Oakland Mayor, Others Stress Value of Latino Community - NBC Bay Area
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Oakland Mayor, Others Stress Value of Latino Community



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    File image of Mayor Libby Schaaf.

    The value of Latino residents and the disparities they face in Oakland compared to their white neighbors was a message Mayor Libby Schaaf tried to convey Friday morning at an event hosted at Pandora.

    "Oakland will not succeed unless its Latino community succeeds," Schaaf said following her remarks at the "State of Latinos: A Cinco De Mayo Call to Action and Policy Briefing" at 9 a.m. at 2101 Webster St.

    Latinos are the fastest growing population and they face insecurities in housing and income and that are"unacceptable," Schaaf said.

    The largest demographic in Oakland schools are Latino children, Schaaf said, stressing the need to lift up community members, especially children.

    Pandora, a music streaming technology company, hosted the event at its headquarters but not mainly because minorities are underrepresented in technology.

    "It's definitely not 'the' reason," Lisa Lee, director of diversity and inclusion strategies, said after her comments to a crowd of about 40 people.

    But Lee said her team exists because of that under representation and company officials want to ensure that they take a number of initiatives to increase diversity and promote inclusion.

    Lee also said local hiring is important for us as a company and tapping into the power of the local talent is important at Pandora.

    John Arriaga, executive director for the League of California Cities-Latino Caucus, stressed the importance of bringing community members together so others know how important Latinos are.

    Getting involved can be as simple as Latino mothers making and serving pan dulce at church, Arriaga said.

    Like the mayor, Arriaga emphasized the importance of Latino children. He said it's important for children to be involved in the community.

    The League of California Cities advocates for Latinos, aims to improve Latinos' quality of life and develop leadership in community members.

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