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.

Thursday, September 22, 2016




For Immediate Release: September 22, 2016

Christian Estevez, Chair, LAN-PAC – 973-418-7012

Javier Robles, LAN-PAC Member – 732-887-8722


Newark, NJ – The Latino Action Network Political Action Committee [LAN-PAC] today announced its support for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States of America and urged Latinos to vote in the upcoming presidential election in November.

The Latino Action Network Political Action Committee was established in 2012 to promote candidates working on behalf of the issues of greatest importance to the Latino Community on the national level.  

Citing her extensive experience as a U.S. Senator (D-NY) and Secretary of State, Christian Estevez, Chair of LAN-PAC said that, “Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate running and we must do everything we can to elect her as our next President”.  

Hillary Clinton has a realistic plan to create new jobs starting with a major initiative to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure that will put thousands to work right away”, continued Estevez.   She has a balanced approach to taxes that will ask the wealthy to contribute more to help create opportunities for all through job development and education.  Her approach will particularly help Latinos who are struggling to become a vital part of the middle class.

“The stakes could not be higher for Latinos in the United States given the hateful pronouncements being made on the campaign trail by the Republican nominee Donald Trump,” added Estevez. “Besides his preposterous promise to build a giant wall along the southern border with Mexico and his anti-Latino rhetoric, including his attacks against Mexican-American Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Donald Trump represents a real threat to Latino communities throughout the United States due to his support for racist and xenophobic policies like 287g and the creation of a ‘deportation Taskforce”.

Estevez also cited the U.S. Supreme Court as a reason that Latinos must take this election seriously.  “With the current vacancy on our highest court and more potential vacancies to occur during the next term it is scary to think who Donald Trump would appoint”, said Estevez.  “If Trump were allowed to stack the U.S. Supreme Court with people that are as racist and hateful as he is, he could set back civil rights in this country by over 100 years.”

Javier Robles, who also serves on the board of the LAN-PACcautioned that low turnout in November amongst Latino voters could favor Trump. “It is imperative that Latinos register to vote and turn out in high numbers in November if we hope to have a president in the White House that we can work with to promote policies that embrace Latinos and other immigrant groups as integral to the success of our nation”, said Robles.  “A win for Trump would be disastrous for our community.





Para publicación inmediata: 22 de septiembre de 2016

Christian Estévez, presidente, LAN-PAC-973-418-7012

Javier Robles, miembro de LAN-PAC-732-887-8722


Newark, NJ – La Red de Acción Latina - Comité de Acción Política [LAN-PAC] hoy anunció su apoyo de Hillary Clinton para Presidente de los Estados Unidos e instó a los Latinos a votar en las próximas elecciones presidenciales en noviembre.

La Red de Acción Latina - Comité de Acción Política fue establecida en 2012 para promover a los candidatos que trabajan en nombre de los temas de mayor importancia para la comunidad Latina a nivel nacional.  

Citando su experiencia como senadora de los Estados Unidos (D-NY) y Secretaria de Estado, Christian Estévez, Presidente de LAN-PAC dice que, "Hillary Clinton es la candidata más calificado en esta elecion y que debemos hacer todo que lo posible para elegirla como nuestra próxima Presidente".  

"Hillary Clinton tiene un plan realista para crear nuevos puestos de trabajo a partir de una importante iniciativa para reconstruir nuestra infraestructura desmoronada que pondría a trabajar a miles de personas inmediatamente", continuó Estevez.   "Ella tiene un enfoque equilibrado a los impuestos que le pedirá los ricos a contribuir más para ayudar a crear oportunidades para todo por medio de desarrollo del trabajo y la educación.  Su enfoque ayudará en particular a los Latinos que luchan por convertirse en una parte vital de la clase media."

"La situación no podría ser más urgente para los Latinos en los Estados Unidos dado los pronunciamientos odioso realizados en la campaña electoral por el candidato republicano Donald Trump," agregó Estevez. "Además de su absurda promesa de construir un muro gigante en la frontera del sur con México y su retórica anti-Latino, incluyendo sus ataques contra el Mexico-americano juez Gonzalo Curiel, Donald Trump representa una amenaza real para las comunidades latinas en los Estados Unidos debido a su apoyo a las políticas racistas y xenófobas como 287g y la creación de una fuerza de deportación'".

Estevez también citó la Corte Suprema como una razón por la que los Latinos deben tomar en serio esta elección.  "Con el puesto vacante en nuestro tribunal más alto y más vacantes potenciales a ocurrir durante la próxima periodo,  da miedo pensar cuales candidatos designaría a Donald Trump a la Corte Suprema”, dijo Estevez.  "Si se le permite Donald Trumpmeter a personas tan racistas y odioso como el a la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos, él podría retroceder los derechos civiles en este país por más de 100 años."

Javier Robles, quien también es miembro del Consejo de la LAN-PAC advirtió que baja participación en noviembre entre los votantes latinos podría favorecer Trump. "Es imperativo que los Latinos se registren para votar y resultar en altos números en noviembre si esperamos tener un Presidente en la Casa Blanca con la cual podemos trabajar para promover políticas que adoptan los Latinos y otros grupos de inmigrantes como parte integral del éxito de nuestra nación", dijo Robles.  "Un triunfo de Trump sería desastroso para nuestra comunidad".  


Monday, June 6, 2016

Blocking affordable housing segregates N.J.'s blacks and Latinos | Opinion

Blocking affordable housing segregates N.J.'s blacks and Latinos | Opinion

By Richard T. Smith and Christian Estevez

We are confronting a moral reckoning in New Jersey.

The Garden State remains one of the most segregated states in the country — where too often the color of one's skin determines a person's future.

This system of de facto segregation is undergirded by a long history of exclusionary zoning practices by suburban municipalities seeking to keep low-income residents confined to struggling inner cities, where they are unable to take steps toward achieving the American dream in the form of safe neighborhoods, good schools and access to jobs.

Thankfully, the state Supreme Court last year struck a much-needed blow on behalf of New Jersey's poor and marginalized.

Court ruling on N.J. affordable housing would cause staggering changes | Opinion

In a unanimous decision, the court re-energized the strongest tool we have in the fight against segregation and exclusion. The principle, known as the Mount Laurel Doctrine, mandates that suburban municipalities across New Jersey do their fair share to provide housing opportunities for working families, seniors living on fixed incomes and those with disabilities.

Yet a core group of recalcitrant municipalities have taken a different path and decided to fall back on the same tired tactics of exclusion to delay the construction of new housing and to water down their obligations as much as possible. They would waste untold thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds in expensive and ugly litigation rather than fulfill their legal and moral mandate to build a more inclusive New Jersey.

These municipalities are arguing, incredibly, that they shouldn't have to address the demand for housing that accumulated during the 15-year period when New Jersey's housing laws are in flux. Instead, they want to be rewarded for their years of delays and are asking for permission to simply ignore the tens of thousands of families experiencing poverty during this time.

Three trial court judges — in Mercer, Middlesex and Ocean counties — have already correctly rejected such extremist arguments. Today, a three-judge panel of appellate judges was to take up the case.

While these towns are couching their arguments in complicated legal jargon, the impact of their position is clear. If successful, they will be able to effectively eliminate up to 60 percent of the state's housing need — meaning many New Jersey families will never be able to realize their dream of moving into a permanent home.

Our state's fair housing laws aren't just abstract principles. They represent real hope to tens of thousands of New Jerseyans — disproportionately African-Americans and Latinos — who have been systematically excluded from employment and educational opportunities.

The Supreme Court's strong decision cut through a mess of bureaucratic and political gridlock that had kept fair housing regulations from operating effectively for more than 15 years. The justices were clear: The constitution of the state of New Jersey required towns to step up and do more to ensure that all New Jerseyans can benefit from the prosperity so many of its communities have to offer.

N.J. Congresswoman: Fair housing is a key to job accessibility | Opinion

As a result of this ruling, we are now finally starting to see towns make significant strides forward in increasing opportunities for New Jersey families. More than 10 municipalities across the state have agreed to permit nearly 8,000 homes to be built to meet the state's growing demand.

These settlements will provide thousands of working families, seniors and those with disabilities with homes in thriving communities for the first time. They represent a model for other towns to follow – and many more are currently involved in constructive discussions with developers and housing advocates about how they can provide additional opportunities to our families.

ZIP code matters. Where you live has a disproportionate impact on your life trajectory — including your educational prospects, your employability, your access to health care and healthy food, your likelihood of incarceration and your life expectancy.

The violence that plagues our urban communities falls disproportionately on the backs of young black and Latino men who, on account of their ZIP code, have been deprived of the opportunities they need to succeed.

We call on the courts to continue to protect the rights of these families and to continue to hold towns accountable to the letter and the spirit of New Jersey's Constitution.

Richard T. Smith is president of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference.

Christian Estevez is the president of the Latino Action Network.

[This Op-Ed below appeared on on June 6, 2016. You can read the original article on their website at:]

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Profile: A Latino Advocate with a Family Legacy of Revolution and Activism - NJ Spotlight

By: Lee Keough
Christian Estevez
Christian Estevez, newly elected president of the Latino Action Network

Who: Christian Estevez, 42, newly elected president of the Latino Action Network

Home: Plainfield, born and raised. Estevez’s grandparents moved there in 1965, six years after they fled the Dominican Republic at the beginning of a revolution.

Latino Action Network: LAN is an umbrella group that lobbies and advocates state government on issues important to Latinos. When asked what those issues are, Estevez said “everything -- every issue touches Latinos.” Right now, LAN is active in pushing for the $15 minimum wage and earned sick days. It is also working with various consulates to help get residents municipal IDs. 

Estevez said that without any ID, Latinos cannot get bank accounts, making them easy targets for crime as they often carry cash. In order to get an ID, undocumented residents must provide some sort of proof of who they are -- not just that they live at a particular address. By working with consulates based in New York, LAN can have officials come to various cities here in New Jersey and examine documents Latinos brought from home to determine whether they are proof of identity.

His day job: Estevez is a union officer for Local 1037 of the Communications Workers of America. He said his work with unions and advocacy groups are naturals for him since “my entire childhood was spent in the union hall.” His mother, who was bilingual, worked in a union benefits department.

In fact, Estevez said the idea of helping workers was ingrained in him due to the experience of his great-uncle, who was a delegate for cigar workers and worked against the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. His great-grandfather owned a cigar factory, he said, and his great-uncle -- who went to college -- worked as what was known as a “reader.” These were educated people who read stories to the workers as they rolled their cigars. 

“I grew up learning of him as a hero,” said Estevez. “Here was this privileged guy who identified with the workers and joined the fight against the dictator.” His uncle was “disappeared,” he said, during the revolution.

Biggest problem facing New Jersey Latinos: Segregation of the schools and towns, said Estevez. He used his own experience as an example. Estevez’s parents divorced when he was a teenager and his mother was having trouble making ends meet. He was angry, his grades suffered, and he was attending classes with 30 kids just like him. His older brothers decided to pool their resources with their mother and rent a small apartment four miles away in Westfield, so Estevez could enroll there for high school. 

“I was really fortunate. Westfield gave me lots of interventions; they threw all sorts of things at me left and right,” he said, including anger-management classes. He said there was nothing wrong with the Plainfield teachers but they had 30 kids in a class with the same problems and fewer resources. In Westfield, he was one kid with these issues and they had time to identify his problems, rather than just try to keep the class calm. He also had class role models.

“I made a complete turnaround,” said Estevez. “I became a reader. I learned not to use my fists. And I went to college.”

Said Estevez: “Abbott is a Band-Aid, it’s not the solution.”

Future political plans? “It’s not for me,” he said, after serving one term on the Plainfield school board. He said he didn’t like that everyone wants favors and demands something of politicians. “I’d rather be behind the scenes.”

Family and other interests: Married with three boys, ages 13, 9, and 7. He coaches sports with them -- soccer, baseball and in particular wrestling, which he excelled at in high school.

[This article originally appeared in NJ Spotlight on March 3, 2016. You can view the original article at:]

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Latino Action Network Joins with Over 100 Organization's to Call on Christie to Include Lead Prevention Funding in State Budget Proposal

Over 100 Organizations Call on Christie to Include Lead Prevention Funding in State Budget Proposal


TRENTON, NJ - Housing and community advocates along with parents and concerned residents, urged Governor Christie and the State Legislature to include $10 million for lead prevention in the upcoming state budget. In a letter sent to State leaders today, advocates say the number of children exposed to toxic lead warrants full funding of the Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund (LHCAF).

“Thousands of New Jersey children are being exposed to lead because this administration has failed to fund even the paltry amount that is dedicated, by law, to solve our childhood lead poisoning crisis,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “We are glad the governor has now said he’ll keep lead prevention in the budget if it’s a priority for our residents. More than 100 community leaders from around the state are writing to the governor and legislative leaders to make clear that protecting our children from a known, entirely preventable but permanent and devastating poison, is all of our priority.”

Created in 2004, the Lead Hazard Assistance Control Fund was created by the State of New Jersey to remediate older homes that contained lead paint. However, more than $50 million has been steered into the general treasury since 2009, instead of the LHCAF as required. State law mandates that fifty cents per gallon from the retail sale of paint must go towards the LHCAF.

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"By diverting funds for six years, Governor Christie has allowed thousands of NJ children to be needlessly poisoned by lead,” said Ann Vardeman, program director for New Jersey Citizen Action. “We hope there will be a renewed focus to take the opportunity to right a wrong and include funding for lead poisoning prevention in the budget he proposes to the Legislature on Tuesday."

Recent data from Isles, Inc. has found that children in eleven New Jersey communities have higher incidences of children affected by lead compared to Flint, MI. Those communities include Atlantic City, Irvington, Newark, East Orange, Trenton, Paterson, Plainfield, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Passaic, and Cumberland County.

“Water is not the only way children are lead poisoned,” said Elyse Pivnick, director of environmental health for Isles, Inc. “In NJ, our primary source of lead poisoning is chipping and peeling lead paint applied many years ago in homes that are not well maintained. The best way to prevent lead poisoning is to remove the source of lead exposure, so the lead hazard control fund is an important resource to make homes lead safe.”

In executing weatherization for energy conservation measures, we encounter lead in many of the older homes throughout Metro Newark,” said Raymond Ocasio, executive director of La Casa de Don Pedro. “The program funding and the applicable health and safety standards allow us to only remediate a limited portion of the lead contamination conditions that families might face. For instance we might only replacing windows with lead using lead safety measures.  However, more often than not, lead still remains in other areas of the home because program constraints prevent us from addressing them.

In the letter to state leaders, advocates also urged support for legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer) that would enable municipalities to inspect one and two bedroom family rentals for lead. Combined, with the LHCAF, the two measures would expand prevention efforts in New Jersey.

“The communities in which childhood lead levels rival those in Flint are home to thousands of Latino families.  Lead poisoning is an epidemic for Latino children and their parents in these neighborhoods,” said Christian Estevez, president of the Latino Action Network. “We need the Governor and our elected officials to ensure that all of our children are protected from lead poisoning and that our communities have the resources to address this crisis.”

 “Access to homes that are safe and affordable for families, especially in our urban areas, has always been part of the fight for civil rights,” said Richard T. Smith, president of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference. “Funding for lead prevention helps ensure that African-American kids can grow up without the threat of toxic poisoning from their own homes.  There is no greater priority than the healthy future of our children.”

"The job of keeping these children safe is a responsibility that lies on all of us – not on the thousands of mothers whom I know would do ANYTHING in their power to keep their kids safe,” said Serena Rice, executive director of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. “But the tragic reality is that it’s not in their power. They need our help.”

To view the letter and for more information on the Lead Hazard Assistance Control Fund including data from Isles, Inc., visit

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 250 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. 

For more information on the Network, visit

Monday, February 15, 2016

Latino Action Network Endorses Nomination of Emilia Perez to Trenton Municipal Court

For Immediate Release: February 16, 2016


Christian Estevez – 973-418-7012

Lazaro Cardenas – 732-500-7864


The Latino Action Network [LAN] today endorsed the nomination of attorney Emilia Perez to the Trenton Municipal Court.  Perez is not only competent and respected among the legal community but will alsoallow Trenton’s Municipal court to better reflect the residents it serves.


Perez who is a graduate of Seton Hall Law and a former Judicial law clerk for the Honorable Bradley J. Ferencz has been nominated byTrenton’s Mayor Eric Jackson, to the position of Municipal Judge.  Perez has served since 2008 as Assistant Corporation Counsel,and since 2012 as Assistant Municipal Prosecutor for the City of Newark.


“We commend Mayor Eric Jackson for nominating a qualified Latina to serve as a municipal judge in Trenton. The state's Capital has a population that is over 30% Latino, yet has not had a Latino judge serving on the bench for a very long time,” said Latino Action Network President, Christian Estevez. “However, the nomination of Emilia Perez helps insure that those applying and interpreting the laws also represent the community’s racial and ethnic diversity.”


Estevez urged the Trenton City Council to promptly vote to confirm Perez saying, "The appointment of Emilia Perez is a step in the right direction toward alleviating the severe underrepresentation of Latinos at all levels of New Jersey's judiciary." He added that, "The Latino Action Network will continue its efforts to remedy this lack of Latino judges, an ethnic group which represents almost one-fifth of the state’s residents.”


The Latino Action Network was founded in 2009 to fight for political empowerment and defend civil rights.

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Annual LAN Legislative Conference

2016 LAN Legislative Conference

You are cordially invited to the Latino Action Network’s Annual Legislative Conference. The conference will take place on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at the Robert Treat Hotel Conference Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The event will include a full program, with keynote presentations and dynamic workshops with panels discussing a full array of issues of great importance to New Jersey's Latino community.

Breakout panels will cover the following subjects:

  • Immigrant Rights
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Affordable Housing
  • Workers’ Rights
  • Voting Rights
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Political Involvement
  • Latino Youth Activism 
  • Environmental Justice

We expect an audience of over 200 persons, including Latino elected officials, civic and community leaders interested in developing a shared vision for New Jersey.

This Legislative Conference 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.

Please click in HERE to register for the LAN Legislative Conference or go to:

You can also contact Carmen Torres at 973-273-0273 or via email at if you have any questions about the program.

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