Sen. Victor Ramirez (D) and Patricia Arzuaga, Esq. co-chair 9-member volunteer task force focused on assessing immigrant inclusion in County government.
Upper Marlboro, MD – Today, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, announced the creation of the Prince George’s County New Americans Task Force. The New Americans Task Force is a non-partisan, uncompensated volunteer advisory committee charged with identifying and recommending best practices to recruit underrepresented ethnic groups that have immigrated to the County to work in government. The Task Force will work collaboratively with invested stakeholders, including state and local elected officials, community organizations, businesses and other community partners to achieve its mission.
“There are thousands of New Americans who live, work, and invest in Prince George’s County. We created this task force to assist the County as we study this important issue and make sure our government reflects the wonderful diversity that makes this County great,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “I am confident that the work and findings of this task force will have a positive impact on future generations of Prince Georgians and our government. I know each member will work diligently and use this opportunity to better reflect the many reasons why Prince George’s County is a great place to live, invest and work for all our residents.”
The New Americans Task Force will consist of nine persons, co-chaired by Maryland Senator Victor Ramirez (D) and Attorney Patricia Arzuaga. The members of the New Americans Task Force are:
- Will Campos, Prince George’s County Council Member (D-District 2)
- Hector Aguiñiga, International Student Counselor, International School Counseling Office, Judy Hoyer Family Learning Center
- Luisa Montero-Diaz, Managing Director, Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers, Latin American Youth Center
- Andy Kim, Secretary and Treasurer, Prince George’s County Korean American Chamber of Commerce
- Lt. Joe Perez, President, Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association
- Virginia Kase, Chief Operating Officer, CASA de Maryland
- Franklin Akinkoye, Chairman, Board of Directors, African Business Owners Forum, Inc.
“This task force will enable us to build on one of our County’s greatest strengths, which is our diversity and it is important for our government to reflect that diversity,” said State Senator Victor Ramirez (D-47). “I want to thank the County Executive for allowing me to be a part of this Task Force and look forward to working with the other members to achieve our mission.”
Beginning in November, the New Americans Task Force will meet once every three weeks for six months to collect information through formal presentations, interviews and reports and discuss its recommendations. All meetings will be open to public participation in accordance with the Maryland Open Meetings Statue. The Task Force will develop a process and procedures for public comments and establish a web presence with interactive components to ensure transparency and accessibility.
"I feel deeply honored that the County Executive has asked me to serve on this Task Force. I welcome the opportunity to work with Sen. Ramirez and this wonderful and dedicated group of citizens who also see the richness inherent in achieving greater civic participation from our County's diverse community," said Patricia Arzuaga.
The Task Force will submit its final recommendations to the County Executive in April 2014.
BIOS OF TASK FORCE CO-CHAIRS
Senator Victor R. Ramirez
Senator Victor R. Ramirez has represented the 47th District in the Maryland General Assembly since 2002. He serves on the Finance Committee. Previously, Ramirez was Deputy Majority Whip in the House of Delegeates for eight years. In 2012, he served on the Ethics Reform Committee, the Foreclosure Settlement Task Force, and the Economic Development Task Force. Senator Ramirez is a practicing attorney and volunteers with the House of Ruth. He lives in Cheverly with his wife Betsy and their daughter, where they attend St. Ambrose Church.
Patricia Arzuaga, Esq.
Patricia Arzuaga, Esq. is a health care attorney currently serving as Senior Counsel in the Legal Department advising Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., a Maryland-based nonprofit health maintenance organization. Patricia received her law degree at Harvard University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale University. She has practiced law for nearly 20 years, holding positions in the federal government as well as the public non-profit sector and the private sector. She is also an active member of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association and the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is the recipient of the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs 2010 Civil Rights Champion Award for her work with the Latino and immigrant community.