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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA                                             Para más información:
    16 de mayo de 2012                                                                     Julián Teixeira
                                                                                                             (202) 776-1812
                                                                                                             jteixeira@nclr.org

    La señora Murguía y el representante Barney Frank serán homenajeados esta noche con un premio a la justicia social

    Washington, D.C.—Esta noche, la Conferencia de Liderazgo sobre Derechos Civiles y Humanos homenajeará a Janet Murguía, presidenta y directora general del NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza), y al representante Barney Frank (D- Mass.) por su labor para generar justicia social en nuestro país. La Conferencia de Liderazgo eligió a Murguía y a Frank para el Premio de Derechos Humanos y Civiles Hubert H. Humphrey 2012, porque reflejan “el servicio desinteresado y leal por la causa de la igualdad” del senador Humphrey.

    Al anunciar a Murguía y a Frank como ganadores del premio de este año, la Conferencia de Liderazgo declaró: “Mientras que el clima político actual de nuestro país está inmerso en una política divisiva y en esfuerzos para crear brechas en vez de celebrar nuestra diversidad, todos los demás quienes apreciamos la equidad y la igualdad de oportunidades hemos sido revitalizados por dos fuertes voces de la inclusión, dos campeones excepcionales de la justicia social”.

    Murguía ha sido presidenta y directora general del NCLR, la organización nacional más grande de apoyo y defensa de los derechos civiles de los hispanos en los Estados Unidos, desde el 2005. Se unió al NCLR después de haber ocupado el puesto de vicecanciller ejecutiva de relaciones universitarias de la Universidad de Kansas (KU). Antes, Murguía trabajó en la Casa Blanca de 1994 a 2000, desempeñando como último cargo el de subasistente del presidente Clinton, donde fungió como asesora estratégica y legislativa del presidente en asuntos claves.

    “Por muchos años y con orgullo, el NCLR ha sido socio y miembro de la Conferencia de Liderazgo y para mí es un honor recibir el Premio de Derechos Humanos y Civiles Hubert H. Humphrey. Lo acepto en nombre de todos aquellos activistas de la comunidad latina que luchan día a día por la justicia y por las oportunidades para que todos formen parte del sueño americano”, dijo Murguía.

    Murguía ha recibido reconocimientos por su trabajo en numerosas ocasiones. Ha sido elegida en dos ocasiones por la revista Washingtonian entre las “100 Mujeres más Poderosas en Washington” y figurado en la revista Newsweek en la edición “Mujeres y Liderazgo”. Ha sido seleccionada por la revista Non-Profit Times entre los “50 Líderes con Más Poder e Influencia”, y nombrada por la revista People en Español entre los “100 Hispanos Más Influyentes.

    Murguía actualmente es miembro de la Junta Directiva de la Asociación Americana del Corazón y la Sociedad para un Estados Unidos Más Sano. También es miembro del comité ejecutivo de la Conferencia de Liderazgo sobre Derechos Civiles y Humanos, y forma parte de la Junta Directiva de la Asociación Hispana de Responsabilidad Corporativa.

    El Premio de Derechos Humanos y Civiles Hubert H. Humphrey 2012 se entregará esta noche en la recepción y cena que comenzará a las 5:30 PM tiempo del este en el Washington Hilton. El anfitrión del evento es la Conferencia de Liderazgo sobre Derechos Civiles y Humanos, una coalición formada por una diversa afiliación de más de 200 organizaciones nacionales que promueven y protegen los derechos humanos y civiles de todas las personas en los Estados Unidos.

    El NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza) 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.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      Contact:
    May 16, 2012                                                               Julian Teixeira
                                                                                           (202) 776-1812
                                                                                           jteixeira@nclr.org


    Ms. Murguía and Rep. Barney Frank will be recognized tonight with 2012 social justice award

    Washington, D.C.—Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza), will be honored tonight along with Rep. Barney Frank (D–Mass.) by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for their work to bring about social justice in our nation. The Leadership Conference selected Murguía and Frank for the 2012 Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award because they reflect Sen. Humphrey’s “selfless and devoted service in the cause of equality.”

    In announcing Murguía and Frank as this year’s award recipients, The Leadership Conference stated: “As our current political climate is steeped in wedge politics and efforts to divide our nation rather than celebrate our rich diversity, all of us who cherish equality and equal opportunity have been energized by two strong voices of inclusion, two remarkable champions of social justice.”

    Murguía has served as President and CEO of NCLR, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, since 2005. She came to NCLR from the University of Kansas where she was executive vice chancellor for university relations. Previously, Murguía worked at the White House from 1994 to 2000, ultimately serving as deputy assistant to President Clinton, providing strategic and legislative advice to the president on key issues.

    “NCLR has long been a proud partner and member of the Leadership Conference and it is an honor for me to receive the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award. I accept it on behalf of the many activists in the Latino community who fight every day for justice and the chance for everyone to be part of the American Dream,” said Murguía.

    Murguía has been recognized on numerous occasions for her work. She has been selected twice as one of Washingtonian magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington” and featured in Newsweek magazine’s “Women and Leadership” issue. She has been chosen as one of the NonProfit Times’s “Power and Influence Top 50” leaders, and named to People en Español’s “100 Most Influential Hispanics.”

    Murguía currently sits on the board of directors of the American Heart Association and the Partnership for a Healthier America. She also sits on the executive committee of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and serves as the board chair for the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.

    The 2012 Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award will be presented tonight at a reception and dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT at the Washington Hilton. The event is hosted by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States.

    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 along on Facebook and Twitter.

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    NCLR is proud to announce that our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, has been selected to receive the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award for her significant contributions to the cause of social justice.  At a reception and dinner tonight at the Washington Hilton, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights will present Murguía, along with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), with what is called “the highest honor” bestowed by the civil and human rights community.

     Since Murguía joined NCLR in 2005, she has led the institution to achieve outstanding improvements and increased opportunities for Latinos across the United States.  With groundbreaking political movement toward social justice and the increasing number of Hispanics in the U.S., today represents a special time for this community to be recognized and to act upon the promise behind this award.

    “As our current political climate is steeped in wedge politics and efforts to divide our nation rather than celebrate our rich diversity, all of us who cherish equality and equal opportunity have been energized by two strong voices of inclusion, two remarkable champions of social justice,” stated the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in an announcement releasing the names of the 2012 Humphrey honorees. 

    Previous honorees include former President Bill Clinton; Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Honorable John Lewis (D-Ga.), a key figure of the American Civil Rights movement; and the motion picture “Crash,” among other impressive individuals and feats.

    In a recent speech, Murguía stressed the importance of seeing this award as part of a larger effort by the growing Hispanic community to participate in a shared vision of America’s future.

    “NCLR has long been a proud partner and member of the Leadership Conference and it is an honor for me to receive the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award.  I accept it on behalf of the many activists in the Latino community who fight every day for justice and the chance for everyone to be part of the American Dream,” said Murguía. 

    For more information on the award or tonight’s event, visit the Leadership Conference website.


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    Contact:
    Joseph Rendeiro
    NCLR
    (202) 776-1566

    Carolyn Szczepanski
    League of American Bicyclists
    (202) 822-1333

    Eddie Scher
    Sierra Club
    (415) 977-5758


    Millions to participate in National Bike to Work Day tomorrow

    New data released today by the League of American Bicyclists, Sierra Club, and NCLR (National Council of La Raza) highlights the tremendous economic benefits of bicycling and its importance as a transportation choice that should be safe and accessible for every U.S. resident.

    The fact sheet release coincides with National Bike to Work Day, when millions of U.S. residents will participate in hundreds of events across the country showcasing bicycling as a healthy, affordable, and efficient form of transportation.

    Among the new data highlighted in the fact sheet:

    • Bicyclists in the U.S. save $4.6 billion per year by cycling instead of driving.
    • If American drivers replaced just one four-mile car trip with a bike trip each week, it would save more than 2 billion gallons of gas per year.
    • From 2001 to 2009, Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans took up biking at faster rates than other Americans, representing 21% of all bike trips in the U.S. in 2009.

    “There are so many reasons more people are riding, from improving their health to protecting the environment,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “But, especially in tough economic times, bicycling can also be an economic catalyst, keeping billions of dollars in the pockets of American families.”

    “Biking is an important piece of a 21st century transportation system,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “Biking reduces America’s dependence on oil and lets individuals bypass the gas pump, saving individuals money and protecting our health and environment from dirty oil pollution.”

    “Bicycling is a crucial mode of commuting for many Latinos,” said Catherine Singley, Senior Policy Analyst at NCLR. “Federal transportation policy should ensure that biking is a safe and viable way to connect people to jobs.”

    Widespread interest in—and benefits to be gained from—bicycling make it a crucial and timely priority in our transportation system. Everyone who chooses to bicycle should have access to safe infrastructure that lets them take advantage of the economic and other benefits of cycling.

    Click here to view the full fact sheet.

    Find additional information, data, and National Bike Month events at www.bikeleague.org/bikemonth.

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    By Alicia Criado, Policy Associate, Economic and Employment Policy Project, NCLR

    What would you do if one day you came home and flipped on the light switch, but nothing happened?  Assuming you paid your most recent electric bill, would the power outage alarm you?  What if this happened every day?  For many people in the United States, this scenario is hard to fathom.  Electricity is one our mostly widely used forms of energy and heavily intertwined in our daily lives. Today, fossil fuels are the main energy source used for supplying most of our world’s needs.  They are also what allow a majority of people in this country to rely on a constant supply of electricity to light up our homes, cook our food, and power our computers and other electronic devices.  However, there are tradeoffs and sacrifices to this privilege that many, myself included, overlook.

    Today, many nations and continents around the world are not only exploring the consequences of using nonrenewable fossil fuels or “dirty” energy sources (coal, oil, natural gas) versus renewable or “clean” energy sources (wind, solar, water, bio) to supply energy, but also how to ensure that everyone has access to energy.  On May 21, I along with several of my Center for American Progress (CAP) Leadership Institute fellows will depart for Johannesburg, South Africa to discuss the “21st Century Energy Agenda for Africa” during the African Presidential Roundtable 2012, convened by Boston University’s African Presidential Archives and Research Center.  I look forward to hearing former African heads of state, diplomats, industry leaders, international dignitaries, students, and faculty from the United States, Europe, and Africa discuss one of Africa’s most pressing challenges.  I also hope to gain perspective on how to engage different stakeholders around the tradeoffs and sacrifices of “dirty” and “clean” energy sources, particularly leaders who are trying to ensure that energy is no longer a privilege but a right.  This information will influence my energy-related work and research at NCLR, as I examine opportunities for Latinos in a clean energy economy.

    While the energy issues we face in the U.S. are not identical to those that African nations face, there are similarities.  No matter where you go, fossil fuels are finite, are bad for the environment, and disproportionately damage the health of impoverished communities of color.  If sufficient research isn’t done to explore clean energy alternatives, the energy crisis has the potential to stagnate economic development efforts to help improve the quality of life for many, especially Latinos and other people of color.  While I don’t expect to return from South Africa with a solution to our energy issues, I do expect to have many light bulbs go off, figuratively speaking, which will serve me as I work to shed light on how to best engage Latinos in the United States around clean energy opportunities and challenges.
     


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  • 05/19/12--05:24: The @NCLR Weekly Top 10
  • This Week's Digital Highlights, May 12-18

    Each week, we monitor real-time media to bring you a snapshot of news that impact the Latino community. Here is your choice of 21st-century advancements and challenges from the perspective of Hispanic advocates at NCLR.

    Storified by NCLR · Fri, May 18 2012 17:22:48

    1. Latinos to reshape the notion of 'America'.
    For the 1st time, minority babies are the majority of babies in the U.S. We are the future of America. http://ow.ly/aYyYK #Latino #LATISMNCLR
    2.
    We are the future... | FacebookThe new figures signal the dawn of an era in which whites no longer will be in the majority of Americans.
    3. Comparative disadvantage: The effect of race on education outcomes.
    Segregation is still a barrier for low-income kids. @nytimes explores how race impacts educational experiences. http://ow.ly/aVx0xNCLR
    4. Celebrating women everywhere!
    Happy Mother's Day... | FacebookHappy Mother's Day!! Enjoy this hilarious mom fantasy created just for you.
    5. Some interesting data.
    #Latinos are religious, yes. What does this have to do with politics? Very little, it turns out. http://ow.ly/aVZBH @latinodecisionsNCLR
    6.
    From primary school... | FacebookA charter school in Brooklyn is indicative of a larger problem in New York City's public school system, one of the most segregated in the...
    7.
    The Violence Against Women Act Must Protect All Victims http://ow.ly/aVxfG #VAWA #RealVAWANCLR
    8. NCLR addressed legislators in Alabama.
    Alabama, as you... | FacebookLeaders of national civil rights, human rights, and worker rights organizations have begun pressuring the state's foreign-owned automaker...
    9.
    Give the gift of leadership by sending the NCLR - @BestBuy scholarship link to young #Latinos driven to succeed! http://www.nclr.org/index.php/about_us/news/blog/doing_our_part_to_help_young_latinos_get_to_college/NCLR
    10. Why can't Guadalupe greet and hug her kids after work? Help us stop violations of workers' rights.
    We don't think the... | FacebookGuadalupe, a mother of young children in North Carolina, can't pick her kids up to comfort them when they cry. If she does, sharp pain sh...

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    by Sergio Muñoz, Senior Policy Analyst, Health Policy Project, NCLR

    Remember the trending Twitter campaign, #40Dollars, which the White House launched last December to rally support for extension of the payroll tax break?  That extra $40 per paycheck was apparently a big deal—responses flooded in at a rate of 2,000 an hour.  What do you think another $535 or $589 means for American families? 

    Curious?  You have something to look forward to. A research study just published on the savings for health care consumers if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented in its entirety is starting to attract notice.  According to the researcher, the regulated benefits of individual health insurance plans that will be available under the ACA would have saved the average consumer almost $300 a year in out-of-pocket costs.  The savings are even more significant for the near-elderly and those with limited incomes, which come out to $589 and $535, respectively.  That’s not between-the-sofa-cushions-change.

    The high out-of-pocket costs of most health insurance plans prior to health care reform are a big reason why 15% of insured Hispanics cite financial concerns as a barrier to a usual source of care, and why one in four dips into savings for health care costs when a doctor’s visit can no longer be postponed.  This is the sort of out-of-pocket unaffordability that the ACA was supposed to fix, and if this study is any indication, the savings are not chump change. 

    So the next time someone tells you they want to repeal the law completely, keep in mind that this would also repeal all the other reforms that will finally make affordable quality health insurance available, and deliver hundreds of dollars in savings to us all. 

    Preventive services offered without cost-sharing, already estimated to be available to 6.1 million Latinos?  Gone with repeal. 

    Tax credits toward the purchase of private health insurance that will help low- and moderate-income families even more, on top of the out-of-pocket savings projected by the study?  Yup, gone with repeal as well.

    The Supreme Court has always affected our daily lives more than most people realize.  An adverse decision on the constitutionality of health care reform might finally drive this point home.  Sticker shock tends to do that.


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  • 05/22/12--10:31: Girls In Progress
  • by Jessica Mayorga, Director of Marketing, NCLR

    (This was first posted to the ALMA Awards 411 blog.)

    A new film, Girl in Progress, was released recently, and just in time for National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Simply stated, teen pregnancy, sexuality, and the drama of growing up are topics in the Latino community that merit attention and frank discussions.

    Girl in Progress speaks to these issues and puts a Hollywood spotlight on a topic that has long been taboo in Latino households but that very much needs to be addressed. We’re excited to see past ALMA nominees and popular Latino talent drive this film and encourage us to change these experiences for our families. Eva Mendes plays a starring role in Girl in Progress as an overwhelmed and preoccupied single mother of an attention-starved preteen (played by Cierra Ramirez) seeking her own identity and independence. The film vividly and sometimes painfully demonstrates that a parent’s attention and interest in a child’s life makes all the difference and can be the deciding factor for success. We watch the daughter, Ansiedad, make unguided and perhaps devastating decisions as she acts out, desperate for her mother to just be a mom to her. This portrayal of a family dynamic that is not uncommon in Latino communities brings forward issues of parent-child communication, sexuality, and the need for honest and open dialogue at home.

    May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month; it’s the perfect time for families to watch this movie and use this opportunity to break the ice about issues that we may not always feel comfortable talking about. We know that too many of our daughters enter this cycle of teen pregnancy, and that it often interrupts—if not permanently suspends—educational aspirations, career opportunities, and the opportunity to just be a girl and live out their dreams. This film, and National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, remind us that we can no longer be silent about these tough topics.

    We applaud Hiram Martinez for this screenplay and the excellent Latino actors who brought the story to life.

    At ALMA, we advocate for media responsibility, media literacy, and respectable roles for Latinos in American entertainment. We believe in educating Hollywood and educating audiences. We applaud this film for complementing our mission as we strive to tackle challenges in our communities and strengthening opportunities for Latinos of all ages.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 573-7329
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    Washington—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) announced that it has registered 20,000 new Latino voters for the upcoming 2012 elections through its multistate campaign, Mobilize to Vote (M2V).  M2V is the electoral arm of NCLR’s Civic Engagement Program, which aims to build and support long-term Latino participation in the democratic process.  M2V focuses on registering eligible Latinos to vote, elevating the issues Latino voters care about, providing voters the tools to exercise their right to vote, and mobilizing Hispanics to the polls on Election Day.

    “As a young community, registration is crucial and meaningful outreach matters,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement for NCLR.  “There is no substitute for one-on-one contact, which helps demystify and facilitate the voter registration process, and that is the cornerstone of our campaign.  We celebrate these 20,000 voters and expect to keep the momentum in the months ahead.”

    Mobilize to Vote has full-time operations currently running in Florida, Colorado, and Nevada, and in June will expand to other states including California, North Carolina, and Texas, working in partnership with NCLR’s Affiliate Network.  In addition, a web portal will allow Latinos nationwide to register online.

    “We are committed to expanding Latino civic participation, and this phase is about voter registration, protection, and turnout.  We are already a community whose votes are needed by any candidate to get to the White House.  Growing our electoral and advocacy strength, we can usher in the transformative change our community and our country need,” concluded Martínez-De-Castro.

    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 along on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Latinos have been some of the hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis and have suffered a massive loss of wealth because of it.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to make already tough working conditions even tougher and more dangerous for poultry workers, many of whom are Latino.  Our education system is not serving our kids well enough.  Members of Congress are comparing immigrants to dogs while they do nothing to fix our terribly broken immigration system.  Voter suppression laws are popping up in heavily Hispanic states like Florida and Texas.  Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is being sued by the Department of Justice for civil rights violations against Latinos in his county.  And Alabama has just passed a revised, yet still harsh anti-immigrant racial profiling law.

    If you’re a Latino in America, the future appears to be a grim one, but being the resilient and optimistic people that we are, it’s important to remember that we have the power to do something about it.  We have the power of the vote.  And with 500,000 Latinos turning 18 every year for the next 20 years, those votes have awesome potential to translate into power.

    At NCLR, we’re doing our part to get as many Latinos registered as we can through our Mobilize to Vote campaign, and we just celebrated our first milestone:  registering 20,000 new voters for the 2012 election!

    Registration is crucial, and meaningful outreach matters for the youthful Latino community.  “There is no substitute for one-on-one contact, which helps demystify and facilitate the voter registration process, and that is the cornerstone of our campaign,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement for NCLR.

    We’ve only gotten started.  You can expect many more milestones to be reached as we ramp up our voter registration effort in the lead-up to the general election in November.

    If we’re going to wield our buying, voting, and political power, however, we’re going to need to band together as a community and get everyone we know to register.  It’s the only way we can move forward.  So, join us in celebrating this achievement and then get back out there to help us spread the word!

    And, if you haven’t registered yet, we have only one question:  what are you waiting for?! Visit our Mobilize to Vote website or find us on Facebook or Twitter for all the info you need to get registered.
     


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    Featuring experts in the area @FDAwomen, @swellamanuela, and @nacersano. Follow along as these prominent panelists respond to real-time questions from the general public and NCLR about important health issues for Latinos.


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    by Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

    Last week, the Census Bureau released updated population numbers affirming once again that Latinos are America’s largest and fastest-growing minority. There are now 52 million of us residing in the U.S.—nearly one in five Americans. Perhaps the most striking statistic is that more than half of babies born in the U.S. are “minorities,” and minority children make up half of all children under the age of five—the American future in a nutshell.

    If these figures surprise you, you probably watch a lot of prime-time network television. The shows that most Americans watch at night are a serious contrast to our schools, our neighborhoods, and our communities—devoid of a significant minority presence, especially when it comes to Latinos. And the fall TV schedule unveiled last week in New York by the four major networks does little to change that monochromatic landscape, and perhaps will make it even worse.

    Gone are programs such as CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives, and Rob, all of which had lead Latino characters. In fact, not one of the new shows picked up by the networks features a lead or strong secondary Hispanic character.

    How bad is it? When NCLR put out its landmark series of reports on Latinos on television two decades ago, we quoted writer-director Jesus Treviño’s quip that you were more likely to find someone from outer space than a Latino on television. Well, 20 years later, there will be no Latino family starring on a prime-time network television this September, but there will be a family of space aliens.

    We know of at least three programs starring Hispanics that were developed by the networks, meaning the scripts were shot and considered for the schedule. Unfortunately, not one of these shows, even with high-profile producers and actors attached, were placed on the network prime-time schedule.

    There’s a lot of talk by the networks about reaching out to the Latino audience, but little action. Networks need to be brave enough to pick up shows with Latinos in starring roles. Learn from what works and what doesn’t work, then try again until you succeed. Isn’t that how all successful ventures work? With the majority of American Latinos watching most of their television on English-language outlets, this is not only the brave but also the smart thing to do.

    To those who say it doesn’t matter that Latinos aren’t on sitcoms or soapy dramas, we say it does matter. It matters a lot. Recently, Vice President Joe Biden cited the effect of Will and Grace on people’s view of the LGBT community. Studies have shown that the single most important factor for someone supporting same sex marriage is knowing someone who is gay, including a character on a television show like Modern Family. In other words, when a gay person stops being the “other,” the misconceptions and the barriers fall.

    There is perhaps no group seen or treated more as the “other” in today’s America than the Hispanic community. Yet in today’s society, Latinos are everywhere—your librarian, server, investment banker, bus driver, university president, art school teacher, theater manager, doctor, state senator, interior designer, U.S. Secretary of Labor, neighbor, and more.

    Yes, we need a change in political rhetoric: a restoration of light vs. heat in news coverage, and more courageous elected officials denouncing scapegoating and demonizing. But Latinos also need to see their reality, America’s reality, reflected on a medium that unites us all—television entertainment.

    When Latinos are more than just a blip on the screen, our fellow Americans will learn that we want and value the same things—our family, our faith, our work, and our country. And maybe we will at long last stop being America’s “other.” 


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         

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

    Washington—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) strongly condemned Rep. Steve King (R–Iowa) for his latest attack on Latinos and other immigrants, during which he equated immigrants with a litter of dogs.  NCLR also stated that Rep. King’s long history of outrageous and bigoted statements should call into question his leadership role among congressional Republicans and his visibility as a spokesperson on the issue of immigration.

    “It is no surprise that Steve King—in saying that we should pick immigrants the way we pick dogs in a litter—has once again crossed the line,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR.  “For those of us who have followed Representative King’s troubling career, he obliterated that line years ago.”

    “Representative King has amply demonstrated his contempt for common decency over his career.  Among his many lowlights, he has called for an electrified fence along the border because ‘we do that with livestock all the time.’  He has compared undocumented immigration to a ‘slow-motion holocaust.’  And he was the only member of Congress to vote against a resolution honoring the slaves who worked to build our nation’s Capitol building,” continued Murguía.

    “We know from the great work of the Anti-Defamation League and others that these statements are not gaffes, but are instead deliberate attempts to dehumanize and demonize immigrants.  It is clear that Rep. King has nothing constructive to offer in this debate, only a misinformed and bigoted viewpoint that goes beyond the pale.  So the questions for us are:  why is this man the Vice Chair of the House immigration subcommittee?  Why were the Republican presidential candidates falling all over themselves to win his endorsement in Iowa?  And why is he continually on television, touted as an ‘immigration expert’?”

    “It is long past time for his fellow Republicans and the news media to stop looking the other way whenever King spouts off another outburst of prejudiced nonsense.  The Latino community knows what he thinks.  What they need to know is if the continued support of his Party means they agree with him,” concluded Murguía.

    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 along on Facebook and Twitter.

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    By Javier D. Martinez, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, NCLR, U.S. Army veteran

    As millions of Americans plan their Memorial Day weekend activities, NCLR would like to take the time to remember our Latino men and women currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    We also commemorate those brave Hispanic men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation.  We should never forget the vital role they played in helping all Americans enjoy our basic fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  In observance of this day, we call on you to join NCLR in a National Moment of Remembrance, which will take place Monday at 3:00 p.m. local time across the country.  Pause for a moment and reflect on the lives of our nation’s fallen heroes.

    This moment of reflection is the least we can do to honor the lives of these brave Latino men and women, but we must also remember those who continue to serve honorably at home and abroad.  Today, more than 1.3 million Latinos serve in our armed forces and almost 16 percent of all newly enlisted, active duty members of all branches of the military are Hispanic.  We are also veterans.  In 2009, 1.1 million Latinos were veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and that number continues to grow.

    NCLR stands committed to ensuring that all of our service members, veterans, and their families are honored for their selfless service to our country.  We will not forget the daily sacrifices they made, and continue to make, so that their fellow Americans can share in and enjoy the American Dream.

    Remember to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time, Monday, May 28.


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  • 05/26/12--12:16: The @NCLR Weekly Top 10
  • NCLR's best in social media for this week. Have a good holiday, everyone!


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

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


    NCLR to hold press briefing on how to protect the Child Tax Credit for Latino families and halt devastating congressional attacks that will affect millions of U.S. citizen children

    Washington—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) will hold a telephonic press briefing on Thursday, May 31 at 1:00 p.m. EDT to discuss new proposals in the U.S. Senate to block ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) taxpayers from claiming the Child Tax Credit.  The press conference will also address the importance of this credit to low-income children and families, as well as the need to better educate the Latino community about unscrupulous tax preparers.

    Proposals introduced by both Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) would cost two million low-income working families this vital tax credit, which keeps millions of Latino children and their families out of poverty.  At least 80 percent of all children that would be affected by the changes are Latino.  The proposals that are being introduced in Congress would eliminate this credit for 4.5 million U.S. citizen children living in immigrant families and do absolutely nothing to address allegations of fraud.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT: “Protecting the ITIN for America’s Latino Families” telephonic press briefing

    WHO
    – Leticia Miranda, Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Security Policy, NCLR
    – Wendy Cervantes, Vice President, Immigration and Child Rights Policy,
    First Focus
    –Sean Noble, Director, Public Policy & Research, National Community Tax Coalition

    WHEN: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT
    Thursday, May 31, 2012

    WHERE: Participant Dial-In Number:  (866) 952-7532
    Conference Title:  Protect the ITIN
    Conference ID:  ITIN

    TO RSVP or FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Contact Julian Teixeira at jteixeira@nclr.org or (202) 776-1812.

    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 along on Facebook and Twitter.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA: 

    Para más información: 
    Julián Teixeira
    (202) 776-1812
    jteixeira@nclr.org

    NCLR convocará conferencia de prensa sobre cómo proteger el Crédito Tributario Por Hijos para las familias latinas y el impacto devastador de los ataques por parte del Congreso que afectarán a millones de niños ciudadanos

    Washington—NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza) tendrá una teleconferencia el jueves, 31 de mayo a las 1:00 p.m. EDT, para discutir nuevas propuestas en el Senado estadounidense para bloquear contribuyentes de ITIN (Numero de Identificación Personal del Contribuyente, por sus siglas en inglés) de reclamar el Crédito Tributario Por Hijos. La teleconferencia también destacará la importancia de este crédito para familias de bajos ingresos, y la necesidad de mejor educar a la comunidad latina sobre preparadores de impuestos sin escrúpulos.  

    Propuestas de ley presentadas por los senadores Marco Rubio (R–FL) y David Vitter (R–LA) impactarían a más de dos millones de familias de bajos ingresos, que utilizan este crédito vital para mantener a sus familias fuera de la pobreza. Un mínimo de 80 por ciento de todos los niños que serían afectados son latinos. Las propuestas que se están presentando en el Congreso eliminarían este crédito para más de 4.5 millones de niños ciudadanos que viven en familias inmigrantes, mientras no harían nada para enfrentar las alegaciones de fraude por parte de preparadores de impuestos que se aprovechan del desconocimiento de las familias inmigrantes. 

    AVISO DE PRENSA

    QUÉ: “Protegiendo el ITIN para las familias latinas de los EE UU” conferencia de prensa telefónico 

    QUIÉN:
    – Leticia Miranda, Asesora Principal, Política de Seguridad Económica, NCLR
    – Wendy Cervantes, Vice Presidenta, Immigration and Child Rights Policy,
    First Focus
    –Sean Noble, Director, Política y Investigaciones, National Community Tax Coalition
    CUÁNDO: 1:00–2:00 p.m. EDT
    Jueves, 31 de mayo, 2012

    DÓNDE: Número a marcar de participante: (866) 952-7532
    Título de conferencia: Protect the ITIN
    Identificación de conferencia: ITIN

    PARA RESERVAR O PARA MÁS INFORMACIÓN: Contacte a Julian Teixeira al jteixeira@nclr.org o al (202) 776-1812.

    El NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza) 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 mayor información sobre el NCLR, por favor visite www.nclr.org o síganos en Facebook y Twitter.

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    By Karen Hopper, Policy Fellow, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation, NCLR

    Memorial Day has come and gone and the unofficial start of summer is upon us.  With the last day of school not far behind, students everywhere are dreaming of warm weather, fun summer activities, and—let’s not forget—no school. 

    When Americans first began formal schooling for their children, school calendars were designed to fit the needs of each community.  Agricultural communities gave students time off in the spring and fall to help with planting and harvesting, while urban schools operated on an 11- or 12-month calendar.  The nine-month calendar we know today emerged when there was a need to standardize schooling nationwide; 85% of Americans were working in agriculture, and climate control in school buildings was limited—factors which made it unbearable and impractical to have children in school during the hottest and busiest months of the year. 

    But what about today?  Only 3% of Americans work in agriculture, and air conditioning comes standard—so shouldn’t we keep kids in school longer to maximize their learning potential as they grow?

    The more I think about it, the more summer breaks don’t make sense.  Long vacations lead to students forgetting what they have learned in school.  In fact, research shows that children forget up to two months of grade-level material over the summer.  Unstructured time for children can also be bad for their health; crime, obesity, drug use, and risky sexual behavior skyrocket over the summer months when supervision is at a minimum. 

    Long summer breaks have a greater negative effect on students who are from low-income families or who are English language learners (ELLs).  Researchers find that middle-income students are able to access educational opportunities such as summer camps and travel, and their parents stay engaged in keeping their skills up over the summer.  We all know about the achievement gap between affluent White students and minority and low-income students, but did you know that by ninth grade, two-thirds of that gap can be attributed to unequal learning opportunities during summer months in the elementary school years? 

    When kids go back to school in the fall, teachers must spend a significant amount of time reviewing material from the previous year before moving on to new material, and students struggle to get back into the rhythm of classroom learning and proper school behavior.

    Schools and communities should be maximizing time, especially out-of-school time, to give students opportunities to keep learning.  We can’t expect to close the achievement gap between Latino students and their White peers unless struggling children are given ample resources to learn, and we certainly can’t expect it to close while allowing learning to lapse during the summer. 

    This summer, make it a priority to keep your children engaged in learning—even if you don’t have access to traditional summer camp, summer school, or community-based programs. There are hundreds of free resources out there, and many are available in English and Spanish! Here are a few to get you started: 

    Reading

    Earn a free book from Barnes and Noble by reading:  www.barnesandnoble.com/u/summer-reading/379003570

    Log your reading minutes to earn prizes! www.scholastic.com/summer

    Recommended reading by grade level, from Just Read, Florida!: www.justreadfamilies.org/SummerReadingList.pdf

    Find a library near you:  summer reading programs are fun and often come with great rewards!

    Resources for families in both English and Spanish


    Math

    Math challenges, also in Spanish:  www.figurethis.org/index.html

    Keep skills sharp at any level:  www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/4_11/site/numeracy.shtml

    Many more math resources here:  http://tutoring.sylvanlearning.com/newsletter/0704/math.cfm


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Las Vegas—For millions of Americans, including communities of color, working families, and seniors, the housing crisis is far from over. To stave off unnecessary foreclosures that continue to plague many parts of the country, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and seven other leading civil rights and advocacy organizations—The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National People’s Action, National Urban League, The Opportunity Agenda, and PICO National Network—have come together to launch the Home for Good campaign town hall tour in this crucial election year.

    To kick off the tour, NCLR will convene leading experts and housing officials, including Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, in Las Vegas for a discussion around problems in the housing market that have stymied neighborhood revitalization and led to Americans losing their homes to foreclosure. Participants will address the serious challenges that the Las Vegas housing market continues to face and will discuss important developments for homeowners over the past year, including the historic $25 billion multistate settlement between the Attorneys General and five of the largest loan servicers.

    For more information and updates about the Home for Good campaign, please visit www.myhomeforgood.com.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:   Home for Good Town Hall

    WHO:    Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR
                   Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto
                   Barbara E. Buckley, Assemblymember (D) and Executive Director, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada

    WHEN:   Thursday, June 7, 2012, noon to 1:30 p.m.

    WHERE: City Hall
                    495 S. Main Street
                    Las Vegas, NV 89101

    For further information or questions, or to schedule an interview, contact Julian Teixeira, NCLR Director of Communications, at jteixeira@nclr.org.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


    Congressional Proposals Would Push Millions of Latino Children Deeper into Poverty

    Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), First Focus, and the National Community Tax Coalition held a telephonic press briefing to decry Senate efforts to eliminate the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for millions of Latino children. Under current law, taxpayers who use an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) are legally allowed to claim the refundable Child Tax Credit on their federal taxes if they work, earn low wages, and are raising children in their homes. On average, these families claiming the refundable CTC earn an annual household income of $21,000 and receive a CTC refund of $1,800. In 2010, ITIN tax filers paid over $9 billion in payroll taxes to support Social Security and Medicare, which was more than 2.5 times what they received from the Child Tax Credit.

    Leading the push for the elimination of the Child Tax Credit for ITIN taxpayers are Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) who have introduced measures to do away with this critical safety net. Sponsored by Rubio, S. 3083 would strip eligibility for the Child Tax Credit from over four million Latino children, approximately 133,000 of whom are in his home state of Florida. At least 80 percent of all children affected by the proposed denial of the Child Tax Credit are Latino.

    “If these bills are passed, it is likely that several million Latino children will be driven even deeper into poverty,” said Leticia Miranda, Senior Policy Advisor at NCLR’s Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation. “Latino families depend on this credit to help feed, clothe, and educate their children. Instead of going after those who circumvent the law, these proposals are focused on wresting away basic necessities from our country’s most vulnerable—our children,” continued Miranda.

    Those pushing for the passage of this measure should instead turn their attention to curbing business and corporate tax abuse, which in 2006 was estimated to have cost over $170 billion. Despite documented cases of widespread corporate tax fraud, tax credits for corporations have continued to flow freely. Fraud at the commercial tax preparer level is also of increasing concern as unscrupulous paid tax preparers prey on immigrant Latino families, taking advantage of their limited English proficiency or lack of knowledge of tax law.

    “The IRS already is phasing in important new regulations of commercial tax preparers aimed at strengthening accountability,” said Sean Noble, Director of Public Policy and Research at the National Community Tax Coalition, which represents volunteer-based programs providing free tax preparation services to low- and moderate-income working taxpayers. “These new rules should help cut down on abuse while increasing compliance and quality of services for taxpayers. In addition, we should ensure that the IRS has the enforcement resources it needs—and we should bolster outreach to Latino and low-income communities to help them find high-quality tax preparation services that are both affordable and accountable.”

    Vitter and Rubio’s proposals are under consideration in the Senate Finance Committee, though efforts for a floor vote could mean the bills may be considered by the full Senate in the coming days or weeks.

    “Rather than pass legislation that cuts off access for millions of children who need it most, we should consider targeted improvements to preserve the integrity of the Child Tax Credit,” said Wendy Cervantes, Vice President for Immigration and Child Rights Policy at First Focus. “With child poverty at a 20-year high, Congress should be strengthening proven anti-poverty measures rather than weakening them and hurting kids in the process.”

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