Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs
The Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs is a state bureaucratic office that advises Ohio government leaders on Hispanic issues.
For most of Ohio's history, very few Latinos settled in the state, but beginning in the 1960s, a surge in Hispanic immigration to the United States occurred. Most Latino immigrants came from Central and South American countries rather than from Spain, hoping for more economic opportunity in the United States. Ohio's Hispanic population soared. By 2006, almost 264,000 Ohioans claimed Latino heritage. This number amounted to 2.3% of Ohio's entire population. Between 1960 and 2006, the heaviest concentration of Hispanic Ohioans occurred in central Ohio. Distinct Latino communities formed in Columbus and other major Ohio cities. Most Hispanics found employment as factory or farm laborers, but several Latinos succeeded in opening successful restaurants and specialty stores.
As Ohio's Hispanic population increased during the late twentieth century, numerous institutions also formed to assist these new arrivals. In 1977, the Ohio government established the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. This office's primary responsibility is to advise state officials on Hispanic issues. The commission also is to help foster connections between the various Latino organizations in Ohio.
- Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.