Local News

State to Create New Hispanic Council

Posted May 4, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The Hispanic community is one of the fastest growing populations in North Carolina. Therefore, Governor Hunt plans to create a Hispanic-Latino advisory council to help the community adjust to life in the state.

Along route 401-South toward Fuquay-Varina several bodegas (grocery stores) and taco stands are sprouting up. These stores cater to a growing number of Hispanics moving into North Carolina.

"So we try to offer as many services as we can to help them get along, trying to get over the language barrier," Store manager Jeremiah Johnson said.

Many Hispanics cannot speak English, making it difficult to take advantage of services. Katie Pomerans, Hispanic Ombudsman for the state, said that the Governor is launching an advisory council to help Hispanic-Latinos blend into American life.

"We need to get to know each other since there's such a significant immigration," Pomerans said. "Both cultures need to blend and need to meet."

The governor's advisory council on Hispanic-Latinos will be composed of 11 members. Together, the groups will advise the governor on issues affecting this growing community.

Some critics of the advisory council said that the Governor is providing special services for just one group of people and that its unfair. However, there are a lot of citizens who support the council.

"It's just a recognition of what is demographically going on in the state," Attorney Michael Weisel said. "Here are going to be needs that are specific to that portion of the population that needs to be addressed."