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Partnership | Accountability | Collaboration

Issue Statements

The Latino Policy Council’s work is influenced by racism and the intersection of classism, gender, and other isms.
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We recognize that climate change disproportionately affects communities of color


The Latino Policy Council encourages and supports increased transparency in information-sharing, sustainability education opportunities, and greater government alignment with climate policy that emphasizes public health, environmental conservation, and the reduction of carbon emissions.


  • Address the disproportionate impact of rising temperatures on low-income communities

  • Require strong workplace safety protections for individuals who work in extreme weather conditions, such as farmworkers

  • Expand economic opportunity in the clean energy and sustainability industries

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While Latinos make up the largest ethnic group that has resided in Washington County for the longest time, they continue to be disproportionately overrepresented in traffic stops, incarceration rates, and referrals to the juvenile justice system.


We recognize that safety is imperative to individual well-being and to the entire community’s ability to flourish. Historically, communities of color fear and do not trust the police and conversely, law enforcement agencies tend to over-police, racial profile, or convey a lack of trust in people of color.  The majority of police agencies hire white candidates over Latinos or blacks even in jurisdictions where the majority population are people of color.  The Latino Policy Council seeks to encourage and support the use of a social/racial  justice lens in ongoing efforts to strengthen trust between the Latino community and law enforcement members, agencies, and governing bodies.


Thoughtful, strategic relationship and trust building requires:

  • Creating a pathway for public safety accountability that results in policy changes that create a sense of safety for all diverse residents of Washington County

  • Recruitment and retention of officers and staff of color that represent the communities they serve

  • Continued cooperation and collaboration between the Latino Advisory Commission and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office

  • Increased training for all public safety employees and agencies that respects cultural differences, reduces ethnic profiling, and enhances a human-centric public safety approach

  • Community advisory boards with proportional representation to ensure accountability in policies and practices

  • Accurate collection of policing and emergency response data to help shape goals related to Latino/a/x community public safety

  • Interrupting systems of oppression across the justice system while fostering hope, building trust, and establishing partnerships within communities of color

  • Influencing systems change to eliminate institutional racism through policy evaluation

  • Building and improving culturally relevant services

  • Increased communication, trust, improved service delivery, and ongoing efforts to reduce fear and increase mutual understanding

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Latinos in Washington County make up nearly 20% of the County’s population, yet this group continues to face significant structural barriers impeding their access to opportunity to improve their quality of life. The increasing cost of a post secondary education prevents many youth from low-income families from pursuing a college degree and from entering the workforce prepared. Data from the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) show that Black and Hispanic families have considerably less wealth than White families.The Fed - Chart: Survey of Consumer Finances, 1989 - 2019 Black families' median and mean wealth is less than 15 percent that of White families:


  • Black families median wealth $24,100

  • Hispanic families median wealth $36,100

  • White families median wealth $189,100

On average Black and Latino families historically remain at the bottom of the economic mobility
scale due to inaccessibility to home mortgage loans and higher education which are two factors
that help build generational wealth.


We recognize that long-term economic wealth is critical to the overall well-being of the Latino community. Latino Policy Council advocates and promotes equitable economic opportunity to reach, increase and sustain economic prosperity. Ongoing, transparent collaboration is essential between government, nonprofit, and corporate entities to build strong pathways toward economic prosperity for all.


  • Increase Latino representation at the education policy making table

  • Entrepreneurial support, training, and technical assistance to promote and support business creation, financial literacy, and self employment

  • Clear, concise routes for mortgage assistance for home buyers, renters, and the houseless

  • Improvement of neighborhoods to curb discrimination and increase investments

  • Create culturally specific workforce training programs and strategies that lead to living wage jobs

  • Facilitate apprenticeship and union access to jobs in the trades




Evidence of the racial achievement gap is manifested in many forms in our society, from school completion rates to the school to prison pipeline, a disturbing national trend where students are systematically funneled out of schools and into the criminal justice system. Without a doubt, racism, a disregard of linguistic and cultural diversity, and the lack of opportunity and access for Latinos, continue to be fundamental causes of the racialized disparities we see in the public education system today.

An example of how structural racism is rooted in the U.S. schooling experience of many Latino children from the time they are born is the treatment of bilingualism. Emergent bilingual children who don’t follow the development stages of monolingual children from the dominant culture are quickly referred to special education by teachers and doctors who are part of the dominant culture. This is how dominant culture systems are providing services to our most marginalized emergent bilinguals. However, when these students enter the Pre-school (k-12) system, they come with Special Education or other tags that place them in educational environments of deficit.


The Latino Policy Council seeks transformational change through community and educational institutional actions to create a more engaged, culturally responsive system that addresses an individual student’s needs at all stages of their educational journey, from cradle to careers to adult education.

We recognize that education is an important pathway to individual and community empowerment, engagement, and generational wealth-building. Critical action is needed in five areas to ensure Latinos succeed.


  • Develop and implement racially just policies and practices that work on the dismantling
    of barriers and institutionalized racism in education policy and practice.

  • Provide diverse and inclusive education environments and a highly qualified diverse
    educator workforce.

  • Acknowledge the school-to-prison pipeline exists and work toward the healing and
    removal of underlying factors.

  • Ensure family and community voice and choice are drivers of decision making at all




We recognize that health and wellness are closely tied to social and economic growth. The Latino Policy Council subscribes to the Social Determinants of Health as factors that impact our community's health and wellness. Health is more likely to exist when a person's basic needs of food and shelter are secure and when a person feels a sense of worth and belonging, without fear. Having a job that pays a living wage helps to alleviate or lessen the stress that leads to illness and discomfort. Because of added stressors on communities of color such as racism, poverty, work status, and others, low income Latinos are more likely than Whites to suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes and other stress-related illness.


Because of working at low-wage jobs that do not offer health insurance, many go without medical attention until they are so ill that they end up in the Emergency Room for an ailment that if treated sooner would have cost much less than they end up paying. The Latino Policy Council encourages and supports the increased accessibility of affordable and holistic culturally-considerate health and wellness resources and services across generations. The Latino Policy Council encourages and supports increased accessibility to affordable and holistic culturally-considerate health and wellness resources and services across generations.


Quality care within the Latino community requires:

  • Consistent, reliable outreach and education with a focus on prevention.

  • Timely and culturally sensitive interpretation and translation service in native languages.

  • Access to healthy, nutritious foods and the elimination of food deserts and the economic
    practices that create them

  • Trauma-informed care with a cultural and racial justice lens.

  • Recognition of the impact of racism, generational trauma, and the social determinants of health on individual and collective wellness

  • Regular public reporting from local healthcare industries on how they accomplish quality care to the Latino community and improve upon service models that failed to provide.
    timely care during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • State and local government health services should partner with Latino community based
    organizations (CBOs) and other non profit organizations to co-create a community health
    and wellness system.




We recognize that affordable, easily-accessible home rental and ownership is necessary for security, stability, and overall health. For too long, those with little or no resources have depended on the generosity of others for shelter by renting an extra bedroom or the family garage to families and individuals. Until the 2020 pandemic, this group was not counted on the annual homeless count that is conducted by the government once a year. Covid changed that. Because of safety precautions, those who once counted on this type of refuge could no longer count on it and the numbers of Latino homeless grew in number. It has also become increasingly difficult for low income families to find affordable housing and many are finding it difficult to pay rent due to layoffs and reduced work hours due to Covid19. Landlords are raising rents and developers are buying up housing stock to remodel and charge higher rents.

Consequently, emergency rent assistance programs in the state are overwhelmed with applications and affordable housing apartment complexes being built with regional funding not coming online for another 2 years.


The Latino Policy Council encourages and supports transparent, collaborative housing development that prioritizes equity, accountability, and the centering of community member needs.


Strengthening human-centric housing processes includes:

  • Expanding education, training, and resources on home ownership

  • Increasing awareness around homeownership’s contribution to individual and community

  • Analyzing local and regional housing trends and their effects on the Latino community

  • Advancing the creation and use of appropriately translated documents in the rental and home ownership process

  • Endorsing and ensuring access to resources and institutions that expand credit-access for home ownership

  • Addressing existing environmental hazards including harmful minerals and chemicals, like lead and asbestos, in low-income neighborhoods to protect the health and safety of residents

  • Expanding access to energy efficient homes and supporting weatherization of energy inefficient homes

  • Ensuring Latino community members who experience housing instability have access to housing, shelters, social services, and support resources that center their cultural and linguistic needs

  • Holding banks and mortgage companies accountable to the Community Reinvestment
    Act requirements for community benefit strategies or Latinos


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Latino Policy Council seeks to influence systems change and accountability to advance racial equity and community transformation. This work must be carried out through a lens of racial justice to address the needs and provide equitable opportunities for the Latino community.



Latinos have lived in Washington County for generations and many continue to build their homes here despite the exclusionary systems and practices still in place today. Latinos (with a high representation of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Central and South American origins) make up nearly 20% of the county’s population.

We recognize that various manifestations (interpersonal, culturally, institutional, systemic, historical, and structural) of racial injustice and other forms of oppression continue to marginalize Latinos in their attempt to navigate systems that are rooted in white supremacy, power and privilege.

Latinos continue to experience disproportionately negative outcomes in employment, income, education, community safety and health. Some examples:​​

  • In Washington County Latino home loan applicants are more likely to have their loan application denied compared to high income White potential homeowners.

  • The national racial wealth gap and historical gentrification practices in land use and development leaves Latino communities especially vulnerable in multiple ways.

  • Low-income and unaffordable living costs combine to create impoverished conditions for many Latinos in the county.

  • Latino youth are disproportionately represented in referrals to the juvenile justice system and the school-to-prison pipeline.

  • Government, education, and corporate institutions should partner with the Latino community to increase their involvement, to develop trust, reduce isolation, and improve access to services, living wage jobs, and wealth-building through home-ownership.

  • Research justice: Collection and analysis of data must include the lived experiences of the Latino community. Research contracts should be offered to organizations that are trusted and proven to be culturally and linguistically proficient, and familiar with the

  1. ​Jurisdictional partners should invest in resources to ensure an equity lens is embedded throughout any project or research study.

  2. Culturally specific community based organizations should assist with community engagement and outreach, revision, feedback collection, and verification of data.

  • ​Develop policies and practices that align to racial justice standards and best practices.

  1. ​Understand and prioritize the effects of racism and intersectionality that operate within oppressive systems and work to dismantle it across all sectors.

  2. Identify and support policies that support Latino community priorities.

  • ​Latinos should be represented in all aspects of government including
    boards/commissions/committees, professional development opportunities, and holistic/inclusive engagement.





We recognize that safe, equitable, and abundant transportation access is essential to growing a healthy community that provides varied opportunities for economic prosperity. For too long because of federal and state policies, a segment of Oregon’s population was denied the right to drive which consequently created hardships in access to health, nutritious food, and employment for those who do not live close to public transit. It further increased the number of Latinos in the court system for not having a driver's license or insurance when pulled over by police.  Many lost their jobs which created further hardship for families with children. The Latino Policy Council encourages and supports the continuation and improvement of ongoing Washington County Latino community transportation advocacy and initiatives that promote equity.


  • Increased communication with METRO, ODOT, Trimet, and Washington County regarding transportation policies and issues that impact the Latino community

  • Support of entities, proposals, and projects that emphasize improved infrastructure

  • Prioritization of those with the least mobility options

  • Access to safe sidewalks, well-maintained bike routes, and affordable, environmentally-friendly public transit

  • Consider and support the advocacy of extending the light rail (Max line) to Forest Grove as a transportation equity issue

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