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    PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:
    Jennifer Occean
    (202) 776-1732
    joccean@nclr.org



    El NCLR será el anfitrión del segundo foro anual sobre el Desarrollo de la Fuerza Laboral en la Ciudad de los Vientos


    CHICAGO—El NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza) será el anfitrión de su segundo foro anual sobre el Desarrollo de la Fuerza Laboral en Chicago, en el hotel DoubleTree Magnificent Mile, los días martes 11 y miércoles 12 de octubre. Se espera que se unan a este foro más de 400 personas para tratar los temas actuales que afectan el sector laboral de Chicago y a los trabajadores latinos de la nación.

    Se estima que para el 2050, uno de cada tres estadounidenses que ingrese al sector laboral será latino. Por ello en el foro se enfocarán los temas que entorpecen el progreso profesional de casi 21.6 millones de estadounidenses de origen hispano que actualmente forman parte de la fuerza laboral. El foro ofrecerá talleres interactivos para ayudar a los participantes a identificar tanto los problemas que afectan a los trabajadores latinos como también los métodos que resultan ser eficaces para mejorar las oportunidades y el progreso profesional.


    Talleres del Foro

    Disparidad demográfica
    Cambio de jugadores: Revirtiendo el destino demográfico para la juventud latina
    Martes 11 de octubre, 10:30–11:45 AM
    Esta sesión presentará las nuevas investigaciones sobre los factores que inciden en los resultados para la juventud latina, y destacará los esfuerzos innovadores para mejorar su éxito académico y profesional.

    Panelistas:
    • Sarah Hooker, analista de políticas del Instituto de Política Migratoria (moderadora)
    • Dr. Jeanne Batalova, analista de políticas del Instituto de Política Migratoria
    • Madeline Roman-Vargas, rectora del Centro de Educación Vocacional Humboldt Park del Wilbur Wright College
    • Teresita Wisell, vicerrectora de The Gateway Center y directora del Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education del Westchester
    Community College Asuntos de género


    Una perspectiva de género acerca del desarrollo de la fuerza laboral: Prácticas y políticas del programa que apoya la inclusión y el éxito de las mujeres que participan en trabajos para obreros con salarios más altos
    Martes 11 de octubre, 1:45–3:00 PM
    En este taller se enfocarán las estrategias y modelos para crear oportunidades de trabajo para las mujeres en un ámbito laboral donde tradicionalmente predominan los hombres, tales trabajos están en el sector de la construcción, el transporte y la economía verde. También incluirá cómo utilizar las políticas de igualdad en el empleo y la acción afirmativa, a fin de crear la participación eficaz de la industria, y una visión general para tener acceso afondos económicos y oportunidades políticas.

    Panelistas:
    • Lauren Sugerman, directora del proyecto Mujer y Trabajo de Oportunidades Más Amplias Para las Mujeres (WOW)
    • Jayne Vellinga, directora ejecutiva de Chicago Women in Trades

    Calidad del empleo
    Declaración de Derechos para los trabajadores latinos
    Martes 11 de octubre, 10:30–11:45 AM
    Este taller destacará las maneras en que las organizaciones de servicios directos pueden influir en la promoción de políticas con muy poco esfuerzo adicional.

    Panelistas:
    • Wendy Chun-Hoon, directora de Family Values @ Work en DC (moderadora)
    • Charmaine Davis, organizadora principal de 9to5 Atlanta
    • Saduf Syal, coordinadora del proyecto de fuerza laboral de la comunidad de Make the Road New York
    • Janelle Williams, jefa de personal/gerente de investigación y política de The Center for Working Families, Inc.

    Aprovechando una mano de obra olvidada: Apoyar la inserción laboral de los inmigrantes latinos que son profesionales que prestan servicios para el cuidado de la salud a través de asociaciones
    Martes 11 de octubre, 3:15–4:30 PM
    Esta sesión se centrará en las más recientes investigaciones sobre el reconocimiento de títulos extranjeros y destacará los programas innovadores que ayudan a los inmigrantes latinos a tener acceso a los empleos más demandados en el sector de servicios para el cuidado de la saluda través de asociaciones con gobiernos, colegios comunitarios, y empleadores.

    Panelistas:
    • Margie McHugh, co-directora del Centro Nacional de Política de Integración de Inmigrantes del Instituto de Política Migratoria (moderadora)
    • Dr. Jeanne Batalova, analista de políticas del Instituto de Política Migratoria
    • Jennifer Brennan, directora de IMPRINT (Immigrant Professional Integration and Influence) y gerente de Upwardly Global
    • Sonia Mora, gerente de Iniciativa Latina de Salud y administradora del Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland

    Opportunity Chicago: Una alianza para el cambio
    Miércoles 12 de octubre, 9:30–10:45 AM
    Los participantes escucharán a líderes y proveedores de servicios que participan en Opportunity Chicago, una iniciativa de cinco años, constituida por múltiples partes, que ayudó exitosamente a casi 6,000 residentes de la Autoridad de Vivienda Pública de Chicago a prepararse y encontrar empleo.

    Panelistas:
    • Maria Hibbs, directora ejecutiva de The Partnership for New Communities
    • Linda Kaiser, vicepresidenta ejecutiva de servicios a residentes de la Autoridad de Vivienda de Chicago
    • Jennifer Keeling, directora de política de la ciudad del Chicago Jobs Council
    • Amy Santacaterina, comisionada adjunta de desarrollo de la fuerza de trabajo del Departamento de Familias y Servicios de Apoyo

    Alianza para promover el acceso a los buenos empleos en la industria de restaurantes a nivel nacional
    Miércoles 12 de octubre, 9:30–10:45 AM
    En este taller se describirá una innovadora alianza entre una organización nacional de trabajadores de restaurantes, una agencia pública de la fuerza laboral, un colegio comunitario y una creciente cooperativa nacional de restaurantes.

    Panelistas:
    • Dr. Jonathan Deutsch, profesor del Kingsborough Community College
    • Bruce Herman, ex comisionado adjunto para el desarrollo de la fuerza laboral del Departamento de Trabajo del Estado de Nueva York
    • Saru Jayaraman, co-fundadora y co-directora del Centro para las Oportunidades de los Restaurantes
    • Juan Carlos Ruiz, gerente de proyecto a nivel nacional de COLORS Restaurants


    AVISO DE PRENSA

    QUÉ:              Foro sobre el Desarrollo de la Fuerza Laboral 2011 del NCLR

    DÓNDE:         Hotel DoubleTree Chicago Magnificent Mile
                          300 East Ohio Street
                          Chicago, IL 60611

    CUÁNDO:      Martes 11 de octubre de 9:00 AM a 4:30 PM
                         Miércoles 12 de octubre de 8:00 AM a 3:00 PM

    Para obtener información sobre la inscripción y el programa completo de los talleres y eventos, por favor visite www.nclr.org/wfdconference.

     

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Jennifer Occean
    (202) 776-1732
    joccean@nclr.org



    NCLR hosts second annual Workforce Development Forum in the Windy City


    CHICAGO—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) will host its second annual Workforce Development Forum in Chicago at the DoubleTree Hotel Magnificent Mile on Tuesday, October 11 and Wednesday, October 12. More than 400 people are expected to unite to discuss current topics related to the Chicago area and the nation’s Latino workers.

    It is estimated that by 2050, one in three working-age Americans will be Latino, hence the forum’s focus on issues that hinder the career advancement of the nearly 21.6 million Hispanic Americans who are currently in the workforce. The forum will present interactive workshops for participants to identify issues affecting working Latinos and effective methods to improve opportunities and career advancement.

    Forum Workshops

    Demographic Disparity
    Game Changers: Reversing Demographic Destiny for Latino Youth
    Tuesday, October 10, 10:30–11:45 a.m.
    This session will present new research on comprehensive factors affecting outcomes for Latino youth, and will highlight innovative efforts to improve their academic and career success.

    Panelists:
    • Sarah Hooker, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute (moderator)
    • Jeanne Batalova, PhD, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
    • Madeline Roman-Vargas, Dean, Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center,
    Wilbur Wright College
    • Teresita Wisell, Associate Dean, The Gateway Center, and Director, Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education, Westchester
    Community College

    Gender Issues
    A Gender Lens on Workforce Development: Program Practices and Policy that Support Inclusion and Success for Female Participants in High-Wage, Blue Collar Careers
    Tuesday, October 10, 1:45–3:00 p.m.
    This workshop will focus on strategies and models to build career pathways for women into traditionally male-dominated jobs in construction, transportation, and the green economy, including how to use equal employment and affirmative action policies to build effective industry engagement and an overview of funding and policy opportunities.

    Panelists:
    • Lauren Sugerman, Women and Work Project Director, Wider Opportunities for Women
    • Jayne Vellinga, Executive Director, Chicago Women in Trades

    Job Quality
    A Bill of Rights for Latino Workers
    Tuesday, October 10, 10:30–11:45 a.m.
    This workshop will highlight ways in which direct service organizations can influence policy advocacy with minimum extra work.

    Panelists:
    • Wendy Chun-Hoon, DC Director, Family Values @ Work (moderator)
    • Charmaine Davis, Lead Organizer, 9to5 Atlanta
    • Saduf Syal, Community Workforce Project Coordinator, Make the Road New York
    • Janelle Williams, Chief of Staff/Manager of Research and Policy, The Center for Working Families, Inc.

    Tapping into a Forgotten Labor Pool: Supporting Job Placement of Latino Immigrant Health Care Professionals through Partnerships
    Tuesday, October 10, 3:15–4:30 p.m.
    This session focuses on the latest research on foreign credential recognition and highlights innovative programs that help move Latino immigrants into high-demand jobs in the health care sector through partnerships with governments, community colleges, and employers.

    Panelists:
    • Margie McHugh, Co-Director, National Center on Immigration Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute (moderator)
    • Jeanne Batalova, PhD, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
    • Jennifer Brennan, Director, IMPRINT Immigrant Professional Integration and Influence
    and Impact Manager, Upwardly Global
    • Sonia Mora, Manager, Latino Health Initiative, and Administrator, Welcome Back
    Center of Suburban Maryland

    Opportunity Chicago: A Partnership for Change
    Wednesday, October 11, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
    Participants will hear from leaders and service providers involved in Opportunity Chicago, a five-year, multistakeholder initiative that successfully helped nearly 6,000 Chicago Housing Authority residents prepare for and find employment.

    Panelists:
    • Maria Hibbs, Executive Director, The Partnership for New Communities
    • Linda Kaiser, Executive Vice President, Resident Services, Chicago Housing Authority
    • Jennifer Keeling, Director, City Policy, Chicago Jobs Council
    • Amy Santacaterina, Deputy Commissioner, Workforce Development, Department of
    Family and Support Services

    Partnerships to Promote Access to Good Jobs in the National Restaurant Industry
    Wednesday, October 11, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
    This workshop will describe an innovative partnership between a national restaurant workers’ organization, a public workforce agency, a community college, and a growing national cooperative restaurant company.

    Panelists:
    • Dr. Jonathan Deutsch, Professor, Kingsborough Community College
    • Bruce Herman, Former Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development, New York
    State Department of Labor
    • Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Restaurant Opportunities
    Centers United
    • Juan Carlos Ruiz, National Project Manager, COLORS Restaurants

    Media Advisory

    What:          2011 NCLR Workforce Development Forum
    Where:        DoubleTree Hotel Magnificent Mile
                       300 East Ohio Street
                       Chicago, IL 60611

    When:        Tuesday, October 11, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
                      Wednesday, October 12, 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

    For registration information and a complete schedule of workshops and events please visit www.nclr.org/wfdconference.

     

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    By Kara D. Ryan, Senior Research Analyst, Health Policy Project

    By now we know that there is more to improving Latino children’s nutrition outcomes than telling parents to buy healthier food. A whole host of economic and environmental factors—often called social determinants of health—affect a family’s ability to consistently buy and prepare affordable, nutritious meals.

    Each week for nearly three months, through NCLR’s Comer Bien story booklet and video series, we’ve heard directly from Latino parents, caregivers, and youth about what helps and hinders their healthy food access. Our goal with Comer Bien was to bring attention to the broad set of issues that affect Latinos’ ability to put a healthy meal on the table.

    We will continue to bring these stories and messages to the policymakers who have the power to tackle the root causes of food insecurity and nutritional deficits through comprehensive policy solutions. But we will also take action to build the political will to advance these solutions.

    What are the policy solutions that will help Emily, Crystal, Clarissa, and Rosa better access the foods that they want to give their kids? Supporting and strengthening federal nutrition assistance is piece of the puzzle, but we also need to demand investments in community infrastructure so that our families have access to quality, affordable food in the neighborhoods where they live. We need to improve access to affordable health care, so that providers can spot children’s nutritional problems at an early age and connect their families with the tools and resources that are available to help them. We need to bolster language access strategies that help parents, caregivers, and children with limited English proficiency participate in programs and education. We need to support nutrition education that is budget conscious and culturally competent.

    That’s why we invite you to join NCLR on Thursday, October 6 at 4:00 p.m. EDT/1:00 p.m. PDT for a Twitter chat, #NCLRChats, to discuss the ways in which social and environmental factors within our communities affect the nutrition of our children—and how we can come together to bring these messages to policymakers. We’ll be joined by our friends and partners, such as the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Feeding America, and Prevention Institute.  We hope you’ll jump in to ask questions, share your experiences, and most of all, take action!

    Taking part in the Twitter chat is easy; you can send your questions and contributions in advance to news@nclr.org, post on our Facebook wall, or send us a tweet using the #NCLRChats hashtag. We’ll be publishing the chat transcript and distributing it to decision-makers, so make your voice heard!

    The Twitter chat is just the first in a series of actions that you can take to bring messages, stories, and priorities to decision-makers and ask them to create change for Latinos and other underserved families. Sign up to receive email updates and action alerts from NCLR, and we’ll keep you informed about opportunities to make your voice heard and advocate for improving our kids’ nutrition.

    In the meantime, if you missed any of the video vignettes or blog posts featuring one of our staff members, partner organizations, or Affiliates reflecting on a particular topic, catch up on the full series through the links below.

    Comer Bien blog post series:
    1. Putting Food Solutions on the Table by Kara Ryan
    2. Pinching Pennies: How One Latina Mom Feeds Her Family by Sara Benitez
    3. What We Can Learn from Latino Families about Healthy Eating by Patricia Foxen
    4: Through Great Lengths—The Predicament of Eating Healthy by Jennifer Ng’andu
    5. Connecting the Dots: Community Safety and Latino Child Nutrition by Ann Whidden, Prevention Institute
    6. “Helping to Do It All”: The Role of SNAP in Keeping Latino Families’ Heads above Water by Jim Weill, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)
    7. Climbing the Mountain Together: Providing a Culturally Appropriate Approach to Health Care and Nutrition by Alicia Wilson, La Clínica del Pueblo
    8. Supporting Latino Children’s Health and Nutrition in Schools by Cynthia Cano, La Fe Preparatory School
    9. Success Stories: How Community Health Centers Support Improvements in Latino Children’s Nutrition by Maria Gomez, Mary’s Center
    10. Tips for Healthy Eating—On A Budget by Manuela McDonough 


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Julian Teixeira
    jteixeira@nclr.org
    (202) 776-1812


    Telephonic press briefing examines the law’s damaging impact on the state’s education system

    Washington, D.C.—Last week, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) was outraged to learn that U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Blackburn upheld some of the most egregious provisions of Alabama’s HB 56, the strictest anti-immigrant law in the nation. Bucking the trend set by courts across the country, Blackburn let stand provisions that would bring racial profiling into Alabama’s classrooms and undermine education.

    Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR, swiftly criticized this ruling in a statement released last week, calling Blackburn’s failure to stop the law’s “clearly unconstitutional directive to force teachers and schools to ascertain their students’ immigration status” a decision that endangers the education of every child in the state and jeopardizes teachers’ abilities to do their jobs.

    Join NCLR, as well as representatives from the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!), and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for a telephonic press briefing about the destruction that HB 56 will wreak on Alabama’s education system. Participants will discuss the dilemmas that this law creates for educators, the barriers that will prevent students from attending schools, the immediate effects this law is having on Alabama’s schools, and the potential implications of this ruling for the nation.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHO:     - Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR
                  - Dennis Van Roekel, President, NEA
                  - Randi Weingarten, President, AFT
                  - Roseann Rodriguez, ¡HICA!
                  - Sam Brooke, Attorney, SPLC

    WHAT:    “Reaction to Alabama’s HB 56” Telephonic Briefing

    WHEN:    Wednesday, October 5, 2011
                   2:30 to 3:30 p.m. EDT

    HOW:     Call: (800) 894-5910
                  Conference Title: “Reaction to Alabama”
                  Conference ID: ALABAMA

     

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    Sometimes the most effective messages are told through moving images. 

    The “Spotlight on Education Excellence” this week has focused on college-readiness. Previously, we provided a sample four-year plan that students and parents can use to prepare for life after college. What happens after college? What can students become? Check out our short videos below and hear from Maria and Mickey about their decisions to go to college.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Julian Teixeira
    jteixeira@nclr.org
    (202) 776-1812


    Washington, D.C.—Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza), has earned a slot on the prestigious list of “Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” assembled by Washingtonian magazine. The complete list is published in the October edition of the magazine, which is holding a luncheon today for its honorees at the St. Regis Hotel in the District of Columbia.

    “I’m incredibly proud of the work that NCLR is doing both in Washington and across the country to serve and advocate for Latino families. It is really a testament to our talented staff, tireless and hardworking Affiliates, and an incredible Board of Directors,” Murguía stated. “Being head of NCLR is a challenging but deeply fulfilling job that I appreciate every day.”


    This year’s list features a number of Washington’s most prominent women, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Chief of the District of Columbia Police Department Cathy Lanier, New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd, and Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. Murguía was recognized in the Advocacy and Nonprofits category for her leadership of NCLR.


    “To be recognized among so many influential leaders is incredibly humbling,” Murguía said. “It’s gratifying to see so many women in demanding, high-profile roles in a variety of fields including politics, but also in law enforcement, health and medicine, and media and the arts.”


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    The Department of Labor’s most recent job figures revealed that the nation’s unemployment rate remained unchanged for the second month in a row. While there were a little more than 100,000 jobs added last month, it was not significant enough to change the percentage, which hovers now just above 9%. Latinos, with an 11.3% unemployment rate, have been hit especially hard by this crisis. It has also exacerbated the child poverty rate, and with more than 30% of Latino children now living in poverty, this percentage is the highest it has been since 1997. Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of both the labor force and the population overall, and there will be serious implications for us all if this trend continues. Simply put, the success of the entire American middle class in this country will rely upon the implementation of policies that are effective at creating jobs in Latino communities.

    One such policy is Project Rebuild, which is part of President Obama’s “American Jobs Act of 2011.” It is also the focus of our latest Monthly Latino Employment Report. The goal of Project Rebuild is to restore and rehabilitate homes and businesses in neighborhoods that have numerous vacancies and foreclosed properties. If implemented correctly, Project Rebuild could be the catalyst for more hires in the construction industry, which has a heavy Latino presence. The concept behind Project Rebuild, as outlined in the report, is to “help heal the double blow the housing crisis dealt Latinos, which has resulted in millions of Latino homeowners losing their homes to foreclosures and millions of construction workers, about a quarter of them Latino, losing their jobs.”

    From the Monthly Latino Employment Report:

    Realizing the full job creation potential of Project Rebuild will require strengthening or clarifying several provisions of the program. As policymakers consider the “American Jobs Act of 2011,” they should take into account these broad recommendations:

    Include unemployment in the definition of needy areas. While the link between joblessness and foreclosure is clear, not all geographic areas with high rates of property abandonment and foreclosure overlap with areas of high unemployment. Still, the need for public property maintenance and affordable housing creates employment opportunities in areas where foreclosure rates are relatively stable but unemployment is high. Local unemployment that exceeds state or national rates should be considered an important factor in how Project Rebuild funds are awarded.

    Link job creation to job training. As the bill is currently written, entities will have to demonstrate how they will prioritize job creation in their activities. HUD should give preference to applicants that partner with nonprofit, community-based workforce development organizations to ensure that workers are prepared to meet the demands of the jobs that will be created. Training programs that are aligned with the needs of specific projects will enhance the quality of work performed and help projects meet their deadlines.

    Prioritize local hiring. Recipients of certain types of HUD financial assistance are required to comply with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. Section 3 requires grantees to strive to train and employ residents of public housing or individuals with low or very low income in the surrounding area of a HUD-funded project. Project Rebuild is an opportunity to strengthen compliance with Section 3 to ensure that high-need individuals are connected to job opportunities.

    Include assurances of job quality. Grantees and contractors under Project Rebuild should comply with responsible contractor standards, such as offering full-time, full-year employment and compensation at or above that which was paid to employees who performed similar work in the past. In the case of construction jobs, the prevailing wage for laborers and other workers should be paid in accordance with federal law. Given the inherent risks involved in labor-intensive occupations, Project Rebuild entities should be monitored closely for compliance with occupational health and safety laws and regulations designed to protect workers on the job.

    For more about our latest Latino Employment Report, click here.


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    By Nancy Wilberg-Ricks, Policy Analyst, Wealth-Building Policy Project, NCLR

    Girls and women can strengthen the global economy when equipped with necessary financial tools and counseling. Studies indicate that, in the United States, women are more likely than men to make household financial decisions. However, women of color have fewer assets than their White counterparts. Single Black women have a median wealth of $100 and Single Hispanic women of $120. These figures are substantially lower than those for White men ($43,800), White women ($41,500), or Black men ($7,900) in the U.S. Women of color are also more likely to encounter abusive lending practices in their neighborhoods. These figures are much more dismal when examined on a global scale. To combat such realities, women need the financial information necessary to help them make sound decisions in a turbulent economy.

    Providing girls and women worldwide with financial knowledge and tools can help stabilize their households and neighborhoods. There are many programs that provide varied components of financial empowerment, such as one-on-one financial counseling. Community-based counselors provide women with financial advice and often serve as trusted liaisons who communicate with lenders and ensure that families receive honest loans. Such efforts help families secure a better future for their children and ultimately strengthen the economy. Community financial counseling has been proven to help borrowers make informed financial decisions and avoid predatory loans. In addition, studies indicate that women are more likely to pass on their earnings to their children, thus securing a better path for the next generation. Community-based counseling empowers women as financial decision-makers, advancing true economic progress. Such advances contribute to the growing movement known as The Girl Effect. Click here to learn more about beneficial services that empower girls and women.  

    Finally, be sure to check out what other bloggers who are saying about the Girl Effect.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Joseph Rendeiro
    (202) 776-1566
    jrendeiro@nclr.org


    Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR, applauds signing of AB 131

    Washington, D.C.—On Saturday, Oct. 9, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the second half of the California Dream Act, offering undocumented immigrant students the opportunity to apply for state-funded financial aid. AB 131 will allow high-achieving immigrant students the chance to apply for CalGrants scholarships, enabling more young Californians to continue on to higher education. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) hails this landmark moment that many of our Affiliates worked toward diligently.

    “It is incredibly encouraging to see California leading the way on improving educational opportunities for young Latinos, especially when other states like Alabama are moving in reverse with laws that actually keep children out of schools,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “There is no value in preventing some of the best and brightest students from attending college. Young minds are the greatest resources this country has, and California has chosen the right path by embracing and investing in them. I’m especially proud of the role that so many NCLR Affiliates had in making California’s Dream Act a reality.”

    AB 131 is the second piece of legislation in the California Dream Act. AB 130, which was signed in July, allows undocumented immigrant students to receive private scholarships from public universities and community colleges. Several NCLR Affiliates traveled throughout the state to conduct legislative visits at the state capitol and to urge Gov. Brown to sign the legislation.

    “We are also grateful that Gov. Brown has fulfilled his promise to the Latino community and signed the California Dream Act into law,” added Murguía. “He has kept the American Dream alive for so many young Californians and sent the message that if you work hard and do well in school, your opportunities are limitless.”

     

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    PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contactos:
    Lauren Astor, AltaMed (323) 622-2408
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR (202) 776-1714
    Andrew Sousa, Global Policy Solutions, (202) 265-5111

     

    Foro multicultural con diputada estatal Judy Chu destacará la necesidad de modernizar el Seguro Social para las minorías 



    LOS ANGELES, CA.—El NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza), Global Policy Solutions, el Insight Center for Community Economic Development (Insight), y Latinos por un Retiro Seguro (LSR) se asociarán con AltaMed Health Services Corporation para presentar un foro comunitario el miércoles 19 de octubre del 2011 a las 3:00 PM. En el foro se hablará sobre cuales son algunas de las implicaciones de la reforma del Seguro Social debido a una fuerza laboral cada vez más diversa e insegura económicamente. El evento, que será en el centro de AltaMed Adult Day Health Care (ADHC)-en la ciudad de Lincoln Heights y está ubicado en 2820 North Figueroa Street en Los Ángeles, California, está disponible al público y el evento es gratuito. Habrá traducciones simultáneas en español y chino.

    El foro reunirá a defensores nacionales, líderes locales, y personas de la tercera edad de las comunidades hispana, afroamericana y asiática de Estados Unidos que están preocupados por los recortes del presupuesto al programa de Seguro Social. Diputada estatal Judy Chu presentará y un panel de expertos destacarán la importancia del “Plan para un nuevo futuro: El impacto de la reforma del Seguro Social para la gente de color - Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color”, el plan de la Comisión para la Modernización del Seguro Social argumenta que es importante para garantizar la solvencia del programa para las generaciones futuras y mejorar las prestaciones para una población creciente de trabajadores y familias de color quienes son más vulnerables a la inestabilidad económica y con menos posibilidades a tener riqueza generacional que las familias blancas.

    El Seguro Social está ampliamente reconocido como un programa público, exitoso y eficiente, que sirve como una poderosa red de seguridad para los estadounidenses que no pueden trabajar por su edad o discapacidad. No obstante, se ha atacado al programa con la excusa de la reducción deficitaria, a pesar del hecho de que el Seguro Social no ha contribuido al problema del déficit federal y permanecerá solvente sin ningún cambio hasta el 2036. El programa mantiene a millones de personas de mayor edad fuera de la pobreza; por ejemplo, los beneficios del Seguro Social actualmente representan por lo menos el 90% de los ingresos de la mitad de las personas de mayor edad, afroamericanas y latinas.

    En el condado de Los Ángeles, el Seguro Social contribuye con $14.5 miles de millones de dólares anualmente a la economía local a través de las prestaciones que reciben 1.5 millones de residentes del condado, incluyendo a 765,380 jubilados, 142,095 discapacitados y 83,360 niños. El Seguro Social sirve a cinco millones de residentes de California y evita que 1.1 millones vivan en la pobreza. El foro de Los Ángeles es el cuarto de una serie que se está llevando a cabo en todo el país como parte de la campaña educacional ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! y cuyo objetivo es hacer partícipes a los latinos y las comunidades de color en el tema del Seguro Social.


    AVISO DE PRENSA

    QUÉ

    Foro de la comunidad de Los Ángeles para hablar y dar voz a las cuestiones y preocupaciones de comunidades diversas sobre el futuro del Seguro Social y mostrar la importancia  del 
    Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color. El evento dispondrá de interpretación simultánea en español y chino.

    QUIÉNES:

    Diputada Judy Chu (CA-32)
    Marie Torres, Ph.D., Vicepresidenta principal de Relaciones Gubernamentales e Iniciativa de Investigación Comunitaria de AltaMed Health Services Corporation
    Roy Aragón, Comité Nacional para la Preservación del Seguro Social y Medicare
    Leticia Miranda, Directora adjunta de Proyecto de Política Económica y Empleo
    del Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR)
    Meizhu Lui, Directora emeritus de Insight Center for Community Economic
    Development
    Dra. Maya Rockeymoore, Presidenta y directora general de Global Policy
    Solutions


    CUÁNDO:

    Miércoles 19 de octubre del 2011
    3:00 PM–4:30 PM
    Los presentadores también estarán disponibles para entrevistas antes y después del evento.

    DÓNDE:

    AltaMed Adult Day Health Care (ADHC)—Lincoln Heights
    2820 North Figueroa Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90065
    (Disponibilidad de estacionamiento en el área del estacionamiento de McDonald’s, ubicado en 2224 North Figueroa Street, y en los espacios de estacionamiento público cerca de las calles North Figueroa y North River).

    Espacio limitado. Solamente para los medios de comunicación: Para hacer una reservación para este evento o para obtener más información, póngase en contacto con Lauren Astor, AltaMed (323) 622-2408 o por correo electrónico: Lastor@la.altamed.org.

    Para más información sobre AltaMed Health Services Corporation, visite www.AltaMed.org.

    Para más información sobre NCLR, visite www.NCLR.org o www.nclr.org/socialsecurity.

    Para más información sobre Global Policy Solutions, visite www.globalpolicysolutions.com.

    Para más información sobre Insight Center for Community Economic Development, visite www.insightcced.org.

    Para más información sobre LSR, visite www.latinosforasecureretirement.org.
     


     


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Lauren Astor, AltaMed (323) 622-2408
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR (202) 776-1714
    Andrew Sousa, Global Policy Solutions, (202) 265-5111

    Representative Judy Chu joins multicultural forum that will highlight need to modernize Social Security for minority population 

    LOS ANGELES, CA.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza), Global Policy Solutions, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development (Insight), and Latinos for a Secure Retirement will partner with AltaMed Health Services Corporation to host a community forum at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 that will address the implications of Social Security reform for an increasingly diverse and economically insecure workforce. The event, which will be held at AltaMed Adult Day Health Care (ADHC)—Lincoln Heights, located at 2820 North Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, California, is open to the public and free of charge. Simultaneous interpreter services in Spanish and Chinese will be provided.

    The forum will bring together national advocates, local leaders, and seniors from the Hispanic, Black, and Asian American communities who are concerned about proposed cuts to the Social Security program. Representative Judy Chu (CA-32) will speak and a panel of experts will highlight Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color, the Commission to Modernize Social Security’s plan for ensuring the program’s solvency for future generations and improving benefits for the growing population of workers and families of color who are more vulnerable to economic instability and far less likely than White families to have generational wealth. 

    Social Security is widely recognized as a successful, efficient public program that serves as a powerful safety net for Americans who cannot work because of age or disability. However, it has come under attack under the guise of deficit reduction, despite the fact that Social Security has not contributed one dime to the federal deficit and will remain financially solvent without any changes until 2036. The program keeps millions of seniors out of poverty; for example, Social Security benefits currently represent at least 90 percent of the income for about half of Latino and Black seniors.

    In Los Angeles County, Social Security contributes $14.5 billion annually to the local economy by paying benefits to 1.5 million county residents, including 765,380 retirees, 142,095 disabled workers, and 83,360 children. Social Security serves five million residents in California and prevents 1.1 million from living in poverty. The Los Angeles forum is the fourth in a series being held across the country as part of the ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! an educational campaign to engage Latinos and communities of color on the issue of Social Security.

     

    MEDIA ADVISORY

     

    WHAT:

    Los Angeles community forum to address questions and concerns of diverse communities about the future of Social Security and to highlight Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color. Event will include simultaneous interpreter services in Spanish and Chinese.

    WHO:

    Representative Judy Chu (CA-32)
    Marie Torres, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Government Relations and
    Community Research Initiatives, AltaMed Health Services Corporation
    Roy Aragon, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
    Leticia Miranda, Associate Director, Economic and Employment Policy Project,
    National Council of La Raza
    Meizhu Lui, Director Emeritus, Insight Center for Community Economic
    Development
    Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO, Global Policy Solutions
     

    WHEN:

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011
    3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
    Speakers are also available for interviews before and following the event.

    WHERE:

    AltaMed Adult Day Health Care (ADHC)—Lincoln Heights
    2820 North Figueroa Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90065


    (Free parking is available in the designated parking area at McDonald’s at 2224 North Figueroa Street, and on-street public parking is available nearby on North Figueroa and North River Street.)

    Space is limited. Media Only: For any related questions, or for media RSVPs, please contact Lauren Astor, AltaMed at (323) 622-2408 or by email at Lastor@la.altamed.org.

    For more information about AltaMed Health Services Corporation, visit www.AltaMed.org.

    For more information about NCLR, visit www.NCLR.org or www.NCLR.org/socialsecurity.

    For more information about Global Policy Solutions, visit www.globalpolicysolutions.com.

    For more information about the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, visit www.insightcced.org.

    For more information about Latinos for Secure Retirement, visit www.latinosforasecureretirement.org.

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    For Immediate Release


    Contact: Andrew Sousa (202) 265-5111
    Amy Saltzman (301) 656-0348



    New Report Calls For Social Security Modernization Efforts To
    Focus On The Needs of A "Majority-Minority" Population



    Long-term solvency can be achieved while strengthening benefits for most vulnerable


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States transitions to a "majority-minority" population over the next three decades, Social Security must be modernized to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and economically insecure workforce, according to a report released today by the Commission to Modernize Social Security, made up of national policy experts representing African American, Asian American, Latino and Native American communities.


    Although Social Security does not contribute to the federal deficit, Social Security benefit cuts are at the center of discussions in Congress to reduce the federal debt. The report – Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color – argues that changes to the program must consider the impact on workers and families of color who are more vulnerable to economic instability and far less likely to have generational wealth than white families. The report cites U.S. Census Bureau data showing that a majority of babies born in this country are now from minority racial groups. If this trend continues, the overall U.S. population is expected to become "majority-minority" by 2042. Click here to read the complete report.


    "Any changes to Social Security will significantly impact future generations, and the American population will be much different ethnically and racially than it is today. It's crucial that policymakers consider how people of color use Social Security and how it can be modernized to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse society," said Commission member Maya Rockeymoore, president and CEO of Global Policy Solutions. "People of color are more economically vulnerable and depend on Social Security benefits to meet basic needs when they or family members face death, disability, or old age."


    Plan for a New Future reveals stark differences in how Social Security is used by whites and people of color. While the vast majority of whites (74%) depend on Social Security for the program's retirement benefits, almost half (45%) of all African-American beneficiaries and a majority (58%) of "other" racial and ethnic groups rely on its survivor and disability benefits. According to the report, the greater reliance on survivor and disability benefits reflects socioeconomic factors, such as lower educational attainment and higher rates of poverty, disability, sickness, and – for African Americans and Native Americans – death. These usage patterns also reflect the effects of occupational segregation, with people of color more often working in physically challenging jobs that are more likely to lead to temporary or permanent disability, as well as early death.

    "Two-thirds of Latino workers are employed by companies that do not offer any type of retirement savings plan. Thus, Latinos tend to depend more on Social Security as their sole source of income in old age," said Commission member Leticia Miranda, associate director of economic and employment policy for the National Council of La Raza. "For many families Social Security is critical to staying out of poverty."


    For instance, the report argues that for Latinos and Asians, who have longer life expectancies than whites or other minority groups, the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) is an especially important feature because it maintains the purchasing power of Social Security benefits for those who are very long-lived. On the other hand, Social Security's early retirement feature is vital to shorter-lived African Americans and Native Americans since it allows them to retire at 62.


    "The decisions made today about the future of Social Security will profoundly affect the next generation's ability to survive and thrive," said Commission member Meizhu Lui, director emeritus for the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. "Rather than using a cuts-only approach to achieve solvency, Congress should identify Social Security reforms that make the program sustainable and that will improve it to meet the needs of those who rely on it most."

    The report lays out a plan for increasing revenue, in part by urging Congress to "Scrap the Cap" on Social Security payroll contributions (currently capped at $106,800 for high wage earners) and making the benefit formula less generous for high earners. This option alone would eliminate most of Social Security's long-term revenue shortfall.
    Plan for a New Future also recommends improving benefits for future recipients by:


    • Updating the Special Minimum Benefit to 125% of poverty to support those who have spent their adult lives in low-paying jobs and therefore are unlikely to have private pensions or other savings to fall back on.
    • Reinstating the student benefit to support students (until the age of 22) attending college or vocational school.
    • Increasing benefits for low-income widowed spouses.
    • Providing dependent care benefits to help those who serve as unpaid caregivers for children and other dependents.


    Other options identified by the Commission for reaching solvency include adding all new state and local workers to the program; slowly raising Social Security's payroll tax by 1/40th of one percent over 20 years; and treating all salary reduction plans like 401(k)s so that workers would need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on contributions to flexible spending and retirement accounts.
    Note to Los Angeles, CA-based media: AltaMed will sponsor a town hall forum in Los Angeles on October 19th, which will feature findings from the report. The town hall is the fourth in a series being held across the country as part of the "Latinos and Social Security, ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!" campaign. In addition to AltaMed, the event will also be sponsored by the National Council of La Raza, Global Policy Solutions and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.



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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo, NCLR
    (305) 573-7329 or cell: (305) 215-4259

    Rocky Fernandez, CEP
    (702) 900-3049 cell


    Las Vegas, NV. A town hall forum held in Las Vegas today brought together members of the Latino community and representatives of local business, labor, and workforce development to discuss clean energy as a possible piece of a plan to put Nevadans back to work. Participants in the forum hosted by NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and the Clean Energy Project (CEP) expressed frustration with the ongoing unemployment crisis and listened with interest as the panel—moderated by Nevada State Senator Ruben Kihuen—described the links between Nevada’s energy choices and job creation and the potential impacts on the Hispanic community.

    Nevada, the state with the highest unemployment rate, has aggressively pursued clean energy production in industries like solar, wind, and geothermal power, as well as energy efficiency initiatives. Panelists pointed out that the failure of federal policymakers to enact comprehensive energy and climate change policy has prevented clean energy from achieving its full job creation potential at the state and local level.

    “While the State of Nevada’s current policies have made us leaders in geothermal energy, per-capita solar production and energy efficiency, we are just getting started” said Lydia Ball, Executive Director for the Clean Energy Project. “With stronger clean energy goals, we can generate thousands more jobs and stabilize our household energy bills, while making the Silver State the heartbeat of clean energy in the West.”

    “As Nevada continues to blaze trails in clean energy production, we must take steps to ensure that new opportunities for jobs and economic opportunity are open to all communities,” said Catherine Singley, Senior Policy Analyst from NCLR’s Economic and Employment Policy Project. “Today’s town hall highlighted the fact that investing in a home-grown workforce can benefit workers and businesses alike.”

    For more information about NCLR, visit www.nclr.org
    For more information about the Clean Energy Project: www.cleanenergyprojectnv.org

     

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    Last week, NCLR held the first session in its live Twitter chat series, #NCLRChats. With the help of our friends at Prevention Institute, Food Research Action Center, and Feeding America, we engaged in a thoughtful conversation about healthy eating. The chat resulted in a trove of resources for anyone interested in providing healthier and more nutritious food for their families.

    Click here to read a transcript of all the tweets for the Comer Bien chat, and, be sure to join us for the next #NCLRChats! Follow us now for regular updates.


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  • 10/14/11--14:22: We Are All Alabama
  • The situation in Alabama has grown increasingly worse since the passage of HB 56. Last weekend, The Washington Post ran a story about the throngs of Latino families who are leaving the state.

    Across Alabama, news of the court ruling has swiftly spread panic and chaos among trailer parks and working-class areas where legal and illegal immigrant families from Mexico and Central America — as many as 150,000 people, by some estimates — live and work at jobs their bosses say local residents largely refuse to do.

    In Foley, a sprawling seaside resort town where hundreds of Hispanic immigrants work in restaurants, sod farms and seafood industries, many families last week were taking their children out of school, piling their furniture into trucks, offering baby clothes and bicycles on front lawns for sale and saying tearful goodbyes to neighbors and co-workers they might never see again.

    On a blogger call earlier this week, advocates on the ground in Alabama described the situation as dire.

    “The parts that are still in effect and are of most concern are the racial profiling aspects of the law, which is causing tremendous fear and terror in the immigrant communities,” said Rev. Angie Wright, Faith in Communities Coordinator for Greater Birmingham Ministries.

    Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the Center for Community Change, said HB 56 must serve as a wake-up call for Americans everywhere.

    “This law is significant because if there are not efforts to reverse it, we will likely see this play out with much human cost all over the country. We need to create a tidal wave of action,” said Bhargava. “We are all Alabama.”

    Vanessa Stevens, communications coordinator for the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), an NCLR Affiliate, was also on the call and said that HICA has heard from countless families who are afraid to do anything at all. Many of them have been living in the state for ten to 15 years.

    Our friends over at America’s Voice have also been doing some great reporting from Alabama. The video below features an Alabama teacher speaking about the effects of the law on her students.

    Be sure to check back often for updates and for ways you can take action against this anti-immigrant and anti-Latino law. Follow the conversation on Twitter using the #CrisisInAL hashtag.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Julian Teixeira
    (202) 776-1812
    jteixeira@nclr.org


    NCLR condemns upholding of “papers please” provision


    Washington, D.C.—Today, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a mixed message when it handed down its decision to block enforcement of some of the more troubling provisions related to school enrollment in Alabama’s HB 56 while upholding the law’s notorious “papers please” provision.

    “Schools should be safe and welcoming places of learning, not checkpoints for immigration enforcement,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza). “We are pleased that the 11th Circuit Court handled this portion of the ruling in a sensible way, allowing educators to once again focus on educating their students.

    “However, the provisions of the law that remain in effect are unquestionably unacceptable. We thought Alabama had moved beyond its unfortunate past with civil rights and that racial profiling was a mistake that the state did not see fit to repeat. Clearly, we were wrong, and we are extremely disappointed that the courts have once again failed to protect Alabamians from this severe law.”

    The injunction issued from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta blocked two extremely controversial and dangerous provisions that created chaos and confusion in the state in the wake of their implementation. The first required educators to check the immigration status of students, which resulted in thousands of children being removed from Alabama’s classrooms. The second, a registration provision, made it a state crime to be undocumented in Alabama. However, the court did not block other problematic portions of the law. The “papers please” provision requires that police verify the immigration status of anyone they stop and suspect of being undocumented, and another provision makes it a felony for undocumented individuals to enter into a business transaction with the state.


     


    “We applaud the Department of Justice and especially Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez for their tireless efforts to stop this appalling law on behalf of the Obama administration,” Murguía added. “Regrettably much damage has already been done and thousands of families and children have already and unnecessarily fled the state.”

    # # #
     


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    As we mark the end of Hispanic Heritage Month and continue celebrating LGBT History Month, it is important to recognize that HIV/AIDS is still with us and that it is still killing our loved ones.

    The first reported AIDS cases in the U.S. occurred 30 years ago, and there are now more than one million Americans living with AIDS or the virus that causes it, HIV; 200,000 of them are Latino. A look at the numbers for the Latino community paints a sobering picture of the epidemic.

    • In 2006, Hispanic men made up three-quarters (76%) of new infections among all Hispanics. The rate of new infections among Latino men was more than double that of White men (43/100,000 vs. 20/100,000).
    • In 2006, Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) represented 72% of new infections among all Latino men, and nearly 19% among all MSM in general. Among Latino MSM, 43% of HIV cases occurred in those under age 30, and the remaining 57% cases occurred in Latino MSM aged 30 or older.
    • While Hispanic women represented one-quarter (24%) of all new infections among Hispanics in 2006, their rate of HIV infection was nearly four times that of White women (14.4/100,000 vs. 3.8/100,000).

    Reaching Latino MSM is especially crucial. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that in five different studies of gay and bisexual men in the U.S., Hispanics were reported to have the highest rates of unprotected male-to-male sexual contact. Some HIV/AIDS advocacy groups have started to focus their efforts on the Latino community. HIV Big Deal recently launched "Preguntame/Dime," a Spanish-language prevention video that centers on a fellow named Josh and how he decides to disclose his HIV status to his partners.

    The story takes place in New York City, considered to be the epicenter of the epidemic. Indeed, a HuffPo Latino Voices article over the weekend reported:

    According to the New York City HIV/AIDS Annual Surveillance Statistics, in 2009 there were 1,175 Latinos diagnosed with HIV and 283 diagnosed with AIDS out of 3,669 patients.

    That year 568 Hispanics died from HIV or AIDS [in New York City], of a total of 1,600. Only the rates among African Americans were higher, with 50.4 percent of diagnosed cases and 52.4 percent of deaths.

    Watch Preguntame/Dime after the jump:

    Another group, TheBody.com, has created a bilingual website that serves as a complete online HIV/AIDS resource designed to educate Latinos. There are interviews with Latinos currently living with HIV/AIDS as well as other personal stories of families and individuals who have been affected by the epidemic. According to HuffPost Latino Voices, TheBody.com initiatives are focused on educating the Latino community, reducing stigma, and encouraging everyone to get tested.

    With more open dialogue, we can help slow the rate of infection in and focus on prevention in the Hispanic community. The only way to start, however, is to get tested. Knowledge is power!
     


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  • 10/18/11--12:44: Going It Alone
  • Foreclosures rage on throughout the nation and California Congressional Democrats are taking a stand. Last week, several House members met with Edward DeMarco, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to express their concerns with the administration’s halfhearted attempts to stem the crisis. The outcome was disappointing.

    Democrat Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto described DeMarco’s engagement in the meeting as “tepid and defensive.” When asked whether he had ever met a family trying to save their home from foreclosure, DeMarco admitted that he hadn’t.

    The state legislators opted to take their case directly to President Obama. Thirty-two House Democrats from California signed a letter to President Obama, asking that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower rates. Criticism of the administration’s efforts in such a public way was a bold move on the part of members of the president’s own party. NCLR understands that such actions are critical during times of crisis, even if that means one stands alone.

    In the past, NCLR has had to make similarly tough calls. We know what it’s like to stand alone in defense of better policy. We commend these House legislators for demanding a stronger response to foreclosure prevention. Hopefully they will find success in securing help for their families—those who are among the hardest hit in the ongoing crisis. 


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Joseph Rendeiro, NCLR
    (202) 776-1566
    Shannon Traeger, Feeding America
    (312) 641-5717

    Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, and Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, will hold a briefing on Capitol Hill about the alarming rates of hunger and obesity in the Latino community and the efforts being made to improve food security and nutrition through policy changes and innovative programs. The briefing, to be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 21, is being sponsored by Representative Joe Baca (CA–43), Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition and Horticulture, which has oversight of critical federal nutrition programs.

    A panel of research and policy experts will be joined by a bilingual outreach coordinator from the Capital Area Food Bank in the district and a parent from San Antonio, Texas. Emily Losoya, who was recently featured in NCLR’s Comer Bien videos and stories, will speak about her family’s personal experiences dealing with the many factors that help and hinder Latino families’ access to healthy foods. The food bank representative will talk about local-level efforts to break down access barriers and improve food security and nutrition.

    Latino households experience food insecurity at almost twice the rate of all households. Food insecurity is associated with poorer nutrition as individuals sacrifice the quality of food in order to make ends meet. Obesity, too, is found with greater prevalence in Latino communities. One in three Latino children is struggling with hunger, and nearly 40 percent of Latino children are overweight or obese.

    The recession has exacerbated these health disparities as Latinos were hit harder by increased unemployment. However, programs that protect families from hunger and enable them to access more healthy foods are endangered as part of ongoing budget conversations. Continuing efforts are needed to increase the accessibility and affordability of nutritious food and educate low-income consumers about how to eat healthily with a limited budget.


    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:          Congressional briefing on the alarming rates of hunger and obesity in the Latino community and national and local efforts to improve food security and nutrition.


    WHO:           Dr. Elaine Waxman, Vice President, Research and Partnerships, Feeding America
                        Sophie Milam, Senior Policy Counsel, Feeding America
                        Kara Ryan, Senior Research Analyst, Health Policy Project, NCLR
                        Jennifer Ng’andu, Deputy Director, Health Policy Project, NCLR
                        Dario Murralles, Bilingual Outreach Coordinator, Capital Area Food Bank
                        Emily Losoya, Parent, San Antonio, Texas

    WHEN:         Friday, October 21
                        2:00–3:00 p.m. EDT

    WHERE:      2168 Rayburn House Office Building
                       Rayburn Gold Room
                       Washington, D.C. 20515

    To RSVP for this event or to get more information, please contact Joseph Rendeiro at (202) 776-1566.

    Join the conversation on Twitter by following the live tweets at #HealthyFood4Kids, @NCLR, and @FeedingAmerica.

    For more information about NCLR, visit www.nclr.org.

    For more information about Feeding America, visit www.feedingamerica.org.

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    (This post was first published at The Bilerico Project)

    By Rubén Gonzalez, Deputy Vice President, Resource Development, NCLR

    I asked my fiancé to marry me on an Alaskan cruise with my family, at sunset on one of the ship's decks. We had already been together for seven years, but we had resolved not to get married until we could marry legally.

    It was a long time coming and something that, when we started dating twelve years ago, we thought might never happen. In two weeks, Joaquin and I will be married in Washington, DC and will join the thousands of committed gay and lesbian couples who are realizing this dream of marriage equality that so many in the LGBT community continue to fight for so fiercely.

    But are our marriages truly equal? Certainly, we share the same love and commitment to the people that we choose to spend the rest of our lives with, and like other married couples we will be surrounded on our wedding day by our family and friends. However, our love and commitment does not grant us the same federal rights and benefits that are guaranteed to heterosexual married couples.

    As marriage for gay and lesbian couples becomes more mainstream and less of a wedge issue for politicians to exploit, immigration has, in many ways, assumed that role. And bi-national same-sex couples are caught right in the eye of the storm - affected by two hot-button issues.


    Because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits federal recognition of same-sex unions, married gay and lesbian Americans cannot legally sponsor their foreign partners for residency in the United States. To the Obama administration's credit, they recently unveiled new deportation guidelines that would prioritize the deportation of criminals and would review all deportations on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a person's family relationships. And while administration officials have said that same-sex marriages will be considered under this family relationship category, they still have not created specific guidelines for these cases.

    Unfortunately, as long as DOMA remains on the books, same-sex married couples will not have an equal marriage in the eyes of the law and will therefore need special protections. If federal law doesn't consider same-sex marriage to be legitimate, an agent reviewing a deportation case might not, either.

    Recently, 69 lawmakers sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice requesting that they design a working group to handle deportation cases. This working group would not only be given specific guidelines in considering LGBT family ties in each case, but would also include a member who has experience working with LGBT immigrants and their families.

    The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) wholeheartedly supports these efforts and encourages those who believe in marriage equality to call the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice and request that they follow through with these proposals. President Obama has made it a point to reiterate that the arc of history bends toward justice. Same-sex couples who run the risk of being separated cannot wait for that arc to bend; the Obama administration must bring justice to us.

    Joaquin and I are fortunate that we don't have to navigate through this dilemma. Still, we cannot turn a blind eye to the injustice facing others in the LGBT community.


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