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Healey names Massachusetts Latino council members

Gov. Maura Healey on Wednesday plans to sign an executive order establishing a Governor's Council on Latino Empowerment.

"Our Latino community makes Massachusetts strong," Healey said in a statement Tuesday morning. "With the collective vision and drive of this incredible group of Latino leaders, we will grow even stronger. Together, we can break down systemic barriers and expand access opportunity by prioritizing education, job training, entrepreneurship and affordability."

Josiane Martinez, CEO of Archipelago Strategies Group and former director of the state Office for Refugees and Immigrants, will chair the council. La Colaborativa Executive Director Gladys Vega will serve as vice-chair.

There are about 850,000 Latinos in Massachusetts, according to The Boston Foundation research center Boston Indicators, comprising 12% of the state population.

In Massachusetts the largest group of Latinos is Puerto Rican (42%), and Latinos are concentrated in Boston and the state's "gateway cities." The cities and towns with the highest concentrations of Latinos are Lawrence (77% of the city population), Chelsea (66%), Holyoke (50%), Springfield (42%) and Lynn (36%). Researchers say Latino population growth accounts for 92% of Boston's total growth from 1980 to 2015.

Healey's office on Tuesday released the names of 40 individuals who will be appointed to the council, which plans to hold its first meeting on Wednesday with the governor in attendance.


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