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Sylvia Puente
Sylvia Puente is executive director of the Latino Policy Forum, the only public policy and advocacy organization in the Chicago metropolitan area working to improve educational outcomes for children, make housing accessible and affordable, promoting just immigration reform, and building the influence and leadership of the Latino community. She has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in the US” by Hispanic Business magazine.

Entries by Sylvia Puente

In Historic Mayoral Race, New Poll Showcases Why Language Matters

(1) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 12:56 PM

Whether they answered their phones at home or on their cell phones with a "bueno?," "hello?," or "si, digame," 406 Chicago Latino registered voters helped shape the results of a historic poll released earlier this week.

In the country's third largest city, Latinos are almost a third of its population....

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What's Being Done to Ease Detained Children's Trauma?

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 3:50 PM

My heart aches as I've learned that of the thousands of Central American children detained at the U.S.-Mexico border this year, as many as 800 are less than five years old -- and as many as 94 of these children aren't even a year old.


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'Preschool for All' Shouldn't Be 'One-Size-Fits-All'

(5) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 5:51 PM

Co-authored by Sara McElmurry, communications manager, Latino Policy Forum.

"[Let's] make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind," President Barack Obama said in his call to action for universal pre-K.

And as Latinos have the lowest preschool attendance rate of...

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Chicago's Next Education Crisis Isn't Limited to Chicago -- Here's Why

(10) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 9:57 PM

Co-authored by Sara McElmurry, communications manager, Latino Policy Forum

This time last year, my hometown of Chicago was poised to make headlines across the country as Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was on the verge of one of its most tumultuous school years in recent history, kicking off with a tense...

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Why the 'Path to Citizenship' May Be More of a Labyrinth

(40) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 12:31 PM

Co-authored by Sara McElmurry and Nyki Salinas-Duda, Latino Policy Forum

SB744 (also known as the immigration reform bill) will soon be put to a vote on the Senate floor after a nod from the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Meanwhile, the media is busy touting the still-unrealized legislation...

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Immigration Reform: You Can't Always Get What You Want

(10) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 3:52 PM

Co-authored by Sara McElmurry and Nyki Salinas-Duda, Latino Policy Forum

As a community advocate working in the complex field of policy, I constantly wrestle with striking a balance between my idealism and my pragmatism. How does one reconcile die-hard beliefs in what is best for one's community with hard-learned...

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Immigration Reform Is Bigger Than Our Borders

(9) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 12:00 PM

Like other Latino and immigrant advocates, the Latino Policy Forum has followed the immigration-related events of recent days with great interest, cheering at the possibility of a truly bipartisan push for immigration reform, while cringing at the red flags in the plans we've seen presented thus far.

As President...

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In Illinois, 'Squeezing' Retirees Is Also Shortchanging Its Youth

(3) Comments | Posted February 4, 2013 | 4:08 PM

A solution for Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension crisis is stalled, with Illinois' lame duck legislature making headlines for its failure to make good on promises of reform earlier this month. But as my home state's pension liability sits at $96 billion and grows by $17 million for...

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The 2012 Election: The Ratification of a New America

(4) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 12:45 PM

A shell-shocked Right continues to reel from the results of the election, seemingly blindsided by the power of the multicultural masses. They'll rightly use the next four years to do some soul-searching and strategizing on how to better embrace America's new "demographic" reality. But I'd argue that the GOP knew...

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Immigration Is Suddenly En Vogue, But Not All Latinos Are Buying It

(14) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 3:57 PM

Latino voters are "suddenly the 'it' demographic in U.S. politics," and, seemingly overnight, support for immigration reform is also en vogue: A recent Bloomberg headline trumpeted the "The Political Inevitability of Immigration Reform." Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is "confident" that Washington...

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50 Students, 1 Teacher: Illinois' Tough Bilingual Preschool Reality

(28) Comments | Posted October 3, 2012 | 1:50 PM

As the recent Chicago teacher strike has turned the national spotlight on the goings-on in the classrooms across my hometown, a new study released last week from the University of California at Berkeley offers a glimpse of the day-to-day challenges in preschool programs in Latino communities in Chicago...

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Voter Apathy and Blue-State Blues: On the Latino Responsibility to Vote

(12) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 1:08 PM

The last bit of confetti has been swept from convention centers in Tampa and Charlotte, but the media circus around the Latino presence at both the RNC and DNC continues: Speculation over how the Latino vote will or will not influence outcomes in swing states like Nevada, Florida, and Colorado....

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Deferred Action is not our DREAM: On Obama's $585M Immigration Bandage

(198) Comments | Posted August 5, 2012 | 4:47 PM

I attended a community discussion around immigration reform in Chicago last week and was surprised to hear -- several times -- well-intentioned applause around President Obama's "partial implementation" of the DREAM Act. And now, as we wait for the Department of Homeland Security to release details around the program, the...

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How to Court the Latino Voter: Offer Real Solutions on Education

(10) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 6:38 PM

The fervor of the partisan politics and cross-aisle finger-pointing in Washington DC seems to be increasing in direct proportion to the waning number of days before the November 6 election. But in today's hyper-partisan climate of deep divides between the red and the blue, both parties seem to find common...

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Enrique Peña Nieto, PRI, and Immigration: Will History Repeat Itself?

(13) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 8:39 PM

Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) will be Mexico's next president, assuming he endures the scandal that is escalating around his election, which includes allegations of media manipulation, irregularities at polling places, inconsistencies in ballot counts, and $5 million in voter-wooing prepaid gift cards. Given that EPN is ultimately victorious,...
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