The Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs
The Commission on Hispanic Affairs strives to improve public policy development and the delivery of government services to the Hispanic community.
The Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs (“CHA” or “the Commission”) was created by a Governor’s Executive Order and established in statute in 1971. As mandated by the state legislature, the Commission’s functions are to improve public policy development and the delivery of government services to the Hispanic community through the following means:
- Identifying and defining issues concerning the rights and needs of Washington State’s Hispanic Community;
- Advising the Governor and state agencies on the development of relevant policies, plans and programs that affect Hispanics;
- Advising the legislature on issues of concern to the state’s Hispanic community;
- Establishing relationships with state agencies, local governments, and members of the private sector.
The Commission started out in 1971 as a strong grassroots movement to improve the conditions for Latinos in the state of Washington. A substantial amount of community action leading to the creation of CHA rose out of the Yakima Valley as well as other areas with high farm worker populations. During this time, a group of Latino community advocates saw the need to take their concerns to the state in order to advocate and lobby for community development. The official creation of CHA was part of a larger history of the Chicano movement that peaked in Washington in the late 60s and early 70s.