LLANJ Delegates listen to people’s concerns
East Brunswick, NJ (Saturday, September 26, 2015).— LLANJ delegates held their biennial Convention Part I at the Days Inn Hotel Conference Center in East Brunswick, to listen to dozens of people from New Jersey diverse communities. Participants included leaders representing faith-based organizations as well as entities dedicated to the advancement of Latinos in different areas including health, the arts, private sector, non-profit, economic development, education, sports, journalism, and politics.
In her welcome remarks, LLANJ President Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla acknowledged the moral significance of Pope Francis’ visit to the Caribbean and the United States.
“He poured out his and God’s blessings upon all of us in America, while sharing a message of hope and healing, of peace and justice. Pope Francis came to remind us of the Golden Rule and that most of us were once foreigners…and also descended from immigrants.”
Lt. Governor Guadagno Presides Over First Historic Swearing-in Ceremony of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey
Trenton, New Jersey - On the early afternoon of Wednesday, September 9, 2015, Acting New Jersey Governor Kim Guadagno administered the oath of office to Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, the President-Elect of the Latino Leadership Alliance, the largest and only statewide non-partisan organization dedicated to mobilizing and advocating for Latino causes and for New Jersey diverse communities.
“It seems fitting that the first female New Jersey Lieutenant Governor should preside over the first State House swearing-in of the LLANJ’s first female President, and I am proud to share this special day with you,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “New Jersey’s Latino population is a thriving and crucial part of our business community and is increasingly well represented in government. I thank the LLANJ’s leadership, past and present, for uniting and serving on behalf of Latino organizations and residents in our state.”
Following her remarks, Lt. Governor Guadagno administered the Oath of Office to the newly-elected committee members: Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, President; Vice President Paul Perez, Treasurer Ken Seda and Secretary Angela Harrington.
In a riveting and inspiring acceptance speech to a packed house, President Montilla described Latinos, as the ‘largest and fastest growing’ immigrant group in the United States, and as a pujante and indispensable segment of the population that makes this country great, and New Jersey a better state.
She outlined LLANJ Latino empowerment agenda on education, economic development, and political representation; and expressed the organization’s unwavering commitment to carrying it out.
“Not too many organizations can conduct a leadership transition with strength, grace and harmony," said LLANJ Founding President Martin Perez. "We did just that with the election of a new Executive Committee. It shows the maturity and institutionalization of our organization.”
Perez added: “I congratulate President Maria Teresa Montilla, Vice President Luis Vargas, Vice President Paul Perez, Treasurer Ken Seda and Secretary Angela Harrington in their election to the Executive Committee. They are a great team and will take us to the next level. They have all my confidence and support. We are in good hands!”
“As I show this beautiful State House Rotunda to young students and they look around at the photos of all past governors, I usually ask: ‘what’s missing here?’. They would invariably answer: ‘where are the girls?’ ”, said Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher-Muoio, in her congratulatory remarks. “We need photos of women in the halls of state houses.”
Senator Thomas Kean, Jr., expressed: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to congratulate the new President and Executive Committee of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, who were sworn-in today under the State House Rotunda. I’m a proud supporter of this vital organization, whose members serve as tireless advocates working to empower Latino communities throughout New Jersey.”
Among the over 100 attendees were Elizabeth City Council President Patricia Perkins-Auguste, Hamilton Councilwoman Ileana Schirmer, Berkely College Senior Vice Presidents Teri Duda, and Dallas Reed, Director Janelle Giles, Director Ilene Greenfield, Associates Sofia Anzalone and Isabel Alarcon, a delegation of Berkeley College Students, and LLANJ Delegates and members.
The LLANJ began in 1999, when four hundred Latino leaders from diverse organizations across New Jersey convened at Rutgers University to work toward the development of statewide initiatives beneficial to all. Since then, the organization has been committed to serving as a unified voice for the State’s Latino community, regardless of national origin. Its mission includes empowering Latino communities to obtain political, economic, and social equity and unifying organizations to advocate for the rights of Latinos throughout the State.
The Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey is the largest and only statewide non-partisan non-profit entity composed of local, regional and state community-based organizations, leaders and professionals advocating for Latino causes and for the socio-economic and political advancement of U.S. diverse communities.