Wednesday, June 1, 2005

LULAC helps cities welcome Hispanics reports on the work of the League of United Latin American Citizens in cities where Hispanic populations have grown.

"'Many smaller cities don't know how to cope, and they overreact,' [incoming Houstin district director Rick] Dovalina said. 'LULAC can educate cities on what to do and how to plan.'"

"In the late 1990s, when the Hispanic population in Macon, Ga., grew, LULAC helped school leaders set up a program to send teachers to Mexico to learn the culture and the language, he said."

"In Nashville, Tenn., city leaders realized they needed Spanish-speaking 911 operators. LULAC helped the city recruit bilingual workers from Texas."

"'We don't go in there and raise holy hell. We go in there to see how we can help with the growth,' Dovalina said. 'Hispanics are not going anywhere, so the sooner everyone works together, the smoother the transition.'"

The Middle Tennessee Chapter of LULAC has been headed in the past by Nashville attorney Jerry Gonzalez.

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