On September 21, 2023, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors proclaimed September 15 to October 15 as Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. The proclamation, introduced by Supervisor Elisa Márquez, District 2, was made to celebrate the county’s deep Hispanic/Latinx heritage and acknowledge the many county employees with shared cultural roots.
Joined by a representative of each Alameda County department to accept the proclamation, the Board recognized the contributions of employees in roles that included administration, economic development, emergency services, library, public works, social services, and more.
Hispanic/Latinx people make up nearly 20% of the county’s workforce, almost equal to their overall representation in the population (23% countywide). State and national data identifies the demographic as steadily growing, making up more than a quarter of California’s workforce and projected to account for 1 out of every 5 workers in the U.S. labor force by 2030. In the words of Supervisor Márquez:
“We commend our Latinx community members for their contributions to our county. They often fill gaps in the labor market, taking on jobs that may be difficult to fill. They bring a wide range of skills and talents to the workforce, enhancing our region’s capacity for innovation and specialization in various industries, lastly, they contribute to cultural diversity, enriching the social fabric and promoting cross-cultural understanding. Latinx community members often have the spirit of entrepreneurship driving job creation, supporting economic growth, and fostering innovation in Alameda County and beyond.”
This year’s proclamation is especially important as our regional economy continues to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionally impacted Latinos in the county and across the Bay Area. Despite these challenges, Hispanic/Latinx workers have resumed employment faster during this economic recovery compared with the Great Recession. The 2023 theme for Hispanic/Latinx Heritage month is “Todos Somos Uno” or “We are One,” a message that can resonate for all county employees, residents, and people across the East Bay.