GOSHEN — Gilberto Perez hopes to push his fellow Latinos in Goshen into city positions by encouraging them to get involved in civic work, Goshen College's The Record reports.
The U.S. Census for Goshen in 2010 reported a population of 31,719, with about 28-percent being Latino. With a population where every third person is Latino, Goshen wants to hear from more Latino voices in the community.
The city took the first steps to understanding this concern in 2007 when the Community Relations Commission hired a group to report on Goshen's changing diversity.
Perez, in addition to being an associate professor of social work at Goshen College, is an elected member of the Goshen Plan Commission. He feels that the best way to engage Latinos in discussions is to get involved in organizations such as La Casa, The Parks Department, The Community Relations Commission or any neighborhood associations.
"The more interaction you have in those groups, two or three things happen. People learn to know you, people learn to know your leadership skills and they trust you," Perez told The Record.
What do you think? Are these good ways to get the Latino community involved? What ideas do you have?