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Delaware’s New Hispanic Commission

Delaware’s New Hispanic Commission

By Brenda Palomo
El Tiempo Hispano

DOVER, DELAWARE — This Tuesday, January 17th, the members of the brand new Hispanic Commission congregated in Dover for their first meeting. The Commission is meant to replace the Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs as well as the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic Affairs (GACHA), which were recently dissolved.

It took a while for the commissioners to settle into the small conference room of the Department of Education. Some were early, but many, in the Latin way, were late- for the 10am meeting. 18 directors, lawyers, teachers and leaders of all kinds in the highest posts of various industries came together under the leadership of Vivian Rapposelli, Cabinet Secretary for the Delaware Children’s Department, and Representative Joseph Miró.

The first item on the agenda was introductions. All of the members shared their credentials, revealing not only high levels of expertise in their respective fields, but also a sincere passion in their desire to serve the community.

Rapposelli, formerly an attorney, has been celebrated for her dedication to helping the Hispanic Community throughout her career. Governor Markell took notice of her passion and offered her the opportunity to launch the new Commission as “one voice, one body dedicated to meeting the needs of the groups of the Hispanic community.” At the beginning of the debut meeting, Raposselli expressed how thankful she was for the opportunity.

Former Wilmington police officer, Miguel Gonzales stated that for him it was imperative that the commission be truly effective and that it not be used “as a networking tool. I want to be part of an organization that really has some teeth behind it, that will help push important legislation, for example.”

The commission is well equipped to take on whatever goals they choose. With a membership that is “broad, deep, and diverse” in background and expertise, it satisfies what Raposselli says was Governor Markell’s greatest stipulation. 65% of the commission is Hispanic, eight of the members are state employees, and there are representatives from all three counties. For now, Rapposelli and Miró will act as guides for the establishment of the organization, but eventually the commissioners will elect new leaders. They will also be able to appoint up to five additional members. Although there are funds allocated to the commission, none of the members will be paid for their work. The commissioner’s services are completely voluntary and the budget is to be used only for the projects the commission decides to espouse.

The next item on the agenda…

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