About the Colorado Latino Forum
During the first half of 2009, Latinos from around the state, with diverse backgrounds made great strides in building the foundation of CLF. The first board for the CLF adopted a mission statement, bylaws, and established the CLF as a Colorado Nonprofit Corporation. They also applied to the I.R.S. for recognition as a Section 501(c) (4) organization, and have established standing issue committees.
A 13-member board was elected Aug. 23, 2009.
The CLF is committed to increasing Latino participation and awareness in the electoral process, educating the community on issues vital to the community and perhaps most importantly; increasing the number of Latino office holders in Colorado. CLF offers connectivity between Latino individuals and organizations across the state to achieve its mission, an element that has oftentimes been absent in past efforts in political organizing within the Latino community.
In 16 of Colorado’s 35 Senate Districts and 27 of Colorado’s House Districts, Latinos make up at least 10 percent or more of the total population. The growing numbers of Latinos in the state offer great opportunities in successfully running Latino candidates and other candidates supportive of issues important to our communities.
Currently, Colorado’s political infrastructure lacks the type of statewide organization needed to translate the rising number of Latinos across the state into meaningful political change for Latinos as a whole. The CLF offers to fill this gap. It is estimated that approximately 13-16 percent of Colorado voters in 2008 were Latino. These voters tended to vote overwhelmingly for Barack Obama and a solid majority supported progressive candidates across the state.
Despite this success, the number of Latinos serving in elected office at the federal level and at the State Capitol is at a 25-year low. The CLF has already begun the important process of reaching out to Latino communities and organizations in all areas of Colorado to mobilize Latino voters, identify possible candidates, and build coalitions that will ensure that greater numbers of Latinos are elected in the next election cycle.