Home » Events News » Events » Conferences » Puerto Ricopuerto Ricans » Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement
Moderator: Joe Rodriguez, Deputy State Director, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (Hartford, CT)
Zoé Colón, Community Leader (Orlando, Fl)
Jaime Estades, Adjunct Professor of Social Policy, Rutgers University (NY, NY)
José E. López, Lecturer of Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Illinois (Chicago, IL)

Joe Rodriguez

Zoé Colón

Jaime Estades

José E. López


Joe Rodriguez was a research aide and outreach worker in the senator’s Hartford office for 3½ years before he was tapped by Mayor Toni Harp to be her liaison with the Board of Alders starting in August 2014. He has decided to return to Blumenthal’s office and will hold the position of deputy director in that office. The senator called Rodriguez “a natural leader,” who has “great people skills,” as well insight into policy issues. He said the experience he has gotten working in New Haven only adds to his abilities.

Rodriguez, 28, will be working in constituent services, which Blumenthal called “the bread and butter of my office.” He said no matter the problem, they go to bat for residents. More...

Zoé Colón, MPA is Vice President of Organizational Development for Urbander, a consulting firm where she offers services in strategic planning, board development, grant writing and development, and leadership training, among others. Previously, she worked on the Que Vote Mi Gente campaign comprised of a coalition of organizations targeting the Puerto Rican electorate in Central Florida in 2016. She is the former Director of Florida and Southeast Operations for the Hispanic Federation where she provided technical assistance to Hispanic led nonprofit service organizations and managed programs that respond to the needs of the Latino population predominantly in Central Florida. During her time there she also launched the organization’s voter registration and education campaign. More...

Jaime Estades has committed his life to advocacy, education, health and leadership training. For the past 35 years, he has been working on issues relating to education, immigration, housing, voter registration and family entitlement issues. In 1996, Jaime co-founded the Latino Leadership Institute, Inc. where he still presides as President. The Latino Leadership Institute, a not-for-profit nonpartisan corporation affiliated with the City University of New York, has trained hundreds of individuals on the fundamentals of campaign management and public policy, has hosted numerous colloquia and civic engagement projects for high school students. More...

José E. López

was born in 1949 in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. In 1959, his family moved to Chicago as part of the massive Puerto Rican migration to the United States. He has written extensively on the political and social reality of Puerto Ricans in the United States while serving as Executive Director of The Puerto Rican Cultural Center Juan Antonio Corretjer in Chicago, which he co-founded in 1973, and he is an adjunct instructor at Northeastern Illinois University, Columbia College and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In his role as educator/activist, he has been invited to speak at over 50 colleges and universities in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico as well as in international forums such as the United Nations Decolonization Committee. More...