Christopher LaFayelle was Appointed by the Chairman Co-Chair/Co-Founder Latino Veterans Committee
About the Latino Family Commission: The Illinois Latino Family Commission (ILFC) is a non-partisan independent state commission established by P.A. 95-619 to improve the opportunities and resources available to Latino families throughout the state. In carrying out its legislative mandate, the ILFC advises the Governor and General Assembly and works directly with State agencies to ensure that policies, services, and programs are responsive to the Latino community. The ILFC focuses on legislation, policy analysis, program development, research and advocacy to promote the social and economic well-being of Latino families and the equitable representation of Latinos in decision making, employment, contracting, and resource allocation across the State
This issue is very important to me; I am deeply, personally, and professionally invested in improving the resources and opportunities available to Latino military members, veteran, servicemembers, and their families, as well as all the people that support them. We have had multiple discussions over the years on the changing the future narrative for Latino Veterans and their families, and have agreed that it is vital to the success of Illinois that we change the narrative from what has been accepted in the past. Latino Veterans and their families are strategic assets to their community, state, and country. Our Latino Veterans and their families deserve to be recognized for their above and beyond contributions throughout this great nation’s history. The newly formed Latino Veteran Committee of the Illinois Latino Family Commission can strengthen the ties that binds us together. LVC is the “greater good” – it’s the purpose above the individual agendas of each of the members and their agencies, departments, organizations that comprise its membership, because its goal is to harness all of those resources in such a way that the Latino Veteran and their families can be cared for holistically, completely. By coordinating all those services on both a web platform and in real-world application, we can assist and support through the subcommittees and local collaboratives, governmental and non-governmental organizations serving Latino Veterans and their families. The foundation has been laid, and it’s a strong enduring foundation, based in law, legislation, statutes, and policies that strengthen the ILFC and the LVC indefinitely. The success of the LVC is in our hands. We are only lacking your participation. Without the proper Latino veteran leadership at the table, all the work we have put into this country goes unnoticed, and lessening our individual efforts to support the goal and create a better future for all Latino veterans and their families. This will require our LVC members to participate on committee’s task forces, roundtables, and provide substantive communication between us and their area of expertise in government, companies, or organizations. Every day that goes by without a Latino Veteran leader at the table is another thread in this tapestry unraveling. You have been selected because, as a leader in your area, you are comprised of the right character and vision to be a proper custodian of this crucial responsibility. I made some notes regarding my vision for the Chair and Co-Chair initiating this great body of leadership, and then how each of us can accept responsibilities in our area of comfort and excellence to add value to the LVC as acting members. The Chair and Co-Chair (and any member that volunteers) will be many things: a representative, an outreach coordinator, a social worker, an organizer, a fundraiser, and a relationship builder. Because of this, the individual must possess skills that enable them to communicate the vision of LVC to a wide array of people, from service providers, to bureaucrats, to elected officials, to business leaders. They must possess a clear understanding of the Latino Veteran and their family resource topography – and how service silos and inter-organization competition is an enemy to “the greater good” of serving Latino Veterans and their families holistically. As a representative, the LVC members should be one who intimately understands the struggle of transitioning from the military world to the civilian sector. Being a Veteran immediately gives the LVC legitimacy among fellow Latino Veteran and their families, who are often suspicious of vested interests and ulterior motives. As long as the Latino Veteran is honest of the nature of their service, it should not matter whether they are a combat Veteran or not – simply that they understand the nature of military service and how its benefits and effects are lifelong. As an outreach coordinator, the LVC members are also in the role of continually promoting LVC and its role of coordinating services, policy and legislative recommendations, etc.. on a statewide level. It is imperative that we do not look at Illinois as having only two cities, Chicago and Springfield. The LVC members must understand that Illinois is a state of service and that there are Latino Veterans and their families in every county. In fact, Latino Veteran and their families that are not close to metropolitan areas are in desperate need of community-based services in the absence of VA care. The Chair and Co-Chair must also grasp how Veteran’s Choice and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can be coordinated with LVC. As a social worker, the LVC members must understand the social service realm, and have an altruistic and compassionate attitude towards those that are struggling to meet basic needs of food, housing, shelter, employment, and medical and mental healthcare. The LVC looks to leadership from a Latino Veteran who has worked in social services, and/or as a case manager would be ideal, as case managers have to coordinate every aspect of a client’s life to ensure each basic need is being met. It’s not that the LVC members will be doing this hands on; rather, it’s their understanding of struggling persons and social systems that will guide the Chair and Co-Chair in their greater role. As an organizer, the LVC members must be a liaison, bringing together government, companies, and community-based agencies towards a common goal. This is no easy task in the social service world, as organizations compete over finite resources and duplicative services. Through their ability to organize, the Chair and Co-Chair must be able to provide a clear vision of what LVC can be, and communicate service gaps and service opportunities to organizations to help dismantle this competition between organizations. As a fundraiser, the LVC members must understand why the LVC was established. They must have a grasp of the social economic climate of social service agencies post-2008, and how private funding has to be leveraged in the steady decline of state funds. There is money out there for this cause. The ability to communicate the need for LVC to funders through relationships and grant applications is imperative. The LVC members are relationship builders, and tie all of these roles together, for it is unrealistic to expect the Chair and Co-Chair to deliver on all of these aspects, all of the time. It will be imperative for this this Committee’s members and the Illinois Latino Family Commission to be able build relationships and leverage them to get LVC closer to its intended vision. There is a wealth of social capital available to help this mission – there are Latino Veterans and their family members in many city, county, state, federal government departments, agencies, private companies, foundations, and community-based organizations that will “get it,” and if the LVC is able to inspire these individuals to help in the greater goal, then our service will be infinitely easier and the ability to achieve the mission that much more secure. Who What Where When How Why Who – it begins with you joining us as a member of the LVC What –The Latino Veteran’s Committee of the ILFC is committed to promoting the health, wealth, opportunity, and equity for Latino veterans and their families throughout the State of Illinois. The purpose of the Illinois Latino Family Commission’s Latino Veterans Committee is to advise the Governor and General Assembly, as well as work directly with State agencies to improve and expand existing policies, services, programs, and opportunities for Latino Veterans and their families. Based on the solid foundation created by Chairman Henry “Hank” Martinez and Executive Director Layla Suleiman Gonzalez in the formation and strengthening of the Illinois Latino Family Commission. ILLINOIS LATINO FAMILY COMMISSION ACT Source:Illinois General Assembly
EXECUTIVE BRANCH (20 ILCS 3983/) Illinois Latino Family Commission Act.
Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Illinois Latino Family Commission Act. (Source: P.A. 95-619, eff. 9-14-07) (20 ILCS 3983/5)
Sec. 5. Legislative Findings. It is the policy of this State to promote family preservation and to strengthen families. (Source: P.A. 95-619, eff. 9-14-07.) (20 ILCS 3983/15)
Sec. 15. Purpose and objectives. The purpose of the Illinois Latino Family Commission is to advise the Governor and General Assembly, as well as work directly with State agencies to improve and expand existing policies, services, programs, and opportunities for Latino families. Subject to appropriation, the Illinois Latino Family Commission shall guide the efforts of and collaborate with State agencies, including: the Department on Aging, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Public Aid, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Employment Security, and others. This shall be achieved primarily by:
(1) monitoring and commenting on existing and proposed legislation and programs designed to address the needs of Latinos in Illinois;
(2) assisting State agencies in developing programs, services, public policies, and research strategies that will expand and enhance the social and economic well-being of Latino children and families;
(3) facilitating the participation and representation of Latinos in the development, implementation, and planning of policies, programs, and services; and
(4) promoting research efforts to document the impact of policies and programs on Latino families.
The work of the Illinois Latino Family Commission shall include the use of existing reports, research, and planning efforts, procedures, and programs.
Where – statewide, wherever you are located, and whatever job, activities, community you belong to, that’s where the LVC will be too. When – Now email me back saying that we can count on you as a member of the LVC How – 1) email me a confirmation that you agree to be a member of the LVC 2) Come to our first mega meeting as the Latino Veterans Committee on June 5th, 2015. One day of unity, fellowship, planning our first statewide Latino veterans and families Resource Summit and Conferences (over 1000 participants). Why – each of us has our why, and as a member, we would like you participate with us in making your “why’ video (to be posted on the website) of why the LVC is long overdue. Dolores Huerta recently said it’s a shame that in 2015 we still have so many firsts, as a Latino Community. It’s a shame that these things haven’t been created and continued since long ago, well, the LVC is a first in many ways, but we can help to change the future for all Latino Veterans and their families so that through policies, legislation, programs, and inclusion of our Latino Veterans at the decision making tables, together we can change our future.
Christopher LaFayelle Co Chair of the Latino Veteran's Committee
Written by Christopher LaFayelle Chief Inspiration Officer Consortium For Veteran Contractors
Dear Committee Members.
Please accept these points for the agenda tomorrow in my absence.
1.) Create a focus on researching policy that effect Latino Veterans and their families in services provided by the VA, HUD, federal, state, county, and city. 2.) Establish and strengthen relations with state and federal government legislators to prepare us to create and pass policies/ legislation through the Latino Veterans Committee to fill the gaps in our support systems for Latino veterans and their families. 3.) Establish agreements with universities for interns, research, and development funding. 4.) Discover ways the Veterans Committee can work with the other sub-committees of the Latino Family Commission.
Chairman of the Illinois Latino Family Commission
Veterans Roundtable January 28, 2015 Minutes Present: Michael Wallace, Christopher LaFayelle, Jesus Solorio, Leslie Rodriguez, Abundio Zaragoza, David Chaparro By phone: Richard Tapia, Martin Perez, Frank Avila, Gregg Ortiz Staff: Virginia Martinez I. New members introduced themselves. Jesus Solorio was representing Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti II. Minutes of last meeting were reviewed. No changes III. Roundtable Concept Paper reviewed. No changes IIII. Report on assignments a. Christopher again introduced new members: Gregg Ortiz is with the Teamsters Military Assistance Program, local liaison, does outreach for training for commercial driving, hazardous material transport and helmets to hardhats. Also trying to attract active national guardsmen. Frank Avila has a cable access program that can be used to discuss Veterans Roundtable activities. Chris reported that as far venues the Teamster Hall is available with large main room, limited break out rooms, parking lot and right of expressway. Richard reported on his assignment of finding locations at this time that he had gone to Morton College but they have no student veteran organization to assist. He also spoke with individuals at Northeastern Illinois University which has a room in the student union which hold 300-400 people and there is a student chapter. Christopher also spoke with the University Club and believes there can be a fundraiser to net $10,000 for conference. Secretary of Veterans Affairs agreed to come to conference. Lt. Governor interested. Suggestion for contact with HUD. LULAC has a member to bring to the Roundtable. Richard spoke with someone from GI Forum in Texas. It is possible to reopen office here in Chicago. Frank Avila said we should be as inclusive as possible, include previous members of GI Forum. b. Michael reported that a lot of information is available that can be included in a map. However information on community based organizations and VFWs is not in digital format. Data collection is needed for which students can be used. Will need funding for software and cloud based platform, between $10-20,000. Will identify circles of care and allow analysis of gaps. Will need organization to handle and evaluate. No wrong door. If organization that receives veteran is not appropriate then referral to appropriate services. c. An issue was raised about veteran owned businesses. David Chaparro reported that he had to do everything himself to get certified. Conference should include resources for business owners wishing to do business with state. d. Leslie reported that she met with Ely Williamson of the McCormick Foundation and they will consider a request for $5,000 but cannot be for Latino Conference. Can call it ILFC first Veteran Resource Fair and can focus on Latinos who are underserved. She has a report from California on veteran needs which she will forward electronically. Will be speaking with Ely regarding possible speakers. e. Tony Hernandez from Colombia College wants to participate from VSpan cable news office. Office in CineSpace. He does program with Latino students and can live stream the conference proceedings. V. Discussion of recommendations of Commission Chairman Hank Martinez. New members were again introduced by Chris. Also, Jaime Martinez from AFLAC. AFLAC will be hiring 150 people to reach the Latino market. With regard to legislative efforts, there is proposed legislation to include all counties in the Veterans Treatment Court. In Cook County that is Judge Flood’s responsibility, serving substance abusers. However, many have bad discharges. Only 8 people have been referred to Cook County Veterans Assistance for servicesaccording to Abundio. Other issues were discussed that fit into existing Commission activities. It would be helpful to do a survey of the veterans who attend the conference. Shuttles that usually take vets to Hines can bring them to conference. ASSIGNMENTS RichardContact NEIU to secure date and ask whether classes will be over by then. MikePut together budget for data gathering, creation of map, software and platform Chris/LeslieDevelop draft program David/Ray RubioMedia Chris/Leslie/VirginiaDevelop proposal and budget for conference
This following is pre-committee when we had originally formed a roundtable.
Illinois Latino Family Commission Veterans Roundtable Veterans Conference: Creating Circles of Care The Illinois Latino Family Commission (ILFC) is a non-partisan independent state commission established by state law in 2007 to improve the opportunities and resources available to Latino families throughout the state. In carrying out its legislative mandate, the 15 member ILFC advises the Governor and General Assembly and works directly with State agencies to ensure that policies, services, and programs are responsive to the Latino community. The Veterans Roundtable was created in 2014 as part of the ILFC Health and Human Services Committee to identify Latino veterans and increase outreach to those veterans. The Roundtable seeks to create awareness, to act as advocates and advise the Commission on issues facing all generations of Latino Military Veterans in Illinois. The Roundtable also develops policy recommendations and explores their possible effects on Latino Veterans, their families and community. This conference is being planned as part of the outreach efforts of the Roundtable to educate Latino veterans on benefits and services available to them and their families. The state of Illinois is home to 3.4% (731,089) of the nation’s veteran population 4.2% (29,773) of whom are Latino (ACS 2012). Out of almost 30,000 Latino veterans, 26,463 (89%) were males and 3,310 (11%) females. About one in every three (33%) are ages 65 or older, old enough to have served in Vietnam or World War II.Although the total number of veterans has remained about the same over the past decade, the percentage of the total Latino population that is veteran is higher in 2010 than in 2000, 4.2% vs. 3.0%.There is the expectation that the number of Latinos serving in the military may increase as a result of the increased population and as US citizen children of immigrants reach enlistment age.Additionally, a series of reports by the Social Impact Research Center points to challenges facing new veterans (deployed since 2001). These challenges must be addressed in order for this new group of veterans to successfully reintegrate into civilian life. Creating Circles of Care is one day conference focused on Latino Veterans in Illinois. This will be a multi-generational veteran focus conference; all veterans will be invited to attend from every war or conflict. The conference will have keynote speakers, workshops and interactive sessions on topics of interest. A goal of the conference will be to create groups of veterans by community areas who create community action teams or Circles of Care to act as peer support in the identification and access to services and companionship. The conference will also feature a resource fair for veterans as well as the following: Hall of Heroes Develop a series of posters representing Latino military servicefrom the Civil War to Present. Local veterans groups and others will be invited to add posters to recognize heroes in midst who have fought in conflicts over the years. Afterward the posters will travel to local schools to educate children about Latinos in the military. Interactive Virtual Map Presentation/Resource Center: Show a model source-map that could locate different types of veteran services throughout the state. Have a working model to showcase at this conference to show how it could work for every veteran depending on the type of services. It would also locate war monuments/memorial throughout the state with a focus on Latinos that have served in all wars and conflicts Latinas In the Military Develop a session on topics important to Latinas in the military. Discuss the history of Latinas in the military and on current issues such as raising families as well as being committed to serving and challenges facing women in the military. Of the almost 30,000 Latino veterans in Illinois, 11% are Latina women. Education Have an interactive panel present on the type of degrees/career fields available with a college degree. Show data on success models and numbers for any level of post secondary education. Panelist would be people that have served in the military and have received degrees in their respective fields, (what compelled these veterans to want to get a degreehow has it helped)? The goal is to encourage veterans to attend college and educate them on benefits available. Resource Fair Provide information on the types of services currently available to Latino veterans. Various agencies that provide the services will be invited, including VA, Education, Housing, drug treatment, etc. Also, there will be a session on current employment opportunities in the state. Survey of participants All participants will receive a short survey so that basic information can be gathered to indicate needs and areas of concern. From this information, the ILFC can develop policy initiatives at the state level. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. • Predicted attendance – 250 to 350 people • Press coverage • Military dignitaries to be present • Invite Latino and Non-Latino politicians • Timeline – to be held on May 29 or June 5, 2014. YOU CAN HELP BY 1. Becoming a sponsor for event $1,000 to $20,000 2. Hosting the meals $5,250 3. Underwriting the web-based resource map $10,000 4. Covering the costs of travel expenses for speakers $5,000 5. Sponsoring the resource fair $1,000 to $5,000 6. Having a table at resource fair $250 to $500
Please consider joining us in Springfield, Illinois this May 5th, 2015 for Latino Unity Day. There are many events available for your participation, on this day. As an important guest of the Latino Veteran's Committee, we have a few special invitations available to you personally. Such as invitation to present the Committee on the Senate and House Floor, plus Reception at Governor's Mansion.The Latino Veterans Roundtable unanimously passes to become the first of its kind in Illinois. I'm proud to officially introduce the Latino Veteran's Committee of the Illinois Latino Family Commission.Henry "Hank" Martinez U.S. Army Korean War Veteran Chairman of the Illinois Latino Family Commission Chair of the Latino Veteran's Committee Finally a solid foundation, backed by law and legislation, a state commission has specially designed the first Latino Veteran's Committee dedicated to serving the specific needs of Latino Veterans and their families by creating and recommending culturallycompetent legislation, policies, and services that create solutions for our Latino veterans and their families throughout Illinois.I believe that the letter below sums up very nicely what we have created over the past few years, and what will be created in the near future. Now that we have this solid foundation, backed with legislation and law, together we will strengthen this much needed area, with your participation. I dare you to involve yourselves, dare to dream, and help change that which was before, into that which can be, that which will be with our combined efforts.
This is OUR Latino Veteran's Committee. Hank Martinez, Chair
Call to Action Please help us to make this better. Together we can create the states of Illinois’ first Latino policy making body, resource fair, online/statewide resource guide in English and Spanish, including help in small business, employment, housing and supportive services specifically for Latino Veteran's And Their Families. Together we can change that which will be done in the future and demonstrate the many contributions done by Latinos in the military since the formation of this country. Together we can educate, inform and inspire our Latino veterans and their families nationwide.