First lady's visit continues at Arturo Velasquez Institute to mark end of Hispanic Heritage Month

President Joe Biden in Chicago area last week to promote COVID vaccine mandates

ByLeah Hope and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, October 14, 2021
First Lady Jill Biden visits Little Village school
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden's Chicago visit continued Wednesday at the Arturo Velasquez Institute, where she heard from Latinos.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- First Lady Jill Biden's Chicago visit continued Wednesday as part of a multi-city tour marking the final week of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Biden visited the Arturo Velasquez Institute with Gov. JB Pritzker and U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

President Joe Biden traveled to the Chicago area last Thursday to promote vaccine mandates, and the announcement was made soon after that the first lady would be visiting, as well.

"I feel right at home at a college and a school," Biden said. "I want to thank the teachers and students who are thriving and these programs are doing so well."

Biden was in the middle of a three-state tour focusing on listening to the perspectives and input from Latinos.

"I think representation really matters, so for her to want to listen to Latinx voices is really important," said Maricela Natali Leon, a horticulture student at Daley College.

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On the First Lady's schedule were several charlas, or chats. Four Latino business and non-profit leaders shared their stories with the first lady, including Jose "Che Che" Turrubiartez, a paralegal with Lambda Legal.

"We definitely need to find more social services," Turrubiartez said. "We need to help families get out of this hole they fell through in this pandemic."

"Our administration is really trying to wrap its arms around all Americans, all Americans," Biden said. "Whether you supported my husband or you didn't, he's the president for all Americans. I think through the programs he is trying to pass now he is trying to be inclusive and embrace our diversity."

The first lady will be in Pennsylvania next to hear from educators and families involved in Head Start programs. Then she will take what she has heard back to Washington - and back to her teaching at a community college in Virginia.