CHICAGO (CBS) – In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Latino leaders across Illinois launch a new coalition to boost political representation in the state.

U.S. Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia said Latinos are the largest ethnic group in Illinois, and there must be an increase in community investment and support services.

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“Latinos are everywhere and we are a force to be reckoned with. Our diversity and our numbers is our power,” Garcia said. “And our power is our archway to ensure that our communities get what they deserve.”

The Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Coalition also calls for equity in public schools; new youth development and workforce investments; and reforms in criminal justice, housing, and health care.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff