Governor to Sign Executive Order Creating Council on Latino Empowerment

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BOSTON — Governor Maura T. Healey will sign an Executive Order establishing the Governor's Council on Latino Empowerment and will appoint more than 40 Latino leaders from across the state.
This council will advise Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll on strategies to expand economic opportunities for and improve the overall wellbeing of Massachusetts' Latino community. The Governor will sign the Executive Order and appoint the members at the first meeting of the Council on Wednesday, April 5th, 2023. 
"Our Latino community makes Massachusetts strong. With the collective vision and drive of this incredible group of Latino leaders, we will grow even stronger," said Governor Healey. "Together, we can break down systemic barriers and expand access opportunity by prioritizing education, job training, entrepreneurship and affordability." 
Members of the Governor's Council on Latino Empowerment will include: 
  • Chair Josiane Martinez, Former Executive Director, Office for Refugees and Immigrants; Founder and CEO, Archipelago Strategies Group 
  • Vice Chair Gladys Vega, Executive Director, La Colaborativa  
  • Liliana Patino, Director of Community Engagement, Eliot Family Resources Center 
  • Grace Moreno, Executive Director, Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce 
  • Eneida Román, President and CEO, Amplify Latinx 
  • Margareth Shepard, Community Leader and Former Framingham City Councilor 
  • Heloisa Galvão, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Brazilian Women's Group 
  • Lenita Reason, Executive Director, Brazilian Worker Center 
  • Adrian Velazquez, Chief Advocacy Officer, Cooperative Credit Union Association, Inc. 
  • Carmen Arce-Bowen, COO, The Partnership, Inc 
  • Oscar Escobar, CEO, Blue Nest Real Estate 
  • Amanda Fernandez, CEO and Co-Founder, Latinos for Education 
  • Brandon Cardet-Hernandez, Chief Strategy Advisor, Mrs. Wordsmith /Boston School Committee Member 
  • Marty Martinez, CEO, Reach Out and Read National; Former Chief of Health and Human Services for the City of Boston 
  • Carolina Trujillo Executive Director, Citizens Inn, Inc. 
  • Cristina Aguilera Sandoval Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative 
  • Luisa Peña Lyons, Founder and CEO, Bridge Forward Fund 
  • Roxana Rivera, Vice President, 32BJ SEIU 
  • Zamawa Arenas, Founder & CEO, Flowetik 
  • Celina Barrios-Millner, Co-Vice President, Office of Race and Equity Research at the Urban Institute 
  • Betty Francisco, CEO, Boston Impact Initiative 
  • Representative Andy Vargas, Vice Chair, Black & Latino Legislative Caucus 
  • Carlos Aramayo, President, UNITE HERE Local 26 
  • Patricia Sobalvaro Executive Director, Agencia ALPHA 
  • Damaris Frias-Batista, Chief of Operations & Co-Founder, Center for Assistance to Families/ Centro de Apoyo Familiar 
  • Gladys Ortiz, Bilingual Advocacy and Systems Change Manager, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence 
  • Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, CEO, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) 
  • Grace Corporan, Site Director, Families & Youth Initiative/PATCH Lawrence 
  • Nahir Torres, Senior Program Officer, The Hyams Foundation 
  • Monica Lowell, Former Vice President Community Health Transformation/Community Benefits at UMass Memorial Health 
  • Samalid M. Hogan, Western Mass Regional Director, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center 
  • Juan Lopera Fernando, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Beth Israel Lahey Health 
  • Juan Carlos Morales, Founder and Managing Partner, Surfside Capital Advisors LLC 
  • Carolina Avellaneda, Chief Strategy Officer & Strategic Counsel, UMass 
  • Yvonne Garcia, Chief of Staff to CEO, State Street 
  • Rosalin Acosta, Managing Director, Government & Public Sector at Ernst and Young; Former Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development 
  • Dan Rivera, President and CEO, Mass Development 
  • Dr. Joseph R. Betancourt, President, The Commonwealth Fund 
  • Mary Skelton Roberts, Climate & Philanthropy Strategist 
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Toy Library Installed at Onota Lake

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Feel free to use or leave a toy at Onota Lake's newest infrastructure meant to foster community and benefit kids.

Burbank Park now has a toy library thanks to Wahconah Regional High School senior Alexandra Bills. Located along the wall at the beach area, the green and blue structure features two shelves with sand toys that can be used to enhance children's visits.

The Parks Commission supported Bills' proposal in February as part of her National Honors Society individual service project and it was installed this month. Measuring about 4 feet wide and 5.8 feet tall, it was built by the student and her father with donated materials from a local lumber company.

Friends and family members provided toys to fill the library such as pails, shovels, Frisbees, and trucks.

"I wanted to create a toy library like the other examples in Berkshire County from the sled library to the book libraries," she told the commission in February.

"But I wanted to make it toys for Onota Lake because a lot of kids forget their toys or some kids can't afford toys."

Bills lives nearby and will check on the library weekly — if not daily — to ensure the operation is running smoothly.  A sign reading "Borrow-Play-Return" asks community members to clean up after themselves after using the toys.

It was built to accommodate children's heights and will be stored during the winter season.

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