By Dr. Rudy Valdez
Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLL) member
Effective communication is the first step to better understand the social and economic environment we live in and to attain useful knowledge to improve ourselves, our families and our community. This was the main principle behind the establishment of the Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLL): to enhance communication for the prosperity of all.
Dec. 13, 2011, leaders from several Hispanic organizations met with other regional leaders to share an idea about how to improve communication, especially with the Latino community, which is an important part of our social fabric and influence on the economic vitality of the Rock River Valley.
The inaugural meeting was with the Chamber of Commerce president, Rockford Public Schools superintendent, Rockford mayor, Winnebago County chairman, YMCA president, and Park District executive director, just to name a few. The CLL was established the following month.
Following the initial meeting, the CLL has continued to meet with organizations to build trust and enhance the relationship to better communicate and collaborate on initiatives that ultimately are a benefit to the region. Some initiatives will be topics for future articles.
The CLL meets monthly at La Voz Latina, where reports are heard from seven committees — business, communication, education, entertainment, immigration, politics and public safety. In addition, there are frequent meetings with regional leaders at their location. For example, a January meeting is scheduled at Rock Valley College with President Mike Mastroianni and Dr. Carmen Coballes-Vega, the new provost and chief academic officer.
There are also recurring meetings with other regional leaders that have resulted in raised awareness, which proactively have addressed some community issues. The meetings are a venue for communicating concerns and ideas directly to the top leaders of the organizations. Examples include quarterly meetings with Dr. Ehren Jarrett, Rockford Public Schools superintendent, and monthly meetings with Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson.
The CLL meetings are open to all and include leaders from more than 20 Latino entities. Meetings are held on the third Monday of the month from noon to 1 p.m. Additional information is available via email at email@example.com or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coalition-of-Latino-Leaders/362930110459706.
From the Jan. 7-13, 2015, issue