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Organization Aims To Boost Latin Leadership

Posted: June 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »

Organization Aims To Boost Latin Leadership
Jacob Ogles,

Census estimates indicate roughly a fifth of Sarasota’s population claims an Hispanic heritage, but political involvement by that community remains remarkably low. A new non-profit is trying to change that.

Former Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirshner is working to launch Unidos Now, an organization focused on increasing the political voice of Hispanics. “We need to start engaging the community in a nonpartisan fashion,” he said. “If we have such population growth and are not embracing that and drawing it in, that’s going to have deleterious effects on the quality of government.”

Kirschner, who in the past has tried to actively get more Hispanic voters involve in City politics, was discouraged when Sarasota officials established citizen oversight committees in response to a police scandal which involved treatment of an Hispanic person, then there were no applications from any Hispanics living within the City limits to participate on the boards.

He also noted that Sarasota saw a remarkably low turnout among Hispanics in the recent City elections. A District 1 Commissioner race in May drew out just 23 Hispanic voters, which was just 5 more than participated in a March election in that district.

“We have a really large legal Hispanic population, but few of them are even registered (to vote), and the participation rates among those voters is very low,” he said.

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Written by Chris Jaensch

Chris Jaensch

Attorney P. Christopher Jaensch received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1992 and a Juris Doctor degree in 1995 from the University of Florida. While at UF, he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa Society and Florida Blue Key, the oldest and most prestigious leadership honorary in the state of Florida.

Mr. Jaensch is a member of the Florida Bar, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Sarasota Bar Association. He has served as President of the Sarasota-Manatee International Trade Club and served as Regional Vice Chair, Tampa Bay, for the Central Florida Chapter of AILA. He was a member of City of Sarasota Charter Review Committee and has been active in several local organizations, including the influential Laurel Park Neighborhood Association in downtown Sarasota.

Mr. Jaensch has over 18 years of experience in the field of immigration and nationality law and focuses his practice on four primary categories (a) investors and entrepreneurs, (b) business executives, managers and professionals, (c) amateur and professional athletes and coaches and (d) performing artists and immigrants with extraordinary ability.

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