On Wednesday September 26, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), held a luncheon meeting with several community leaders including Paul Roldan (Hispanic Housing), Jose Sanchez (Norwegian American Hospital), Ofelia Navarro (Spanish Coalition for Housing, Sol Flores (Casa Norte), Tim Eagin (Norwegian Foundation), Rev. Wilfredo DeJesus (New Life Covenant Ministries), Ray Vazquez (IPRAC), Billy Ocasio (IPRAC), Velia Soto (Erie Charter School) and Marcey Sorensen (Roberto Clemente High School). Alderman Roberto Maldonado welcomed the Senator to the 26th ward and State Representative Cynthia Soto welcomed him to the 4th District. Ray Vazquez, President of the Board of Directors of IPRAC, not only welcomed the Senator to IPRAC, but thanked him for his support and noted that this was the second visit that the Senator had made to the Institute. On behalf of IPRAC, Jose E. Lopez, Executive Director, presented the Senator with a poster of the Institute as well as a commemorative piece of IPRAC’s permanent installation Veveviejo by artist Antonio Martorell.
The Senator engaged the community leaders in a lively dialogue about many issues including housing, particularly the question of foreclosures, health, community services and education.
Nellies Restaurant donated the excellent Puerto Rican food that was eaten during the luncheon.