2018 Elections: Thank you for standing with our communities

Together we secured crucial victories for our state.

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With a record state voter turnout, Oregonians voted to keep our communities safe this election. In defeating extreme and dangerous ballot measures like 105 and 106, Oregonians resoundingly said that we will not compromise our values of acceptance, fairness and equality for all.

By defeating M105, we affirmed that racial profiling is wrong and has no place in our state. By defeating M106, we stood behind women and nonbinary Oregonians in supporting their reproductive rights. By supporting measures 102 and 26-199, we removed barriers to affordable housing so our state can support more communities of color and low-income Oregonians.

Thank you to our amazing staff, volunteers and partners for working hard to secure these victories during this crucial election. And THANK YOU to all of the voters who took action with their ballots and stood for what was right.

Although we celebrate these victories today, the journey isn’t over.

There is still a long road ahead of us to secure equality for all Oregonians and Americans. Subscribe for future advocacy alerts here to be part of our critical work to reject attacks on immigrant communities in Oregon!

Thank you again for your dedication to our communities. Because of you, we can continue to positively transform the lives of Latinx youth, families and communities throughout our beautiful state.

Families Belong Together!

We will not stand by and allow families to continue to be separated!

Latino Network denounces the escalating violence by our government against our children and families.  We call on our community members, legislators, and all people of good conscience to act now to stop the policies that are allowing this to happen.  The actions of the border patrol and ICE under the direction of the administration are abusive human rights violations that are doing irreparable damage to children, families and our entire community.  We are at a moral crossroads and this is a time where we must step up our actions to end these violent and racist policies.  

This crisis must end now: this administration must stop the separation of immigrant families at the border, a needlessly cruel act that has inflicted life-long harm on children. We continue to strongly condemn the conditions in detention centers, the criminalization of immigrants and the hateful and discriminatory contempt this administration has consistently demonstrated and encouraged. 

These unconscionable actions must stop. We must continue to grow pressure for change from all of us, both elected and organizational leaders and the community. We must continue this pressure to demand justice and call out this shameful bigotry until we see that America's operating values of immigration, family, justice and opportunity are fully restored.

Here is a link to resources for immigrant community members to protect their families and their rights

Here's how you can take a stand, every action helps, big or small:

If you have family that may have been impacted by this policy, or know of any children who may have been separated and placed in Oregon, please contact the Oregon Attorney General’s Office at 503-378-6002. 



photo: John Moore/Getty Images


Along with our advocacy work at the state and local level, Latino Network provides leadership development opportunities for members of the community. From high schoolers to CEOs, our leadership programs empower community members by providing opportunities for Latinos to learn and grow, and become more civically engaged.

This year, we have three culturally specific programs: Latino Student Action Committee (high-school level), Academia de Líderes (grassroots-level), and Unid@s for Oregon (executive-level). All of them have recently started or will start within the next month. We are happy to share updates for each of these exciting programs!

Latino Student Action Committee (LSAC)


We are excited to share with you our newest leadership program! In its first year and pilot cohort, LSAC is a youth leadership development program for high school students who want to create positive changes in the community. The goal of the program is to foster Oregon's next generation of leaders by providing opportunities for Latino youth to discover their leadership potential, solve issues in their community, and advocate for social change.

LSAC recently had its first parent orientation and kickoff retreat, and we can already tell that these kids are ready to take advocacy to the next level. Along with creating and implementing their own advocacy-related project, LSAC helps students develop relationships with other youth leaders and leaders in the community.

“People always say youth are the future, and that is true, but youth are also the present,” said LSAC Coordinator Maria Vargas. “So many times we try to support youth, but we don’t include them in the process. I’m excited to see what projects and initiatives the youth decide to tackle, how they will make a difference, and how they will grow and support each other throughout the program.”

We can’t wait to see the amazing things our first LSAC cohort will do! Stay tuned for their progress and more updates.

Academia de Líderes

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Academia de Líderes aims to guide change in the city of Portland by working with emerging Latino leaders to build leadership skills, organizing capabilities, and capacity to advocate and have our voices heard. Program skills include an introduction to civic institutions and effective community organizing. Participants focus on issues related to social justice and government.

“The program always brings together people from diverse experiences and backgrounds in a beautiful and authentic way,” said Civic Engagement Coordinator Raul Preciado Mendez. “Individuals from different age groups, levels of educational attainment, and skill levels have an opportunity to bond and create lasting relationships that go beyond the classroom and into the community.”

In fact, 2017 grad Magdalena Torres Rios is a great success story that shows the power of Líderes. After finding her political voice in the program, Magdalena made a big impact in Early Childhood Education by testifying in Salem for bills that will support children in our community. We are so proud to have given her the tools to advocate for our community, and we can’t be more proud to have her as a Latino Network employee now!

The program starts on January 27, 2018 - if you or anyone is interested in becoming a more engaged Latino leader, apply today!

Unid@s for Oregon


Now in its sixth cohort, Unid@s for Oregon aims to create a strong, connected, intergenerational network of established Latino leaders from all sectors and regions of Oregon. Through a unified statewide voice and presence in all levels of leadership, Unid@s advances the well-being of all Latinos. 

This executive-level leadership program brings leaders from across the state for an eight-month curriculum that focuses on personal growth and transformation, identifying systems of oppression, and what our participants can do as Latino leaders to cultivate change.

What have Unid@s alumni done with these tools? From implementing leadership skills in their current leadership roles to running for office, all of our participants have impacted the community for the better. One story stands out to us in a big way: The election of UNID@S alum Teresa Alonso Leon to the Oregon Legislature. Representative Alonso Leon is the first immigrant woman to be elected to the Oregon legislature and often cites the support she received from her UNID@S family as instrumental in her decision to run for office.    

“As Latinx leaders, it’s important that we recognize systems of oppression and how our cultural narratives shape our decisions everyday,” said Unid@s Coordinator Joaquin Lopez. “We are asking our leaders to recognize how their life has been shaped, and we're guiding our participants to now become the creators of their lives, and begin to shape it with more authorship and awareness.”
Stay tuned for Unid@s updates in the new year! We can’t wait to see the amazing things Cohort VI will do.

You're Invited: Ollin Social Justice Film Series

We’re coming together to advocate for social justice through film and discussion, and we want YOU to join us.

Ollin: Social Justice Film Series aims to unite communities, begin important discussions about social justice, and advocate for the rights of everyone - all through film and community-led discussions. 

On January 23rd at 7:30pm, we will be showing Pan’s Labyrinth at the Hollywood Theatre, and Commissioner Nick Fish will join us in responding to the film's social justice themes while commenting on policy, advocacy, and leadership in our communities. 

Get your tickets here!

Pan’s Labyrinth is one of three films that Latino Network and The Hollywood Theatre will screen throughout the winter and spring:

  • January 23rd - Pan’s Labyrinth with Commissioner Nick Fish
  • March 13 - Salt of The Earth with Elected Official Diego Hernandez
  • April 13 - El Norte with Former Elected Official Serena Cruz

In the Hollywood Theatre lobby before the film, Latino Network will have a table with opportunities to volunteer, donate and/or learn how to become involved in making a collective impact for the success of Latino youth and families. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Moving Forward - A Letter from Executive Director Carmen Rubio

This month has been surreal. We celebrated Oregon voters passing Measure 98 and Yes for Affordable Homes. And we are thrilled to see Latinos winning elections, including Teresa Alonso Leon and Diego Hernandez to the Oregon House and Melinda Veliz to the Woodburn City Council. We are also immensely proud to have our first U.S. Latina Senator from Nevada - Catherine Cortez Masto.  

At the same time, American voters made a choice to elect a President who has used harmful and divisive language that singles out Latinos, Muslims, immigrants, and other people of color. 

I have heard from many of our staff members and community members about the deep fear that exists within our communities. Many of us, our families, and people we know came to this country as immigrants seeking a better life. Leaving one's home to immigrate takes courage, strength, and a deep desire to seek something better for ourselves and our families. 

This same courage and strength will keep us all moving through the fear and prevent our communities from going back into the shadows. 

I'm asking all of you to find the deep belief of goodness and hope within yourself. This IS our work - we are here in this place and time with Latino children and adults to project, amplify, and reflect this goodness and reiliency and love of and for our beautiful Latino communities. 

There is a brighter tomorrow. We work for it when we work hard to pass measures like Measure 98. When we elect leaders who look like us and reflect our values. When we call for comprehensive immigration reform. When we fight racism, sexism, bigotry, and hate and replace it with love, resiliency, strength, and hope.

There is a brighter tomorrow for our communities, and it begins with us. 

Latino Network Joins Coalition for Communities of Color and Stand for Children in Supporting Initiative Petition 65

Today, the Latino Network of Oregon, the Coalition of Communities of Color, and Stand for Children Oregon announced their lead role as coalition sponsors for Initiative Petition 65 (IP 65). They head up a growing list of supporters like Adelante Mujeres, Benson Tech Foundation and Native American Youth and Family Center campaigning to improve Oregon’s high school graduation rate, and career and college readiness.


As the economy grows, IP 65 will target new money to Oregon’s most pressing problem—the state’s critically low graduation rate. If passed this November, it will directly fund proven high school that will increase student success. It will expand career-technical education (CTE) programs and college-credit courses, and implement proven dropout prevention strategies across Oregon.

“Oregon’s high school graduation rate is one of the lowest in the country, and last year, only 66 percent of kids of color graduated on time, a full 10 points behind white students,” said Julia Meier, executive director of the Coalition of Communities of Color. “It is time to take action to help Oregon’s students, particularly our most vulnerable students, because they cannot afford for us to wait any longer.”

Oregon’s public schools have great kids, dedicated teachers and hardworking staff, but the numbers show that our high schools are ill-equipped to serve our students, especially students of color:

  • Last year, over 2,500 kids of color dropped out of high school in Oregon, at rates significantly higher than their white peers, according to the Oregon Department of Education.
  • Only 15 percent of black students, 16 percent of Pacific Islander students, 21 percent of Hispanic students, and 22 percent of American Indian students leave community college with a certificate or degree, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.

However, at schools where students have access to career technical education, college-level coursework and dropout prevention programs, students of color fare far better in high school and college. For example, a  report released by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) found that CTE students are 15.5 percent more likely to graduate high school in four years than students statewide.  Students of color benefit even more. The graduation rates for African American students are 24 percent higher than those of African American students statewide, 21 percent higher for Latino CTE students, and 23 percent higher for Native American CTE students.

“Students of color cannot wait around any longer for adults to do something about Oregon’s disturbing graduation rate,” says Carmen Rubio, executive director of the Latino Network. “This initiative quickly creates opportunities that will support students in succeeding in high school and college. We are proud to call ourselves a coalition partner.”

CONTACT: Kelsey Cardwell | 425-753-0461