LANSING, Mich. On Sept 22, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II joined The Michigan Legislative Latino Caucus (MLLC) and the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan for Latino Legislative Day at the Michigan State Capitol. It was a day of advocacy, including Latino and Hispanic groups championing the important work organizations do throughout the state.
Latino Legislative Day was created as an opportunity for Latino leaders to share ways they serve communities and to discuss how legislators can aid in their work. The agenda included an award ceremony, speeches from elected officials, meetings and training on effective legislative advocacy with member offices, policy discussions, and presentations from statewide partnering groups. Legislators had the opportunity to highlight how Latino leaders across the state have found impactful and personal ways to serve their community and offer them a platform to reach lawmakers.
Speakers at the event included members of the MLLC, state Reps. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp.), Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton), Alex Garza (D-Taylor), and state Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor); Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II; and Latino and Hispanic leaders from across the state.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to honor the Hispanic and Latino Michiganders who whose vibrant culture and valuable contributions make Michigan a great place to live, start a business and raise a family,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist. “Today I met with leaders from communities across the state to discuss what Governor Whitmer and I are doing to uplift grow our economy, create good-paying jobs, and bring investment to every region of our state. We will work with anyone and compete with everyone to make Michigan a home of opportunity for all.”
“It was a great privilege to work with the Michigan Legislative Latino Caucus and the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan to help host this event — it was very successful,” Rep. Cavanagh said. “I was especially grateful to hear from Latinx leaders from all over Michigan about the ways they foster and support our communities. I also appreciated hearing how we as legislators can better support their advocacy efforts; my dedication to this cause is unwavering. Our Latinx residents are a valuable part of what makes Michigan special and strong. Though Hispanic Heritage month is only a few weeks long, I know we all will be celebrating our culture every day of the year.”
The Michigan Latino Legislative Caucus is a bicameral caucus of legislators dedicated to promoting legislative initiatives for the betterment of Michigan’s Latino community, including economic development, healthcare, education, civic engagement and civil rights. Reps. Cavanagh and Camilleri serve as chair and vice-chair, respectively. Sen. Geiss serves as secretary, and Rep. Garza serves as treasurer.
“I congratulate those we recognized in this year’s Legislative Latino Day for their achievements. Their commitment to building a strong, inclusive Michigan is remarkable, and I thank them for their hard work to make Michigan a better place for not just those in the Latinx and Hispanic communities, but for all,” said Sen. Geiss.
“I am very happy I had the opportunity to celebrate the start of Hispanic Heritage Month with the Michigan Legislative Latino Caucus, the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan and community advocates at this event,” said Rep. Garza. “As the first person of color elected to local office in Taylor’s history, and as one of the youngest Latinos serving in the state Legislature, it was wonderful to hear from everyone, as well as celebrate many of the achievements of our community — what an inspiration to us all.”
Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated throughout the latter half of September and the first half of October began as a way to promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans — specifically, those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Communities mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities.
Between 2010 and 2020, Michigan’s Hispanic population increased in 81 of 83 counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of 2020, the number of Hispanics in Michigan reached 564,422, equaling 5.6% of our state’s population. Significant Hispanic population concentrations are in major urban counties along the Grand Rapids and Detroit corridor.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, Michigan recognizes and celebrates the contributions of Hispanic and Latinos in Michigan and the United States. View the Hispanic Heritage Month proclamation and learn more about the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan.