This week Marcela Betancur, Executive Director of the Latino Policy Institute (LPI) was our guest on Rhode Island Latino News, Opinion+.
LPI is an advocacy group in Rhode Island that was started by two people with the goal of raising the voices of the Latinx community. The impact Covid-19 had on the Latinx community caused LPI to improve the flow of truthful information on vaccines and resources. “It really helped focus on what we needed,” said Betancur on RILN Opinion+ when explaining the issues of healthcare and employment accessibility.
The Ocean State has grown in its Latinx presence over the years. Populations from the Dominican Republic and Colombia have moved to Rhode Island over the years. “Every single town has a Latino in it,” stated Betancur.
Being a part of the immigrant coalition in the state has allowed LPI to advocate for the needs of the Latinx community and even advocate for driving privileges and quality healthcare for undocumented immigrants. They first understand what the community needs and then connect that with what is possible from a policy perspective.
The largest obstacle faced in Rhode Island is the continuous disinvestment from the state and the U.S. government. Poverty, economic, and housing equity has lacked investment in these issues. LPI builds its community leaders by offering data, research, and practices on bringing people together and building bridges between communities and legislators.
LPI is excited to continue improving voting access, health, and economic equity through driver’s licenses and information.
Main website: https://lpirwu.org/about-us/