MALDEF and National Latino Organizations Convene the 3rd Annual Latino Congreso This Weekend in Los Angeles

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Hundreds of community leaders, elected officials, students and others prepare to drive Latino agenda forward in the next Administration

JULY 17, 2008 - The Third Annual National Latino Congreso will be held on July 18-20 in Los Angeles. The Congreso brings together delegates from approximately 200 sponsoring entities to implement a unified Latino agenda on topics such as voter rights, immigration, the environment, education and healthcare.

MALDEF helped found the now-annual convention in 2006, and this year again serves, along with eight other organizations, as one of the Conveners of the event. The Congreso unites elected and organizational leadership with the grassroots sector to coalesce the Latino voice around critical social issues. The event enjoys the strong support and participation of many local, state and congressional elected members.

In addition to voter registration, voter education and voter mobilization issues, MALDEF will also be discussing voter protection. “While the two main presidential candidates understand the importance of the Latino vote and genuinely seek that vote, there remain those in our society whose path to power is directed by voter suppression rather than voter mobilization," said John Trasviña, President and General Counsel of MALDEF. “We will vigorously fight to educate Latino voters about their right to cast an informed vote, to ensure that election administrators are prepared for what is expected to be a record turnout and to combat, in court and on the public airwaves, any efforts to unlawfully deny citizens their rights to register and to vote in November. From the Congreso to Election Day, the voice of the Latino community must be heard and respected," Trasviña added.

In the past two meetings of the National Latino Congreso, thousands of Latinos from dozens of states, with a broad range of policy expertise, debated over 180 proposed resolutions on diverse public policy issues. Delegates from all over the nation and Latino advocacy organizations will be focused on the candidate's response to the resolutions.

The conference will end with a call for mass voter mobilization and a Black-Latino Summit, which would provide a forum for these two sizable minority groups to discuss opportunities to work together to create positive social change. More information on the National Latino Congreso, including the resolutions that have been passed and a schedule of events, can be found online at

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund