A national organization has moved into Connecticut with the goal of helping to harness and mobilize the power of the state’s growing Latino population. The Hispanic Federation, which is based in New York and serves as an umbrella organization for over 100 Latino non-profits in the tri-state area, has established a new state office in Connecticut and has hired its first state director Ingrid Alvarez-DiMarzo, who until recently led the Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury.
There are already ten non-profits in Connecticut that are members of the Hispanic Federation, said Alvarez-DiMarzo, including Junta for Progressive Action in New Haven, Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury, Latino Community Services in Hartford and two state-wide groups – the Spanish American Merchants Association and Hispanic Health Council. More organizations are in the pipeline waiting for approval of their membership applications.
With an estimated 500,000 Latinos in Connecticut, representing about 14 percent of the state’s population – Connecticut already has the 17th largest proportion of Latinos in the nation. And the proportion of Latinos in the state is expected to grow in coming years, Alvarez-DiMarzo said, as the community is much younger – and is growing 12 times faster – than the general population.
With a closely watched gubernatorial election coming up in 2014, as well as many other high-profile state and national races, mobilization of the Latino community could make a difference in the outcome of several campaigns.
Alvarez-DiMarzo said that’s why a primary focus of the Hispanic Federation will be to encourage this growing bloc of new voters by increasing voter registration and political participation in the state.
The federation’s president, Jose Calderón said…