching from Western Michigan University. Morales is reappointed for a term commencing April 13, 2023, and expiring December 10, 2024.
Abril Valdes Siewert, of Huntington Woods, is an attorney at Valdes Law, PLLC. She formerly worked as an immigrant rights attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan. She received her J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University Los Angeles. Valdes Siewert is reappointed for a term commencing April 13, 2023, and expiring December 10, 2024.
Elias Gutierrez, of Detroit, is the owner of My SW Office, a co-working space. Gutierrez is also the founder and owner of the Latino Press, the largest Hispanic publishing company in Southeast Michigan for over 30 years. He received a degree from the Universidad de Santiago in Industrial Design. Gutierrez is appointed to represent for a term commencing April 13, 2023, and expiring December 31, 2026.
Vanessa Guerra, of Saginaw, is the Saginaw County Clerk. She previously served three terms as the Representative for Michigan House District 95. Guerra earned her J.D. at the University of Detroit Mercy. Guerra is appointed for a term commencing April 13, 2023, and expiring December 31, 2026. She succeeds Monica Reyes whose term has expired.
Juan (Johnny) Rodriguez, of Holland, is the Executive Director of Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP) where he uses his talents of networking and uplifting the work of Latin Americans. He is a graduate of Hope College receiving a bachelor’s degree in education. Rodriguez is appointed for a term commencing April 13, 2023, and expiring December 31, 2026.