LANSING — Members of Michigan’s Legislative Latino Caucus met to hold leadership elections for Michigan’s 100th legislative session. State Reps. Alex Garza (D-Taylor) and Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw) were selected to serve as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively.
“I am honored to lead the largest group of Latinx legislators in our state’s history,” said Rep. Garza. “Michigan is made stronger by diversity – diversity of thought and ideas as much as diversity of race or background. Everyone wants the same things for their families – safe roads to drive on, clean water to drink, and quality schools to give the next generation the education they deserve – and my fellow caucus members and I are proud to fight for those things on behalf of our communities.”
This year, the Michigan Latino Legislative Caucus has already introduced a resolution urging Congress to enact legislation that continues the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to provide a pathway for permanent resident status for recipients. Nearly 6,400 DACA recipients call Michigan their home. The resolution was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.
“Neither our state nor our nation would be what it is today without the tremendous contributions of Latino Americans to our shared history,” said Guerra. “We are a deeply passionate community that deserves a place at the table, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to bring our rich cultural perspective to the Capitol. Our Latino brothers and sisters have never given up on us, and our caucus will make sure our state never gives up on them.”
In addition to selecting a chair and vice-chair, the Latino Caucus also elected state Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) and state Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) to serve as Treasurer and Secretary, respectively.
“The Hispanic and Latinx community have made great contributions to the American story in general and Michigan’s culture in particular,” said Geiss. “Our history and society is richer because of those contributions, and I am honored to be a part of this group of legislators. Representation matters not only to ensure that we give voice to the voiceless but also to inspire more women and men to step up, lead, and serve their communities.”
“As workers, business owners and community leaders, Hispanic and Latinx people have called Michigan home for over a century,” said Camilleri. “As part of this caucus, I am proud to follow in their footsteps and continue the work they began so long ago — fighting to make our state a better place. With each passing term our Legislature becomes increasingly more representative of our communities, and when we recognize and celebrate that diversity, we are better equipped as a body to ensure opportunity is available to all.”