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 announces leadership banquet award winners
For immediate releaseJan. 10, 2018 DES MOINES - A longtime Latino family business owner and a young activist who has worked to make Iowa's...
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National LULAC youth leader to serve as guest speaker at Latino awards banquet
For immediate release Jan. 5, 2018 DES MOINES - Abigail Zapote, a former DREAMER whose undocumented status sparked her future career in social...
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LULAC to host annual awards banquet
Media AdvisoryContact: Melissa Walker,mwmediaconsultants@yahoo.com;515-681-7731 Dec. 28, 2017 DES MOINES, IA - The League of United Latin American...
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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
For immediate release   March 10, 2017       DAVENPORT, IA - A new organization has been founded to help raise bail money for undocumented...
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Iowa LULAC warns immigrants of ICE raids, raises money to assist in legal battles
For immediate release   March 7, 2017 DES MOINES, IA – The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa is warning members of the...
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