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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                Contact:
    July 11, 2012                                                        Joseph Rendeiro 
                                                                                    (202) 776-1566
                                                                                    jrendeiro@nclr.org

    LAS VEGAS—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) presented the 2012 Affiliate of the Year Award to the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA), an organization committed to making a difference in the lives of at-risk Latino youth and families. AAMA was recognized at the Awards Gala on July 10 at the 2012 NCLR Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    “As one of the largest and best-run nonprofits in the country, AAMA has served as a model and mentor to many other community-based organizations in the NCLR Affiliate Network,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR. “As an active, committed participant in NCLR’s advocacy initiatives at the local and national level, AAMA has been one of our most engaged and dedicated allies. And our ongoing partnership in programs such as education and leadership development has helped expand NCLR’s reach into the Texas Latino community.”

    Founded in 1970, AAMA has grown into one of the most influential nonprofits in Texas, offering a comprehensive array of innovative programs and services to more than 22,000 individuals each year in Houston, San Antonio, and Laredo. Some of the organization’s crowning achievements include:

    • The creation of the Adelante education program which serves more than 1,200 adult students each year and operates four locations in Houston’s East End and North Side, offering a comprehensive curriculum to provide adults with the skills and education necessary to enter and advance in the workplace

    • The founding of the George I. Sanchez (GIS) School a charter school designed to more effectively address the growing Latino dropout rate in Houston’s East End through a unique education model that incorporates small class sizes, an innovative curriculum, and support services

    • The establishment of numerous counseling, prevention, and treatment programs for Texas youth and adults

    In addition to honoring AAMA—an Affiliate in NCLR’s Texas Region—with a $25,000 cash award, NCLR also recognized a Regional Honoree from each of its five other regions. Each honoree was presented with a $5,000 cash award on Monday, July 9, at the Affiliate Leadership Breakfast. The 2012 Regional Honorees included Community HousingWorks (California Region); Valle del Sol (Far West Region); Sociedad Latina (Northeast Region); El Barrio, Inc. (Midwest Region); and Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!) (Southeast Region).

    The Affiliate of the Year Award, sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund, is the highest honor bestowed on an NCLR Affiliate for exemplary nonprofit management, service to its community, and active engagement in and promotion of NCLR’s programmatic and advocacy initiatives. Presented annually, the award provides NCLR with an opportunity to showcase the achievements of the winning Affiliate and the positive impact it has made on the lives of Latinos.

    “At Ford we are committed not only to a thriving and successful company, but also to thriving and successful communities. This is why we are proud to support the NCLR Affiliate of the Year Award,” said Joedis Avila, Community Outreach Manager, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “We trust that our support will help AAMA and the rest of the regional winners continue their hard work serving their communities and making a difference in the lives of Latinos.”

    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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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  Contact:
    July 11, 2012                                                          Camila Gallardo
                                                                                      (305) 573-7329
                                                                                      Cell: (305) 215-4259
                                                                                      cgallardo@nclr.org
     

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Today, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) commended California Governor Jerry Brown for signing the California Foreclosure Reduction Act (AB 278 / SB 900), a law that will finally put an end to the unfair “dual track” process that has caused many borrowers to lose their homes while being considered for a loan modification. NCLR also recognized state lawmakers for passing the legislation, and lauded the crucial work that its California Affiliates and a number of allies—including California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Sen. Ron Calderon (D–Montebello), East LA Community Corporation, TODEC Legal Center, Montebello Housing Development Corporation, Council for the Spanish Speaking in Stockton, Community HousingWorks of San Diego, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County—did to help secure the passage of the bill.

    “The California Foreclosure Reduction Act, championed by Attorney General Kamala Harris and Senator Ron Calderon, is a significant victory for Latino families and all Californians,” said Delia de la Vara, NCLR’s Vice President for the California Region. “NCLR and our California Affiliates are proud to have played a role in passing this important bill that will finally put an end to the unfair ‘dual track’ process that traps homeowners while they are seeking a loan modification. This bill should serve as a model for other states and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as they develop the National Mortgage Servicing Standards.”

    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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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  Contact:
    July 11, 2012                                                          Camila Gallardo
                                                                                      (305) 573-7329
                                                                                      Cell: (305) 215-4259
                                                                                      cgallardo@nclr.org
     

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Today, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) commended California Governor Jerry Brown for signing the California Foreclosure Reduction Act (AB 278 / SB 900), a law that will finally put an end to the unfair “dual track” process that has caused many borrowers to lose their homes while being considered for a loan modification. NCLR also recognized state lawmakers for passing the legislation, and lauded the crucial work that its California Affiliates and a number of allies—including California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Sen. Ron Calderon (D–Montebello), East LA Community Corporation, TODEC Legal Center, Montebello Housing Development Corporation, Council for the Spanish Speaking in Stockton, Community HousingWorks of San Diego, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County—did to help secure the passage of the bill.

    “The California Foreclosure Reduction Act, championed by Attorney General Kamala Harris and Senator Ron Calderon, is a significant victory for Latino families and all Californians,” said Delia de la Vara, NCLR’s Vice President for the California Region. “NCLR and our California Affiliates are proud to have played a role in passing this important bill that will finally put an end to the unfair ‘dual track’ process that traps homeowners while they are seeking a loan modification. This bill should serve as a model for other states and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as they develop the National Mortgage Servicing Standards.”

    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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  • 07/17/12--20:23: The Fight Isn’t Over Yet
  • The Daily Beast is out with a new op-ed on the fights that Latinos still have to contend with despite advances made in recent Supreme Court decisions.

    The Supreme Court ruling in favor of most of the Affordable Care Act is certainly a cause for celebration, but that celebration must be tempered by the sobering fact that its decision on Arizona’s SB 1070 left in place one of the law’s most egregious provisions: Section 2(b), the so-called “papers, please” provision. SB 1070 and the introduction of a weakened Violence Against Women Act should serve as reminders and rallying calls during this very important election year.

    Our very own Jennifer Ng’andu was a coauthor. Joining her were Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, and Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

    From The Daily Beast:

    These laws are being used as a political organizing tool that pits one community against others. And they reflect a profound misunderstanding of Latinos. They remind us that there is more to be done to guarantee our civil and human rights are fully acknowledged and enforced.

    Latinos must work together to combat stereotypes, and speak out in favor of our civil and human rights. We believe politicians and political campaigns are increasingly recognizing the power of our vote, but they must also actively work against laws and policies that dehumanize, stigmatize, and harm our communities.

    That’s why, arm in arm, in solidarity, we must work even harder to make sure that we push back against dehumanizing anti-immigrant campaigns, wherever and whenever they arise—and remind our political leaders that our support will require respect for our entire community in both word and deed.

    Read the full op-ed here.


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    In case you didn’t know by now, Latinos DO care about the environment. In poll after poll, public opinion confirms that Latinos care about the cleanliness of their air and water, and they strongly support action on climate change and the development of clean energy jobs. We confirmed this recently in Denver at an NCLR town hall meeting held June 27, 2012 at the Mi Casa Resource Center.

    Colorado, being a national leader on clean energy policies, was a natural place to engage Hispanics on this issue. It is the first state to implement a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) which requires investor-owned utilities to provide 30% of their electricity sales from renewables by 2020. As a result of the RPS, Colorado is actively reducing its use of limited energy sources such as coal and oil, while generating more power from renewable sources such as solar and wind. The Honorable Federico Peña—the first Hispanic mayor of Denver and the U.S. Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Transportation under President Clinton—joined NCLR at the town hall to help explain and discuss how this shift is affecting the jobs, health, and economic security of Latino workers and families in Colorado. He also emphasized the importance of civic participation for Hispanics to not only ensure that their voices are heard, but also to hold their elected officials accountable in proposing clean energy policies that are in the best interests of Hispanic communities.

    In addition to Peña, the town hall also featured presentations by NCLR’s Alicia Criado, Policy Associate with the Economic and Employment Policy Project, who led participants through an interactive story of the energy supply chain based on the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s “Power Trip” teaching tool, and explained how we get our energy. Joy Hughes, founder of the Solar Gardens Institute, presented solar gardens, or community-owned solar arrays, as one of several models to build local power and make renewable energy more accessible to individuals and low-income communities. Colorado’s National Renewable Energy Labs states that local ownership programs can create two to three times as many jobs per megawatt produced as the larger companies, and these local jobs keep over three times as much money and wealth inside a community.

    When Colorado experienced its worst fire season in history, the alarm bell sounded for many Latino Coloradans, who were reminded why we cannot wait any longer. Peña emphasized that Latinos can and must develop the technology and models like solar gardens that move our communities to clean, renewable, 21st century energy sources. Looking ahead, NCLR plans to continue community engagement efforts around clean energy and remind people why voting and civic participation are key to ensuring the Hispanic community’s seat at the table in shaping the future of energy policy at both the state and national levels. If you would like to see NCLR come to your city and engage your community members around clean energy issues, let us know!


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    In case you didn’t know by now, Latinos DO care about the environment. In poll after poll, public opinion confirms that Latinos care about the cleanliness of their air and water, and they strongly support action on climate change and the development of clean energy jobs. We confirmed this recently in Denver at an NCLR town hall meeting held June 27, 2012 at the Mi Casa Resource Center.

    Colorado, being a national leader on clean energy policies, was a natural place to engage Hispanics on this issue. It is the first state to implement a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) which requires investor-owned utilities to provide 30% of their electricity sales from renewables by 2020. As a result of the RPS, Colorado is actively reducing its use of limited energy sources such as coal and oil, while generating more power from renewable sources such as solar and wind. The Honorable Federico Peña—the first Hispanic mayor of Denver and the U.S. Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Transportation under President Clinton—joined NCLR at the town hall to help explain and discuss how this shift is affecting the jobs, health, and economic security of Latino workers and families in Colorado. He also emphasized the importance of civic participation for Hispanics to not only ensure that their voices are heard, but also to hold their elected officials accountable in proposing clean energy policies that are in the best interests of Hispanic communities.

    In addition to Peña, the town hall also featured presentations by NCLR’s Alicia Criado, Policy Associate with the Economic and Employment Policy Project, who led participants through an interactive story of the energy supply chain based on the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s “Power Trip” teaching tool, and explained how we get our energy. Joy Hughes, founder of the Solar Gardens Institute, presented solar gardens, or community-owned solar arrays, as one of several models to build local power and make renewable energy more accessible to individuals and low-income communities. Colorado’s National Renewable Energy Labs states that local ownership programs can create two to three times as many jobs per megawatt produced as the larger companies, and these local jobs keep over three times as much money and wealth inside a community.

    When Colorado experienced its worst fire season in history, the alarm bell sounded for many Latino Coloradans, who were reminded why we cannot wait any longer. Peña emphasized that Latinos can and must develop the technology and models like solar gardens that move our communities to clean, renewable, 21st century energy sources. Looking ahead, NCLR plans to continue community engagement efforts around clean energy and remind people why voting and civic participation are key to ensuring the Hispanic community’s seat at the table in shaping the future of energy policy at both the state and national levels. If you would like to see NCLR come to your city and engage your community members around clean energy issues, let us know!


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

    Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) settled claims with Wells Fargo related to price discrimination and steering—the practice of putting prime credit borrowers in subprime loans—against Black and Latino borrowers. Earlier research estimated that borrowers of color were more than twice as likely to be steered to subprime loans, even after controlling for credit and other risk characteristics. With a second major fair lending settlement in a year, the DOJ has cemented its role as an incredibly strong ally in the fight against predatory lending. Moreover, the continued march toward greater accountability and transparency in our lending system is worth celebrating.

    Wells Fargo has steadily deepened its relationship with NCLR by investing in our foreclosure prevention programs and sharing information on their lending practices and strategy. For example, the bank partnered with the NCLR Homeownership Network to pilot an “Early Resolution Portal,” which allows clients seeking a loan modification to submit their documents online and receive a real-time response, so that they can quickly learn what their modification options are. Wells Fargo is the only bank to use this one-of-a-kind tool, which cuts through the frustrating waiting time for customers and helps to prevent unnecessary foreclosures. The bank also recently helped sponsor and attended the 2012 NCLR Annual Conference, where representatives attended a roundtable discussion with NCLR Affiliates who offered feedback on how the company could improve service in their neighborhoods. Such forums allow NCLR to connect the community directly with bank executives and hold them accountable for commitments made. They also enable the company to review their own practices and ensure that they have the best possible structure and procedures in place to better serve their clients and to avoid future mishaps.

    It’s clear—deceptive lending fueled the financial meltdown and the ensuing foreclosure crisis. Since the housing bubble burst, foreclosures have cost thousands of families their homes, absolutely decimating their wealth. And while it is important to remember what led us to that point, it is even more essential that we begin moving forward by rebuilding that wealth and getting Latino families back on the path to economic stability. The settlement reached last Thursday is a step in this direction. Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $125 million to victims that were adversely impacted by its lending practices. In addition, they will provide another $50 million for community improvement projects in seven metropolitan areas that were among the hardest hit by the housing crisis, including Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York City, Cleveland, and Riverside, Calif. And, while this does not erase the devastating economic losses that minority communities and homeowners all across the country experienced, it will provide much-needed relief for borrowers.

    No company is perfect. Wells Fargo, like many other banks, made mistakes, and must pay for them. But in the absence of perfection, we need to see a commitment and steady progress in improving services for homeowners and to building relationships with the Latino community. We expect the DOJ to rightfully take further enforcement action against financial institutions who have engaged in predatory lending, and we hope that they too will begin not only to provide monetary relief for borrowers, but also to change their procedures and policies to better serve their customers. In the meantime, NCLR will work with both the DOJ and Wells Fargo to ensure that all families who were harmed are identified and compensated and to advocate for Latino families.
     


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    Lost amid all the coverage of James Holmes’s arraignment in Colorado and the presidential candidates resuming their campaigns yesterday was an Associated Press article detailing the troubling rise of poverty in America.

    The article cites new 2011 Census data, to be released just weeks before the November elections, which puts the U.S. poverty rate on track to reach a 46-year high. That's 15.7% of Americans who will be considered to be living in poverty.

    From the AP story:

    The predictions for 2011 are based on separate AP interviews, supplemented with research on suburban poverty from Alan Berube of the Brookings Institution and an analysis of federal spending by the Congressional Research Service and Elise Gould of the Economic Policy Institute.

    The analysts’ estimates suggest that some 47 million people in the U.S., or one in six, were poor last year. An increase of one-tenth of a percentage point to 15.2% would tie the 1983 rate, the highest since 1965. The highest level on record was 22.4% in 1959, when the government began calculating poverty figures.

    Poverty is closely tied to joblessness. While the unemployment rate improved from 9.6% in 2010 to 8.9% in 2011, the employment–population ratio remained largely unchanged, meaning many discouraged workers simply stopped looking for work. Food stamp rolls, another indicator of poverty, also grew.

    For the Latino community, the unemployment rate is even higher. Our recent Monthly Latino Employment Report showed that in the month of June, a staggering 11% of Latinos were unemployed nationally. We are a rapidly growing population that will make up a considerable part of the future workforce, and NCLR is working hard to help find solutions to this problem. Reducing the Latino joblessness rate must be a top priority for our community and indeed for the country if we are to reverse this devastating uptick in poverty in America.

    Read the full June Monthly Latino Employment Report, which focuses on the state of Latino workers in Nevada.  


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    We’re joining SEIU and LULAC for a Twitter Town Hall today at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT. 

    During the tweet-up, Latino voter and youth leaders will chat online about key issues such as voter protection, voter registration, the importance of the Latino vote, and what’s at stake this November.

    Participating is easy: Send us your questions in advance, or participate in the live chat with SEIU’s Eliseo Medina and Ulises Gonzalez of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens).

    Use the hashtag #voto12 to join the conversation. Send your questions and comments to us in advance or join the live conversation today at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT.

    Why do voting rights matter? As SEIU's Eliseo Medina recently told the press about November 2012:

    This is one of the most important elections for the Latino community because there's a lot at stake—an agenda that calls for good jobs, tax fairness, affordable health care, and creation of a sensible immigration process."

    "We have a chance to shape this agenda via the ballot box, but it's all in our hands. We have to make sure we are all registered, educated and ready to vote come November.

    Need we say more? Join us today!

    Follow participating #voto12 organizations on Twitter:

    --> @NCLR
    --> @SEIU
    --> @lulacnational 


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Nayda I. Rivera-Hernández
    (787) 649-9501
    nrivera@nclr.org


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

    Teen births dropped but rates of children living in single-parent families increased, and major economic setbacks continue

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—According to the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children and families nationwide continue to struggle in the wake of the recession. In Puerto Rico, 83 percent of children live in high-poverty areas, compared with 11 percent nationally. The percentage of Puerto Rico’s teenagers who are not in school or working is higher than in any other state jurisdiction; at 18 percent, this rate is double that of the United States as a whole.

    Despite a grim snapshot of the economic well-being of Puerto Rico’s children, there were a few bright spots. The 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book documented a 10 percent drop in the birthrate to teen mothers in Puerto Rico from 2005 to 2009. The rate of low–birth weight babies also decreased slightly—by 3 percent—although Puerto Rico still holds the highest rate of low–birth weight babies (12.4 percent). The number of children ages 3 and 4 who attend preschool also increased by 6 percent, but nearly half still do not attend preschool (48 percent).

    “The good news is that the teen birthrate in Puerto Rico continues to trend downward and there are fewer children today who lack health insurance,” said Nayda Rivera-Hernández, Senior Research Analyst at NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the Puerto Rico grantee in the foundation’s KIDS COUNT network. “But when a large majority of our children live in high-poverty areas, in single-parent families, and with parents who lack secure employment, we cannot ignore the threats to their well-being. If we focus on helping families, then our children will do better. We must target our limited resources to strengthen our children’s prospects and help prepare them for the future,” continued Rivera-Hernández.

    Additional key findings from the report include:

    • Puerto Rico holds the highest rates of children without secure parental employment (54 percent), and children in single-parent families (56 percent) than any other state jurisdiction.
    • One-third of high school students do not graduate on time (33 percent), compared to one-quarter in the U.S. overall (24 percent).
    • The child poverty rate for Puerto Rico (56 percent) is nearly three times the level in the U.S. as a whole (22 percent).

    “It is of great concern that the number of children in Puerto Rico living in high-poverty areas is nearly eight times that of the overall U.S. rate. While we see the effects of the recession throughout the nation, it is important for policymakers to take this data into account when considering how and where to help those most affected by the economic downturn,” said Rivera-Hernández.

    The 2012 Data Book has been updated with a new index that provides an even more comprehensive portrait of how U.S. children are faring. It assesses states based on 16 indicators of child well-being—a change from previous annual rankings based on ten indicators, reflecting the tremendous advances in child development research since the Foundation’s first KIDS COUNT Data Book in 1990. In addition to ranking states, the 16 indicators are organized into four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. The report also provides state ranks in each of these areas.

    The KIDS COUNT Data Book includes this latest data on child well-being for every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the nation as a whole. This information will be available starting July 25, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. in the KIDS COUNT Data Center at datacenter.kidscount.org, which also contains the most recent national, state, and local data on hundreds of other measures of child well-being. The Data Center allows users to create rankings, maps, and graphs for use in publications and on websites, and to view real-time information on mobile devices. Follow the Annie E. Casey Foundation on this issue on Twitter @aecfkidscount and on Facebook.

    For further information or to schedule an interview about children’s well-being in Puerto Rico, please contact Nayda Rivera-Hernández at (787) 649-9501 or nrivera@nclr.org, or Camila Gallardo, NCLR Senior Communications Manager, at (305) 573-7329 or cgallardo@nclr.org. Also, updates on this issue are available via Twitter at @NCLR and @nayda4prkids.

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

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private national philanthropy that creates better futures for the nation’s children by strengthening families, building economic opportunities, and transforming neighborhoods into safer and healthier places to live, work, and grow. For more information, visit www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

    Para más información:
    Nayda I. Rivera-Hernández
    nrivera@nclr.org

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

    El índice de nacimientos a adolecentes disminuyó y las tasas de niños viviendo en familias mono parentales aumentaron, mientras continúan las dificultades económicas

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Según los datos divulgados hoy por la Fundación Annie E. Casey en el libro de datos 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book, la niñez y las familias continúan luchando a través de la nación como resultado de la recesión. En Puerto Rico, el 83% de los niños viven en áreas de extrema pobreza comparados con un 11% de los niños a nivel nacional. El porciento de jóvenes que viven en Puerto Rico que no están en la escuela y no están trabajando es más alto que en cualquier otra jurisdicción estatal; a una razón de 18%, esta tasa es más que el doble de la de los Estados Unidos en su totalidad.

    A pesar del estado económico desalentador que enfrenta la niñez en Puerto Rico, el informe presenta algunos aspectos positivos. El libro de datos 2012 KIDS COUNT documentó una disminución de 10% en el índice de nacimientos a madres adolescentes en Puerto Rico del año 2005 al 2009. El índice de bebés nacidos con bajo peso también disminuyó levemente –por 3 por ciento --aunque Puerto Rico aún mantiene el índice de bebés nacidos con bajo-peso (12.4 por ciento) más alto de todas las jurisdicciones estadounidenses. El porcentaje de niños entre los 3 y 4 años que asisten a un preescolar también aumentó (por 6 por ciento), aunque casi la mitad de éstos no asisten a una escuela preescolar (48 por ciento).

    “La buena noticia es que las tasas de nacimientos a adolecentes en Puerto Rico continúa disminuyendo y, hoy en día, hay menos niños sin seguro médico”, dijo Nayda Rivera-Hernández, Analista Sénior de Investigación del NCLR. “Pero cuando una gran mayoría de nuestros niños viven en áreas de altos niveles de pobreza, en familias con uno sólo de los padres, y con padres que no tienen un empleo seguro, no podemos ignorar las amenazas que esto representa para su bienestar. Tenemos que dirigir nuestros limitados recursos a fortalecer las oportunidades a las que tiene acceso nuestra niñez y prepararlos para el futuro”, continuó Rivera-Hernández.

    Entre otros puntos claves del informe se encuentra que:

    • Puerto Rico tiene los índices más altos de niños con padres sin empleo seguro (54 por ciento) y de niños que viven en familias con uno sólo de los padres (56 por ciento) que cualquier otra jurisdicción estatal.
    • Un tercio de los jóvenes de escuela superior no se gradúan a tiempo (33 por ciento), comparado con un cuarto de los jóvenes en los Estados Unidos (24 por ciento).
    • El índice de pobreza en Puerto Rico (56 por ciento) es casi tres veces el índice de los Estados Unidos (22 por ciento).

    “Es sumamente preocupante que la proporción de niños en Puerto Rico que vive en áreas de altos niveles de pobreza es casi ocho veces más que la proporción de niños que vive en los Estados Unidos. Mientras vemos el efecto de la recesión a través del país todas las jurisdicciones estatales, es importante que los hacedores de políticas públicas tomen en cuenta estos datos cuando analicen cómo y dónde ayudar a aquellos que han sido más afectados por la recesión”, dijo Rivera-Hernández.

    El libro de datos 2012 KIDS COUNT ha sido actualizado con un índice nuevo que provee información más comprensiva sobre el bienestar de los niños en los EE.UU. Analiza la situación de cada estado con base en 16 indicadores de bienestar de la niñez—un cambio de años previos donde se basada las conclusiones en diez indicadores. Esto refleja un avance enorme en el campo de investigación del desarrollo del niño desde que la Fundación publicó el primer libro de datos KIDS COUNT en el 1990. Además de clasificar a los estados según un índice global, hay 16 indicadores que están organizados en cuatro categorías: Bienestar Económico, Educación, Salud y Familia y Comunidad. El informe también clasifica a los estados en cada una de estas áreas.

    El libro de datos KIDS COUNT incluye los datos más recientes de bienestar infantil para cada estado, el Distrito de Columbia, Puerto Rico, y los Estados Unidos en su totalidad. Esta información estará disponible a partir del 25 de julio de 2012 a las 12:01a.m. hora de verano del este en el Centro de Datos KIDS COUNT (http://datacenter.kidscount.org), que también contiene la información más reciente a nivel nacional, estatal y local de cientos de otras medidas del bienestar de la niñez. El Centro de Datos permite a los usuarios crear índices, mapas y gráficas para uso en publicaciones, en sitios web y ver la información en tiempo real en sus aparatos móviles. Puede seguir a la Fundación Annie E. Caseyen su cuenta de Twitter @aecfkidscount y en su cuenta de Facebook.

    Para más información o para coordinar una entrevista sobre el bienestar de la niñez en Puerto Rico, por favor comuníquese con Nayda Rivera-Hernández al (787) 649-9501 o nrivera@nclr.org, o con Camila Gallardo, Gerente Sénior de Comunicaciones del NCLR al (305) 573-7329 o cgallardo@nclr.org. Además, puede encontrar actualizaciones sobre este asunto vía Twitter en las cuentas @NCLR y @nayda4prkids.

    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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    La Fundación Annie E. Casey es una institución filantrópica privada y nacional que crea un mejor futuro para los niños del país por medio del fortalecimiento de las familias, el desarrollo de oportunidades económicas y la transformación de los barrios en lugares más seguros y sanos para vivir, trabajar y crecer. Si desea más información, visite www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® es una marca registrada de la Fundación Annie E. Casey. 


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

    Homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. But in 2008, that dream turned into a nightmare for many Latinos when the housing bubble burst and the number of foreclosures skyrocketed, leaving thousands of Hispanic families without a place to live. With a full recovery a long way off, Latinos and other minority borrowers are still struggling to pick up the pieces after the economic collapse that absolutely decimated their already limited wealth. But amid devastation, there are real glimmers of hope and important victories that will offer victims much needed relief and assurance that at least a few champions in Washington are doing their best to protect homeowners from another devastating market collapse.

    This week, homeowners across the nation join NCLR (National Council of La Raza) as we celebrate the one year anniversary of the opening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—one of those champions stepping up for families. Established as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the CFPB is primarily responsible for consumer protection, enforcing clear rules for financial companies that sell mortgages and other loans, and preventing abusive lending and collection practices. Already, the CFPB has created a number of crucial policies to protect homeowners, including:

    • Requiring banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and student and auto loan lenders to provide clearer explanations of their rates, terms, and fees
    • Establishing a consumer complaint system with a searchable database so that consumers can report unfair financial practices and view complaints made by others
    • Establishing additional mortgage and foreclosure protections so that military service members who have been deployed to new locations are protected

    Recent polling conducted by Lake Research Partners—cosponsored by AARP, Center for Responsible Lending, Americans for Financial Reform, and NCLR—of likely national voters shows that Latinos overwhelmingly favor more accountability for Wall Street and stronger consumer protections. With good reason: the Hispanic community has been disproportionally impacted by the predatory lending practices. For Latinos and other communities of color, financial institutions have historically and presently steered our communities to toxic mortgages, buy here pay here dealerships and payday advance companies, to name a few. Costly credit, particularly predatory mortgage lending, has had shattering effects on the whole economy but disproportionally devastated Latino neighborhoods, depleting Latino families’ limited wealth, employment opportunities, and the pathways to economic security.

    Without a doubt, more needs to be done to protect all borrowers from predatory lending and steering. Financial companies on Wall Street must be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement to prevent the practices that caused the financial crisis. In spite of attempts by some financial institutions and members of Congress to weaken the power of this agency, the CFPB remains strong under the leadership of Richard Cordray. NCLR is encouraged by their work and looks forward to continued efforts working together to protect and assist the creation of a fair lending system for all Americans. Wall Street wrote its own rules for far too long. Now, with the CFPB in charge, we finally have an ally willing to watch out for regular Americans.     


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    Every year, The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS Count Data Book provides an overview of how kids are doing all across the country. Much can be predicted about a society’s future by taking a look at how its youngest are doing and KIDS Count helps us understand what areas we as a community need to address.

    The Foundation’s report, now in its 23rd year, tracked the states’ and nation’s progress in four main categories: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. During a time when state resources are limited, these data provide vital information that can help our policymakers make the difficult—and right—decisions when it comes to giving children their best shot in life.

    In Puerto Rico, unfortunately, kids are not doing as well as they should. Perhaps the most striking finding is that 83% of Puerto Rican children live in high-poverty areas, compared with 11% nationally. The percentage of Puerto Rico’s teenagers who are not in school or working is higher than in any other state jurisdiction; at 18%, this rate is double that of the United States as a whole.

    Here are some other key findings:

    • Puerto Rico has the highest rates of children without secure parental employment (54%) and children in single-parent families (56%), as compared to any other state jurisdiction.
    • One-third of high school students do not graduate on time (33%), compared to one-quarter in the U.S. overall (24%).
    • The child poverty rate for Puerto Rico (56%) is nearly three times the level in the U.S. as a whole (22%).

    Despite a grim snapshot of the economic well-being of Puerto Rico’s children, there were a few bright spots. The 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book documented a 10% drop in the birthrate to teen mothers in Puerto Rico from 2005 to 2009. The rate of low–birth weight babies also decreased slightly—by 3%—although Puerto Rico still holds the highest rate of low–birth weight babies (12.4%). The number of children ages three and four who attend preschool also increased by 6%, but nearly half still do not attend preschool (48%).

    Check out the KIDS Count Data Center to find out more about Puerto Rico’s kids. You can also find out how kids are doing in your own state. Just use the widget below to get started.

    We believe that with the right investments we can provide all families and children with the opportunity to reach their full potential, and in the process, strengthen our economy and nation. But states and communities need to do a better job of supporting families, many of whom are still struggling to make ends meet as our recovery from the recession continues. 

    To do this, we must work together. We are all responsible for finding solutions to the challenges we face. We can choose to let the dream of our forefathers slip away, or we can choose to come together and commit ourselves to investing in at-risk families.
     


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    With thousands of athletes flooding in from every country across the globe, London is truly the epicenter of the world right now—where champions will compete on an international scale for personal glory and national pride. Americans will get their first taste of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team during the exciting Olympic Opening Ceremonies airing tonight on NBC at 7:30 EDT p.m.

    Amid the national heroes marching in the ceremony, we’ll see many familiar faces, including World Record Holder and Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps, and returning athletes hoping to snag the elusive gold, like goalkeeper Hope Solo and the rest of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team. Some, like the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team, come with big expectations, while others are stacked with an unprecedented level of talent—we’re looking at you Women’s Gymnastics. But they all have one thing in common—they represent America.

    Regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, how many medals they’ve won or lost, whether they’ve been on a Wheaties box or in a Gatorade commercial, every single one of those athletes are competing as much for themselves as they are for this country. And that includes those who weren’t even born here.

    Just ask 27-year-old runner Leonel “Leo” Manzano, who will compete as part of Team USA in the 1500 meter race. Born in Mexico, Manzano came to the U.S. when he was four and grew up in Texas. It was track that helped open doors for him, earning him a scholarship to the University of Texas, where he became a four-time national champion and nine-time All-American.

    But he still had bigger dreams.

    “By the time I was a senior in high school, I knew if I ever wanted to compete for the U.S., I was going to have to be an American citizen,” Manzano told Fox News Latino. “I live in the U.S. I’m still very much connected to my Mexican heritage, but my home is the U.S. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

    Four years after becoming a citizen in 2004, Manzano realized his Olympic dreams by competing in Beijing and will once again represent the U.S. in London.

    There are countless stories like his—U.S. team members, who weren’t necessarily born here but very much represent this country and the American Dream in every sense of the word. Perhaps viewers will see a little bit of themselves in Danell Leyva, a Cuban-born gymnast, or Peruvian immigrant Giuseppe Lazone, who will represent the U.S. in rowing. Maybe Brazilian-born Tony Azevedo will inspire kids to pick up water polo or runner and Kenya native Janet Bawcom will excite young American girls with Olympic aspirations.

    There is a political debate about who is “American enough” and what kind of effect immigrants have on this country. Look no further than the international quilt that is the U.S. Olympic Team to see just how strong America can be when we embrace diversity and inclusion. They may come from different corners of this planet, but in their hearts every one of those athletes is American and we as a country are stronger because they represent us. It’s time to start embracing immigrants not just when they can win us a gold medal, but every day, because they truly are All American.    


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) was saddened to learn of the passing earlier today of Lupe Ontiveros, an award-winning actress with more than 150 films and TV shows to her credit and also a longtime community activist. Ontiveros passed away at the age of 69 after a brief battle with liver cancer.

    “The Latino community has lost one of its most talented members and one of its fiercest champions,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “She was one of the most recognized Latinas in film and television, with an acclaimed career spanning nearly 40 years. From sitcoms to TV dramas, Oscar-winning movies to independent film, and the Broadway stage to Latino theater, Lupe did it all and made her mark on every production she was in.”

    “If there was a call for a Latina ‘mama’ or ‘abuela,’ you could bet that it would be Lupe playing the part. But she was also a ‘mama’ to hundreds of Latino and Latina actors who she mentored and helped shepherd through the complicated maze of the film and television industry. We are especially grateful that she was a strong supporter of the NCLR ALMA Awards® from the very beginning. Her blessing helped make the show the place to be for Latino talent in Hollywood,” continued Murguía.

    “She was a tireless advocate for the Latino community, whether it was improving the media image of Latinos or helping those suffering from HIV/AIDS. We will miss her dearly and our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends, colleagues, and fans,” 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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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Nayda I. Rivera-Hernández
    (787) 649-9501
    nrivera@nclr.org


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

    Teen births dropped but rates of children living in single-parent families increased, and major economic setbacks continue

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—According to the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children and families nationwide continue to struggle in the wake of the recession. In Puerto Rico, 83 percent of children live in high-poverty areas, compared with 11 percent nationally. The percentage of Puerto Rico’s teenagers who are not in school or working is higher than in any other state jurisdiction; at 18 percent, this rate is double that of the United States as a whole.

    Despite a grim snapshot of the economic well-being of Puerto Rico’s children, there were a few bright spots. The 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book documented a 10 percent drop in the birthrate to teen mothers in Puerto Rico from 2005 to 2009. The rate of low–birth weight babies also decreased slightly—by 3 percent—although Puerto Rico still holds the highest rate of low–birth weight babies (12.4 percent). The number of children ages 3 and 4 who attend preschool also increased by 6 percent, but nearly half still do not attend preschool (48 percent).

    “The good news is that the teen birthrate in Puerto Rico continues to trend downward and there are fewer children today who lack health insurance,” said Nayda Rivera-Hernández, Senior Research Analyst at NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the Puerto Rico grantee in the foundation’s KIDS COUNT network. “But when a large majority of our children live in high-poverty areas, in single-parent families, and with parents who lack secure employment, we cannot ignore the threats to their well-being. If we focus on helping families, then our children will do better. We must target our limited resources to strengthen our children’s prospects and help prepare them for the future,” continued Rivera-Hernández.

    Additional key findings from the report include:

    • Puerto Rico holds the highest rates of children without secure parental employment (54 percent), and children in single-parent families (56 percent) than any other state jurisdiction.
    • One-third of high school students do not graduate on time (33 percent), compared to one-quarter in the U.S. overall (24 percent).
    • The child poverty rate for Puerto Rico (56 percent) is nearly three times the level in the U.S. as a whole (22 percent).

    “It is of great concern that the number of children in Puerto Rico living in high-poverty areas is nearly eight times that of the overall U.S. rate. While we see the effects of the recession throughout the nation, it is important for policymakers to take this data into account when considering how and where to help those most affected by the economic downturn,” said Rivera-Hernández.

    The 2012 Data Book has been updated with a new index that provides an even more comprehensive portrait of how U.S. children are faring. It assesses states based on 16 indicators of child well-being—a change from previous annual rankings based on ten indicators, reflecting the tremendous advances in child development research since the Foundation’s first KIDS COUNT Data Book in 1990. In addition to ranking states, the 16 indicators are organized into four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. The report also provides state ranks in each of these areas.

    The KIDS COUNT Data Book includes this latest data on child well-being for every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the nation as a whole. This information will be available starting July 25, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. in the KIDS COUNT Data Center at datacenter.kidscount.org, which also contains the most recent national, state, and local data on hundreds of other measures of child well-being. The Data Center allows users to create rankings, maps, and graphs for use in publications and on websites, and to view real-time information on mobile devices. Follow the Annie E. Casey Foundation on this issue on Twitter @aecfkidscount and on Facebook.

    For further information or to schedule an interview about children’s well-being in Puerto Rico, please contact Nayda Rivera-Hernández at (787) 649-9501 or nrivera@nclr.org, or Camila Gallardo, NCLR Senior Communications Manager, at (305) 573-7329 or cgallardo@nclr.org. Also, updates on this issue are available via Twitter at @NCLR and @nayda4prkids.

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

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private national philanthropy that creates better futures for the nation’s children by strengthening families, building economic opportunities, and transforming neighborhoods into safer and healthier places to live, work, and grow. For more information, visit www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

    Para más información:
    Nayda I. Rivera-Hernández
    (787) 649-9501
    nrivera@nclr.org

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

    El índice de nacimientos a adolecentes disminuyó y las tasas de niños viviendo en familias mono parentales aumentaron, mientras continúan las dificultades económicas

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Según los datos divulgados hoy por la Fundación Annie E. Casey en el libro de datos 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book, la niñez y las familias continúan luchando a través de la nación como resultado de la recesión. En Puerto Rico, el 83% de los niños viven en áreas de extrema pobreza comparados con un 11% de los niños a nivel nacional. El porciento de jóvenes que viven en Puerto Rico que no están en la escuela y no están trabajando es más alto que en cualquier otra jurisdicción estatal; a una razón de 18%, esta tasa es más que el doble de la de los Estados Unidos en su totalidad.

    A pesar del estado económico desalentador que enfrenta la niñez en Puerto Rico, el informe presenta algunos aspectos positivos. El libro de datos 2012 KIDS COUNT documentó una disminución de 10% en el índice de nacimientos a madres adolescentes en Puerto Rico del año 2005 al 2009. El índice de bebés nacidos con bajo peso también disminuyó levemente –por 3 por ciento --aunque Puerto Rico aún mantiene el índice de bebés nacidos con bajo-peso (12.4 por ciento) más alto de todas las jurisdicciones estadounidenses. El porcentaje de niños entre los 3 y 4 años que asisten a un preescolar también aumentó (por 6 por ciento), aunque casi la mitad de éstos no asisten a una escuela preescolar (48 por ciento).

    “La buena noticia es que las tasas de nacimientos a adolecentes en Puerto Rico continúa disminuyendo y, hoy en día, hay menos niños sin seguro médico”, dijo Nayda Rivera-Hernández, Analista Sénior de Investigación del NCLR. “Pero cuando una gran mayoría de nuestros niños viven en áreas de altos niveles de pobreza, en familias con uno sólo de los padres, y con padres que no tienen un empleo seguro, no podemos ignorar las amenazas que esto representa para su bienestar. Tenemos que dirigir nuestros limitados recursos a fortalecer las oportunidades a las que tiene acceso nuestra niñez y prepararlos para el futuro”, continuó Rivera-Hernández.

    Entre otros puntos claves del informe se encuentra que:

    • Puerto Rico tiene los índices más altos de niños con padres sin empleo seguro (54 por ciento) y de niños que viven en familias con uno sólo de los padres (56 por ciento) que cualquier otra jurisdicción estatal.
    • Un tercio de los jóvenes de escuela superior no se gradúan a tiempo (33 por ciento), comparado con un cuarto de los jóvenes en los Estados Unidos (24 por ciento).
    • El índice de pobreza en Puerto Rico (56 por ciento) es casi tres veces el índice de los Estados Unidos (22 por ciento).

    “Es sumamente preocupante que la proporción de niños en Puerto Rico que vive en áreas de altos niveles de pobreza es casi ocho veces más que la proporción de niños que vive en los Estados Unidos. Mientras vemos el efecto de la recesión a través del país todas las jurisdicciones estatales, es importante que los hacedores de políticas públicas tomen en cuenta estos datos cuando analicen cómo y dónde ayudar a aquellos que han sido más afectados por la recesión”, dijo Rivera-Hernández.

    El libro de datos 2012 KIDS COUNT ha sido actualizado con un índice nuevo que provee información más comprensiva sobre el bienestar de los niños en los EE.UU. Analiza la situación de cada estado con base en 16 indicadores de bienestar de la niñez—un cambio de años previos donde se basada las conclusiones en diez indicadores. Esto refleja un avance enorme en el campo de investigación del desarrollo del niño desde que la Fundación publicó el primer libro de datos KIDS COUNT en el 1990. Además de clasificar a los estados según un índice global, hay 16 indicadores que están organizados en cuatro categorías: Bienestar Económico, Educación, Salud y Familia y Comunidad. El informe también clasifica a los estados en cada una de estas áreas.

    El libro de datos KIDS COUNT incluye los datos más recientes de bienestar infantil para cada estado, el Distrito de Columbia, Puerto Rico, y los Estados Unidos en su totalidad. Esta información estará disponible a partir del 25 de julio de 2012 a las 12:01a.m. hora de verano del este en el Centro de Datos KIDS COUNT (http://datacenter.kidscount.org), que también contiene la información más reciente a nivel nacional, estatal y local de cientos de otras medidas del bienestar de la niñez. El Centro de Datos permite a los usuarios crear índices, mapas y gráficas para uso en publicaciones, en sitios web y ver la información en tiempo real en sus aparatos móviles. Puede seguir a la Fundación Annie E. Caseyen su cuenta de Twitter @aecfkidscount y en su cuenta de Facebook.

    Para más información o para coordinar una entrevista sobre el bienestar de la niñez en Puerto Rico, por favor comuníquese con Nayda Rivera-Hernández al (787) 649-9501 o nrivera@nclr.org, o con Camila Gallardo, Gerente Sénior de Comunicaciones del NCLR al (305) 573-7329 o cgallardo@nclr.org. Además, puede encontrar actualizaciones sobre este asunto vía Twitter en las cuentas @NCLR y @nayda4prkids.

    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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    La Fundación Annie E. Casey es una institución filantrópica privada y nacional que crea un mejor futuro para los niños del país por medio del fortalecimiento de las familias, el desarrollo de oportunidades económicas y la transformación de los barrios en lugares más seguros y sanos para vivir, trabajar y crecer. Si desea más información, visite www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® es una marca registrada de la Fundación Annie E. Casey. 


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  • 07/30/12--12:01: The Winner’s Circle
  • By Teresa Rusin and Samantha Ferm, NCLR

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

    As ALMA Awards voting kicks into high gear, a few of our nominees have already begun to stand out. We would like to recognize the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards nominees who have already entered the winners circle for FOX’s Teen Choice 2012 Awards. These notable stars include Zoe Saldana, Demi Lovato, and Michael Trevino. Zoe has been nominated for ALMA’s “Favorite Movie Actress” category for her work on the movie Colombiana, while Demi is going head to head with other top Latina music stars for the prestigious award of “Favorite Female Music Artist.” Michael is one of the fantastic up-and-coming stars who have landed a place on our list of nominees. He is in the running for the award of “Favorite TV Actor—Supporting Role in a Drama” for his work on the hit TV show The Vampire Diaries.

    In addition, former ALMA winners Selena Gomez and Adam Rodriguez won their own surfboard awards: Selena accepted the award for “Choice Music Group” on behalf of her band, “Selena Gomez and The Scene,” while Adam accepted the award for “Choice TV Actor—Action” for his work on CSI: Miami.

    ALMA stars, both past winners and this year’s nominees, have carved an incredible space for themselves in the film, television, and music industries, but only time and your votes will tell if their latest accolades will lead them to victory at this year’s NCLR ALMA Awards! Make your choice known and vote for your favorite ALMA nominees by clicking here. Remember—you can vote once per day until voting closes, and every time you vote, you’ll be entered into the grand sweepstakes drawing to win a trip for two to the filming of the ALMA Awards on September 16!

    Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updated news on your favorite ALMA stars, and tune in on Friday, September 21 at 8/7C to catch this year’s ALMA Awards on NBC.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo, NCLR
    cgallardo@nclr.org
    (305) 215-4259 or (305) 573-7329

    As August primary nears, town hall will highlight ease and importance of voting, encourage voter engagement

    MIAMI—With Florida’s August 14 primary nearing and just months from the November general election, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Progress Florida, South Florida Jobs with Justice, Catalyst Miami, Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), and other local partner groups will host a public town hall discussion to highlight important, yet not widely known, changes that will affect how Floridians vote this year. In 2011, the Florida legislature passed a sweeping electoral reform law that included reductions to the state’s early voting period and changes to the rules governing address change notification.

    Participants will have an opportunity to interact with sample voting machines and learn about the ease of vote-by-mail. In addition to providing timely information on voting policies and procedures, featured speakers will offer insight on how voters can become involved in important local, state, and national issues and encourage others in the community to become civically involved. Speakers will underscore how participants can increase their own and their community’s knowledge on the wide variety of issues at stake in November as well as the importance of voter turnout.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:
    Town Hall on voting law changes and the importance of voter engagement

    WHO:

    Moderator:

    Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, Attorney, Co-Founder, South Florida Jobs with Justice

    Speakers:
    Representative from Miami-Dade Department of Elections (TBA)
    Nikki Fisher, Field Coordinator, American Civil Liberties Union
    Natalie Carlier, South Florida Regional Coordinator, NCLR

    WHEN: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
    6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

    WHERE: West Kendall Regional Library
    10201 Hammocks Boulevard, #159
    Miami, FL 33196

    To RSVP for this event or to get more information, please contact Camila Gallardo, Senior Communications Manager, NCLR at (305) 573-7329 or (305) 215-4259

    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                                  Contacto:
    31 de julio, 2012                                                                 Kathy Mimberg
                                                                                             (202) 776-1714
                                                                                              kmimberg@nclr.org


    Washington, D.C.—El Best Buy Children’s Foundation y el NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza por sus siglas en inglés) anunciaron los ganadores de su sexto concurso de NCLR–Best Buy Emerging Latino Leaders Scholarship Program (Programa NCLR-Best Buy de Becas para Líderes Emergentes). Cuatro hispanos graduados de la secundaria recibirán un total de $25,000 en becas para asistir la universidad de su elegir. Los beneficiados de las becas son estudiantes de los estados de Alabama, Colorado, Oregon, y Wisconsin.

    Los seleccionados fueron elegidos basado en sus respuestas a las siguientes preguntas: “¿En la era digital, como abogas para la comunidad hispana? ¿Cómo has utilizado a la prensa nueva o plataformas móviles para avanzar la participación cívica en tu comunidad?” Los estudiantes tuvieron que detallar su historial de servicio comunitario, nivel de éxito educacional, mostrar prueba de su uso de la prensa nueva en la abogacía de temas sociales, y demostrar necesidad financiera.

    “En Best Buy nos enfocamos en la capacitación de los jóvenes. Trabajamos en conjunto con organizaciones no-gubernamentales que apoyan a los jóvenes dándole acceso a nuevas oportunidades atreves de la tecnología. El Best Buy Children’s Foundation está orgulloso de su colaboración con el NCLR y el Programa de Becas para Líderes Latinos Emergentes para proveer estos estudiantes la oportunidad de tener éxito escolar, participar en sus comunidades, y desarrollar sus habilidades de liderazgo que resultarán en un futuro mejor,” dijo Susan Bass Roberts, Directora de Relaciones Comunitarias de Best Buy.

    Los ganadores del NCLR–Best Buy Programa de Becas para Líderes Emergentes Latinos son:

    •    Kenia Coronado, Racine, Wis. ($15,000)
    •    Beatriz Felix, Russellville, Ala. ($5,000)
    •    Bianca Maldonado-Ramirez, Beaverton, Ore. ($2,500)
    •    Dalia Quezada, Denver, Colo. ($2,500)

    “NCLR felicita a estos estudiantes ejemplares y se enorgullece en unirse al Best Buy Children’s Foundation para presentarlos con becas para continuar su educación. Tener un título universitario es el mejor camino hacia un futuro brillante, y nosotros en el NCLR estamos trabajando arduamente para hacer realidad el sueño universitario para mas jóvenes Latinos,” dijo Delia Pompa, Vicepresidenta del NCLR.

    El Iniciativo Lideres del NCLR está a cargo de el NCLR–Best Buy Programa de Becas para Lideres Emergentes Latinos, que está diseñado para aumentar el éxito y nivel educacional de los jóvenes latinos proveyendo becas a jóvenes latinos quienes se gradúan de la secundaria y han sido aceptados en una institución universitaria para el año académico 2012-2013. Líderes es una iniciativa nacional de liderazgo juvenil que equipa y capacita a los jóvenes latinos atreves del país para convertirlos en agentes positives del cambio social en todo sector de nuestra sociedad. Para más información sobre el Iniciativo Lideres del NCLR, por favor visite http://lideres.nclr.org/ o síganos en Facebook y Twitter.

    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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