Latinos Organize Forum in Arlington

On Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 7 PM at the Arlington Career Center Atrium located at 816 S. Walter Reed Drive in Arlington, Virginia, Latinos will gather to discuss Latino concerns.

The Forum’s primary purpose is on issues  such as access to affordable housing and how redevelopment and forced relocation impacts Latino households and their families.

Other topics that will be addressed include: local immigration issues, fair housing, access to County services, including employment and health care. What is the perspective of Arlington’s Latino community? How does access to County services affect the social and economic future of the Latino community?  This community education forum seeks to increase the trust and access of Latinos to Arlington County and services.

Approximately 15% of Arlingtonians are Latinos. Willians Silva, President of BU-GATA, a tenant association and non-profit founded by Buckingham neighborhood tenants, stated: “We hope that this community education forum will increase the dialogue between Arlington’s Latino community and public agency officials and others concerned with the future of our community”.

Understanding the barriers and issues that face this community is one of the goals for the Latino forum. Saul Reyes, Deputy Director of BU-GATA summarizes the issue: “We’ve seen rents skyrocket over the past twenty years and that makes it harder for Latino families to find affordable apartments here in Arlington. Coming together for a Latino forum to discuss issues that affect our community is one way of saying: let’s advocate for our community and look at ways to make sure we can continue to live in this County”.

This forum is sponsored jointly by BU-GATA,  a community-based non-profit and the Housing Division of Arlington County.  BU-GATA is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to defending tenant rights, educating immigrants about services and committed to advancing innovative public policy solutions for a better quality of life in Arlington County.

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