All Latinos have equal opportunity to participate fully in all fields of endeavor .
MISSION STATEMENTThe Commission on Hispanic Affairs strives to improve public policy development and the delivery of government services to the Hispanic community. STATUTORY AUTHORITY
The Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs is governed by Chapter 43.115 RCW. Implementing regulations are contained in Chapter 322.12 WAC.
The Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA) was created by a Governor's Executive Order and established in statute in 1971. As mandated by the state legislature, the Commission's functions are to improve public policy development and the delivery of government services to the Hispanic community through the following means:
WHEREAS, the United States is a country rich with a history of immigrant contribution, dedication, and sacrifice;
WHEREAS, Latino immigrants risk their lives to cross the border to work in under-appreciated, low-paying, and often dangerous jobs;
WHEREAS, the economy of our country, particularly the agricultural industry, depends on the work of Latino undocumented immigrants;
WHEREAS, current immigration policy divides families, stifles the rights of workers, drives communities underground, and threatens the overall health of our country;
LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Commission advises our Congressional delegation on the necessity of a comprehensive immigration reform, a reform that addresses the barriers faced by all immigrants to our country, the recently-arrived, the long-term resident, and those to come in the future; the farm worker and the non-farm worker; the families of immigrants that reside within the United States and those outside the United States; and a reform that recognizes the dignity of work and protects the immigrant worker and family just as all other workers are protected.
The Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA) was created by a Governor’s Executive Order and established in statute in 1971. As mandated by state legislature, the Commission’s functions are to improve public policy development and the delivery of government services to the Hispanic community by providing advice to the Governor, state legislature, and local agencies on issues impacting the Hispanic community. The Commission is composed of 11 commissioners throughout the state but its administrative and legislative work is conducted in Olympia.
The Commission started out in 1971 as a strong grassroots movement to improve the conditions for Hispanics in the state of Washington. A substantial amount of community action leading to the creation of the Commission rose out of the Yakima Valley, as well as other areas with high farmworker populations. During this time, a group of Hispanic community advocates saw the need to take its concerns to the state in order to advocate for community improvement.
The Commission represents a growing population with pressing needs, is supported by a grassroots movement, and works within the framework of state legislation. The Commission reports the needs of a large politically disenfranchised group to a governmental system that requires consistent and focused pressure with hard evidence (and financial support) to effect change. The Commission on Hispanic Affairs is dedicated to representing a population as wide and diverse as the Hispanic community while building strong relations with policymakers.
The Commission has been involved in many incredible positive accomplishments in three decades, and there can be no doubt that in terms of education, health care, farmworker protection, housing, and economic development, the Hispanic community is significantly better off because of the work of the Commission. The agency continues to fight for a stronger voice, a more responsive government, and better overall conditions for all Hispanics in Washington State. Improving the lives of Hispanics in the state will ultimately improve the well being of all the residents of Washington.