National Hispanic Heritage month continues through October 15th and in conjunction with that observation, government, business and community leaders along with state wide officials gathered for the Illinois Latino Leadership Conference held Saturday at Heartland Community College in Normal. This year's keynote speaker, US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, challenged conference attendees to work hard to increase the Latino vote turnout in future elections. He noted only half of registered latino voters cast ballots in last year's presidential election, and he says latinos were the third largest minority group to cast ballots, behind African Americans and Asians. Even so, Durbin told the conference, latinos have made great gains in Illinois in a relatively short period of time.
Following his remarks, GLT's Willis Kern asked Durbin about several issues, including the progress of immigration reform, which was approved by the Senate but sits stalled in the House. Durbin shrugs off Republican claims that a phased in approach is better than the sweeping reforms included in the Senate package.
The comments of Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin, who appeared in Normal Saturday at the State Latino Leadership Conference and later spoke with GLT's Willis Kern.
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