In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Mayor Van R. Johnson, II, introduced HOLA Savannah on Oct. 1, a new taskforce focusing on Hispanic Outreach, Leadership and Advocacy.
"Roughly 7,000 City of Savannah residents identify as Hispanic or Latino, and we want to ensure we are engaging, involving and communicating appropriately with this community," Mayor Johnson said.
HOLA Savannah will educate Savannah's Hispanic community about the city government's abilities, limitations, functions, and services to build trust and involvement with Savannah's Hispanic residents.
The taskforce members include Myriam Baker, chair, Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, Lisette Riccelli, Gustavo Gonzalez, Alfonso Ribot, Mariela Orellana, Iris Sarria, Beatriz Sanchez de Velasquez, Daniela Rodriguez, Adriana Boatright, Elizabeth Galarza, Eva Alas and Beatriz Severson.
"I have seen an increase in the Hispanic population in our community," said Baker, who has lived in Savannah for 15 years. "I have observed and heard concerns about how the Hispanic community in Savannah has not been acknowledged in the past. I applaud Mayor Johnson for wanting to make that change and making an effort to bring all community groups to the City of Savannah table."
This is the seventh community taskforce Mayor Johnson has announced this year.