Latino Caucus Statement on Support for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona Devastation

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus issued the following statement in response to the devastating situation unfolding in Puerto Rico, following the landfall of Hurricane Fiona: 

“The Latino Caucus stands in solidarity with the Puerto Rican community that, as we remember the 5th year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, must also face another crisis in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. We are keeping the people of Puerto Rico and their families stateside in our prayers as they recover from the aftermath of another destructive storm. 

“The Caucus remember the victims of Hurricane Maria and their families. It remembers those displaced by the Hurricane and who found in Illinois a safe and welcoming home. It remembers the actions of the Puerto Rican Agenda and the Puerto Rican community in Illinois as a whole who fought for and delivered crucial aid.

“As was the case in 2017, many if not all Puerto Rican residents are left without electricity, supplies, and critical infrastructure to manage the ever-present danger of tropical storms and hurricanes. While the situation remains dire, we are encouraged by the swift action of President Biden to issue an emergency declaration to send aid and supplies for the citizens in Puerto Rico.”

“We encourage all if able to lend support to organizations that will work with Puerto Ricans on the ground to rebuild their communities. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center, PRxPR, and the Hispanic Federation are great opportunities to lend a helping hand.” 

Ortíz Sponsors Progressive Immigration Bill, Pandemic Rental Assistance, and School Recess Regulations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Aarón Ortíz, D-Chicago, has worked to pass legislation that will protect immigrants from detainment, issue urgent housing assistance, and provide students K-5 with time dedicated for recreational activities during school. 

“Making sure that immigrants and refugees have the option to come to the United States for a better life without being discriminated against and chastised will always be a priority of mine,” said Ortíz. “Due to the last president’s administration, we have regressed as a country in providing equality to all minorities and have made it nearly impossible to allow immigrants to become legal citizens.”

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ortíz supported House Bill 2877, which will provide $564 million in monetary relief for Illinois citizens. The funds will come from the federal emergency rental assistance program (ERAP) on behalf of Illinois tenants to landlords. Ultimately, this legislation will help individuals and families suffering from COVID-19 financial hardships.

“This pandemic has had a monumental effect around the entire world and has gravely affected the health and livelihood of so many hard-working citizens that are providers for their families,” said Ortíz. “Our citizens need to know that state legislators truly have their best interests at heart and are trying to provide assistance to get them back on their feet. When human beings are struggling to survive in our country, it calls for urgent and immediate action.”

Additionally, Ortíz is sponsoring Senate Bill 654, which introduces new regulations regarding school recess for children grades K-5. This legislation requires a mandatory play time of at least thirty minutes on any school day that is five hours or longer. On school days shorter than five hours, the recess time will be reduced by one tenth of the duration of the respective school day.

“As we slowly return to normalcy again after this historical pandemic, it is important to let children be children and participate in activities,” said Ortíz. “Remote learning undoubtedly has its benefits, but children need interaction amongst their peers for the development of social skills.”

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State Rep. Aarón Ortíz elected House Chair of the Illinois Latinx Caucus

February 8th, 2021

CHICAGO –Newly appointed Democratic Caucus Whip and 1st District State Rep. Aarón Ortíz, D-Chicago, was unanimously elected as the new House Chair of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus (ILLC). Historic achievements on behalf of the Latinx communities in Chicago and a growing reputation as a coalition builder with other caucuses in Springfield, Rep. Ortíz is indicative of the new generation of Latinx leaders all across the State of Illinois.

“I’m honored to have been elected by my colleagues to lead our Latino Caucus. As the son of immigrants and State Representative of one of the most Latinx districts in the State of Illinois, I understand the importance of representation. My call to service was to empower and advocate for my community, and that’s what I intend to carry out in my added capacity. Latinx communities make up about 33% of the population in Illinois, but only 9 out of 118 (8%) members of the Illinois House of Representatives are Latinx.”

Ortiz has set out his top six priorities for the Caucus which include:

  1. Promote a comprehensive legislative agenda that is inclusive of the diverse needs of our districts
  2. Solidify strong relationships built on trust with other legislative caucuses in Illinois
  3. Support and empower the work of Caucus members in Springfield and in their communities
  4. Work towards a budget that is inclusive of institutions that serve the Latinx community
  5. Approve a map that honors the Voting Rights Act -maximizes representation of communities of color
  6. Establish a robust constituent program to make State services more accessible to Latinx constituents

“Since 2002 the ILLC has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the more than 2+ Million Latinx residents living in Illinois. Our caucus has worked together to lead important projects and achieve many legislative victories on behalf of the immigrant and Latinx communities across the State. It is imperative that Illinois continue leading the way for other states with regard to the rights of immigrants and other issues of vital importance to the growing Latinx population in Illinois. I look forward to working alongside Co-Chairs Senator Castro and Senator Villa, as well as the Chairs of other caucuses to ensure that we improve the lives of working families all across the State.”


El representante estatal Aarón Ortíz elegido presidente de la Cámara de Representantes del Caucus Latino de Illinois

8 de febrero de 2021

CHICAGO – Recién nombrado Líder del Caucus Demócrata y Representante Estatal del 1er Distrito, Aarón Ortíz, D-Chicago, fue elegido como el nuevo Presidente del Caucus Legislativo Latino de Illinois (ILLC) de la Cámara de Representantes. Los logros históricos en nombre de las comunidades latinas en Chicago y una trayectoria como constructor de coaliciones con otros miembros en Springfield, Rep. Ortíz, son indicativos de la nueva generación de líderes latinos en todo el estado de Illinois.

“Me siento honrado de haber sido elegido por mis compañeros para dirigir nuestro Caucus Latino. Como hijo de inmigrantes y Representante Estatal de uno de los distritos más latinos del Estado de Illinois, entiendo la importancia de la representación. Mi llamado a El servicio fue empoderar y defender a mi comunidad, y eso es lo que tengo la intención de llevar a cabo en mi capacidad adicional. Las comunidades latinas constituyen aproximadamente el 33% de la población en Illinois, pero solo 9 de 118 (8%) miembros de la Camara de Representantes son  de origen latino.”

Ortiz ha establecido sus seis prioridades para el Caucus, que incluyen:

  1. Promover una agenda legislativa integral que incluya las diversas necesidades de nuestros distritos.
  2. Solidificar relaciones sólidas basadas en la confianza con otros caucus legislativos en Illinois
  3. Apoyar y empoderar el trabajo de los miembros del Caucus en Springfield y en sus comunidades.
  4. Trabajar hacia un presupuesto que incluya a las instituciones que sirven a la comunidad Latina
  5. Aprobar un mapa que respete la Ley de Derechos Electorales: maximiza la representación de las comunidades de color
  6. Establecer un programa de constituyentes para hacer que los servicios estatales sean más accesibles para los electores latinos

“Desde el 2002, ILLC ha trabajado para mejorar las vidas de los más de 2 millones de residentes latinos que viven en Illinois. Nuestro grupo ha trabajado en conjunto para liderar proyectos importantes y lograr muchas victorias legislativas en nombre de las comunidades de inmigrantes y latina en todo el estado. Es imperativo que Illinois continúe liderando el camino para otros estados con respecto a los derechos de los inmigrantes y otros asuntos de vital importancia para la creciente población latina en Illinois y todo Estados Unidos. Espero trabajar junto a las presidentas del Caucus Latino del Senado, Cristina Castro y Karina Villa, y los presidentes de los otros caucus para asegurar que mejoremos la vida de las familias trabajadoras en todo el estado.”