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    Tomorrow, October 20, is Spirit Day and NCLR is joining the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and millions of others around the country in going purple to show our support for LGBT people and against anti-bullying of LGBT Youth. 

    NCLR stands with those advocates committed to ending bullying. As a member of the National Safe Schools Partnership, we have joined the chorus of voices that are demanding that America’s schools are safe for all children. LGBT youth of color are particularly vulnerable to bullying. Consider the following statistics, taken from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s report “Shared Differences”:

    • Biased Language: Across groups, more than 80% of LGBT students of color reported in 2006-07 hearing the word “gay” used in a negative way, i.e. “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay.”
    • Safety: In that same year, more than 60% of students of color had been verbally harassed because of how they expressed their gender
    • Latinos: More than half of the LGBT Latino/a students surveyed reported being harassed in school because of their race or ethnicity.
    • Academic Performance: 30% of LGBT Latino/a students reported that they had missed one day or more of school because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable going.
    • School Resources and Supports: Only 18% of those LGBT students of color surveyed reported that their school had a policy to address in-school harassment and assault.

    These troubling numbers reveal a situation that deserves national attention and NCLR is proud to stand with the LGBT community in demanding a response to anti-bullying efforts. GLAAD also wants to hear from LGBT Latinos. Tell them your story of being a LGBT Latino or ally.

    Want to join Spirit Day? Click here to find out how.


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    PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA

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


    El panel revela el plan de modernización del programa para el futuro de la población “mayoría-minorías” de EE.UU.

     

    LOS ÁNGELES—Hoy, en una reunión municipal en Los Ángeles se congregaron defensores nacionales, líderes locales, y personas de mayor edad de las comunidades hispana, afroamericana y asiática de Estados Unidos que están preocupadas por los recortes que el Congreso pueda realizar a las prestaciones del Seguro Social que mantienen a millones de estadounidenses fuera de la pobreza. Un panel de expertos enfatizó la necesidad de modernizar el Seguro Social, para garantizar la solvencia del programa a largo plazo y mejorar las prestaciones para una población creciente de trabajadores y familias de color que son más vulnerables a la inestabilidad económica y menos propensos a tener riqueza generacional que las familias blancas.

    El foro, organizado por AltaMed Health Services Corporation, 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), contó con los comentarios de la diputada estatal Judy Chu (CA-32) y ofreció servicios de interpretación simultánea en español y chino.

    Aunque el Seguro Social es autofinanciado y no contribuye al déficit nacional, hay una creciente preocupación de que el Supercomité del Congreso recomiende fundamentalmente un enfoque de recortes al Seguro Social que reduciría el aumento del costo de vida o elevaría la edad de jubilación.

    “Cualquier cambio al Seguro Social debe considerar las diferencias claves de cómo los diferentes grupos raciales y étnicos utilizan el programa. Por ejemplo la expectativa de vida de los latinos y asiáticos es más larga que la de los blancos o la de otros grupos minoritarios, por lo tanto, el ajuste al costo anual de vida (COLA) es especialmente importante, porque mantiene el poder adquisitivo de las prestaciones del Seguro Social a través del tiempo", dijo Maya Rockeymoore, presidenta y directora general de Global Policy Solutions. “Y es vital mantener buenas prestaciones para aquellos que optan por jubilarse antes, particularmente para los afroamericanos e indios americanos que tienen una expectativa de vida más corta".

    “El Seguro Social mantiene a 20 millones de estadounidenses fuera de la pobreza y las personas de color dependen más de estas prestaciones que otros estadounidenses”, dijo Leticia Miranda, directora adjunta de Proyecto de Política Económica y Empleo del Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR). "Tenemos que proteger a aquellos que dependen de este programa puesto que demasiados recortes podría dejarlos más inseguros de lo que ya están hoy en día".

    A pesar de la fórmula progresiva que favorece a los trabajadores de salarios bajos, la mayoría de los beneficios del Seguro Social son modestos y comprenden una gran parte del ingreso de las personas de mayor edad de las minorías. En 2009, el promedio anual de los beneficios que recibieron los hombres y mujeres de mayor edad afroamericanos fue de $13,889 y $11,369 respectivamente, mientras que los hombres y mujeres de mayor edad hispanos recibieron $12,823 y $9,968 respectivamente. Los hombres y mujeres de mayor edad asiáticos y de las islas del Pacífico recibieron un promedio anual de $13,783 y $11,102 en prestaciones respectivamente. Hoy en día estos modestos beneficios del Seguro Social representan por lo menos el 90% de los ingresos de la mitad de las personas de mayor edad latinas, afroamericanas y asiáticas".

    Los ponentes destacaron en un nuevo informe de la Comisión para la Modernización del Seguro Social titulado: – Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color (Plan para un nuevo futuro: El impacto de la reforma del Seguro Social para la gente de color). El informe describe un plan para aumentar los ingresos, instando en parte al Congreso a " a eliminar el límite o tope” en el impuesto sobre la nómina de los ingresos más altos del Seguro Social (actualmente el tope está en $106,800 para los salarios más altos) y hacer que la fórmula de beneficios sea menos generosa para quienes tengan los ingresos más altos. Esta opción por sí sola eliminaría la mayor parte del déficit de ingresos del Seguro Social a largo plazo, lo cual haría innecesario los perjudiciales recortes a los beneficios para todos.

    Las recomendaciones de la Comisión proveen suficientes ingresos para aumentar las prestaciones para las poblaciones vulnerables, tales como personas con larga expectativa de vida, cónyuges viudos con bajos ingresos, estudiantes universitarios huérfanos, cuidadores y los trabajadores de bajos salarios a largo plazo.

    "Nos oponemos al enfoque favorito de sólo recortes de muchos de los representates del Congreso, y exhortamos a los líderes de nuestra nación para que mejoren la base de ingresos del Seguro Social de tal manera que sea sostenible y pueda satisfacer mejor las necesidades de nuestra futura fuerza laboral", dijo Meizhu Lui, directora emeritus de Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

    “Los beneficios del Seguro Social proporcionan un medio de supervivencia para las personas de mayor edad que atendemos en los condados de Los Ángeles y Orange. Ellos están preocupados por los cambios que podrían reducir los beneficios y los de las generaciones futuras. Las personas de mayor edad están preocupadas por los recortes al presupuesto estatal y federal que podrían reducir los beneficios que reciben, afectando su capacidad para mantenerse sanos y convertirse en una carga para sus hijos y nietos", dijo la Dra. Marie Torres, vicepresidenta principal de Relaciones Gubernamentales e Iniciativa de Investigación Comunitaria de AltaMed Health Services Corporation.


    En el Condado de Los Ángeles, el Seguro Social contribuye con $14.5 miles de millones de dólares a la economía local a través de los beneficios que reciben 1.5 millones de residentes, incluyendo a 765,380 jubilados, 142,095 trabajadores con discapacidades, y 83,360 niños. El programa del Seguro Social sirve a 5 millones de residentes de California y evita que 1.1 millones de ellos vivan en la pobreza. El foro de Los Ángeles es el cuarto de la serie que se está llevando a cabo en el país como parte de la campaña Latinos y el Seguro Social ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!.

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

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

    Para más información sobre Latinos para una Jubilación Segura, 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
     


    Panel unveils plan to modernize the program for future U.S. “majority-minority” population

    LOS ANGELES—A town hall meeting in Los Angeles today brought together national advocates, local leaders, and seniors from the Black, Hispanic, and Asian American communities who are concerned that Congress may cut Social Security benefits that keep millions of Americans out of poverty. A panel of experts emphasized the need to modernize Social Security to ensure the program’s long-term solvency and improve benefits for the growing population of workers and families of color who are more vulnerable to economic instability and far less likely to have generational wealth than White families.

    The forum, which was hosted by AltaMed Health Services Corporation, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), Global Policy Solutions, Insight Center for Community Economic Development (Insight), and Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR), featured remarks from Representative Judy Chu (CA-32) and offered simultaneous interpretation in Spanish and Chinese.

    Although Social Security is self-funded and does not contribute to the national deficit, there is mounting concern that the Congressional Super Committee now meeting will recommend mainly a cuts approach to Social Security that would reduce cost-of-living increases or raise the retirement age.

    “Any changes to Social Security must consider key differences in how racial and ethnic groups use the program. For example, Latinos and Asians have longer life expectancies than Whites or other minority groups, so the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) is especially important because it maintains the purchasing power of Social Security benefits over time,” said Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions. “And maintaining a strong benefit for those who retire earlier is vital to shorter-lived African Americans and Native Americans.”

    “Social Security keeps 20 million Americans out of poverty and people of color rely more heavily on these benefits than other Americans,” said Leticia Miranda, Associate Director of NCLR’s Employment and Economic Policy Project. “We must protect those who rely on this program from across-the-board cuts that could leave them more insecure than they are today.”

    Despite a progressive formula that favors low-wage workers, most Social Security benefits are modest and compose a large part of the income of minority seniors. In 2009, the average yearly benefits for Black senior men and women were $13,889 and $11,369, and for Hispanic senior men and women, these were $12,823 and $9,968. Asian American and Pacific Islander senior men and women collected average yearly benefits of $13,783 and $11,102. These modest Social Security benefits represent at least 90 percent of the income for about half of Latino, Black, and Asian American seniors today.

    The speakers outlined a new report by the Commission to Modernize Social Security, Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color, which 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, making harmful across-the-board benefit cuts unnecessary.

    The Commission’s recommendations provide enough revenue to increase benefits for vulnerable populations such as those who are long-lived, low-income widowed spouses, orphaned college students, caregivers, and long-term low-wage workers.

    “We oppose the cuts-only approach favored by many in Congress and urge our nation’s leaders to improve Social Security’s revenue base so it is sustainable and can better meet the needs of our future workforce,” said Meizhu Lui, Director Emeritus for the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

    “Social Security benefits provide a lifeline to the seniors we serve in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. They are worried about changes that could reduce their benefits and those of future generations. Seniors are concerned about the state and federal budget cuts that could reduce their benefits, affecting their ability to stay healthy and placing undue burdens on their children and grandchildren,” said Dr. Marie Torres, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Community Research Initiatives at AltaMed Health Services Corporation.

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

    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:
    Sean Holiday, Camino Nuevo Charter
    Academy, 213-290-2622
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR, (202) 776-1714
    Sarah-Frances Wallace, Lowe’s Companies,
    Inc., (704)758-4339
     


    NCLR and Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation help a high school build brighter futures

     

    LOS ANGELES—The Camino Nuevo Charter Academy will host a community celebration at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, October 28 to unveil its newly renovated school library. The celebration will take place at the school, located at 697 S. Burlington Avenue in Los Angeles. Remarks will be made by Zacarias Hernandez, President of the Site Based Council; Phillip Lance, School Founder; Sean Holiday, school principal; and a representative from the local Lowe’s branch.

    The library renovations were made possible through a $25,000 grant from NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. Funds were used to expand the existing library with a room that will include book storage and a meeting space for parents and students with direct access to the main library.

    The Burlington campus of the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy serves more than 500 students in grades K-8. The school’s curriculum incorporates an emphasis on the arts, the environment, and parent and community outreach. According to research cited by the American Library Association, strong library media programs help close the achievement gap for poor and minority students, particularly when it comes to reading scores at the high school level.

    The Camino Nuevo Charter Academy is the last of four schools to have its library renovated this year with funds provided by the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. Each school received a $25,000 grant for the renovation. The other schools are the East Austin College Prep Academy in Austin, the Los Angeles Leadership Academy in Los Angeles, and the George I. Sanchez High School in Houston.


    MEDIA ADVISORY

     

    WHAT:           Community celebration of the renovation of the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy library

    WHEN:          Friday, October 28, 2011, 1:30 p.m.

    WHERE:        Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
                         697 S. Burlington Avenue
                         Los Angeles, CA 90057

    WHO:           Zacarias Hernandez, President of the Site Based Council
                        Philip Lance, Founder, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
                        Sean Holiday, Principal, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
                        Representative from Lowe’s local branch


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    ABOUT NCLR
    NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    ABOUT LOWE’S
    Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K–12 public education and community improvement projects. The company’s signature education grant program, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, has brought more than $5 million in grants to K–12 public schools every year since its inception in 2005. “Lowe’s Heroes” employee volunteers support local community projects and national nonprofit partners such as Habitat for Humanity International and the American Red Cross. In 2010, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $30 million to support communities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/socialresponsibility.


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    PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:
    Sean Holiday, Camino Nuevo Charter
    Academy, 213-290-2622

    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR, (202) 776-1714

    Sarah-Frances Wallace, Lowe’s Companies,
    Inc., (704)758-4339
     


    La Fundación de Beneficencia y Educación de Lowe’s y el Consejo Nacional de La Raza contribuyen para que una escuela secundaria tenga un futuro más promisorio

    LOS ANGELES—La escuela Camino Nuevo Charter Academy será la anfitriona de una celebración comunitaria para inaugurar su biblioteca recientemente renovada el 28 de octubre a la 1:30 PM. La celebración se llevará a cabo en la escuela, ubicada en 697 S. Burlington Avenue en Los Angeles. Durante la apertura del evento el Sr Zacarías Hernández, presidente del Site Based Council; el Sr. Phillip Lance, fundador de la escuela; el Sr. Sean Holiday, director de la escuela; y un representante de una sucursal local de Lowe’s serán los oradores frente a la audiencia que asista a la inauguración.

    La renovación de la biblioteca pudo realizarse gracias a la subvención de $25,000 otorgada por el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés) y la Fundación de Beneficencia y Educación de Lowe’s. Los fondos se utilizaron para ampliar la biblioteca contando ahora con un cuarto con acceso directo a la biblioteca principal que se usará como depósito de libros y un espacio adyacente destinado a ser una sala de reuniones para padres y estudiantes.

    El campus Burlington de la Camino Nuevo Charter Academy tiene más de 500 estudiantes en los grados K-8. El plan de estudios de la escuela enfatiza asignaturas para impartir instrucción sobre las artes, el medio ambiente, y el acercamiento a los padres y la comunidad. Según una investigación citada por la American Library Association, el hecho de que una biblioteca cuente con buenos programas y recursos contribuye a cerrar la brecha de rendimiento escolar de los estudiantes pobres y de los procedentes de minorías, especialmente en los puntajes correspondientes a lectura a nivel de la escuela secundaria.

    Camino Nuevo Charter Academy es una de cuatro escuelas que renovaron este año sus bibliotecas con fondos provistos por la Fundación de Beneficencia y Educación de Lowe’s. Cada escuela recibió $25,000 para la renovación de su biblioteca. Las otras escuelas que recibieron este subsidio son las siguientes: George I. Sanchez Charter High School en Houston, East Austin College Prep Academy en Austin, y Los Angeles Leadership Academy, también situada en Los Angeles.

     

    AVISO DE PRENSA

     

    QUÉ:                                Celebración comunitaria por la renovación de la biblioteca de la escuela Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

    CUÁNDO:                         Viernes 28 de octubre a las 1:30 PM

    DÓNDE:                           Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
                                            697 S. Burlington Avenue
                                            Los Angeles, CA 90057

    QUIÉNES:                       Zacarías Hernández, presidente del Site Based Council
                                           Philip Lance, fundador de Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
                                           Sean Holiday, director de Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
                                           Representante de una sucursal local de Lowe’s.


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    Acerca del Consejo Nacional de La Raza
    El Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR) es la organización nacional más grande de apoyo y defensa de los derechos civiles de los hispanos en los Estados Unidos y trabaja para mejorar sus oportunidades. Para más información sobre el NCLR, por favor visite www.nclr.org o síganos en Facebook y Twitter.

    Acerca de LOWE’S
    Lowe’s apoya a las comunidades a través de sus programas dirigidos a la educación pública de los grados K–12 y proyectos de mejoras de la comunidad. La empresa tiene un programa de becas para la educación: Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. Desde 2005, cuando inició este programa, ha donado anualmente más de $5 millones de dólares en becas para los grados K–12 de las escuelas públicas. Los “Héroes de Lowe’s” son empleados voluntarios que apoyan los proyectos comunitarios locales y colaboran con organizaciones sin fines de lucro como Habitat for Humanity International y la Cruz Roja Americana. En 2010, Lowe’s y su Fundación de Beneficencia y Educación contribuyeron con más de $30 millones de dólares para apoyar a comunidades en los Estados Unidos, Canadá y México. Para obtener más información, visite Lowes.com/socialresponsibility.


     


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    For Immediate Release

    Contact: Andrew Sousa
    (202) 265-5111

     

     

    Prominent Health and Income Security Groups Raise Concerns About the Effects of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Cuts on Communities of Color

    Washington, DC - As the United States transitions to a “majority-minority” population over the next three decades, prominent health and income security groups say the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and other Members of Congress must take into account how changes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will affect communities of color, a population that is growing and increasingly economically insecure.

     

     

    What:         Capitol Hill briefing entitled, “What’s at Stake? Proposed Deficit Reduction Measures Affecting Social Security, Medicare,
                      and Medicaid and the Impact on Communities of Color”
    with leading health and economy policy experts addressing how
                      certain deficit reduction measures will affect communities of color and presenting key finding from recent reports by the
                      Commission to Modernize Social Security and Families USA.

    Who:          Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO, Global Policy Solutions
                      Max Richtman, President & CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation
                      Leticia Miranda, Associate Director, Economic and Employment Policy, National Council of La Raza
                      Ivy Ngo, Policy Advocate, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
                      Wilhelmina Leigh, Senior Research Associate, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
                      Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, Director, Health Equity, Families USA

    When:        Friday, October 28, 2011 | 10:00am – 12:00pm

    Where:      The Gold Room |2168 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC

    In March of 2011, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and Global Policy Solutions convened the Commission to Modernize Social Security, comprised of experts from or representing African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latino, and Native American communities. The commission recently released Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on Communities of Color which includes proposals to extend Social Security’s long term solvency while also modernizing the program to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse society. Families USA recently released Medicaid: A Lifeline for Blacks and Latinos with Serious Health Care Needs, which examines Medicaid’s critical role in providing access to health care for African Americans and Latinos.

    The briefing is hosted by Global Policy Solutions, the Insight Center for Community and Economic Development, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation and Families USA.

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    PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:
    Andrew Sousa
    (202) 265-5111


    Grupos nacionales expresan su preocupación sobre los efectos que los recortes al Seguro Social, Medicare y Medicaid tendrán en las comunidades de color

    Washington, DC – A medida que los Estados Unidos se transforma en una población de “mayoría-minoría” en las próximas tres décadas, los grupos prominentes para la protección de la salud y los ingresos dicen que el Comité Conjunto Selecto para la reducción del déficit y otros miembros del Congreso deben considerar cómo los cambios al Seguro Social, Medicare y Medicaid afectarán a las comunidades de color, una población que está creciendo y es cada vez más insegura económicamente.

     

    Qué:         Sesión informativa del Capitolio titulada: “¿Qué está en juego? Medidas propuestas para la reducción del
                     déficit que afectan al Seguro Social, Medicare, y Medicaid, así como su impacto en las comunidades de
                     color
    (What’s at Stake? Proposed Deficit Reduction Measures Affecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
                     and the Impact on Communities of Color)
    ”. En esta sesión, expertos sobre políticas de salud y economía abordarán cómo
                     ciertas medidas para la reducción del déficit afectarán a las comunidades de color, y presentarán hallazgos clave de informes
                     recientes de la Comisión para la Modernización del Seguro Social y Familias de los EE.UU..

    Quiénes:  Maya Rockeymoore, presidenta y directora general de Global Policy Solutions
                     Max Richtman, presidente y director general del Comité Nacional para la Preservación del Seguro Social y Medicare
                     Leticia Miranda, directora adjunta del Proyecto de Política Económica y Empleo del Consejo Nacional de La Raza
                     Ivy Ngo, defensora de políticas del Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
                     Wilhelmina Leigh, investigadora principal en el Centro de Estudios Políticos y Económicos
                     Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, directora de Health Equity, Families USA

    Cuándo:    Viernes 28 de octubre de 2011; de 10:00 AM a 12:00 PM
    Dónde:      The Gold Room|2168 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC

     

    En marzo de 2011, el Insight Center for Community Economic Development y Global Policy Solutions convocaron a la Comisión para la Modernización del Seguro Social, integrada por expertos representantes o integrantes de las comunidades afroestadounidense, asiáticoestadounidense, isleñas estadounidenses del Pacífico, latina e indígenas estadounidenses. La comisión recientemente publicó el “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)”, que incluye propuestas para extender la solvencia del Seguro Social a largo plazo, al mismo tiempo que se moderniza el programa para satisfacer las necesidades de una sociedad cada vez más diversa. Por otro lado, Families USA publicó recientemente el informe Medicaid: Un medio de supervivencia para los afroestadounidenses y latinos con serias necesidades médicas (Medicaid: A Lifeline for Blacks and Latinos with Serious Health Care Needs), que examina el importante papel que tiene Medicaid en proveer atención médica para los sectores poblacionales de afroestadounidenses y latinos.

    Los anfitriones de la sesión informativa son Global Policy Solutions, el Insight Center for Community and Economic Development, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation and Families USA.

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    By Janis Bowdler, Director, Wealth-Building Policy Project, NCLR

    Earlier this week, President Obama and Ed DeMarco, the overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced their intention to remove barriers that have kept working homeowners from refinancing home loans into low-interest rates. Like anything coming out of Washington, the devil is in the details, and we must wait for those as in-depth operational changes will not be issued until November 15. Based on what we know so far, three elements look promising for Latino families:

    • Removal of the loan-to-value limits, which will help families who owe more than the value of their home qualify for a new and potentially more affordable loan
    • Reduction in refinancing fees, and
    • Streamlined appraisal approvals, which are critical for homeowners in soft real estate markets

    Still, we are disappointed that DeMarco did not take this opportunity to more broadly and effectively revive the distressed housing market. Under DeMarco’s watch―and in some cases under his insistence―Fannie and Freddie have failed to enforce the basic servicing standards that much of the industry agrees are best practice, such as halting the foreclosure process while a homeowner is still under consideration for a loan modification. Most importantly, Fannie, Freddie, and their regulator have refused to reduce principle balances even though it is widely recognized as one of the most promising strategies for keeping families in their homes. Keeping homeowners in place is critical to reducing blight in hard-hit neighborhoods and stabilizing weak home values.

    Although it did not go far enough, the announcement signals a subtle pivot for the Obama administration. There is no question that the collapse of Fannie and Freddie has come at a high cost to taxpayers. What remains in question is how these entities can be better harnessed to usher in our economic recovery. Until recently, Fannie and Freddie represented such a political lightning rod that few policymakers were willing to talk about anything except how to speed their undoing. Over the last couple of months, the administration has quietly changed its approach. In August, Fannie and Freddie solicited proposals for the disposition of the foreclosed properties, and now, unlikely allies across the country are collaborating to turn eyesores into attractive homes for sale or rent. This week’s focus on helping underwater homeowners refinance is a welcome next step.

    The administration should not stop here. We need bolder solutions that tackle head on the troubles of our housing market. Fannie and Freddie can be part of the solution by enforcing responsible servicing practices, reducing principle, and developing a strategy for selling foreclosed homes, thereby putting neighborhood recovery first. Otherwise, we will continue to watch America’s homes deteriorate. 


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    By Janis Bowdler

    Last week I testified before the Senate Banking Committee on the virtues of the 30-year fixed- rate mortgage. For eight decades running, this type of mortgage has made homeownership affordable and stable for working and middle-class families. This winning formula has allowed millions to obtain the only leveraged asset most will ever own. This is particularly true for Latino and Black households, for whom home equity makes up 65% and 59% of household wealth.

    Not everyone is a fan of this home loan mainstay. During the hearing, critics argued that families would be better off with adjustable-rate mortgages, that fixed-rate financing is expensive, and that the 30-year mortgage is an anomaly on which Americans have become too reliant. The first two criticisms assume that families are well positioned to play the interest-rate markets. However, this runs contrary to how most families view their home. Buying a home is so much more than a purely financial transaction. For most, it is a long-term nest egg; the true payoff is in benefitting the next generation.

    The third criticism gets at the heart of the debate—the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie and Freddie naysayers are pushing for a fully private system. However, lenders, especially small community lenders, say that under a private system they would not be able to offer fully amortizing 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. There is no question that the failure of Fannie and Freddie is costing taxpayers dearly. However, it was these agencies’ mission creep that allowed them to chase high profits by buying toxic mortgage bundles on the secondary market. Had they stuck to good old fashioned 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, they would be in much better shape.

    Many of those toxic mortgages purchased by Fannie and Freddie were the byproducts of predatory lending practices in Hispanic and Black neighborhoods. Abundant research indicates that Latino and Black homeowners were steered to toxic subprime loans, even when they had solid credit that warranted prime loans. Thanks to this phenomenon, the wealth of the White population now exceeds that of Latinos by a staggering 18:1 ratio and by 20:1 for Blacks. This wealth gap is largely attributable to differences in home equity and the loss of homes through foreclosure. Had responsible lenders offering 30-year fixed-loans pursued communities of color with as much vigor as did the subprime sharks, Black and Hispanic homeowners would be in much better shape as well.

    Of course, families should enter homeownership prepared with sound financial knowledge and the assurance that they can make their mortgage payments. Fortunately, several decades of innovative affordable lending have taught us how to mitigate the risk of extending credit to first-time homebuyers, low-wealth borrowers, and underserved communities. When families receive the right loan with the right support, they can be sustainable homeowners while building wealth―even with modest incomes and low downpayments.

    Rather than dismiss a proven financial tool and affordability features, advocates and policymakers should work together to preserve those aspects of our housing finance system that work well. As policymakers begin to grapple with the future of lending, their first priority should be to maintain liquidity for affordable 30-year fixed-rate loans that are made equally available to all qualified families throughout the country. This is not to say that a single type of home loan will suit everyone’s needs. However, without securing this basic type of mortgage, homeownership will be reserved for those privileged enough to have inherited the wealth necessary for sizeable downpayments or incomes high enough to withstand fluctuating interest rates.


     


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    PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA  
    27 de octubre de 2011    

    Contacto:
    Luz Gallegos, TODEC (951) 443-8458
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR (202) 776-1714
     

    Foro en Perris de la campaña nacional ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! discutirá el futuro del Seguro Social y la amenaza de posibles recortes

    Perris, Calif.— En respuesta a la creciente amenaza de posibles recortes al programa del Seguro Social,  un programa conjunto, que provee una red de seguridad financiera a muchos ancianos y personas discapacitadas en el país, TODEC Legal Center, NCLR (El Consejo Nacional de la Raza), AARP, Latinos por un Retiro Seguro (LSR) y AARP llevarán a cabo un foro abierto sobre la importancia del programa para miles de familias hispanas y para el estado de la California. 
     
    El foro comenzará a las 11:00 am el miércoles, 1 de noviembre, en el TODEC Legal Center, ubicado en 234 South D St. en Perris.  El evento es gratuito y abierto al público, y contará con la participación del Alcalde Daryl Busch, y panelistas de NCLR, AARP, LSR y TODEC, como también otros expertos en el tema.  Se servirán bocadillos y bebidas.
     
    El Seguro Social es reconocido como un programa público exitoso y eficiente que sirve para proveer ayuda esencial para muchas personas de este  país que no pueden trabajar por su edad o su discapacidad. A pesar de que el programa no ha contribuido ni en un centavo al déficit nacional y en su estado actual será financieramente solvente hasta el año 2036, el programa ha sido atacado bajo el pretexto de reducir el déficit. 
     
    Los hispanos de mayor edad son particularmente vulnerables a los propuestos recortes y a los cambios al programa del Seguro Social.  A pesar de que el programa evita que millones de estas personas caigan en la pobreza, el beneficio promedio para las personas hispanas de la mayor edad es solamente $12,213 para los hombres, y $9,536 para las mujeres.  Para la mitad de nuestra población hispana, este ingreso representa un promedio mínimo del 90% de su ingreso total, lo que indica que cualquier recorte podría tener consecuencias devastadoras. 
     
    En el condado de Riverside, el programa del Seguro Social contribuye más de 4 mil millones de dólares anuales a la economía local a través de los beneficios que paga a más de 306,080 residentes, incluyendo 205,820 jubilados, 38,640 personas discapacitadas y 23,655 niños.  El Seguro Social ayuda a más de 5 millones de residentes del estado de la California y evita que 1.1 millones individuos vivan en la pobreza en nuestro estado. 
     
    El foro a llevarse a cabo en Perris es la quinta de una serie de foros que se realizan en este país como parte de la campaña ‘Latinos y el Seguro Social ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!’ Además de los expertos panelistas, la prensa tendrá oportunidad de entrevistar a los participantes.  
     

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:   Reunión municipal acerca del Seguro Social y su papel importante de  mantener alas personas latinas de la mayor edad  y a los trabajadores hispanos con discapacidades del estado de la California que viven en un nivel de pobreza.  El evento es gratuito y abierto al público.  Se servirán bocadillos y bebidas.
     
    WHO: Daryl Busch, Alcalde de Perris Luz Maria Ayala, Directora Ejecutiva, TODEC Legal Center Leticia Miranda, Subdirectora, Proyecto sobre la Política Economica y Empleo, NCLR Robert Prath, Administrador Voluntario de Operaciones del Estado, Miembro del Consejo Ejecutivo Estatal de California y del Consejo Nacional de Políticas del AARP
     
    WHEN:  Martes, 1 de noviembre del 2011 11:00 a.m. 
     
    WHERE:  TODEC Legal Center
                      234 South D Street
                      Perris, Calif. 92570
                      (Estacionamiento gratuito)

     
    El cupo es limitado.  Para reservar su asiento u obtener más información, llame a Luz Gallegos al (951) 443-8458.
     
    Para más información sobre TODEL Legal Center, visite: www.todec.org.
     
    Para más información sobre NCLR, visite:  www.nclr.org or www.nclr.org/socialsecurity.
     
    Para más información sobre AARP, visite:  www.aarp.org.
     
    Para más información sobre LSR, visite:   www.latinosforasecureretirement.org.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
    October 27, 2011

    Contact:
    Luz Gallegos, TODEC (951) 443-8458
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR (202) 776-1714

    Perris forum to address seniors’ concerns as part of the ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! campaign

    Perris, Calif.—As concern grows over potential cuts to the financial safety net for America’s seniors and disabled, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), AARP and Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR), will join the Training Occupational Development Educating Communities Legal Center (TODEC Legal Center) in hosting a community town hall on Social Security and its importance to Latino families and the state of California.

    The forum will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 1, at the TODEC Legal Center, located at 234 South D St. in Perris, Calif. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature Mayor Daryl Busch and speakers from NCLR, LSR, AARP, TODEC and others. A light breakfast will be served.

    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.

    Latino seniors are particularly vulnerable to the most recent proposed cuts and changes to Social Security. Although the program keeps millions of seniors out of poverty, the average yearly Social Security benefit for Hispanic seniors is only $12,213 for men and only $9,536 for women. These benefits represent at least 90% of the income for more than half of Latino seniors; cuts to the program could be disastrous.

    In Riverside County, Social Security contributes $4 billion annually to the local economy by paying benefits to 306,080 county residents, including 205,820 retirees, 38,640 disabled workers, and 23,655 children.  Social Security serves five million residents in California and prevents 1.1 million from living in poverty. The Perris forum is the fifth in a series being held across the country as part of the Latinos and Social Security ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! campaign. In addition to experts on this issue, Latino seniors at the event will be available for interviews.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:
    Town hall on Social Security and its importance to keeping California’s Latino seniors and disabled workers out of poverty. This event is free and open to the public.

    WHO:
    Daryl Busch, Mayor of Perris
    Luz Maria Ayala, Executive Director, TODEC Legal Center
    Leticia Miranda, Associate Director, Economic and Employment Policy Project, NCLR
    Robert Prath, Volunteer Manager of State Operations, Member of the California
    State Executive Council and National Policy Council, AARP 

    WHEN: 
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011
    11:00 a.m. PST

    WHERE:
    TODEC Legal Center
    234 South D Street
    Perris, Calif. 92570
    (free parking available)

    Space is limited. To RSVP for this event or to get more information, please call Luz Gallegos at (951) 443-8458.

    For more information about the TODEC Legal Center, visit www.todec.org.

    For more information about AARP, visit www.aarp.org.

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

    For more information about LSR, visit www.latinosforasecureretirement.org.

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    For Immediate Release

    Contact:
    Andrew Sousa
    Global Policy Solutions
    (202) 265-5111
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR
    (202) 776-1714


    Prominent Health and Income Security Groups Raise Concerns about the Effects of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Cuts on Communities of Color

    Washington, D.C.—As the United States transitions to a “majority-minority” population over the next three decades, prominent health and income security groups say the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and other members of Congress must take into account how changes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will affect communities of color, a population that is growing and increasingly economically insecure.

    Two new reports show the importance of programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to communities of color. Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on Communities of Color, released by the Commission to Modernize Social Security, 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 importance of Medicaid to the Black and Latino communities, as well as the heavy burden of chronic disease borne by these groups, is documented in a detailed report, Medicaid: A Lifeline for Blacks and Latinos With Serious Health Care Needs, which was recently released by Families USA.

    “By focusing on the needs of communities of color, these reports are particularly timely and important. Times of economic uncertainty show us even more clearly how important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are to millions of Americans, especially those hit hardest by this recession,” said Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation. “Rather than searching for ways to preserve and strengthen these programs, too many in Congress talk about them only as a way to pay down our debt. We should be looking for ways to modernize these programs, increasing the adequacy of benefits in anticipation of demographic realities we can’t ignore rather than using the program as a bargaining chip in the current deficit reduction debate.”

    Medicaid: A Lifeline for Blacks and Latinos with Serious Health Care Needs shows that because Blacks and Latinos tend to have lower incomes than Whites, they are more than twice as likely to rely on Medicaid for health coverage. In addition, Medicaid helps roughly half of all Black and Latino children get a healthy start in life, and it helps Black and Latino seniors and people with disabilities who need long-term care. The report also argues that making cuts to the Medicaid program doesn’t reduce medical costs; instead, it merely shifts those costs—to states, to families, to hospitals, and ultimately, to people with insurance. In some cases, the report notes, cutting assistance for treatment increases costs over the long run.

    “There are critical disparities in the delivery of health care to Black and Latino communities, which contribute to a higher incidence and greater severity of chronic and serious health conditions in those communities,” Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, said today. “That medical reality, combined with the fact that these communities tend to have lower incomes, means that Medicaid is a vital lifeline that protects the health and well-being of these Americans.”

    Plan for a New Future 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. It also reveals stark differences in how Social Security is used by Whites and people of color. While the vast majority of Whites (74 percent) depend on Social Security for the program’s retirement benefits, almost half (45 percent) of all African American beneficiaries and a majority (58 percent) 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 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.

    “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 Dr. 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.”

    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.

    “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 NCLR (National Council of La Raza). “For many families, Social Security is critical to staying out of poverty.”

    “Social Security is particularly important for helping vulnerable refugee and immigrant communities to be economically secure,” said Commission member Doua Thor, Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. “Elderly refugees and immigrants actually have lower benefit levels due to shorter work histories, working in the low-wage service sector, and simply not knowing of the program due to language and cultural barriers. In spite of these obstacles, Social Security is important in our communities because we are more likely to depend on it as our sole income in retirement.”

    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. Other options identified by the Commission for reaching solvency include adding all new state and local workers to the program and slowly raising Social Security’s payroll tax by one-fortieth of one percent over 20 years.

    “Social Security is the only source of income for two of every five African American retiree households age 65 and older,” said Commission member Dr. Wilhelmina Leigh, Senior Research Associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. “So any proposals to guarantee system solvency should also guarantee the adequacy of benefits going forward.”

    Plan for a New Future also recommends improving benefits for future recipients by updating the Special Minimum Benefit to 125 percent of poverty to strengthen benefits for those who have spent their adult lives in low-paying jobs and who 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; and providing dependent care benefits to help those who serve as unpaid caregivers for children.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

    Contact:

    Luz Gallegos, TODEC (951) 443-8458 
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR (202) 776-1714

    "Latinos and Social Security ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!” town hall forum was held in Perris

    Perris, Calif.—A town hall forum held in Perris today brought together Latino seniors and community leaders who are concerned that the U.S. Congress may reduce the modest Social Security benefits that they rely on for most of their income and health care. Seniors who attended the forum hosted by the Training Occupational Development Educating Communities Legal Center (TODEC Legal Center), NCLR (National Council of La Raza), AARP, and the Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR) coalition voiced their opposition to potential cuts and told representatives of these groups about how reduced benefits could affect them and their families.

    As the nation anticipates the recommendations of a congressional super committee charged with negotiating a long-term solution for the federal budget, there is growing concern about the potential effects of cuts made to programs like Social Security that help keep millions of people out of poverty. The forum, which is part of the “Latinos and Social Security ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!” campaign, featured Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and experts on the Social Security program that provides some financial security to low-income seniors and others.

    “Social Security has always paid its own way and is expected to do so in the decades ahead. Its promise, which is so critical to millions of retirees, low income workers and their families, should not be threatened by those that want to use it as a piggy bank for the current national deficit,” said Robert Prath, Volunteer Manager of State Operations, Member of the California State Executive Council and National Policy Council of AARP.

    In Riverside County, Social Security contributes $4 billion annually to the local economy by paying benefits to 306,080 county residents, including 205,820 retirees, 38,640 disabled workers, and 23,655 children. Social Security serves five million residents in California and prevents 1.1 million from living in poverty.

    Latino seniors are particularly vulnerable to cuts and changes because Social Security benefits represent nearly all of their income. While Social Security’s progressive benefit formula favors low-wage workers, Hispanic seniors receive the lowest average benefits due to lower lifetime earnings. Average yearly benefits for Hispanic seniors are only $12,213 for men and just $9,536 for women. More than half of Latino seniors rely on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income.

    “Many people we serve in our community rely on Social Security for all of their income and they are barely surviving. TODEC Legal Center is committed to ensuring that our community is well-informed and engaged in the debate about changes to Social Security that could hurt those who are most vulnerable,” said Luz Maria Ayala, Executive Director of the TODEC Legal Center.

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) is severely underfunded, which has led to unacceptable delays in benefit claims for disabled Hispanics. This year, SSA closed several field offices, furloughed thousands of workers, and suspended the annual participant benefit statement. This is despite the fact that the program has not contributed one dime to the federal deficit and will remain financially solvent without any changes until 2037.

    “Social Security has been vital for our nation’s seniors, disabled workers, and family members for 76 years. We must take steps to ensure that this program is there and made stronger for future generations of workers who will be more diverse in terms of race and ethnicity,” said Leticia Miranda, Associate Director of NCLR’s Employment and Economic Policy Project.

    The speakers also noted that older Hispanics are more likely than other seniors to access Medicare with the support of Medicaid, and may experience the worst of the repercussions from proposals to reduce the federal deficit by cutting these programs and Social Security benefits.

    The Perris forum is the fifth in a series being held across the country as part of the “Latinos and Social Security, ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!” campaign. The previous forum was held in Los Angeles on October 19 and featured a new report by the Commission to Modernize Social Security, Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color, which includes measures to close Social Security’s 75-year actuarial deficit and improve benefits for those who need them most.
     
    For more information about the TODEC Legal Center, visit www.todec.org.

    For more information about AARP, visit www.aarp.org.

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

    For more information about LSR, visit www.latinosforasecureretirement.org.

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    PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:
    Luz Gallegos, TODEC (951) 443-8458
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR (202) 776-1714

    Foro abierto “Latinos y el Seguro Social, ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!” en Perris

    Perris, Calif.—En el foro municipal que tomo lugar hoy en Perris se reunieron líderes comunitarios y personas de mayor edad preocupados por la posibilidad de que el Congreso de EE.UU. reduzca las modestas prestaciones del Seguro Social de las que dependen para gran parte de sus ingresos. Las personas de mayor edad que asistieron al foro, presentado por el TODEC Legal Center, NCLR (El Consejo Nacional de la Raza), AARP, Latinos por un Retiro Seguro (LSR) y AARP, expresaron su oposición a los recortes potenciales, y les dijeron a los representantes de estos grupos cómo estos recortes les podría afectar a ellos y a sus familias.

    Como anticipo a las recomendaciones del “supercomité” encargado por el Congreso de EE. UU. de negociar una solución a largo plazo para el presupuesto federal, ya existe una creciente preocupación sobre los posibles efectos que tendrán los recortes que se lleguen a hacer a los programas como el Seguro Social, que ayudan a mantener a millones de personas fuera de la pobreza. El foro, que es parte de la campaña “Latinos y el Seguro Social, ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!”, contó con el alcalde de Perris, Daryl Busch, y expertos en estos programas federales que proporcionan cierta seguridad financiera a las personas de mayor edad de bajos ingresos y a otras personas también.

    “El Seguro Social siempre ha cubierto sus gastos y se espera que lo siga haciendo en las próximas décadas. Su promesa, tan importante para millones de jubilados, trabajadores de bajos ingresos y sus familias, no debería verse amenazada por aquellos que quieren utilizarla como si fuese una alcancía para solucionar el déficit nacional actual”, dijo Robert Prath, Administrador Voluntario de Operaciones del Estado, Miembro del Consejo Ejecutivo Estatal de California y del Consejo Nacional de Políticas del AARP

    En Riverside County, el programa del Seguro Social contribuye con más de 4 mil millones de dólares anuales a la economía local a través de los beneficios que paga a más de 306,080 residentes, incluyendo 205,820 jubilados, 38,640 personas discapacitadas y 23,655 niños. El Seguro Social ayuda a más de 5 millones de residentes del estado de California y evita que 1.1 millones individuos vivan en la pobreza en nuestro estado.

    Las personas latinas de mayor edad son especialmente vulnerables a los recortes y cambios porque los beneficios que reciben del Seguro Social representan casi todos sus ingresos. Mientras que la fórmula de beneficio progresivo favorece a los trabajadores de salarios bajos, las personas hispanas de mayor edad reciben los beneficios promedio más bajos debido a que durante su vida ganaron menos. Las beneficios anuales promedio que reciben los hombres y mujeres hispanos de mayor edad son de $12,213 y $9,536 respectivamente. Más de la mitad de las personas de mayor edad latinas dependen del Seguro Social para cubrir el 90% de sus ingresos.

    “Mucha gente a la que servimos en nuestra comunidad depende del Seguro Social para el total de sus ingresos y apenas sobreviven. TODEC Legal Center se compromete a asegurar que nuestra comunidad esté bien informada y se involucre en el debate sobre los cambios al Seguro Social que podrían perjudicar a las personas más vulnerables”, dijo Luz Maria Ayala, Directora Ejecutiva de TODEC Legal Center.

    La grave insuficiencia de fondos de la Administración del Seguro Social (SSA, por sus siglas en inglés) ha dado lugar a demoras inaceptables en las reclamaciones de beneficios de los latinos con discapacidades. Este año, la SSA cerró varias oficinas locales, dio excedencia a miles de trabajadores y suspendió el envío del informe anual de beneficios a los participantes. Esto a pesar del hecho de que el programa no ha contribuido al problema del déficit federal y permanecerá solvente hasta el 2037 sin ningún cambio.

    “El Seguro Social ha sido vital para las personas de mayor edad, trabajadores discapacitados y miembros de las familias de nuestra nación durante 76 años. Debemos tomar medidas para garantizar su existencia, y fortalecerlo, para las generaciones futuras de trabajadores que serán más diversas en términos de raza y etnia”, dijo Leticia Miranda, Subdirectora, Proyecto sobre la Política Economica y Empleo de NCLR.

    Los ponentes también señalaron que los hispanos de mayor edad son más propensos a acceder a Medicare con el apoyo de Medicaid que otras personas mayores, y es posible que sufran las peores consecuencias de las actuales propuestas de reducción del déficit federal mediante el recorte a estos programas y prestaciones del Seguro Social.

    El foro en Perris fue el quinto de una serie de foros que se realizan en este país como parte de la campaña “Latinos y el Seguro Social, ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!”. El foro anterior se realizó en Los Angeles el 19 de octubre y donde la Comisión para la Modernización del Seguro Social presentó un nuevo informe, “Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color”, que incluye medidas que proyectan cerrar en 75 años el déficit actuarial y mejorar las prestaciones para aquellos que más lo necesitan.

    Para más información sobre TODEL Legal Center, visite: www.todec.org.

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

    Para más información sobre AARP, visite: www.aarp.org.

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

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Chryste Hall, AARP, (617) 852-3710,
    Kathy Mimberg, NCLR, (202) 776-1714 

    Forum to address seniors’ concerns as part of the ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! campaign

    Boston—Hundreds of Boston-area Latino seniors will make their voices heard during a bilingual community town hall on Social Security and Medicare. As the congressional super committee readies its proposal to reduce the federal deficit, concern grows over potential cuts to the financial safety net for America’s seniors and disabled.

    The bilingual town hall will be held on Thursday, November 3 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, located at 1350 Tremont Street in Boston. The forum is hosted by AARP, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), La Alianza Hispana, LULAC Massachusetts, Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR), NCLR (National Council of La Raza), ¿Oiste?, and the City of Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly.

    The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature government representatives and speakers from the organizing groups. Lunch will be served. Since space is limited, registration is requested; please call (617) 348-6565 or email Nov3townhall@gmail.com.

    Social Security and Medicare are widely recognized as successful, efficient public programs that serve as a powerful safety net for Americans. However, these landmark programs have come under attack under the guise of deficit reduction. Social Security has not contributed one dime to the federal deficit and will remain financially solvent without any changes until 2036; cuts to Medicare alone will not address the skyrocketing costs seen throughout the health care system.
    Latino seniors are particularly vulnerable to the most recent proposed cuts and changes to Social Security. Although the program keeps millions of seniors out of poverty, the average yearly Social Security benefit for Hispanic seniors is only $12,213 for men and only $9,536 for women. These benefits represent at least 90% of the income for more than half of Latino seniors; cuts to the program could be disastrous.

    In Massachusetts, Social Security contributes more than $15 billion annually to the local economy by paying benefits to 1,140,830 residents, including 805,400 seniors, 187,300 disabled workers, and 91,700 children. Without Social Security income, nearly 300,000 Bay State residents would fall into poverty. The Boston town hall is the sixth in a series being held across the country as part of the “Latinos and Social Security ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!” campaign. In addition to experts on this issue, Latino seniors at the event will be available for interviews.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT: Bilingual town hall on Social Security and Medicare 

    WHO: Boston-area Latino seniors
                Kara Cohen, Community Service Director, AARP Massachusetts
                Jeff Cruz, Executive Director, Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR)
                Daphne Griffin, Chief of Human Services, City of Boston
                Leticia Miranda, Associate Director, Economic and Employment Policy Project, NCLR
                Hector Sanchez, Executive Director, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)


    WHEN: Thursday, November 3, 2011
                  10:00 a.m.–Noon

    WHERE: Reggie Lewis Athletic Center
                    1350 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02120

    For more information about AARP Massachusetts, visit www.aarp.org/ma.

    For more information about Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), visit www.bostonabcd.org.

    For more information about La Alianza Hispana, visit www.laalianza.org.

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

    For more information about LULAC Massachusetts, visit www.lulac.org.

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

    For more information about ¿Oiste?, visit www.oiste.net.

    For more information about the City of Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly, visit www.cityofboston.gov/elderly.

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  • 11/02/11--08:56: Different State, Same Hate
  • Department of Justice steps in to block South Carolina’s anti-immigrant law

    By Elena Lacayo, Immigration Field Coordinator, NCLR

    On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against South Carolina to block the implementation of SB 20, a divisive and dangerous anti-immigrant law signed by Gov. Nikki Haley (R–SC) earlier this year. If SB 20 does take effect on Jan. 1, 2012, the law will create a new $1.3 million immigration enforcement unit for South Carolina and provide local law enforcement with overly broad authority to investigate residents’ immigration statuses. As NCLR (National Council of La Raza) has repeatedly pointed out in the past, when other states attempted to pass similar bills, these anti-immigrant laws not only promote racial profiling and discrimination, but also violate the Constitution.

    Thankfully the DOJ has stepped in once again, filing a lawsuit which argues that the law could lead to harassment and discrimination, would place unnecessary burdens on federal agencies, and would interfere with the federal government’s authority to set and enforce immigration policy. The DOJ’s involvement in this case should be yet another indication that the administration will not sit idly by while state legislators overstep their boundaries and attempt to enact laws that wreak havoc on their own states’ economies and violate the civil rights of their citizens.

    SB 20 is quite simply not a legitimate solution to fix the immigration problem and will ultimately do South Carolina more harm than help; just look at its predecessors. When Arizona passed SB 1070, it inspired a boycott that cost the state $750 million. The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association recently estimated $140 million in losses attributed to labor shortage and estimates on agricultural losses in the state could top $1 billion from their law, HB 87. Likewise, Alabama’s HB 56 has certainly succeeded in driving out immigrants, who many are now realizing are crucial to its economy, particularly in the farming and construction industries. In fact, South Carolina’s farmers have already expressed their mounting concern over potential labor shortages that they could face as a result of an immigrant exodus.

    The courts have repeatedly blocked enforcement provisions in many anti-immigrant laws proposed in other states. It is illogical and unnecessarily costly for the South Carolina legislature to push a bill that exploits legitimate frustration with the broken immigration system, but fails to deliver rational policy solutions. We hope that the courts will grant this injunction and reaffirm what we know to be true—that the power to fix our immigration system lies in the hands of Congress.

    NCLR is equally frustrated with the lack of movement at the federal level on this issue. But that frustration should not give state legislators permission to overstep their legal boundaries and pass irresponsible laws that jeopardize the security of their citizens and violate Americans’ civil rights. We have to put pressure on our leaders in Congress to focus on the real issues and create viable solutions to fix our nation’s broken immigration system at the federal level. 


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    By Rafael Collazo, Campaign Political Director, NCLR

    The rise of voter suppression laws in the United States is a deep concern for the Latino community. We are gearing up for the 2012 election cycle, but laws such as Florida’s HB 1355 have seriously hampered voter engagement efforts. Such a law will most certainly present a challenge to NCLR as we begin our work in earnest this coming January.

    Voter suppression has also grabbed the attention of some members of Congress. Today, the senior Senator from Florida, Bill Nelson (D), asked Attorney General Eric Holder to open an investigation into these new laws. In a press advisory, Nelson’s office indicated that they are asking the Justice Department to find out if the voter suppression law in Florida and the more than a dozen other states with similar laws are “the result of a coordinated effort to suppress voter turnout among millions of seniors, young people and minorities in next year’s presidential election.”

    Mr. Holder’s justice department is already investigating Florida’s law in certain counties that were found to be out of compliance with the Voting Rights Act. Sen. Nelson’s request, however, would broaden the scope of that investigation to include more than a dozen other states that have implemented similar laws.

    We are especially concerned about how such laws will affect the Latino voting population in Florida and the several other states that have decided voter suppression is a priority. In Florida alone, there are 1.6 million Latinos currently registered to vote—that’s more than 13 percent of the state’s entire registered voter population. In 2008, Latinos made up almost 12 percent of all of those who voted in Florida. And, next year (and each year for the next 20 after it), 500,000 Latinos will become eligible to vote in the entire United States. We think this is encouraging news for our community, but the reality is that there are some elected officials who see these numbers as a threat. They will do anything they can to preserve their power, even if that means disenfranchising an entire community.

    The situation has become so critical in Florida that the non-partisan League of Women Voters, concerned about violating the misguided law, recently announced that after 72 years they would not be running their regular voter registration drive.

    The implications of HB 1355—and its counterparts in others states—are plain to see and must not be tolerated. We’re glad Sen. Nelson recognizes this law for what it is: thinly veiled disenfranchisement of minority populations. Hopefully the Justice Department thinks it’s important enough to investigate, too.

    You can read the full text of Sen. Nelson’s letter to Attorney General Holder below.

    November 3, 2011

    Dear Attorney General Holder:

    I have just written a letter to U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois who chairs the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. I have asked Sen. Durbin’s subcommittee to conduct a congressional investigation to see if Florida’s new election law is linked to the efforts to pass similar voting restrictions in 14 states so far this year.

    The changes mostly involve new ID requirements, shorter early voting periods and new restrictions on third parties who sign up new voters. In Florida, the League of Women Voters considered these restrictions so egregious it abandoned its registration drives after 72 years, and teachers there are running afoul of the law for the way they sign up students to vote.

    According to the first comprehensive study of the laws’ impact, just completed by The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, these voting changes could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters in numerous states to cast their ballots in 2012. Both The Washington Post and New York Times have reported such measures could keep young people and minorities away from the polls.

    If the Brennan Center is correct in its assessment that five million voters could be disenfranchised, that would be more than the all the registered voters in any of 42 states in this country.

    In short, indications are mounting of an effort to suppress the national vote. In Florida, the Justice Department continues reviewing how the voting law changes would affect certain voters, particularly minorities, pursuant to the Voting Rights Act. I believe more should be done.

    The Justice Department should investigate whether new state voting laws resulted from collusion or an orchestrated effort to limit voter turnout. The Department needs to determine whether or not there was broad-based motivation to suppress the vote—and, if so, whether any laws were violated.

    I look forward to your prompt response on this most serious of issues.

    Sincerely,

    Bill Nelson


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    NCLR also calls on Senate to pass the Infrastructure Jobs Bill in upcoming vote

    Washington—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) expressed its profound disappointment that, despite the need to make critical investments to spur job growth and lay the foundation for future national economic prosperity, the U.S. Senate failed yesterday to pass the “Rebuild America Jobs Act” (S. 1769), a provision of President Obama’s American Jobs Act that could have potentially put millions of Americans back to work. NCLR is also concerned that not one single Republican voted for this measure, which would have helped countless communities across the country that are still reeling from the economic downturn.

    “This is yet another failed opportunity to turn the tide for the millions of Americans, including millions of Latinos, who need good-paying jobs to lift themselves and this country out of the recession,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “We previously challenged Congress to step off of the sidelines and push policies that could stimulate job growth and save the American Dream. Yesterday’s vote shows that despite the rhetoric they may use, many of our elected leaders have clearly not prioritized job creation and do not understand the burden that the American people bear due to Congress’s lack of action.”

    Despite this setback, NCLR continues to urge Congress to aggressively pursue policies that will create job opportunities for the American people. In fact, last week, Senate leaders announced that they will move forward with a comprehensive bill that provides a two-year reauthorization of transportation construction legislation. The reauthorization of this bill, known as “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21), is especially important for Latinos, who make up a large sector of the workforce in industries that are crucial to modernizing our transportation infrastructure.

    “Smart, equitable transportation investments will strengthen our nation’s economy and productivity and will open up much-needed jobs,” added Murguía. “And Hispanics and other communities of color have the potential to benefit significantly from the job creation that stems from transportation-related projects. Congress passing a transportation infrastructure act would be a key step to expanding access to quality jobs in these industries.”

    For more information about Latino employment in the transportation sector, please read NCLR’s Monthly Latino Employment Report.

    NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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    The latest job figures are out, and there's been some slight improvement from last month, but the picture is still dreary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate ticked down from 9.1 percent to 9 percent. There was a total net gain of 80,000 new jobs and, according to the BLS, payroll employment has increased by an average of 125,000 jobs per month, which indicates slow, but steady growth.

    The new numbers do show some overall improvement, but this country is still in the middle of an unemployment crisis. Yet, no one in Washington seems to be able to do anything about it.

    Imagine what this monthly report might look like if Congress had the political will to actually do something about the lack of jobs in this country. Last night, the U.S. Senate had the opportunity to demonstrate courage and leadership when it was presented with the “Rebuild America Jobs Act” (S. 1769). Instead, the upper chamber chose politics over people when it voted to reject the bill and eliminated even the possibility of a debate.

    This infrastructure bill, a provision of the president’s proposed American Jobs Act, would have invested $50 billion in projects to improve the safety and effectiveness of the nation’s highways, rail systems, and airports, which could create hundreds of thousands of jobs in construction and other industries in which Latinos have a strong presence. It would have helped countless people across America who are still reeling from the economic downturn, especially Latinos. In contrast with the country overall, the Hispanic community actually experienced an increase in unemployment to a staggering 11.4 percent. (Check out our Monthly Latino Employment Report for more information.)

    In a statement on the vote, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía said, “We previously challenged Congress to step off of the sidelines and push policies that could stimulate job growth and save the American Dream. Yesterday’s vote shows that despite the rhetoric they may use, many of our elected leaders have clearly not prioritized job creation and do not understand the burden that the American people bear due to Congress’s lack of action.”

    The American public has been brought to its knees in this current economic climate. Families are losing their homes, people are living with unmet basic health care needs, and minority populations are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve stability. It's hard to imagine just what else Congress needs to hear to be spurred to act, but hopefully someone will soon step up and whip the legislature into shape!

    For now, NCLR will continue to advocate for the millions of Americans in serious need of work.  


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo
    Office: (305) 573-7329
    Cell: (305) 215-4259                                         

    Miami—On Saturday, November 5th, 2011, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, will join Univision, the Florida International University (FIU) College of Law, NALEO, CIMA, and other local partners to host a naturalization event for hundreds of eligible Hispanics interested in becoming U.S. citizens.There are over 680,000 permanent legal residents in Florida who currently meet all of the requirements to apply for citizenship, yet haven’t begun the naturalization process.

    At the event, FIU legal clinic volunteer attorneys and trained community partner volunteers will answer questions about the citizenship process and assist qualified residents who would like to fill out citizenship forms. All members of the community are invited to attend. However space is limited, so participants in the naturalization event are required to make an appointment by calling (305) 348-7541.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT: ‘Ya es Hora’ Ciudadania Citizenship Workshop and Application Assistance

    WHO: NCLR, Univision, FIU College of Law, CIMA, CASA, NALEO, Hispanic Unity of Florida, Miami Dade County Public Schools, America’s Community Center, Latin American Foundation, American Fraternity Inc.

    WHEN: Saturday, November 5th, 2011
                  9:00am–3:00pm

    WHERE: FIU College of Law
                    11200 SW 8th Street 
                    Miami, FL 33199

    NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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