History

 

                                  First LULAC Convention - Corpus Christi, TX - 5/17/1929

 

Latinos first discussed forming a new LULAC council in central Iowa in the early 2000s when the Iowa Legislature considered and later approved in 2002 a bill – referred to as “English only” – that designated English as the state’s official language, which then gave state officials the authority to print literature in only English.

The history of LULAC in central Iowa dates back to 1957 when the former Latin American Club, which had 100 members, voted to merge with LULAC. The merger resulted in the formation of two councils: Council 306 for men and Council 308 for women. Mary Campos, a member of Council 307, was the original treasurer for the women’s council.


The Des Moines councils functioned separately until they merged in 1965 to retain Council 306, which is still active today. Through the decades, Council members were active in trying to attain equal educational opportunities for Latino students. They also vocally advocated for fairness on the job and other employment issues. LULAC sponsored citizenship classes, and offered immigrants access to interpreters, as well as, a general equivalency diploma program class through Des Moines Area Community College.

During the 1980s, members regularly spoke out at Des Moines City Council meetings about issues that negatively affected Latinos and actively recruited Latinos and Latinas to run for public office. They lobbied to increase the number of Hispanic teachers, police officers and firefighters. They endorsed candidates for public office including the Des Moines School Board. Mary    Campos ran for Des Moines City Council in 1985 and again in 1987.

While Campos’ bids were unsuccessful, members were successful in advocating for the Des Moines police department to do away with certain restrictions that limited Latinos from becoming police officers. As a result, more Latinos were able to meet the requirements and were hired to the city police department. LULAC members also worked with the police department to improve mediation skills and to hire interpreters to help in disputes with Hispanics.

Over time, Council 306’s role switched mainly to one of raising money for scholarships. Council 307 has formed to take on a more active and vocal role in advocating for Latinos in the areas of jobs/employment issues, education and healthcare.

NEWS
LULAC denounces U.S. Rep. King’s hateful remarks, alerts Iowans to petition
For immediate release March 22, 2017 DES MOINES, IA - Iowa's 16 councils of the League of United Latin American Citizens today condemned U.S. Rep....
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Iowa group forms to raise money to provide bond, legal assistance for undocument immigrants
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Iowa Latinos to play significant role in outcome of today's elections
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Iowa LULAC to meet with north-central DM Latino voters this weekend
For immediate release Nov. 4, 2016 DES MOINES - The Latino Vote Iowa campaign will once again meet with registered Latino voters and encourage them...
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Iowa LULAC to canvass Latino neighborhoods in Davenport this weekend
For immediate release Oct. 27, 2016 DAVENPORT - The Latino Vote Iowa campaign will canvass neighborhoods in Davenport this Friday, Saturday and...
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Iowa LULAC needs workers to canvass east-side Latino DM neighborhoods this weekend
For immediate release Oct. 27, 2016 DES MOINES - The Latino Vote Iowa campaign needs canvassers to help meet with registered Latino voters on Des...
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Iowa LULAC, Hispanic Institute join to boost Latino turnout for November election
For immediate release Oct. 24, 2016 DES MOINES - Leaders from the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and The Hispanic Institute today...
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Iowa LULAC gives grant to Polk County Health for HIV/AIDS testing, outreach to Latinos
For immediate release Oct. 21, 2016 DES MOINES, IA - Iowa's League of United Latin American Citizens has given grant money to the Polk County Health...
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