LULAC NATIONAL POLICY PLATFORM
LULAC's legacy of advocating for the economic, educational, and political attainment of Latino communities in the United States has been integral to our work for over 90 years. Since our founding in 1929, LULAC has been at the forefront of seminal court cases and advocacy efforts that improved the lives and futures of Latinos throughout the United States – from successfully advocating for the reclassification of Latinos in the U.S. census (1936) and the desegregation of Los Angeles public schools (1943), to enabling Latinos to serve as jurors (1954) and creating the Little School of 400 (1959) that served as a precursor for Head Start programs that have helped millions of children.
In recent years, LULAC has continued this critical leadership. In 2020, we led the Justice for Vanessa campaign to ensure an independent investigation of the disappearance and murder of Pfc. Vanessa Guillén and Ft. Hood’s handling of the case. In 2022, we led the Pray for Texas campaign that raised over $2 million in direct contributions to the families of the victims and survivors of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting. In 2023, LULAC played an instrumental role in the renaming of Ft. Hood as Ft. Cavazos in honor of Richard Cavazos, the U.S. Army’s first Hispanic four-star general and in recognition of Hispanic and Latino service members who make up 17% of activity duty military.
Today, LULAC continues to build on this vibrant history. With a strong national network of 525 local councils and 138,000 supporters across 29 states and Puerto Rico, LULAC advances legislation and provides policymakers with the Latino perspective on longstanding issues of concern as well as emerging challenges that impact Latino communities.
1. Foundations of Health and Well-Being
Housing, education, healthcare, environmental factors, and other social determinants of health all impact the well-being, quality of life, and economic survival of Latino communities. To address these interconnected issues, LULAC is committed to strengthening the systems and social conditions in which Latinos are born, live, learn, work, and age, and to eliminating systemic racial and ethnic disparities that disproportionately harm the health and well-being of Latinos. LULAC’s current priorities include:
Climate and Environmental Justice.
- Protect Latinos from disproportionate impacts of climate change and exposure to environmental contaminants.
- Ensure Hispanic communities benefit from federal funding to accelerate the U.S. transition to a clean energy economy.
Affordable housing and financing.
- Ensure efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing units are responsive to needs within the Hispanic community.
- Foster a lending environment conducive to first generation and first time home buyers.
- Hold banks accountable for discriminatory lending practices.
- Advance educational attainment and equity for Hispanic students, with particular focus on addressing COVID learning loss, supporting English Language Learners (ELL), and ensuring equitable funding of public schools.
- Ensure Hispanic children can access high quality, early learning and childcare programs.
- Ensure schools provide safe, inclusive and supportive learning environments.
- Preserve the use of inclusive educational curriculum and social emotional learning.
- Support and diversify the educator workforce.
- Provide Hispanic students with the tools and support they need to close the enduring achievement gap they face in higher education
- Expand access to medical therapies, nutrition, and healthcare to address health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and asthma that disproportionately impact Latino communities.
- Ensure eligible Latino beneficiaries have completed Medicaid re-enrollment processes by June 2024 in order to maintain coverage.
- Protect access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion and contraception.
- Enhance health care quality and outcomes for mothers and address disparities in maternal health outcomes throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.
- Eliminate cruel and unnecessary barriers to health care for immigrants of all statuses.
2. Civil Rights and Racial Equity
Protecting and advancing civil rights and equity for all Latinos is central to LULAC’s history and to the current-day imperative of our advocacy agenda. LULAC is committed to ensuring that Latinos who experience discrimination across multiple identities (particularly Latinas, and those who are part of the LGBTQ and disability communities) are protected from further political and cultural marginalization. LULAC’s current priorities include:
Affirmative action in higher education.
- Advocate for higher education admissions policies and student support programs that will increase Hispanic enrollment and completion rates while complying with the Supreme Court’s 2023 ruling striking down affirmative action in college admissions.
Diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in corporate and educational settings.
- Ensure effective implementation of Executive Order 13985 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government) and 14035 (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Government), which create government-wide initiatives to address a broad range of issues of significant importance to the Hispanic community, including pay equity, LGBTQ+ rights, equity for employees with disabilities, and data collection–and require consultation and engagement with members of underserved communities.
Latina and LGBTQ+ rights.
- Protect Latinas and LGBTQ+ Hispanics from discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation with respect to businesses, employment, housing, federally funded programs, and other settings.
3. Democracy and Civic Engagement
Voting is the cornerstone of American democracy. LULAC is committed to ensuring that every eligible Latino is registered and able to vote without unlawful barriers or interference. Ensuring a fair count of Latinos in the decennial census and full statehood for Puerto Rico remain critical to Latinos’ full civic participation. LULAC’s current priorities include:
- Restore, strengthen, and modernize the Voting Rights Act in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Shelby County v. Holder and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, which made it more difficult to protect voters of color from discrimination.
- Ensure aggressive and effective monitoring and oversight of local and state voting practices, particularly in jurisdictions where Latino voters are moving to and places where young Latino eligible voters are casting their vote for the first time.
- Reform voter registration processes and remove obstacles that disproportionately affect Latino communities, like stringent ID requirements and limited polling locations.
Preserving the dignity, rights, health, and safety of immigrants and refugees to the United States is a core priority of LULAC and Latinos across the U.S. LULAC’s current priorities include:
Citizenship, immigration, and border issues.
- Ensure Administration actions that impact Latino migrants and refugees to the U.S. are aligned with human rights standards and preserve their dignity, rights, health, and safety. Preserve legal status for Dreamers.
Green Card Veterans.
- Raise awareness about the deportation of military veterans and pass legislation that would allow for the return of previously deported green card veterans.
5. Economic Opportunity
Latinos are indispensable to the American workforce and economy. Yet Latinos are disproportionately concentrated in lower wage jobs, often in dangerous working conditions, and without access to the capital, training, and policy supports needed to thrive in the 21st century economy. LULAC is committed to strengthening the economic status of Latinos and opening pathways to safe, well-paying jobs for Latinos. LULAC’s current priorities include:
- Ensure internet access for all Latinos (particularly those in rural and economically underserved areas).
- Ensure that broadband infrastructure projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the American Rescue Plan Act (including the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program) are reaching underserved Hispanic communities.
Pay equity and occupational segregation.
- Remedy pay disparities, low wages, and occupational segregation that leave Latino workers (particularly Latinas) facing disproportionately high rates of underemployment, low wages, and without access to paid leave and other essential employer benefits.
- Improve national standards and corporate practices with respect to child labor and worker safety.
- Ensure the rights and safety of farmworkers, and migrant and seasonal workers.
- Invest in Latino entrepreneurs and enhance their access to capital and representation in fast-growing economic sectors.