National Latino and Community Leaders Preview Public Policy Priorities in 2009 Latino State of The Union

MALDEF joins with NCLR & LULAC to present 2nd Annual Roundtable on law, policy and civil rights on day which honors historic civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization, will host its second annual roundtable, the 2009 Latino State of the Union, in partnership with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, D.C. The discussion will aim to inform policy makers, advocates, leaders in the Latino community and a national audience on the upcoming legal and policy developments that will have the greatest impact on Latinos in the new Administration and coming year. The comprehensive program will feature respected Latino leaders including renowned journalist and Univision Anchor, Maria Elena Salinas, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, celebrated actor Tony Plana, and community activist Dolores Huerta, among many others expected to participate.

"Latino leaders in communities across the country will match the energy and leadership of the new Obama Administration so that Latinos, too, help advance the expected change coming from Washington," stated MALDEF President and General Counsel, John Trasviña. “Our conference presents serious discussions on how we fight for social equality and economic advancement and how what happens in Washington will shape our community’s future.”

The roundtable includes several panels that will address a variety of topics including legislative priorities under the Obama Administration, as well as panels dealing with access to quality education for the next generation, the current economic crisis, and the link between anti-immigrant rhetoric and the increasing number of Latino hate crimes.

“This is a critical time to ensure that the issues of paramount importance to the Latino community are brought to the fore,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “We must not forget those in our country that need our help the most.”

“Through the Latino State of the Union, we hope to spotlight the Latino Agenda and how we will work with the new Administration and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to make this agenda a reality,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund