Our Committee Includes:

Jose Cruz, School Board Commissioner

Tricia Cruz, CEO of Vamos! Public Relations

Jackie Ortiz, State Farm agent; City Council At Large

Joann Santos, MCC; President Latinas Unidas

Hector Sotomayor, MC Sheriff; Board Member of LNRC of Monroe County

Peterson Vazquez, Consultant; Chairman of LNRC of Monroe County

About the Committee: 

The Government Relations Committee is tasked with ascertaining the level of engagement and understanding of Latinos regarding civic matters. Our goals are related to improving levels across a variety of metrics through education, advancing to a position of measured influence.

Contact Us:

225 Alexander Street Rochester, NY 14607

Phone: (585) 738-6257

Fax: (585) 325-2111

Action Team Chair:     Jackie Ortiz

Email: jackie@jackieortiz.com

View our calendar for our next event & please join us!


Government Committee Fast Facts


  • Educate the community on government structure and navigating the legislative process

  • Increase Latino voter registration and improve our overall level of engagement

  • Develop and promote a qualified candidate pool for leadership and create a distribution network

  • Advocate and influence public policy, as well as business and community agency programming


  • Collect data to determine how many Latinos are currently involved civically and their level of understanding regarding their government/representative structure

  • Research and gain an understanding regarding the number of Latino representatives, with a focus on:

    • Elected positions locally, statewide and nationally

    • Appointed government and commission board members

    • Individuals serving as non-profit and private board

  • Provide educational opportunities to the community members for the largest entities in the community

Needs / Solutions:

  • Access to organization/community distribution lists to survey for Latino involvement

  • Participation from target organizations

  • Curriculum development

  • Venues and advertisement for Committee initiatives


  1. Submitted first annual submission of board, authorities and commission candidates to the City of Rochester (2015)

  2. C ompleted three civic engagement workshops serving over 55 participants (July, August and Sept 2015)

May 11, 2016


Goal 1: Educate the community on government structure and navigating the legislative process.

  • Designed, planned and executed Phase I of Civic Engagement Workshops, including 3 workshops serving 50+ participants focused on Local Gov. Structure, Voter Engagement and Advocacy

  • Retooled and redesigned Phase I Civic Engagement Workshops for Phase II, providing session entirely in Spanish and serving over 20 participants of the Bible Baptist Temple Church

  • New sessions have been requested for members of BBTC and sister parishes – (potential for serving 300)

  • Discussing development of a scalable and flexible instruction template/model for other groups and future use

Goal 2: Increase Latino voter registration and improve our overall level of engagement across generations

Partnering with Voter Alliance/League of Women Voters to act on voter registration efforts

  • Establishing “Latino” concentrated drive sites – currently 4/5 previously under served locations

  • Development of a bilingual “party education piece” to assist new registrants with facts and unbiased selection

  • Begun youth outreach to involve and educate on community/government activism as well as recruit as full participating members

    • Created a partnership with PRHYLI and attended March 2016 session conducted at City Hall, working with 12 students from around the county and preparing for their Albany debate trip

    • Currently developing outreach plan for past alumni’s of the program


Goal 3: Solicit and promote a qualified candidate pool for leadership of identified areas of focus

Begun initial outreach to the community and organized initiatives like LLDP for interested individuals of various boards, authorities and commissions

  • Wave I began with soliciting interest in City Land Use Boards, RHA, RGRTA, Civil Service, Board of Ethics and Board of Assessments

  • Received 8 resumes

  • First round of recommendations sent to city administration for consideration

  • 2 appointments have been made thus far for Civil Service Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals

Wave II will expand to town and county opportunities

  • Gov. Team members have already undertaken personal efforts with new positions

In process of developing annual submission/ communication plan for city and county

  • Goal will be to develop the same for private and non-profit sector