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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    As Californians continue to struggle with record high foreclosures, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) urges the swift passage of the California “Homeowner Bill of Rights,” a set of proposed laws aimed at protecting California homeowners from unfair foreclosures. This week, the California State Senate and Assembly’s Conference Committee on Banking and Finance will vote on one crucial piece, the “dual track” bill, which will help prevent unnecessary foreclosures that are stalling California and the nation’s economic recovery.

    “Latino families have borne the brunt of California’s devastating housing collapse, and it’s incredibly frightening to think that we are only halfway through the mortgage crisis,” said Delia de la Vara, Vice President of the California Region at NCLR. “We need lawmakers to put an end to unfair banking practices that are leaving families out on the street and, instead, give them a fair chance to save their homes from foreclosure.”

    NCLR and its California Affiliates met with Senator Ron Calderon (D–Montebello), a member of the conference committee, to share stories of families who have lost their homes to foreclosure as a result of being dual tracked. Dual tracking is a common bank practice of moving a homeowner through both the foreclosure and loan modification processes at the same time, causing many borrowers to lose their homes to foreclosure even though they are still being considered for a loan modification.

    “Homeowners playing by the rules should be given a fair chance to secure a loan modification,” said Senator Ron Calderon. “I am committed to crafting a bill that puts an end to dual track and includes a strong enforcement mechanism, such as giving victims the right to sue, to ensure that families do not continue to fall through the cracks.”

    Despite the fact that HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program)—the Obama administration’s signature foreclosure prevention program—and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have established rules to end this practice, many banks still dual track customers.

    “The families we represent are honest, hardworking people, seeking assistance that will allow them to continue making payments and stay in their homes,” said Maria Cabildo, President of the East LA Community Corporation (ELACC). “Many of the clients we work with have experienced lost paperwork on behalf of the lender, violations of existing dual track rules, and constant solicitation from scam artists. Lenders need to be held accountable and provide families a fair process where they can apply for assistance.”

    NCLR believes that every foreclosure costs taxpayers, local governments and the state economy money—the ones that can and should be prevented must be stopped.

    “There are far greater consequences than the actual cost of a foreclosure for hardworking families,” said Robert Monzon, President and CEO at the Montebello Housing Development Corporation (MHDC). “We are seeing an increasing number of clients who suffer from stress and health issues due to the foreclosure process, clients who are now separated or divorced from their spouses, as well as grades dropping for children faced with this situation. Passing this bill will alleviate some of that stress for clients by halting the foreclosure process until the loan modification is considered.” MHDC and ELACC have each provided counseling to more than 3,000 families within Senator Ron Calderon’s district since the beginning of the housing crisis.

    NCLR and its California Affiliates applaud Senator Ron Calderon for his commitment to passing a bill with strong enforcement mechanisms to put an end to the dual track process once and for all.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA                              PARA MÁS INFORMACIÓN:
    1 de junio, 2012                                                            Julián Teixeira
                                                                                              (202) 776-1812
                                                                                              jtexeira@nclr.org


    La revista “Hispanic Business” reconoce a 11 afiliadas del NCLR entre las 25 organizaciones sin fines de lucro más grandes

    Washington, D.C.—El NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza) aplaude el reconocimiento de la revista Hispanic Business en su lista anual de 25 organizaciones hispanas sin fines de lucro mas grandes, entre ellas 11 pertenecen a la red de organizaciones afiliadas del NCLR. La última edición de la revista clasifica a las organizaciones sin fines de lucro en base a su gasto anual. Cada organización presentó información sobre su misión, ingresos, y servicios para proporcionar una visión general de las principales organizaciones de beneficencia al servicio de la creciente comunidad latina en EE.UU.

    “Hoy todas las organizaciones sin fines de lucro están haciendo más con menos recursos, por lo que es oportuno sacar a la luz y reconocer el arduo trabajo y dedicación de estas organizaciones que sirven a la comunidad latina”, dijo Sonia Pérez, vicepresidente sénior de iniciativas estratégicas del NCLR. “El NCLR está orgulloso del servicio vital que su red de afiliadas provee a las familias latinas en todo el país, y es un gran honor que 11 de las 25 organizaciones sin fines de lucro que aparecen en la lista de la revista Hispanic Business de este año sean parte de nuestra red. En nombre del NCLR, felicito a todas”.

    Al principio de la lista se encuentra AltaMed Health Services Corporation, que ha proporcionado servicios completos de salud en el este de Los Angeles desde 1969. La otra afiliada del NCLR que se encuentra en la lista de las 25 organizaciones sin fines de lucro— en orden de aparición—son: Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. de Phoenix, Arizona; Southwest Key Programs, Inc. de Austin, Texas; Mexican American Opportunity Foundation de Montebello, California; La Clínica de la Raza, Inc. de Oakland, California.; San Ysidro Health Center de San Ysidro, California; Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. de Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Unity Council de Oakland, California; United Community Center/Centro de la Comunidad Unida de Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Latin American Youth Center de Washington, DC; y HELP–New Mexico, Inc. de Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    El servicio comunitario proporcionado por estas organizaciones incluye cuidado médico, desarrollo de la comunidad, educación y capacitación laboral, cuidado de niños y personas mayores, servicios para los jóvenes, orientación, programas recreacionales y culturales, y mucho más. La Red de Afiliadas del NCLR incluye casi 300 organizaciones comunitarias que proporcionan servicios directos a millones de hispanoestadounidenses cada año.

    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:
    June 1, 2012                                                                      Julian Teixeira
                                                                                                  (202) 776-1812
                                                                                                  jtexeira@nclr.org


    “Hispanic Business” magazine recognizes 11 NCLR Affiliates among top 25 nonprofits in 2012

    Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds the recognition of service to the Latino community in the Hispanic Business magazine annual listing of the top 25 Hispanic nonprofit organizations, with special congratulations for the 11 groups on the list that belong to the NCLR Affiliate Network. The magazine’s recent issue ranked the nonprofits on the basis of annual expenditures. Each organization submitted information about their missions, revenues, and services to provide an overview of the top charitable organizations serving the growing U.S. Latino population.

    “All nonprofits today are doing more with less, and it is fitting to shine a light on and recognize the hard work and dedication of these organizations serving the Latino community,” said Sonia Pérez, NCLR Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. “NCLR is proud of the vital services that the NCLR Affiliate Network provides to Latino families throughout the nation, and it is a special honor that 11 of the top 25 nonprofits on the Hispanic Business magazine list this year are part of our network. On behalf of NCLR, I congratulate them all.”

    At the top of the list is AltaMed Health Services Corporation, which has provided comprehensive health care services in East Los Angeles since 1969. The other NCLR Affiliates on the top 25 nonprofits list—in the order in which they appear—are Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. in Phoenix, Ariz.; Southwest Key Programs, Inc. in Austin, Texas; Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in Montebello, Calif.; La Clínica de la Raza, Inc. in Oakland, Calif.; San Ysidro Health Center in San Ysidro, Calif.; Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. in Philadelphia, Pa.; The Unity Council in Oakland, Calif.; United Community Center/Centro de la Comunidad Unida in Milwaukee, Wis.; Latin American Youth Center in Washington, DC; and HELP–New Mexico, Inc. in Albuquerque, N.M.

    The community services provided by these organizations include health care, neighborhood development, education and job training, elder and child care, youth services, counseling, recreational and cultural programs, and more. The NCLR Affiliate Network includes nearly 300 community-based organizations that provide direct services that reach millions of Hispanic Americans each year.

    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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    Your favorite NCLR tweets last week.


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    NCLR’s Institute for Hispanic Health (IHH) announced today that it will address some of the world’s most renowned health leaders at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 140th Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco.

    The APHA Annual Meeting has been called “the most important public health event of the year” and gathers over 13,000 national and international health professionals including physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and other health specialists. At the Meeting, APHA will present this year’s most cutting-edge technologies and research aimed at promoting healthy communities and preventing disease, and NCLR and the Latino community will be well represented.

    The conference will take place at the Moscone Convention Center from October 27 to 31. Visit the APHA website for more information.

    IHH projects accepted for this year’s Meeting program include:

    • Project Name: Mujer Sana, Familia Fuerte
      APHA presentation title:
       Mujer Sana, Familia Fuerte: A promotoras-led culturally competent and linguistically appropriate cervical cancer prevention project for Latina women in the United States
      Authors: 
      - Vicky Cardoza, MPH (Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Delia Pompa (Senior Vice President, Programs, NCLR)
      - Alejandra J. Gepp, MA EdHD (Associate Director, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Manuela McDonough, MPH, CPH (Program Manager, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Charlotte D. Kabore, MS, MPH, MCHES (Public Health Advisor, Centers for Disease Control) 
      - Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD, MS (Professor and Director, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, PhD, MPH (Research Associate, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Carmen Velásquez (Executive Director, Alivio Medical Center)
      - Alicia Wilson (Executive Director, La Clínica del Pueblo)
    • Project Name: Viviendo Saludable
      APHA presentation title:
        Reaching Out to Elderly Latinos Living with Diabetes: A Self-Management Program
      Authors:
      - Alejandra J. Gepp, MA EdHD (Associate Director, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Vicky Cardoza, MPH (Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Madeleine Arritola
      - Fernando Godinez (President and CEO, Mexican American Unity Council)
      - Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD, MS (Professor and Director, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Enrique Ortega
      - Melawhy Garcia, MPH (Assistant Director, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
       
    • Project Name: Mantenga su Mente Activa
      APHA presentation title:
       Mantenga su mente activa: Increasing awareness of Alzheimer's disease in the Latino community
      Authors:
      - Paul Aguilar, MPH (Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Alejandra J. Gepp, MA EdHD (Associate Director, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Lupe Lemus (Executive Assistant, Programs, NCLR) 
      - Susannah Senerchia (Associate Editor, NCLR Integrated Marketing and Events) 
      - Claudia Barajas (Director of Health Services, Latino Community Development Agency)
    • Project Name: Genetic Community Conversation 
      APHA presentation title: Genetic Services and Literacy in Latino Communities: A Community Conversation Addressing Maternal and Child Health Needs
      Authors:
      - Vicky Cardoza, MPH (Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Alejandra J. Gepp, MA EdHD (Associate Director, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Delia Pompa, MA (Senior Vice President, Programs, NCLR)
      - Belen Hurle, PhD (Staff Scientist, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health)
      - Maria Gomez, RN, MPH (President/CEO, Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care)
       
    • Project Name: Cuidemos Nuestra Salud
      APHA presentation title: Evaluation Results of a Promotores de Salud Approach to Increasing Awareness and Knowledge, and Changing Behavior Related to Obesity Prevention in Latino Communities
      Authors:
      - Manuela McDonough, MPH, CPH (Program Manager, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD, MS (Professor and Director, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, PhD (Evaluator, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Melawhy Garcia, MPH (Assistant Director, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Natalia Gatula, MPH (Evaluator, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)

    The conference will provide an opportunity to represent Latinos in several areas that affect them greatly and to disseminate important strategies on how to reach this community effectively.

    Vicky Cardoza, Project Coordinator for several of the accepted projects, views these accomplishments as a reflection of the efforts of both IHH staff members and NCLR’s Affiliate network.

    “Abstracts submitted were subject to a very competitive evaluation,” said Cardoza. “Being selected to present at this meeting proves the high quality of IHH’s projects in addressing health disparities affecting Latinos.”

    She continued: “These projects are implemented across the nation with the help of selected NCLR Affiliates. Dissemination efforts will focus on reaching new Latino communities through the Affiliate network to address health disparities among the most vulnerable, hard-to-reach populations.”


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    NCLR’s Institute for Hispanic Health (IHH) announced today that it will address some of the world’s most renowned health leaders at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 140th Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco.

    The APHA Annual Meeting has been called “the most important public health event of the year” and gathers over 13,000 national and international health professionals including physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and other health specialists. At the Meeting, APHA will present this year’s most cutting-edge technologies and research aimed at promoting healthy communities and preventing disease, and NCLR and the Latino community will be well represented.

    The conference will take place at the Moscone Convention Center from October 27 to 31. Visit the APHA website for more information.

    IHH projects accepted for this year’s Meeting program include:

    • Project Name: Mujer Sana, Familia Fuerte
      APHA presentation title:
       Mujer Sana, Familia Fuerte: A promotoras-led culturally competent and linguistically appropriate cervical cancer prevention project for Latina women in the United States
      Authors: 
      - Vicky Cardoza, MPH (Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Delia Pompa (Senior Vice President, Programs, NCLR)
      - Alejandra J. Gepp, MA EdHD (Associate Director, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Manuela McDonough, MPH, CPH (Program Manager, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Charlotte D. Kabore, MS, MPH, MCHES (Public Health Advisor, Centers for Disease Control) 
      - Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD, MS (Professor and Director, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, PhD, MPH (Research Associate, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Carmen Velásquez (Executive Director, Alivio Medical Center)
      - Alicia Wilson (Executive Director, La Clínica del Pueblo)
    • Project Name: Viviendo Saludable
      APHA presentation title:
        Reaching Out to Elderly Latinos Living with Diabetes: A Self-Management Program
      Authors:
      - Alejandra J. Gepp, MA EdHD (Associate Director, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Vicky Cardoza, MPH (Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Madeleine Arritola
      - Fernando Godinez (President and CEO, Mexican American Unity Council)
      - Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD, MS (Professor and Director, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
      - Enrique Ortega
      - Melawhy Garcia (Assistant Director, NCLR/California State University, Long Beach [CSULB] Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training)
       
    • Project Name: Mantenga su Mente Activa
      APHA presentation title:
       Mantenga su mente activa: Increasing awareness of Alzheimer's disease in the Latino community
      Authors:
      - Paul Aguilar, MPH (Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Alejandra J. Gepp, MA EdHD (Associate Director, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Lupe Lemus (Executive Assistant, Programs, NCLR) 
      - Susannah Senerchia (Associate Editor, NCLR Integrated Marketing and Events) 
      - Claudia Barajas (Director of Health Services, Latino Community Development Agency)
    • Project Name: Genetic Community Conversation 
      APHA presentation title: Genetic Services and Literacy in Latino Communities: A Community Conversation Addressing Maternal and Child Health Needs
      Authors:
      - Vicky Cardoza, MPH (Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Alejandra J. Gepp, MA EdHD (Associate Director, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health)
      - Delia Pompa, MA (Senior Vice President, Programs, NCLR)
      - Belen Hurle, PhD (Staff Scientist, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health)
      - Maria Gomez, RN, MPH (President/CEO, Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care)

    The conference will provide an opportunity to represent Latinos in several areas that affect them greatly and to disseminate important strategies on how to reach this community effectively.

    Vicky Cardoza, Project Coordinator for several of the accepted projects, views these accomplishments as a reflection of the efforts of both IHH staff members and NCLR’s Affiliate network.

    “Abstracts submitted were subject to a very competitive evaluation,” said Cardoza. “Being selected to present at this meeting proves the high quality of IHH’s projects in addressing health disparities affecting Latinos.”

    She continued: “These projects are implemented across the nation with the help of selected NCLR Affiliates. Dissemination efforts will focus on reaching new Latino communities through the Affiliate network to address health disparities among the most vulnerable, hard-to-reach populations.”


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    June is National Homeownership Month, and NCLR and its partners are taking a closer look at some of the states harmed most by the foreclosure crisis. The crisis exposed weaknesses in the housing system that has long affected low-income families and communities of color. An estimated 25% of Black and Hispanic borrowers in the U.S. lost homes or are at serious risk of losing their homes, compared to 12% of White borrowers.

    We must stabilize the housing market by making it more accessible, equitable, and sustainable. To shed light on solutions and bring sensible homeownership back to the national debate, NCLR and its civil rights and consumer partners are hosting a series of Home for Good town halls, the first of which will take place in Nevada later this week. We are holding these town halls to ensure that our leaders:

    1. Stop needless foreclosures.
    2. Expand affordable rental housing.
    3. Revive a sustainable path to homeownership.

    We want to hear from you!

    In step with the town halls, we're also hosting a blog carnival that will take place Thursday, June 28. The carnival will feature blog posts related to the foreclosure crisis as it pertains to communities of color. Join this blogger effort and add your voice to those speaking out against needless foreclosures.

    Send your blog post and contact information no later than close of business on Sunday, June 24 to David Castillo at dcastillo@nclr.org.

    OR:

    Publish the post on your own site by close of business on Monday, June 25 and send us the link!
    We will reprint your posts on Thursday, June 28, marking a milestone in our Home for Good town hall tour and to mark the end of National Homeownership Month. You will see your blog post published on myhomeforgood.com and nclr.org alongside those from the many others seeking to end needless foreclosures that are tearing families apart.

    Email us at dcastillo@nclr.org with any questions. Happy blogging!


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    By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

    HB 56, Alabama’s notorious bill that is perhaps the most draconian anti-immigrant law in the country, has provoked a nonstop flood of controversy since its enactment. It has been enjoined by a federal judge and denounced by the U.S. Department of Justice. It brought howls of protest from farmers, one of the largest economic sectors in the state, as they saw their crops rot in the fields. Thousands of students were pulled out of schools by frightened parents, and the law’s implications overwhelmed educators, putting the education of every Alabama child at risk. Not to mention, this is happening in a state which ranks at or near the bottom of all 50 states on educational progress. A storm of outrage has rained down on Alabama, resulting in a host of local and national rallies and marches in opposition to Alabama’s return to the dark days of the Jim Crow era.

    Even a dispassionate examination of the situation reveals the remarkable toll HB 56 has taken and will continue to take on Alabama. The Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama estimates that the state will lose at least $10 billion, 140,000 jobs, and nearly $400 million in tax revenue. And it’s getting worse. Alabama’s farmers have already announced that they are cutting back on production in an attempt to avoid the massive losses they experienced last year.

    All of this has created enormous pressure on the legislature, and especially Governor Robert Bentley, to take action. Certainly state legislators could see that they used a shotgun to kill a fly on the wall (Alabama has one of the smallest foreign-born populations of any state) and ended up with a giant hole on the side of their house. Bentley implored the legislature to revisit the legislation. But did they get out the repair kit? No, the legislature instead pulled out a cannon.

    The bill that just passed the legislature and was signed by the Governor—the alleged fix—still has virtually all of the provisions that got Alabama into this mess in the first place. It still legalizes profiling. It still turns schools into immigration enforcement agencies.

    But the legislature didn’t stop there; instead, they doubled down on a losing hand. The law now contains a nonsensical and decidedly unconstitutional provision that requires the state to publish the name of all illegal immigrants who appear in court for violations of state law, regardless of whether they are convicted or not—to what purpose, other than state-sanctioned harassment of immigrants and courts alike, no one can say.

    It’s hard to know whether these legislators are being willfully ignorant of reality or just stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that they made a big mistake. Time will tell what the cost of making a political point rather than solving a problem will be for these legislators. In the meantime, the price is being paid by their constituents. For their sake, this law needs to be repealed.
     


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  • 06/06/12--07:58: NCLR and the Netroots
  • This week, NCLR will be at the seventh annual Netroots Nation Conference in Providence, RI. This annual gathering brings together bloggers, activists, reporters, and organizations to exchange ideas and talk about how to advance a whole range of policy issues through digital advocacy. Many of these issues are central to NCLR’s mission, including immigration reform, economic recovery, and education.

    If you’re attending Netroots this week, be sure to stop by the Latino Caucus on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. This year, NCLR is joining forces with DREAM Activist and Time 100 member, Dulce Matuz. We have an exciting event in store, so you won't want to miss the spirited discussion that is sure to take place.


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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

    Para más información:
    Joseph Rendeiro
    (202) 776-1566
    jrendeiro@nclr.org

    Las Vegas—Para millones de americanos, incluyendo las comunidades de color, familias trabajadoras, y personas de mayor edad, la crisis hipotecaria está muy lejos de ver su fin. Para cesar las ejecuciones de hipotecas innecesarias, que son bastante comunes en el pais, el NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza por sus siglas en ingles) y diez otras organizaciones importantes de los derechos civiles se han unido para lanzar la campaña Home for Good en este año de elecciones presidenciales. Los grupos hermanos que se han unido al NCLR en este esfuerzo son el Center for American Progress, Center for Responsible Lending, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, Greenlining, Homes on the Hill, Kirwan Institute, National CAPACD, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Urban League, Nuestra Voz, Líderes Del Valle De Sonoma Inc., y The Opportunity Agenda.

    “Este país tiene una necesidad enorme de resolver la crisis de vivienda si queremos mantener el sueño de ser dueño de vivienda una realidad para la próxima generación,” dijo Janis Bowdler, Directora del Programa de Refuerzo de Bienes del NCLR. “Los votantes están poniendo mucha atención a las propuestas ofrecidas por los candidatos a la presidencia para asegurarse que están ofreciendo soluciones concretas. Los dueños de vivienda no tienen el lujo de aceptar simples palabras de los líderes del país cuando siguen perdiendo sus viviendas a un paso alarmante.”

    Hoy, en foro público en Las Vegas, expertos y oficiales de vivienda incluyendo a la Fiscal General del Estado de Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto, y antiguo miembro de la Asamblea Estatal Barbara Buckley (D), participaron en un diálogo con la comunidad orientado hacia buscar soluciones y retar a los candidatos presidenciales a que se dirijan a los problemas del mercado de vivienda que han frustrado la revitalización y provocado la pérdida de casas para muchos americanos. Las Vegas ha sido particularmente afectado por la crisis de vivienda: el año pasado, entre todas las ciudades con poblaciones de más de 200,000 personas, Las Vegas fue el número uno en ejecuciones hipotecarias con ejecuciones en el 7.38 por ciento (o uno de cada 14) de sus viviendas.

    Las organizaciones participantes del programa Home for Good, retaron a los candidatos presidenciales a que compartieran sus planes para:
    • Cesar las ejecuciones hipotecarias innecesarias
    • Ampliar el numero de viviendas para alquilar que sean asequibles
    • Reactivar el camino sostenible hacia la posibilidad de ser dueño de vivienda

    Participantes en el evento de hoy también discutieron un número de desarrollos importantes que han tomado vigor en el último año incluyendo el acuerdo multi-estatal de $25 mil millones entre los Fiscales Generales y cinco de los prestamistas más grandes del pais. Los próximos foros publicos este verano están programadas para tomar lugar en Miami, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; y el Distrito de Columbia.

    “La decisión que toman los electores en el 2012 tendrá un impacto enorme sobre la política de vivienda en los próximos años,” añadió Bowdler. “Tenemos que asegurarnos que nuestros oficiales electos están defendiendo a los dueños y los inquilinos.”

    Para más información y datos sobre la campaña Home for Good, por favor visite www.myhomeforgood.com.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Joseph Rendeiro
    (202) 776-1566
    jrendeiro@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 be all too common across the country, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and ten other leading civil rights and advocacy organizations have come together to launch the Home for Good campaign town hall tour in this crucial election year. The partnering groups are Center for American Progress, Center for Responsible Lending, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, Greenlining, Homes on the Hill, Kirwan Institute, National CAPACD, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Urban League, Nuestra Voz, Líderes Del Valle De Sonoma Inc., and The Opportunity Agenda.

    “This country is in desperate need of a resolution to the housing crisis if we hope to keep the dream of homeownership alive for the next generation,” said Janis Bowdler, Director of the Wealth-Building Policy Project at NCLR. “Voters are paying incredibly close attention to proposals our presidential candidates put forward to make sure that they are offering concrete solutions. Homeowners cannot afford lip service from the leaders of this country while they are still losing their homes at astonishing rates.”

    Today, at a town hall in Las Vegas, leading experts and housing officials, including Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and former Assemblymember Barbara Buckley (D), engaged the local community in a solutions-oriented dialogue and challenged the presidential candidates to commit to addressing problems in the housing market that have stymied neighborhood revitalization and led to Americans losing their homes to foreclosure. Las Vegas has been particularly hit hard by the housing crisis: last year, in the ranking of metro areas with populations of 200,000 or more, Las Vegas finished first in foreclosures with 7.38 percent of its housing units (one in 14) receiving a filing.

    The Home for Good campaign partners challenged the presidential candidates to share their plans to:
    • Stop needless foreclosures
    • Expand affordable rental housing
    • Revive a sustainable path to homeownership

    Participants in the town halls also discussed a number of important developments for homeowners that have occurred over the past year including the historic $25 billion multistate settlement between the Attorneys General and five of the largest loan servicers. Upcoming town halls this summer are scheduled for Miami, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; and the District of Columbia.

    “The decision that voters make in the 2012 election is going to have a tremendous impact on housing policy in the coming years,” added Bowdler. “We need to make sure that our elected officials are standing behind struggling homeowners and renters.”

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

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    The most logical reason is because ‘everyone else is doing it’. Established businesses and nonprofits have set the standard to always include a component of social media in their marketing and communications campaigns. social media has become a necessity for small nonprofit groups seeking increased public or financial support. And, on the flipside, lagging behind in social media outreach efforts often reflects poorly on larger organizations.

    Second, social media facilitates advocacy work. Although larger organizations often resort to costly professional audits or specialized software to keep track of their outreach and civic engagement, smaller organizations do not have the financial resources to invest in these costly tools. Social media fills this void by providing technology that can plot an organization’s demographic data, identify membership patterns, and produce interactive reports to measure outreach.

    Nonprofit organizations in the health field use social media primarily to disseminate important information in line with the organization’s mission and to promote their events. Eli Lilly, a generous contributor of our first ever Health Summit, uses the technology on Twitter to further its mission to innovate in health. By entering @LillyPad in the search field of a twitter account, people can gain access to news that resonated within Eli Lilly’s walls and take a glance at this company’s values. 

     

    Nonprofit organizations can also use social media to broadcast real-time or future events. 

    One of the myths about social media is that it requires tech-savvy people to use it. In actuality, social media is for everyone.

    Here is list of ways in which you can get involved that do not require complex technological knowledge about the Web 2.0:

    • Read a blog
    • Share photos
    • Post questions
    • Add comments
    • Write reviews
    • Subscribe to the Health Summit’s Facebook group and “Like” the NCLR Facebook page

    While the view that everyone is able to use social media is mostly correct, certain tools work better depending on the nature and objectives of each organization or their internal departments.

    Think about the ways in which you often communicate to find out which social platforms make the best use of your time or resources.

    If you regularly… The best tool for you is: Description/Benefits:
    Have relevant and interesting video footage YouTube • Video is engaging and powerful
    • YouTube accounts for 10% of all Internet traffic
     
    Have photos or visual snapshots of your events Flickr • Images influence brand perception
    • Flickr feeds other social media platforms
     

    Write news or op-ed articles, publications, reports

    Read news or op-eds, articles, reports

    Have access to experts in your area
     

    Blog • Appeal to a tailored audience
    • Encourage viral spread of your message
    • Allows for message consistency
     

    Critique, comment, review

    Join, share, make connections
     

    Facebook • Tap into other organizational or individual networks
    • Send personalized messages
     
    Are very active, can provide ongoing information Twitter • Live streaming
    • Latinos are enthusiastic users
     
    Research, spectate, are starting to build an online presence Website • Allows you to create, edit, and share using any of the other platforms
    • Everyone needs one!
     

    Once an organization has made important connections online, its success will depend on the quality of the social interactions. Social media allows people to build a relationship with supporters, rather than “pushing” a single message or promoting a one-time event. Think about the possibilities of having multiple opportunities to share content with a relevant audience and receive dynamic (even real-time) feedback from them. The more an organization is willing to interact with its audience, the more likely it is that the public will spread their message within the social media universe. 


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    It's summertime and the 2012 election season is well underway. If you live in a swing state, you've certainly noticed the myriad advertisements on television, and you've probably received numerous phone calls from candidates asking for your vote.

    Amid all the hoopla that comes with this year's general election is an effort by some to strip voting rights from people—mostly minorities—who are viewed as unsupportive of certain political campaigns. Take Florida, for example, which has been the subject of intense scrutiny for its voter suppression law, HB 1355. The Sunshine State's law is probably the most egregious, but it is also part of a trend that is taking root in many states across the country.

    Last week in Providence, RI at the annual Netroots Nation conference, NCLR participated in a panel discussion about what needs to be done to protect the voting rights of communities of color. Watch the video below for the full discussion. And if you haven't yet registered to vote, visit our Mobilize to Vote site and register now!

    Watch live streaming video from fstv1 at livestream.com

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    Earlier today, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida took to the Senate floor blasting Florida Govenor Rick Scott’s for suing the federal government for access to a voter database. The governor says that the database would validate his state’s onerous voter suppression law, HB 1355, but this brazen move is just one more attempt at voter suppression in a swing state.

    The lawsuit was filed in response to the government’s demand that Florida cease with its plans to purge thousands of voters from its rolls or risk violating the Voting Rights Act. The vast majority of those to be purged include Black and Latino voters and the government has filed a lawsuit to get Florida to act. 

    It hasn’t been a good couple of weeks for the Sunshine State’s voter suppression plans. Senator Nelson’s speech and the government’s lawsuit come on the heels of a federal court decision that blocked key provisions of HB 1355. Those key provisions include the 48-hour turnaround time for third party voter registration groups and the ban on voting the Sunday before Election Day. Both of these provisions would negatively impact minority communities, the elderly, and young voters, who benefit the most from such voting laws. Colorlines.com summed up the impact in a recent post:

    According to the Brennan Center for Justice (PDF), Black and Latino Floridians are more than twice as likely to register to vote through community-based voter registration drives than White voters. According to the New York Times, 81,471 fewer Floridians have registered to vote as of May 2012 than during the same period before the 2008 elections.

    NCLR is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to block SB 1355 and we’re happy to see this terrible law weakened. The state’s claims that voter fraud is a problem are baseless, proven by the scant number of voter fraud cases Florida has prosecuted in the last ten years. The reality is that this law is shamelessly aimed at stripping the rights of people of color.

    It’s imperative that Gov. Scott’s frivolous lawsuit be thrown out. Sen. Nelson is to be commended for taking a stand to protect the sacred voting rights of his constituents.

    Watch the Senator’s speech below. Full text of the speech can be found below the video.

     

    Mr. President,

    As I was heading to the Capitol this morning, I couldn’t help but think about the jolting news from my state: the Justice Department will sue Florida over its purge of voting rolls. Being a native Floridian whose family came to Florida 183 years ago, and having served the people of my state for years …

    … I simply cannot believe the State of Florida would deliberately make it more difficult for lawful citizens to vote. But the governor did sign the new law last summer to reduce early voting days and blunt voter registration drives.

    Then he launched this massive purge of the voter rolls—hunting for illegal immigrants. And in so doing, he’s now defying federal authorities who say you cannot conduct a purge of voter rolls so close to an election.

    The governor and his administration should ensure the credibility of our voter rolls. They should have a program to suppress fraud. But above all else, the state must ensure that every lawful citizen who has the right to vote can do so without impediment.

    It was a long time ago, but something Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said about voting rights seems appropriate again. Dr. King said, “The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic traditions. It is democracy turned upside down.”

    I hope the governor will heed those words.

    Mr. President, I yield the floor.


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    By Liany Elba Arroyo, Associate Director, Education and Children's Policy Project, NCLR

    Some members of Congress are up to no good again. Over and over in pretty much every debate this year, the House of Representatives or the Senate has attempted to deny Latino children access to services that they need in order to pay for other things like tax cuts for millionaires. This time it’s Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions’s turn at the piñata.

    This week or next, the Senate is expected to vote on the “Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012,” commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. The proposed bill cuts $4.5 billion over ten years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), which means that nearly 500,000 households will see their benefits reduced by an average of $90 per month. These cuts are already devastating enough for the thousands of families who rely on the program to put food on the table, but some senators feel that the cuts do not go far enough.

    Senator Sessions is proposing an amendment that will hurt at least 4.5 million Latino children. The amendment requires that every person in a household show proof of citizenship before anyone in the home applies for SNAP. While this may appear to be a fair solution to some, the amendment is not nearly as reasonable as it seems.

    Many U.S. citizens don’t have official proof of their citizenship readily available. According to Peter Orszag, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, “virtually all of those who have been unable to provide the required documentation are U.S. citizens.” For example, many are unable to afford appropriate identification or, in the case of many elderly Black Americans, were denied a birth certificate because of their race. In some places it can take anywhere from three to eight months to obtain an original birth certificate from local county officials, and it can cost up to $45 for a certificate or $100 for a passport, prices that are unaffordable for most low-income families who need assistance from SNAP. For today’s multigenerational families, one household member not having proper identification means no one in the family is able to access SNAP.

    And for Latinos in mixed-status families, children who are U.S. citizens will be denied access to a benefit for which they are eligible because one parent might be undocumented or a legal permanent resident not yet eligible for benefits. Given that over half of Hispanic children have at least one immigrant parent, this amendment will inordinately affect Hispanic children—who, by the way, are already likely to be eligible but unenrolled in the program. We should be investing in strategies that increase Latino kids’ participation in SNAP, not stripping away their access.

    Senator Sessions has it all wrong. Punishing U.S. citizen Latino children as a way to punish their parents is wrong—it is morally wrong, it is ethically wrong, and any person with half a heart can see that it makes no sense to add millions more kids to the already 16 million children who are at risk of hunger in this country. Kids who are at risk of hunger are more likely to be in poor health, have developmental and behavioral problems, and are five times more likely to attempt suicide. At a time when we should be investing in these children because they will be our future workers and leaders, Senator Sessions and his colleagues are showing the nation and the Hispanic community just how much they care about our younger generations by doing the exact opposite.  


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Washington, D.C.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) lauded the long-awaited confirmation of Mari Carmen Aponte as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador. In a strong show of bipartisan support, the U.S. Senate voted 62–37 this afternoon to allow the nomination to go forward.

    “This is a great day for the Latino community and for our nation,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “Today justice was done. An eminently qualified leader who served her country as ambassador for more than a year despite Senate inaction has at long last been confirmed. We want to express our deep appreciation to the Obama administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–Nev.) for persevering on this nomination because it was the smart and right thing to do.”

    “Having a permanent representative strengthens one of the most important alliances we have in this very important region. I also want to thank Senator Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) and the eight other Republican senators who voted to confirm Ms. Aponte, recognizing the importance of this nomination to the Hispanic community and to our country’s national security,” continued Murguía.

    In addition to Rubio, eight Republican Senators voted to break the impasse, paving the way for Aponte’s confirmation: Kelly Ayotte (R–N.H.); Scott Brown (R–Mass.); Susan Collins (R–ME); Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.); Richard Lugar (R–Ind.); John McCain (R–Ariz.); Lisa Murkowski (R-–AK); and Olympia Snowe (R–ME).

    “We are very proud of our long relationship with Ms. Aponte, a former NCLR Board member, and we have no doubt she will continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction,” concluded Murguía.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Jessica Mayorga, NCLR
    (202) 776-1768
    jmayorga@nclr.org

    LAS VEGAS—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) will unveil the lineup of events, speakers, and highlights of the 2012 NCLR Annual Conference at a press briefing on Tuesday, June 26 in Las Vegas. This year’s Annual Conference, sponsored by Walmart, will be held July 7–10 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. This marks the first time ever that NCLR will host its Annual Conference in Las Vegas, a city with a strong and growing Latino population. The briefing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. in the Palm H room at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center South.

    The 2012 NCLR Annual Conference, themed “Lead the Way,” is the preeminent event for NCLR, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. At the briefing, Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO, will announce the featured speakers and events at this year’s Conference. Last year’s speaker lineup included high-profile guests such as President Barack Obama; Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (D–Mo.), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; author, columnist, and President and Editor-in-Chief of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, Arianna Huffington; and renowned activist, actress, and NCLR ALMA Awards® Host and Executive Producer, Eva Longoria.

    The briefing will also offer a preview of what families can experience at the 2012 NCLR National Latino Family Expo®. Sponsored by UPS, the Expo is one of the largest events in the country focused on resources and activities for the Latino family, with more than 200 exhibitors showcasing their products and services. From live entertainment and giveaways to free health screenings and informative demonstrations, everyone will discover something new in a fun and exciting environment that the entire family will enjoy. The Expo is open to all, and attendance and parking are both free of charge.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHO:     Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR
                   NCLR Senior Leadership

    WHAT:   Press briefing to preview events, highlights, and speakers for the 2012 NCLR Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo

    WHEN:   Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 10:00 a.m.

    WHERE: Mandalay Bay Convention Center South
                   Room Palm H
                   3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South
                   Las Vegas, NV 89119

    All media must register in advance. Please confirm your attendance for this event by contacting Jessica Mayorga at jmayorga@nclr.org by Monday, June 25, 2012.

    To register for press credentials for Conference, please visit www.nclr.org/pressregistration.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Experts to discuss ways to help struggling homeowners at public forum

    MIAMI—For millions of Americans, working families, and seniors, the housing crisis is far from over. To stave off unnecessary foreclosures that continue to be all too common across the country, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and ten other leading civil rights and advocacy organizations have come together to launch the Home for Good campaign town hall tour in this crucial election year. The partnering groups are Center for American Progress, Center for Responsible Lending, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, Greenlining, Homes on the Hill, Kirwan Institute, National CAPACD, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Urban League, Nuestra Voz, Líderes Del Valle De Sonoma Inc., and The Opportunity Agenda.

    NCLR is hosting its second in a series of national Home for Good town hall meetings to address the continuing housing crisis and the disproportionate impact it has had on minorities—particularly Blacks and Latinos. As one of the hardest-hit states, Florida reflects the struggle of many throughout the nation; South Floridians in particular have suffered the brunt of the crisis. In fact, foreclosure activity in Southern Florida is several times higher than the national average—Miami-Dade County tops that list.

    NCLR will convene local experts and housing officials for a discussion on problems in the housing market in South Florida that have hindered neighborhood revitalization and led to foreclosure for many. Participants will address continuing challenges to recovery of the housing market as well as how recent important developments, like the historic $25 billion multistate settlement between the Attorneys General and five of the largest loan servicers, may affect them.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT: Home for Good Town Hall

    WHO: Housing experts and officials (TBA)

    WHEN: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

    WHERE: 
    West Dade Regional Library (Auditorium)
    9445 SW 24th Street
    Miami, FL 33165

    For further information or questions, or to schedule an interview, contact Camila Gallardo, NCLR Senior Communications Manager, at cgallardo@nclr.org

    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.

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

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

    “African countries should not allow foreign companies from picking out countries to exploit. Nations must link up and come up with common solutions and opportunities.”
    —His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa, former president of Tanzania

    Late last month I traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa for the African Presidential Roundtable 2012. My trip was remarkable and eye-opening on so many levels. I not only had to mentally prepare for the energy discussions but also for an environment still on the path of recovery and repair, given South Africa’s tumultuous and horrific history with Apartheid. The opportunity to learn more about Africa’s challenges around energy security made it clear that if approached carefully and strategically, the continent could be on the brink of monumental changes and advances.

    This year’s meeting continued and built upon on last year’s topic, “21st Century Energy Agenda for Africa.” As a fellow with the Center for American Progress Leadership Institute, I was among several official observers in attendance who got to rub elbows with former African presidents and learn more about energy efficiency and sustainability from myriad energy experts from around the globe. Some of the convening’s main unanswered questions hit home. Similar to many African countries, the U.S. has yet to decide what energy model is best to ensure access and sustainability, how to ensure that vulnerable populations are included and benefit, and lastly who should control energy systems.

    During the roundtable, I was continually reminded how far behind Africa is compared to other regions of the world in electricity use and access. In fact, it is predicted that the number of people without access to energy in this region will rise to between 90 and 100 million by 2030. And without access to electricity, the poor are robbed of the most basic of human rights and of economic opportunities to advance their standard of living. However, the continent’s overreliance on fossil fuels is also degrading the environment. For example, I learned that about 72% of South Africa’s electricity comes from coal-fired power stations. The irony is that Africa is the world’s largest reservoir of natural resources. According to His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa, the former president of Tanzania, having energy does not mean energy security, and it underscores that “African countries should not allow foreign companies from picking out countries to exploit. Nations must link up and come up with common solutions and opportunities.” Today, many African nations are beginning to explore and tap into new energy sources, as well as explore clean technologies, but a gap in collaborative efforts remains. Moreover, many are skeptical about whether nations will direct adequate levels of new revenue toward infrastructure projects to improve the quality of life for an overwhelming majority of Africans, or instead leave impoverished communities poorer than they are now.

    Beyond cost and quality of life, the development of new energy strategies must consider ownership. During the roundtable, it was encouraging to hear His Excellency Mkapa express his adamant views about Africa developing a transition plan to move to “renewable sources and ultimately establish ownership in order to ensure sustainability, accessibility, accountability, and security.” By the end of the convening, it was clear that to develop community buy-in and support for renewable energy projects, an increase in local development through community ownership is necessary. In turn, community power is built, literally, and local economies are strengthened. Similar to African nations, Latino communities in the U.S. stand to benefit from investments to increase community ownership of energy projects. There are many opportunities budding up throughout the country, some literally in your backyard. As I transition back from my travels, I look forward to continuing the clean energy conversations with Hispanic communities and to planting some seeds around helping Latinos realize how they can start harnessing their own power locally. 


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