CHICAGO – March 31, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today hosted the 7th annual César Chávez Serve & Learn Program breakfast to commemorate the birth of our country’s greatest Hispanic American civil rights leader, and to honor the students and teachers who spent the month of March giving back to their communities in his honor.
During the celebration, the Governor signed an Executive Order to reestablish the Governor’s Office of New Americans, and appointed Quinn Administration policy advisor Denise Martinez as its director.
“César Chávez spent his life fighting for social justice by improving the conditions of farm workers,” said Governor Quinn. “He remains a role model for each of us who chooses to pursue a life of service. I salute the students across Illinois who are following his example by serving others.”
Each year, in honor of Chávez’s birthday, students and teachers across Illinois spend the month of March participating in service-learning projects designed to teach the importance of serving others through academic instruction and community service. The César Chávez Serve & Learn Program breakfast offers students an opportunity to showcase their projects.
As part of today’s breakfast, Governor Quinn signed an Executive Order reestablishing the Governor’s Office of New Americans. The Office will maintain and continue to develop a New Americans Immigrant Policy that builds upon the strengths of immigrants, their families and their institutions, and expedites their journey towards self-sufficiency. This work will allow the state to more effectively assist immigrants in overcoming barriers to achieve success.
Denise Martinez, who is a policy advisor to Governor Quinn, will serve as the director of The Office of New Americans.
“The Governor’s Office of New Americas will continue to develop critical policies that will help Illinois’ immigrant population thrive in our state,” said Governor Quinn. “Immigrants and their families are vital to the economic, social and political livelihood of our state. Denise Martinez will serve these important constituents very well.”
Twelve percent of Illinois’ population is immigrants. Twenty percent of Illinois’ population is either an immigrant or children of immigrants.