Concerned with the diminishing role of Latinos in government decision making within the City of Chicago, Latino Clergy from across the city came together to announce a boycott of all business and social functions hosted by the City. The purpose of the boycott was to force a dialogue with Mayor Richard Daley and select Department Heads to discuss a plan to increase Latino representation in top advisory positions. The Clergy decided to begin by focusing on the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Public School system.
The response from the City was immediate. On Wednesday, February 11th Police Superintendent Jodi Weis held a productive meeting with the Latino Clergy where he assured those in attendance he would give full consideration to the Clergy’s concerns when filling new positions and promoting existing officers. The group would meet with Superintendent Weis within the next month to see what progress had been made on this objective.
The following day, the Latino Clergy held another productive meeting with Chicago Public School CEO, Ron Huberman to discuss the under-representation of Latinos in leadership positions within the school system. Discussions focused on the lack of Latino principals and teachers as well as important education matters such as the high Latino dropout rate and an increase in school violence. Mr. Huberman recognized the clergy’s concerns as valid and vowed to work with them to improve the quality of education for all Latino schools. In this spirit, both Mr. Huberman and the Latino clergy will be organizing a Latino Education Summit, bringing students, teac hers, parents, elected officials, CPS leadership, and members of the clergy together to devise a long term strategic plan to improve Latino education in the City of Chicago.
“The decisions that are made at the top levels of the Chicago Police Department and the Public School system directly affect the lives of thousands of Latino families and influence the foundation of our Latino communities. I am very glad both of these departments seem to recognize the need to strengthen this foundation and have agreed to work with us to make it happen” stated Reverend Wilfredo De Jesús, Pastor of New Life Covenant Church in Humboldt Park and the leader of the movement.[/lang_en]