The Latino Action Network is a grassroots organization composed of individuals and organizations that are committed to engaging in collective action at the local, state and national levels in order to advance the equitable inclusion of the diverse Latino communities in all aspects of United States society.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Latino Action Network Denounces Muslim Ban and Wall of Hate along the Mexican Border

Latino Action Network Denounces Muslim Ban and 

Wall of Hate along the Mexican Border


Actions are “anti-democratic”


For Immediate Release: January 31, 2017


Christian Estevez, President – 973-418-7012


The Latino Action Network [LAN] today denounced the discriminatory policies of the Trump Administration and pledged to support efforts to challenge the partial ban on Muslims entering the country. The religious ban coupled with the recent proposal to construct a wall of hate along the southern border are “anti-democratic and undermine the core principles of our nation.”


“The Trump Administration is sowing seeds of hate and division across the nation,” said LAN President Christian Estevez. “We will do all we can in the months and years ahead to support our Muslim and Mexican sisters and brothers. The LAN pledges to take part in all efforts in the courts and in the streets to oppose our hateful and narcissistic president.”


President Trump signed an executive order on January 25 promoting the construction of a wall along the Mexican border as part of his ongoing smear campaign against the Latino community who at various times he has linked to rapists and criminals. It is important to note that for the first time in 20 years there are no Latinos in the federal cabinet.


The border wall executive order was followed on January 27 by the equally offensive order imposing a partial Muslim entry ban from seven different nations. It is important to note that countries where Trump owns properties were not included in the list of Muslim nations in the executive order. 


Trump represents the greatest threat to American democracy since the Nixon Administration,” Estevez continued. “He is a narcissist and a racist and we will not sit idly by and watch him dismantle our democratic traditions.”


LAN is a broad, statewide coalition of Latino organizations dedicated to political empowerment, the promotion of civil rights, and the elimination of disparities in the areas of education, health, and employment. It was founded in 2009.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

N.J. Supreme Court must reject systemic racism in affordable housing debate


N.J. Supreme Court must reject systemic racism in affordable housing debate | Opinion

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Registration is now open for the 2017 LAN Legislative Conference

2017 LAN Legislative Conference

You are cordially invited to the 2017 Latino Action Network’s Annual Legislative Conference. The conference will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the Robert Treat Hotel Conference Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Admission is FREE and open to all. Registration is required as seats are limited.

Given the current climate created by the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States, it is more important than ever that Latinos have a space to meet to make our plans to resist attacks against us and other vulnerable communities.

The LAN Legislative Conference is the largest gathering of Latino community organizers and public policy advocates in the State of New Jersey. Last year's conference was attended by over 250 activists from every corner of the state.

The conference will include a full program, with keynote presentations and dynamic workshops with panels discussing a full array of issues in accordance with our Legislative Agenda for 2017. 

We will be hosting a variety of panels aimed at supplementing and enhancing our legislative agenda. The panels will focus on immigration, education, health disparities, the state budget process, labor issues and affordable housing. We are asking you consider attend one of the panels based on your legislative priorities.

This event is hosted by the Latino Action Network (LAN) in collaboration with The Latino Institute, Inc., a private, non-profit, charitable organization, and the Latino Coalition, a member organization of the LAN.

We are looking forward to your presence, as we work together to benefit the Latino community.


Christian Estevez, President
Latino Action Network

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Register for New Jersey Working Families Summit!

Register for New Jersey Working Families Summit! 

Join NJ advocates from across the state as We Take Back the Garden State!
Policy and solution discussions in the areas of Education, Housing, Transportation, Economic Justice and much more!

Connect to progressives, leaders and activists from across the state.  Share information on how to rebuild a post-Christie New Jersey. Develop a progressive platform to demand change in Trenton.

Follow the link below to register:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


By Nayeli Salazar de León (Nelli's Notes)

As we approach the General Election on November 8, many Latino Americans find ourselves anxiously reflecting on our families' migration stories, our personal ethics and morals, and our political values. For some, this will be the first time they are eligible to vote as naturalized citizens, and for others, it will be the first time they will exercise their right as citizens by casting a vote. "A projected 13 million Latino Americans are expected at the ballots this November, 450,000 of which are from New Jersey," confirms Roberto Frugone, Northeast Regional Director of the NALEO Educational Fund. Projected voter turnout is calculated by NALEO based on the overall number of eligible Latino voters (Potential #) and the average number of active voters from the last three election cycles (Actual #).

During a press conference in 2014 at Senator Menendez's Hispanic Heritage Celebration, Univision's Jorge Ramos, an acclaimed Mexican-born American news anchor, was asked "¿Cuál es tu mensaje a los Latinos de este país para que participen en la votación?" (What is your message to the Latinos of this country, so that they participate in the vote?) Ramos responded, "Nuestro gran reto es pasar de muchos números a poder político real. Somos muchos pero no tenemos el poder político que nos corresponde." (Our biggest challenge is to transition from strength in numbers to real political power. There are many of us, but we do not have the corresponding political power.) One important part of the political power to which Ramos refers is reflected in the overall number of eligible Latino voters (potential voters) and the percentage of those that actually cast a ballot (actual number). Figures 1 and 2 illustrate November's projected Latino voters as a percentage of potential voters, estimating just 48% participation nationally and 55% statewide in New Jersey. Acceptable? I will let you decide!

Nevertheless, as Figure 3 shows, this year's projected Latino turnout in New Jersey reflects an increase of 4% over the 2012 General Election, when 51% of all eligible Latino voters in New Jersey hit the polls. What is striking is not only the 9% who were registered and did not vote, but rather, the additional 39% who either had not registered or were marked as "no response". So, what are some of the causes linked to this lack of participation? According to Ray Carrera, an elected Commissioner for the Passaic Board of Education, there are three principal disabling factors: "1) History of political corruption in country of origin, 2) Need for democratic process and voter registration education, and 3) Trust that a collective vote can make difference." 

These challenges can be overcome with these consistent and positive community-driven messages: 1) We are American citizens; 2) We can trust the American democratic system; 3) We can safely seek guidance and resources on processes we may not understand; and 4) We can be confident in our socioeconomic contributions to this country. Through this messaging, we, as a collective, might begin to more effectively influence our country's politics and leadership. Regardless of what drives you to abstain from or participate in this year's election, one thing is certain: our vote is our voice, and to stay home is to forego your right to make that voice heard.

Note: Nayeli Salazar serves as Vice President of the Latino Action Network.  

Let’s chat! Find me on Facebook, email me at or call me at 973.769.0046

A special thanks to all my demographical contributors and editor and dear friend Michael Reimer

Monday, October 31, 2016

Job Posting: New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice Seeks Outreach Coordinator

The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice is seeking candidates for the position of Outreach Coordinator. Please see the announcement below for details. The application deadline is this Friday, November 4th. 



Outreach Coordinator, New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

About Organization:

The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) is a statewide membership-based coalition that creates and achieves policies in New Jersey that support immigrants in becoming economically, politically and socially rooted within the state. NJAIJ will use the power and strength of its member organizations to ensure that New Jersey’s immigrant communities are leaders in the development of policies that impact their lives and the lives of all New Jersey residents. NJAIJ and its members will work to ensure that New Jersey provides access to services, support family unity, and develop policies and strategies for immigrants to fully participate in civic life. The human, civil and labor rights of New Jersey’s immigrants, both documented and those seeking status, will be protected.


Reporting to the Program Coordinator and collaborating with the Executive Committee, the Outreach Coordinator will advance the mission of NJAIJ, by providing members with support and resources to continue advocating for immigrant rights across the state. The Outreach Coordinator will coordinate organizational trainings for Alliance members on focus areas that provide them with capacity building resources. Additionally, the Outreach Coordinator will also provide support to geographic regions in New Jersey where immigrant rights advocacy and organizing capacity are lacking. The Outreach Coordinator will also support community events around the issues outlined by our membership throughout the year. 

The Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for assisting with and implementing strategies to advance NJAIJ policy, by coordinating a state-wide effort to both provide high quality, uniform resources to immigrants, create a clearinghouse of best practices and advocacy strategies, and also ensure member organizations and their communities are plugged in to community organizing and civic engagement activities across the state. 

The Outreach Project Coordinator will be committed to building our members’ capacity while continuing the coordination and collaboration among partners, which will move the issue of immigration forward and help NJAIJ to achieve policy victories that are guided by immigrant leaders and community partners. 

The Outreach Project Coordinator will be expected to travel to other parts of the state and to work evenings and weekends. This position is ideal for candidates who have organizing background and are looking to expand their advocacy expertize, or those with advocacy expertize who wish to expand their organizing experience.   


The Outreach Coordinator will have ongoing responsibility for the following specific activities:


  • Build a network of community organizations and partners to expand resources for the Alliance membership;
  • Manage and support members who participate in capacity building by providing resources, training, and mentorship;
  • Train and support NJAIJ members in the areas of community organizing, advocacy, know-your-rights, citizenship/voter registration, deportation and law enforcement, labor policies, education, healthcare, legal services, administrative relief, start your own organization, day laborer organizing, and other areas of need per alliance membership requests; 
  • Create toolkits for member organizations to participate in the NJAIJ advocacy campaigns; 
  • Gather and share best practices and advocacy resources;
  • Train volunteers and community partners on best practices for community outreach through train the trainers;
  • Organize information sessions and clinics, with support and partnership of NJAIJ members, in areas with fewer resources with the support and participation of community partners;
  • Provide support and anchor the work of all the organizations around the Alliance work;
  • Support in drafting content for NJAIJ website, fact sheets, reports, training materials, and other resources;
  • Work closely with Program Coordinator to complement the activities of the Alliance’s Policy and Advocacy campaign. 

Qualifications and Experience

The Outreach Coordinator should have the following experience and qualifications:


  • At least one year of experience in organizing, immigration advocacy, project management, or legal, preferably on issues that fall within the NJAIJ’s priorities;
  • Experience working with immigrant communities;
  • Some knowledge of capacity building and/or organizational support around advocacy issues;
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the NJAIJ’s values, mission, and goals, with knowledge and understanding of the range of immigration issues;
  • Experience working in/with coalitions preferred;
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff, coalitions and community groups, motivate volunteers, and work across the political spectrum;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking skills;
  • Ability to work independently and keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously, and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands;
  • Demonstrated understanding of how to use social media;
  • Willingness to work sometimes irregular hours, including evenings and weekends;
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to maintain orderly records;
  • Proficiency with MS Office, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Documents;
  • Valid driver’s license preferred but not required;
  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent is the minimum required educational credential;
  • Fluency in English and Spanish is desired.

Benefits package includes health benefits, travel reimbursements, vacation, and holidays. Position secure for one year, longer term contingent on funding. 

How to apply:

To apply for the position, please submit a substantive cover letter and current resume by November 4, 2016 to Johanna Calle, Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Hiring Policy

NJAIJ/NEO Philanthropy is an equal opportunity employer. We consider applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other legally protected status.

Johanna Calle
Program Coordinator
New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice
Phone (o): 973-474-9850
Phone (c): 201-580-3060
Fax: 973-643-8924
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Latino Action Network Joins Legal Challenge of PARCC Graduation Requirement that Eliminates Alternatives for English Language Learners

The Latino Action Network recently joined with the Education Law Center, the New Jersey ACLU and other advocacy groups to sue the State of New Jersey over the changes the State Board of Education made to graduation requirements which, among other things, eliminates Spanish language alternatives to the PARCC test for English Language Learners (ELL's). 

Please watch the brief segment on our lawsuit below that ran on NJTV this evening. 

Best regards,

Christian Estevez, President

Latino Action Network

Groups Legally Challenge PARCC Graduation Requirement

By Briana Vannozzi

Last February, parents in Paterson received an unwelcome graduation announcement: 700 students wouldn’t be eligible for a diploma come June.

“It was because they hadn’t passed the PARCC, they hadn’t passed any of the other alternate assessments and we started raising the issue in Paterson,” said Paterson Education Fund Executive Director Rosie Grant.

Grant and several other civil rights and advocacy groups have joined a legal challenge against PARCC, claiming the state’s new high school graduation requirements, which include passing the controversial standardized test, violate state law.

“These new rules contradict the law about high school graduation that was put in place by the Legislature and gives important rights to students,” said Education Law Center Staff Attorney Jessica Levin.

That law, passed in 1979, requires an 11th grade English and math test. PARCC is administered in the 10th. It also requires retesting opportunities.

“If they had been fully in effect last year, tens of thousands of students in the class of 2016 wouldn’t have passed. About half the class 50,000 to 60,000 didn’t pass PARCC, putting them at risk of not receiving a high school diploma so there’s also very serious policy issues,” Levin said.

The Education Law Center joined with the ACLU to file the suit on behalf of the advocacy groups.

“Another major problem with the rules is that they use fee-based substitute competency tests as an alternative to the PARCC exam and these tests will limit access for low income students in New Jersey,” Levin said.

“We fear that our kids will be at a disadvantage. They’re already at risk. We’re in an area that’s concentrated poverty and they can’t afford the alternate assessments,” Grant said.

Fee-based tests like the SAT and ACT can be used as a “substitute competency test” but only until 2020. The groups argue it restricts low-income, minority students. Many are English language learners.

“New Jersey has one of the highest graduation rates in the U.S.: 89 percent of students graduate. When you get to Hispanic students, it goes down to 82 percent and when you get down to English language learners — those whose English is not their first language — it goes down to 74 percent so the number drops and it’s that group of people in the 72 to 74 percent that are most vulnerable and the most impacted by this change,” said Latino Action Network President Christian Estevez.

And Estevez says PARCC limits test taking in other languages.

“Our concern is that this English only approach that the state is taking is going to basically throw thousands of Latino students and other English language learners out of the education pipeline,” he said.

The state Department of Education says it doesn’t comment on pending legal cases. Members have said they expect PARCC scores to improve with each year, arguing it’s a better measure of college readiness and skill, especially as the number of students in need of remedial work before beginning college courses continues to grow.