6th annual Pennsylvania Latino Convention will be held September 20-22 at the Harrisburg Hilton, bringing the largest collection of Pennsylvania Latinos to the capital city.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt Maisel
Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
September 6, 2023
HARRISBURG – The largest collection of Latinos in Pennsylvania will call Harrisburg home this month. The 6th Annual Pennsylvania Latino Convention (PALC) will take place September 20-22. The main venue for the convention will be the Hilton Harrisburg, though events will take place throughout the city.
The PALC is the largest and most premiere event to advance the status and agenda of the nearly 1.1 million Pennsylvanians of Latino descent. It is an annual opportunity for Pennsylvania’s Latino leaders to interact with the commonwealth’s policy makers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to address issues facing the commonwealth’s Latino community.
More than a quarter of Harrisburg’s population is of Latin origin, making the capital city one of the largest centers of Latino growth in the commonwealth.
“We are honored to host this year’s Pennsylvania Latino Convention,” said City of Harrisburg Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams. “I can think of no more perfect place than the capital of the Keystone State to hold this event. As Harrisburg goes, so goes the rest of Pennsylvania. Here, we lead by example, and diversity is our keystone.”
Pennsylvania’s Latino population is the fastest growing community in the commonwealth. More than fifty percent of the state’s population growth has been of Latin or Hispanic descent the last two decades. The growing number of residents means more Latinos voted in the most recent general election than any other.
Because of this, voting issues promise to be a major topic for discussion at this year’s convention. Voter suppression, poverty, access to care, housing security, workforce development, and pay equity are among the main issues which will be debated and discussed this fall, according to convention chairman Norman Bristol Colon.
“Last year, more than 32 million Latinos were eligible to vote – making Latinos the largest minority ethnic voting bloc for the first time in our nation’s history. Bringing the convention to the capital city and government center is a natural fit,” Colon said. “With a new governor and leaders in the House and Senate, the convention is an opportunity for our executive and legislative branches of government to hear our concerns and include our voices in the Pennsylvania of the future.”
The Hilton Harrisburg will serve as the convention’s main hub. There, multiple events will take place, including the Latino Health Summit, Latino Education Summit, Workforce Development Townhall, Latina Women Conference, Business and Entrepreneurship Forum, Young Professionals Leadership Development, DEI Institute, Expo, Hispanic College Fair, and the State’s Official Hispanic Heritage Month Gala.
Multiple City of Harrisburg officials and convention organizers took part in a press conference on Wednesday, September 6 to remind the public of the event. They included PA Latino Convention Chairman Norman Bristol Colon, PA Latino Convention Press Secretary Edith Gutierrez-Hawbaker, PALC 2023 Project Manager Debra Martinez, PALC 2023 Commitee Members Edith Garcia-Dipini, Gloria Vasquez Merrick, and Wilmarie Gonzalez, plus Diana Escalante of presenting sponsor Highmark Wholecare, and Matt Maisel and Melissa Mesones-Ortiz representing Mayor Williams’ administration.