The 2015-16 Nebraska Latino American Commission Board of Commissioners at the June 6th Quarterly Meeting in Lincoln. The Commissioners are, from left to right: Jack Gutierrez of Columbus, Maria Valentin of Omaha, Vice-Chair Ramon Otero of Lexington, Chair Chabella Guzman of Scottsbluff, Leticia Rodriguez of Madison, Governor's Representative Deyanira Salgado of Lincoln, Aida Olivas of Hastings, and Adrian Sanchez of Lincoln. Not pictured: Secretary Norma de la O of South Sioux City and Daniel Castillo of Lincoln.
The Latino American Commissions was first established as the Mexican American Commission with the passage of LB1081 during the 1972 legislature.
On July 15, 2010, LB139 officially went into effect, and with it, changed the Commission's name for the first time in its' nearly forty year history. The Latino American Commission continues serving as a link between the Nebraska State Government and the Hispanic/Latino Community. We continue to assist our constituents through empowerment and referrals. The Latino American Commission is comprised of nine commissioners from across the State of Nebraska, and one commissioner serving as the Governor's representative.
81-8,262. Commission on Latino-Americans; created; term, defined.
There is hereby created the Commission on Latino-Americans. For purposes of sections 81-8,262 to 81-8,271.01, commission means the Commission on Latino-Americans. Source:Laws 1972, LB 1081, § 1; Laws 2010, LB139, § 1. Effective Date: July 15, 2010
81-8,265. Commission; functions. The functions of the commission shall be to:
(1) Gather and disseminate information and conduct hearings, conferences, and special studies on problems and programs concerning Latino-Americans;
(2) Serve the needs of Latino-Americans, especially in the fields of education, employment, health, housing, welfare, and recreation by offering such services as it may establish for the translation of documents and for the direct assistance of clients, exclusive of legal representation, in matters relating to any federal department or agency or any department or agency of the state or a political subdivision thereof;
(3) Develop, coordinate, and assist public and private organizations and coordinate and assist the efforts of state departments and agencies to serve the needs of Latino-Americans;
(4) Propose new programs concerning Latino-Americans;
(5) Evaluate existing programs and proposed legislation concerning Latino-Americans;
(6) Stimulate public awareness of the problems of Latino-Americans by conducting a program of public education and encourage the Governor and the Legislature to develop programs to deal with these problems; and
(7) Conduct training programs for community leadership and service project staff.
Source:Laws 1972, LB 1081, § 4; Laws 1983, LB 83, § 1; Laws 2010, LB139, § 2. Effective Date: July 15, 2010.
Executive Director Dr. Lazaro Arturo Spindola
Born in Santiago De Las Vegas in Cuba, Lazaro Arturo Spindola and his family moved to Venezuela at the age of nine. There he continued his education and received a Medical Degree from the University of Carabobo. Initially a trauma and orthopedic surgeon, he came to the United States of America in 1996 and pursued an earnest interest in Public Health.
Dr. Spindola received his Masters in Public Health from Walden University in Baltimore. He's served as the Minority Health Coordinator of the East Central District Health Department in Columbus, NE, involved actively in the Minority Health Advisory Council as Chairperson, participant in the Nebraska HIV/AIDS prevention consortium and as a member of the School of Public Health Advisory Committee at UNO.
Dr. Spindola was one of the first medical interpreter trainers in Nebraska; an activity he continues to expand with the help of Southeast Community College, the working collaboration of NATI (Nebraska Association of Translators and Interpreters) and in association with the Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity. As of April of 2010, Dr. Arturo Spindola has taken an active role as the Executive Director of Nebraska's Latino American Commission (formerly Mexican American Commission) by promoting an implementation of a modernized outlet of information available with a focus on comprehensive holistic reporting on issues faced by the growing Latino/Hispanic community in Nebraska.