Apr 23, 2010

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UUPers take part in Somos El Futuro


Candelario “Kiko” Franco, Old Westbury chapter president, speaks at a workshop at the annual Somos El Futuro Conference in Albany, held April 16-18. More than 7,000 New York labor, business, political, and community leaders attended the event, which featured workshops and forums on the development of legislative and budgetary initiatives to help meet the needs of Hispanic communities in the state.

UUPers from chapters across the state spoke out, listened and learned about important policy and legislative issues of concern to Hispanic communities at the annual Somos El Futuro Conference.

Franco was a panelist for a workshop called “Fundamentals of Hope: Increasing Hispanic College Enrollment and Retention.” The higher education workshop focused on the challenges Latino teen-agers in New York face to enroll in and graduate from college and identified programs to get these students in school and help them graduate.

Franco talked about UUP’s opposition to SUNY’s proposed Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act (PHEEIA) and discussed how access to the University – and an affordable college education – would be blocked for thousands of New Yorkers if lawmakers approve the plan.

“A lot of people are buying the SUNY Empowerment Act, but we don’t see it as shiny as they see it,” Franco explained. “I talked about UUP’s position and how we see things.”

The workshop’s panelists included Laura Anglin, President, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson, and Skidmore College President Philip A. Glotzbach. It was moderated by Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera, D-Bronx.

Other UUPers who were at the conference were Raul Huerta, Morrisville; Darlene Mercado, Buffalo Center; Gideon Dunkley, Stony Brook; Pat Ghee, Buffalo State; Philippe Abraham, UAlbany; Edith Padilla, Stony Brook; and Idalia Torres, Fredonia.

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