Puerto Rican leaders gather with state legislators for virtual "Puerto Rico Day in Tallahassee" conference; you can tune in too
Monday, March 15, 2021
Holding "Puerto Rico Day in Tallahassee" virtually opens up the legislative process to the wider public.
The annual “Puerto Rico Day in Tallahassee” conference, featuring panels on key issues affecting the Hispanic community, is going virtual for the first time because of Covid-19. The conference will be held Wednesday, March 17, 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is free and open to all.
Hosted by the Hispanic Federation, the bipartisan conference has been held every year since 1999. It’s an opportunity not only for state legislators to get educated about Florida's Puerto Rican community — which, at 1.1 million strong since Hurricane Maria, is now the second-largest Hispanic voting bloc here — but holding the event virtually opens up a window on the legislative process to the public.
This year’s conference features 10 panel discussions, spanning a range of topics, including housing insecurity, voting rights, redistricting, inequities with Covid-19 vaccine distribution within Hispanic communities, immigration and education.
Speakers, such as Johanna Lopez, founder of Familias Presentes: Estudiantes Excelentes, an online forum that provides information about education to parents, will address legislation introduced in the current legislative session that may affect Hispanics. Lopez will discuss the Native Language Assessment in Public Schools bill, which would, if passed, allow students to test in their native language.
Patricia Brigham, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, will talk about HB 1, the controversial bill introduced by Gov. Ron DeSantis in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests last summer. The bill (read related VoxPopuli story) would criminalize anti-police protests, make it unlawful to take down Confederate flags or monuments, and dictate to local municipalities how much of their budget they must allot to law enforcement. She will take questions from the public.
The conference rounds out with a virtual social hour.
Puerto Rico Day in Tallahassee
Date: March 17
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.