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Latino Aldermen Seek Improved Services In Hispanic Neighborhoods

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The city's Latino aldermen said Wednesday a new study shows there must be a re-thinking of resources and services available to people in Hispanic neighborhoods.

A report by the University of Illinois at Chicago, titled "The Latino Neighborhoods Report: Issues and Prospects for Chicago," showed the Latino population is growing substantially and spreading widely through the city's neighborhoods.

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th), who chairs the City Council Latino Caucus, said the findings are instructive.

"One of the mantras that I've been speaking about recently is not about diversity, but more about parity; making sure that as the fastest-growing community, that we're getting our fair share of resources," and opportunities, and services, Villegas said.

Ricardo Estrada, president and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, which commissioned the study, gave an example.

"We are under-insured. So what does that mean for the public health system, whether it be in the Cook County Hospital and Health System, or the Chicago Department of Public Health," he said.

Villegas said he also wants to make sure city agencies and partner agencies are hiring from the Latino community as well.

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