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Legislative Issues Conference to Address Latino Issues Set For Austin

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX –

The first-ever Legislative Issues Conference, tailored to the Latino community, will be held in Austin Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28 and 29.

Organizers of the conference - "A New Consensus for a New Majority" - note that because demographics trends point to the fact that Latinos will soon become the majority in the state, the conference's goal is to prepare that segment of the population for becoming the majority, through a series of events featuring experts who will provide information regarding key public policy issues that impact the Latino community.

The plenary session of the two-day conference will focus on public school finance, according to State Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine), chair of the Mexican-American Legislative Conference (MALC). MALC is joined in hosting the event by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.

The two-day event kicks off on Friday, Jan. 28, with a reception from 7-10 p.m. at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel, 701 Congress, in Austin.

On Saturday, the events begin with 9-10:15 a.m. policy sessions in meeting rooms at the State Capitol. Topics for those sessions include Type II Diabetes and Obesity, the Health and Human Services Commission and Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform.

The second session will be from 10:30-11:45 a.m. on topics that include College Prep, Latino Voting Trends and Juvenile Alternative Programs.

Conference attendees will hear keynote speaker Dr. Steve Murdock, the state demographer, at the 12:30-1:30 p.m. luncheon at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel.

The third series of policy sessions will be from 2-3:15 p.m. on Community Wealth, Contractors and State Infrastructure Development and Continuing Legal Education.

The plenary session, set for 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Capitol Extension Auditorium, will address Texas public school finance issues. Speakers include: Norma Cantu, professor, The University of Texas Law School; Dr. Wayne Pierce, executive director of The Equity Center; and Judge Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

Pre-registration is $65. For more information, contact Arturo Lopez at (512) 236-8410.