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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—NCLR today praised the Obama administration for offering a relief package to a group of Hispanic farmers who, in years past, experienced discrimination in programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    “For more than a dozen years, NCLR and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have been working to help the many Hispanic farmers who were discriminated against in federal agricultural programs,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “Despite a slew of evidence and compelling stories that were told to Congress, previous administrations, and other policymakers, these pleas for relief went unanswered until today. Thanks to the hard work and diligence of the Obama administration, especially Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA General Counsel Ramona Romero, an important step has been taken to finally bring justice to many of the families who grow the food we eat.”

    “This is an unknown story, and NCLR has worked to raise awareness of the plight of these farmers,” continued Murguía. “Farmer after farmer told us of being denied federal financing when other farmers received funding, of families losing crops and even losing farms that had been in their families for generations. At long last, the Obama administration proposed a process last year to start adjudicating these claims. After we asked USDA to improve their initial proposal, they did so. Now thousands of Hispanic farmers will have access to a program that offers long-overdue compensation to many.”

    “NCLR recognizes that not all Hispanic farmers who may have experienced discrimination will be able to obtain relief due to lack of documentation or resources. For these reasons, NCLR will continue to support efforts by Hispanic farmers to seek more comprehensive relief through the courts, the Congress, and the administration,” 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:

    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 573-7329/cell: (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    Despite upturn in job market, Latinos continue to face unique obstacles to gainful employment

    ORLANDO, Fla.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) held a roundtable discussion centered on the findings of a forthcoming report, “Now Hiring? Latinos and the Job Creation Policies of the South Atlantic.” Prominent Florida community, business and elected leaders discussed how state policymakers and business leaders can ensure job creation policies tap the full potential of Hispanics, a group expected to comprise 18 percent of the U.S. labor force by 2018. Participants talked about how to increase the competitiveness of Latino workers and to integrate support for Latino-owned businesses into statewide job creation efforts, among other issues.

    “As employment rises, strong leadership on behalf of local decision-makers to address barriers to employment will be critical to ensuring economic recovery and prosperity for both the South Atlantic region and our nation,” said Alicia Criado, Policy Associate, Economic and Employment Policy Project, NCLR, and author of the report. Participants agreed that Hispanics are a significant part of this country’s economic engine, and state lawmakers must seize the opportunity to build upon what is working and change what is not to meet the needs of an evolving labor market and ensure that America has a qualified pool of workers to hire.”

    For additional information regarding the report, please contact Alicia Criado at acriado@nclr.org.

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    By Delia Pompa, Senior Vice President, Programs, NCLR

    (This was first posted on the Education Nation Blog as part of NBC's special week-long program.)

    Overview:

    School leaders and teachers are both integral to the success of the schools they run, but the leaders' contributions to student success are slightly different than those of the teachers they manage. This is especially true for those leaders of schools with high Latino populations. We have outlined five key elements to success that these school leaders should implement to improve student achievement.


    5 Steps You Can Take:

    1. Make family engagement your top priority.

    Latino families place an especially high premium on education. We have seen that when families are effectively engaged, they become active participants in their children's education, setting them up for a lifetime of success. For more on family engagement, read our two reports here and here.

    2. Develop a strong understanding of second language acquisition.

    Almost 30 percent of Latin students are English language learners (ELLS). School leaders should understand the complexities of second language acquisition, and ensure that teachers can provide effective ELLs instruction. Check out report on preparing ELLs for school success.

    3. Invest in extended learning opportunities.

    We know that Latino students can benefit from more learning time, and we've outlined what models are the most effective. Read our report on best practices in afterschool programs here.

    4. Invest in adequate professional develop for teachers.

    NCLR has prepared an extensive report focused on what kind of model professional development programs for early childhood education teachers.

    5. Hold all students to high standards.

    For far too long, low-income minority students have been held to standards that are too low. We believe the Common Core standards are a good and effective approach to making sure all kids are held to high expectations.       


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    Last week, Univision hosted a Spanish-language forum with Governor Mitt Romney on Wednesday and President Obama on Thursday. The presidential candidates spoke to Latino families about immigration, jobs, and national security. They did not, however, touch on solutions to improve the ailing housing market.

    When talking about the American Dream, both candidates have concentrated on job creation. Indeed, job creation is a critical issue for Latino voters, but the single-minded focus ignores the interplay between our housing and job markets. While some are content to wait on job recovery to fix our foreclosure mess, economists are telling us that a revitalized housing market will create jobs and is necessary to move our entire economy forward.

    Unfortunately, Romney missed an opportunity to set himself apart last Friday when he released a timid seven-page housing policy plan in the evening hours after the press have filed their stories.

    Making his strategy public is definitely a start. It provides voters a somewhat clearer understanding of what the Romney-Ryan approach might look like in revitalizing the market, but the plan itself is vague. Ironically, the sparse white paper begins with the phrasing: “Over the past four years, the Obama administration has never offered a clear vision for the future of housing finance policy.”

    After boiling down the paper of the standard GOP talking points that are not necessarily housing suggestions—downsizing government, reducing national debt, and creating jobs—Romney’s vision isn’t much clearer. Only two dimly lit policy approaches remain. That is, if elected, Romney would work to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and he would embrace shared appreciation—a concept that President Obama also supports and a proven method of helping families modify their loans.

    Romney is surrounded by economic advisors. He himself is a seasoned finance man and yet he missed this moment to stand out and provide a fully fleshed-out recovery blueprint. While we still don’t know much about how either presidential candidate will heal the market, they should think very carefully about how the debates can highlight their housing recovery solutions. With only weeks to go before the election, time is running out to consult with housing experts on practical strategy.

    That is exactly what Home for Good partners are looking for, though. Below is our open letter requesting a meeting with each candidate to discuss positive, tested models that can be taken to scale and to underline the reality that a healthy housing market for all families, including communities of color and the underserved, helps stabilize the whole economy.

    Below is the letter we sent to both President Obama and Gov. Romney.

    ----------------------------------------------

    Dear President Obama and Governor Romney:

    A decent home for everyone is core to the American promise of opportunity, a source of security and pride. The chance to one day own a home we can afford, under fair terms, is a fundamental part of the American Dream. Rebuilding that dream is in our national interest and crucial to our economic recovery. With your campaigns now in full swing, we ask that you explain what specifically you will do, if elected in November, to restore and enhance Home Opportunity for all people in our nation. And we urge you to adopt the proven and practical solutions that we describe below.

    We are part of the Home for Good campaign, an alliance of organizations and individuals who together represent millions of people throughout our nation. We are calling on our political, business, and civic leaders, including our next president, for bold action to:

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

    The foreclosure crisis continues to rob millions of people of their homes, resources, and sense of security, while the future of homeownership and affordable housing remains in grave jeopardy. Approximately 8.9 million people have lost their homes since 2007, and 2 million remain in jeopardy—senior citizens losing their economic security, children and families uprooted, neighborhoods blighted with vacant properties, lifetimes of economic security destroyed, and a continuing body blow to our national prosperity. Despite the progress that we’ve made as a nation, unequal opportunity and discrimination by banks, brokers, and others based on race and ethnicity have meant that communities of color are among those hardest hit by this crisis, with historic losses in assets and savings. The targeting of people and communities of color, of veterans and military service members, of senior citizens and others hurts us all and runs counter to our values as a nation.

    Fortunately, there are many proven and practical solutions that can stem foreclosures, restore affected communities, protect fair housing and lending, and ensure that homeownership and affordable housing are accessible pillars of American opportunity into the 21st century. The Compact for Home Opportunity, a roadmap compiling solutions proposed by multiple groups, offers specific steps for policymakers, industry leaders, and everyday Americans.

    As you ask to lead our nation out of this economic crisis, we ask you to explain your specific plans to address these challenges and uphold Home Opportunity for all people. What will you do to address the lender misconduct and inadequate rules and enforcement that led to the current crisis and continue to threaten our economy? How will you ensure that families or individuals with the resources and desire to be successful homeowners are not thwarted by future misconduct, arbitrary restrictions, or a lack of sound information? How will you help rejuvenate neighborhoods devastated by predatory lending and mass foreclosures? And how will you ensure that people of all races, ethnicities, and communities have an equal opportunity to pursue the American Dream?

    We urge you to provide clear, specific answers, to endorse the pillars of the Home for Good campaign, and to incorporate the principles of the Compact for Home Opportunity into your campaign platform. We invite each of your campaigns to meet with representatives from our organizations to discuss these important steps.

    We have not given up on the dream that so many people share of an affordable place to live, fair treatment, and the chance to one day own a home of their own in a neighborhood of their choice. Have you? We welcome an opportunity to discuss our priorities with you.

    We will follow up with your offices to set up a meeting or please feel free to contact Janis Bowdler, Director, Wealth-Building Policy Project, National Council of La Raza or Alan Jenkins, Executive Director and Co-Founder, The Opportunity Agenda.

    Sincerely,

    Asset Building Strategies
    California Reinvestment Coalition
    Center for Responsible Lending
    Greenlining Institute
    Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
    Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
    National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)
    National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
    National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA)
    National Urban League
    PICO National Network
    PolicyLink
    The Opportunity Agenda
     


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    High application fees a major barrier to citizenship, especially for unbanked immigrants

    WASHINGTON, D.C.NCLR (National Council of La Raza) released a report today that addresses financial barriers to U.S. citizenship and highlights innovative loan programs that help eligible immigrants pay costly citizenship application fees, establish credit histories, and develop relationships with mainstream financial institutions. The white paper, “Affording Citizenship and Securing a Sound Financial Future,” describes how naturalization has become unaffordable for many immigrants, who often lack access to credit that could put the American Dream of U.S. citizenship in reach.

    The cost of naturalization application fees increased 610 percent between 1998 and 2008, with the number of applicants for U.S. citizenship declining sharply after the most recent increase, from 1.4 million in 2007 to 526,000 in 2008. Immigration advocates estimate that an average immigrant earning the federal minimum wage would have to save eight weeks of full-time earnings to pay the citizenship fees for a family of four.

    “With so much anti-immigrant sentiment in our nation, what better solution is there than to help legal permanent residents become citizens? Citizenship opens doors socially, civically and economically to the American Dream, but unfortunately, the application costs to naturalize have risen beyond the reach of most immigrant families,” said Janis Bowdler, Director of the Wealth-Building Policy Project at NCLR. “With fewer people affording citizenship, we are losing the ability to integrate these immigrants into American life and shutting them out of opportunities as well as the more secure financial future that citizenship offers.”

    As further evidence of the need for affordable solutions, the report includes early findings from a new NCLR survey of 1,000 Latinos in California that examines how the community meets their daily and long-term financial needs. More than half of eligible noncitizens told NCLR that unaffordability was a primary reason for not pursuing naturalization. In addition, noncitizens represented the majority of the unbanked; 60 percent said they did not have a basic bank account, findings that are in line with the national profile of non-U.S. citizens. The report cites research showing that those who live outside of the mainstream banking system spend as much as $1,000 annually on financial transaction services such as check cashing and bill pay services.

    To bring U.S. citizenship within closer reach, the report highlights promising models in the field, including the New American Loan Fund, a project of NCLR Affiliate CASA de Maryland, which offers a microloan that covers the cost of the naturalization application. Through the first nine months of the program, 100 percent of the loans made have on-time repayment. “Affording Citizenship and Securing a Sound Financial Future” also includes recommendations for scaling solutions to make citizenship affordable and help millions of future citizens enter the financial mainstream.

    In an accompanying webinar, NCLR featured three community organizations—CASA de Maryland, the Latino Community Credit Union in North Carolina and Mission Asset Fund in California—that run model programs on how to build financial success for immigrant youth and adults. These innovative programs provide social and microloans to immigrants who may typically be unable to access credit, report loan repayments to credit bureaus to help applicants build a credit history, and put immigrants on a path toward a more sound financial future.

    “With 8.5 million immigrants eligible for U.S. citizenship, there is an enormous demand for financial information and innovative tools that help them build savings, avoid excessive debt and afford the cost of naturalization. We urge financial institutions to find ways to work with community organizations to improve access to financial products and services that serve low-income families and allow permanent resident immigrants to achieve the American Dream and become citizens,” said Bowdler.

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


    El alto costo de la solicitud es la principal barrera para convertirse en ciudadanos, especialmente para los inmigrantes que no tienen acceso a los servicios bancarios

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Hoy, el NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza) dio a conocer un informe que aborda las barreras financieras para adquirir la ciudadanía estadounidense y destaca los programas innovadores de préstamos que ayudan a los inmigrantes elegibles a pagar el alto costo de la solicitud de ciudadanía, establecer un historial de crédito y tener una relación con las principales instituciones financieras. El libro blanco, “Affording Citizenship and Securing a Sound Financial Future (Costear el proceso de ciudadanía y asegurar un buen futuro financiero)”, describe cómo el proceso de naturalización ha llegado a ser inasequible para muchos inmigrantes, que frecuentemente carecen de acceso a la financiación que podría ayudarles a alcanzar el sueño americano de convertirse en ciudadanos.

    El costo de la solicitud de naturalización aumentó un 610% entre 1998 y 2008, mientras que el número de solicitantes disminuyó drásticamente después del último aumento, de 1.4 millones en 2007 a 526,000 en 2008. Los defensores de la inmigración estiman que un inmigrante que gana el salario mínimo federal tendría que ahorrar ocho semanas de su salario completo para poder pagar el costo de la solicitud de una familia de cuatro.

    “Con tanto sentimiento antiinmigrante en nuestro país, ¿qué mejor solución que ayudar a los residentes permanentes legales a convertirse en ciudadanos? La ciudadanía abre la puerta al sueño americano a nivel social, cívico y económico, pero desafortunadamente, el aumento del costo de la solicitud de ciudadanía ha subido más allá del alcance de la mayoría de las familias inmigrantes”, dijo Janis Bowdler, directora del proyecto de política de creación de riqueza del NCLR. “Entre menos gente pueda pagar para hacerse ciudadano, estaremos perdiendo la capacidad de integrar a estos inmigrantes en la vida estadounidense y los privaremos de las oportunidades y de un futuro financiero más seguro que la ciudadanía ofrece”.

    Como prueba adicional de la necesidad de contar con soluciones asequibles, el informe incluye los resultados preliminares de un nuevo estudio del NCLR de 1,000 latinos en California, que estudia cómo la comunidad satisface sus necesidades financieras diarias y a largo plazo. Más de la mitad de los no ciudadanos elegibles dijeron al NCLR que la razón principal para no hacerse ciudadanos era lo incosteable que resultaba. Además, los no ciudadanos representan la mayoría de la población sin cuenta bancaria; el 60% dijo que no tenía una cuenta bancaria básica, resultados que están de acuerdo con el perfil nacional de los no ciudadanos estadounidenses. El informe cita investigaciones que demuestran que aquellos que viven fuera del sistema bancario convencional gastar hasta $1,000 dólares al año en servicios de transacciones financieras, tales como cambio de cheques y pago de facturas de servicios.

    Para poner más al alcance la ciudadanía de los EE.UU., el informe destaca modelos prometedores en el campo, incluyendo el Fondo de Préstamos para los Nuevos Estadounidenses, un proyecto de la organización afiliada del NCLR CASA de Maryland, que ofrece un microcrédito que cubre el costo de la solicitud de naturalización. En los primeros nueve meses del programa, el 100% de los préstamos otorgados tiene un tiempo de pago. “Affording Citizenship and Securing a Sound Financial Future” también incluye recomendaciones para ampliar soluciones que hagan asequible el proceso de ciudadanía y ayuden a millones de ciudadanos a entrar en la corriente financiera.

    Junto a un seminario en línea, el NCLR presentó tres organizaciones comunitarias—CASA de Maryland, el Latino Community Credit Union en North Carolina y el Mission Asset Fund en California—que cuentan con programas modelo sobre cómo tener éxito financiero para los jóvenes inmigrantes y adultos. Estos programas innovadores proporcionan préstamos sociales y microcréditos a inmigrantes que comúnmente no pueden tener acceso a créditos, informan del pago de préstamos a las agencias de crédito para ayudar a los solicitantes a construir un historial de crédito, y poner a los inmigrantes en el camino hacia un futuro financiero más sólido.

    “Con 8.5 millones de inmigrantes elegibles para la ciudadanía de EE.UU., hay una demanda enorme de herramientas innovadoras e información financiera que los ayuden a ahorra, evitar la deuda excesiva y poder pagar el costo de la solicitud de naturalización. Instamos a las instituciones financieras a que busquen formas de trabajar con las organizaciones comunitarias, para mejorar el acceso a los productos y servicios financieros que sirven a las familias de bajos ingresos y permiten a los inmigrantes residentes legales alcanzar el sueño americano y convertirse en ciudadanos”, dijo Bowdler.

    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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    The first of three presidential debates is this Wednesday in Denver. We’re joining several other groups for a tweet chat during the debate. Join the conversation using #BeLatino before the debate to let us know what you hope to hear the candidates discuss and during the debate to share your thoughts and reactions. All the details you need to join are below.

    We’ll see you online!
     


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact

    Julian Teixiera
    (202) 674-1522
    jteixiera@nclr.org

    LOS ANGELES—Latinos make up the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce, accounting for more than 14.2 percent of workers this year with a projected increase to almost 19 percent by 2020. Now, more than ever, it is critically important that businesses and organizations across the country create programs, policies and partnerships that will open up opportunities for job seekers and ensure that Latino workers have the skills and training necessary to fill those positions.

    To facilitate discussion around this issue, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is inviting hundreds of community leaders from across the country to participate in the 2012 NCLR Workforce Development Forum, held October 2–3 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.

    “This country is in a unique situation with the Latino population growing so rapidly and becoming an increasingly critical part of the workforce. But by and large, the jobs that Latinos are being tapped for are low-skilled, low-paying positions,” said Simon Lopez, Senior Director of Workforce and Leadership Development at NCLR. “It would be a missed opportunity for this country to ignore the potential that the Latino workforce has to boost our economy. We hope that through events like the Forum we’ll be able to share and develop ideas and programs that will improve public systems and prepare Latino workers for the jobs and industry demands of tomorrow.”

    “¡Poder! Empowering the Latino Workforce, Driving Economic Growth” is sponsored by Walmart, UPS and the AARP Foundation. The two-day event invites participants to attend a series of workshops designed to highlight best practices, policies and partnerships from successful workforce programs across the nation and to address the specific systemic challenges to strengthening the Latino workforce. Workshops will touch on everything from how to engage low-income youth and reduce employment disparities for minorities to how to empower low-wage workers to advocate for workplace rights, such as fair compensation.

    Participants will also hear from a number of high-profile speakers, including Hon. Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles city councilmember, and Hon. Ted W. Lieu, senator of the state of California.

    For a full schedule of events, please visit the NCLR website.

    To RSVP for any event at the Forum, contact Julian Teixeira at (202) 674-1522 or jteixeira@nclr.org.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 573-7329/cell: (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    Judge rules against one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauded the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s decision that prevents the state’s strict voter identification law from going into effect for the November elections. The six-month old law has faced heavy criticism from groups such as NCLR because it threatens to disenfranchise more than 750,000 voters, many of whom are Black and Hispanic.

    “We applaud Judge Simpson’s commonsense decision today to prevent throwing the voting process into chaos weeks before the election and endangering the right to vote for nearly a million eligible voters in the state,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “This decision sends a strong message to other states that have attempted to pass similar legislation to suppress minority voting rights. It is our intent to keep up the pressure against efforts like these that attempt to silence a significant portion of our electorate.”

    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania estimates that these more than 750,000 eligible voters lack the forms of identification required by the law. Minority voters—including Latinos, as well as the elderly and the state’s college-aged youth—would have been most affected by the new changes because they are less likely to have state-issued photo identification.

    Proponents of the law claim the measure is necessary to prevent cases of voter fraud, yet the state of Pennsylvania could not produce one incident of voter identification fraud in its electoral history. Puerto Ricans living in Pennsylvania, who make up half of the state’s Latino population, would have faced an additional hardship—in 2010, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico invalidated all of its birth certificates and required the issuance of new forms. This process has been cumbersome and lengthy for some, and many are still waiting for their applications to be renewed. Those without a photo ID would potentially not have been in possession of the new document in time to vote in the upcoming election.

    NCLR’s local Mobilize to Vote (M2V) campaign has worked closely with Pennsylvania Affiliates such as the Association of Puerto Ricans on the March, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, and The Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations, Inc., to register and educate Pennsylvania’s Latino voters on state requirements. NCLR is also a lead organization in the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition, which is coordinating statewide advocacy efforts to defend the voting rights of all citizens.

    “Our focus should be on urging more Americans to take part in the electoral process rather than coming up with dubious ways to exclude them,” concluded Murguía.

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    By Ricky Garza, Communications Department, NCLR

    For the first time in almost four years, national unemployment dropped below 8 percent to 7.8 percent in September. Although this is good news for all Americans, the outlook for Hispanic workers is much more mixed.

    While the news is mostly good, our new Monthly Latino Employment Report also highlights workplace fatalities on the rise along with the falling Hispanic unemployment rate. Latino unemployment dropped below 10 percent for the first time since December 2008 (when it was 9.4 percent), though it remained about two percentage points higher than the national average. This represents an unfortunate trend for Latinos—disproportionate unemployment and participation in high-risk jobs. Despite this troubling reality, the Latino workforce participation rate, which measures how many people of working age are employed or looking for work, remained one of the highest of all ethnic demographics at 66.2 percent. A review of this data implies that Latinos are one of the hardest working groups of all Americans, and provides a compelling refutation of the negative stereotypes depicting our community as lazy and uninterested in working.

    Many Hispanic workers participate in dangerous high-risk sectors such as landscaping, meat-packing, and poultry processing. In 2011, 729 Hispanics lost their lives, an increase from 707 people in 2010. In landscaping, Latinos represented almost half of all workers at 43.7 percent, and 167 lost their lives in 2011. Many of these deaths reflect the risky work environment facing often poorer foreign-born Hispanic workers, which alone comprised 69 percent of all Latino deaths.

    While the slow recovery and new job growth explains some of these higher fatality numbers, workplace conditions for these Latinos may be worsening. Although all American job fatalities decreased from 2010 to 2011, Latino fatalities increased.

    Hardworking and resilient Latino workers should not have to put their lives on the line by working in dangerous and potentially fatal conditions on a daily basis. They deserve stronger protections from employers and relevant government agencies. The federal Office on Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a small budget and relies on only about seven inspectors for every one million U.S. workers. Their budget should be preserved and NCLR encourages OSHA to find new ways to increase reporting of dangerous conditions and to enforce simple but lifesaving workplace regulations to prevent death from heat exhaustion and falls.

    Although the employment outlook is cautiously optimistic for all Americans, Latinos still face special challenges and bigger hurdles to finding a job and staying safe in the workplace. There remains much work to be done.

    You can read the full Monthly Latino Employment Report here.


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    More Jobs, New Laws, and a Debate: This Week in Social Media

    Storified by NCLR · Sun, Oct 07 2012 10:43:29

    This week in social media saw lots of legal and policy activity as Governor Brown of the nation's largest state weighed in on several important immigration laws. He vetoed the TRUST Act we urged him to sign, but signed a bill authorizing Deferred-Action immigrant youth to apply for driver's licenses. 
    undefinedCsmonitor
    Why California will give driver's licenses to illegal immigrantsLate Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law allowing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants eligible for work permits under a...
    He also signed another bill giving private sector workers access to a retirement savings plan, which will assist thousands of Latino California families
    Brown signs bill to create first state-run retirement savings plan for private-sector workersThe program directs employers to withhold 3 percent of their workers' pay unless the employee opts out of the savings program, which can ...
    NCLR worked to provide banking and financial services to un-banked Latino Americans who would naturalize, if only they could afford the fees
    Too many Latinos can't naturalize simply because they can't afford the fees! We're working to change that. #LATISM http://bit.ly/O0xIlhNCLR
    A study was released again confirming the economic impact of Latinos: If given legal status, undocumented people would add $329 Billion to the US economy! 
    undefinedAmericanprogress
    One of the nation's strictest proposed Voter ID laws requiring photo-ID in Pennsylvania was struck down, allowing attempts at voter suppression to be defeated! 
    Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Ruling: Judge Halts ... - Huffington Post3 days ago ... A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday postponed the enforcement of the state&#39;s ... <a href="http://www.huffingtonp...
    On Wednesday, we held our 3rd annual Workforce Development Forum in LA, convening local government, business, and policy leaders to learn strategies to engage the Latino workforce
    RT @calgobears: Amazing speaker lineup @poderforum@NCLR http://pic.twitter.com/foK54PkSNCLR
    Latino support for Obama hit a high on Wednesday...
    Latino support for Obama hits 70% nationally, but swing state polls show a closer race. Your vote makes a difference! http://ow.ly/ebVlDNCLR
    And Mitt Romney signals a slight shift in immigration policy. His staff clarified that he wouldn't revoke Deferred Action for those already granted provisions, and would make comprehensive immigration reform a priority for his administration.
    On eve of 1st debate, Romney says he wouldn't revoke #DeferredAction for DREAMers. We expect details at debate tonight http://lat.ms/Rzb03ANCLR
    We livetweeted the first debate with @OurTiempo, and neither candidates had anything to say about immigration...
    Debate was cautious, a good start but we expect more. Not a word on immigration or foreclosure and education was an afterthought #BeLatinoNCLR
    The NFL rolled out its set of Hispanic Heritage Month features, which would honor Latino contributions to the sport with special events hosted by all NFL teams
    NFL's celebration of Hispanic Heritage MonthThe National Football League and its teams will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) with a series of special ev...
    For the first time, the Obama Administration announced the creation of a National Monument to honor Mexican-Ameriacn civil rights leader Cesar Chavez. A great step forward!
    undefinedNetdna-cdn
    Obama establishes Cesar Chavez monument as a tribute to the activistPresident Barack Obama is paying homage to the farmworker movement by establishing the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument on behalf of its...
    Homophobia has no place in the Latino community and we supported efforts for tolerance! 
    We're working hard to curb homophobia in the #Latino community. That's why we support @Familiaefamilia. http://ow.ly/edRuL #LGBTNCLR
    As the national September jobs report was released showing unemployment finally dropping below 8%, we released our own Monthly Latino Employment Report.  We highlighted the good news (unemployment finally under 10%) and the bad: workplace fatalities are on the rise.
    Nat'l rate down, but Latino #unemployment is higher. Hispanics workplace fatalities also on rise. Read our jobs report http://bit.ly/VqHtMFNCLR
    Workplace Fatalities on the Rise Again: Monthly Latino Employment ReportThis report looks ahead to the looming fiscal debate in the face of new evidence that the number of Latinos killed from injuries on the j...
    Majority of Americans now believe #immigration reform should offer "path to legalization" for undocumented people http://huff.to/SEJUoONCLR
    A majority of Americans now favor a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, and Hispanics are affecting national politics like never before.  This is the last week to register to vote in most states! 
    Only a few days left to #Mobilize2Vote! This election will shape your future: take 2 mins and register today! http://bit.ly/MMIQkNNCLR

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    Today the president will unveil the César E. Chávez National Monument in Keene, Calif. The monument’s home will be at one of our esteemed Affiliates, the César E. Chávez Foundation.

    Watch the unveiling live below or at: http://t.co/60Fz3p4e. Things get started at 11:15 PT/2:15 ET.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 573-7329/cell: (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org


    NCLR leadership on hand to honor life of civil rights trailblazer at inaugural ceremony

    KEENE, Calif.—NCLR joined President Barack Obama, local elected leadership, and members of the Latino community today in Keene, Calif. to celebrate the establishment of the César E. Chávez National Monument, a project years in the making.

    “Today we are celebrating the life of a man who was relentless in his efforts to help improve the lives of others,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “He believed in the importance of our collective progress and prosperity, and that an injustice to one of us is an injustice to all of us.”

    As a first-generation American, César Chávez was born into a family of migrant workers and rose to become one of the nation’s most recognized civil rights and labor leaders. Chávez co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and successfully organized workers to fight for improved treatment, pay and working conditions. He is widely credited with helping to encourage civic participation and political activism among Latinos.

    The site of the monument, commonly referred to as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz, served for many years as the UFW headquarters, as well as Chávez’s home until his death in 1993. It also includes the Chávez Memorial Garden, where he is buried. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Chávez’s founding of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the UFW. For generations to come, this monument will be a national landmark for Americans to acknowledge the struggles of progress, and a place for our youth to learn about the significant contributions Latinos have played in building a stronger America.

    “This is a long overdue honor for one of the greatest civil rights leaders in American history, and particularly someone who fought so tenaciously for the rights of the Latino community,” added Murguía. “His spirit and legacy continue to inspire NCLR’s work across the U.S. We are overjoyed and proud that César Chávez is finally being recognized in this capacity for the historic role he has played in improving the lives of all Americans,” concluded Murguía.

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

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    By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

    In a moving ceremony this week, President Barack Obama designated the home and final resting place of one of the Latino community’s greatest icons, Cesar Chavez, as both a national monument and a national park.

    Members of the NCLR familia—Board members and Affiliates, including the Cesar Chavez Foundation, many of whom have worked for decades with Chavez and the United Farm Workers (UFW)—were privileged to be present at the ceremony, acknowledging a man who played such a vital role for the millions of Latinos across the country who still remember and revere his legacy. The recognition of such an integral part of our history is something that our community will not soon forget.

    One of the great things about this monument is that it is so fitting a tribute to Cesar Chavez. I have talked with Arturo Rodriguez—Chavez’s successor as UFW President and a former, much-revered member of the NCLR Board of Directors—many times about the Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz property. While the property is modest and humble, much like Chavez himself, it is also, like him, a deeply inspiring and spiritual place. As the headquarters of the UFW, it is a living testament to what a small group of people—from even the humblest backgrounds—can do to change the world.

    Before Chavez and the UFW, those who picked our crops and put food on our tables were invisible. In an act of unfathomable courage and self-sacrifice—his 25-day fast in 1968—Chavez called attention to the plight of America’s farmworkers, inspiring leaders from all over the country to join him in this struggle. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sent a telegram expressing solidarity. The Kennedy family, led by Robert F. Kennedy, went to his side.

    By the end of the fast, Chavez had made great strides in his quest to bring dignity, respect, and humanity to the neglected and mistreated workers in our country’s history. He put a face and a name to the people who toiled in the fields for pennies a day and without access to basic needs such as clean water and sanitation. The farmworkers behind the produce on the shelves of America’s grocery stores now had a voice. 

    Alongside monuments to presidents, generals, and other famous men and women, we now have a monument to those workers whose names we don’t know and who will never be in any history books—a true testament to our nation that we honor all of our heroes. Because, as Chavez often said during the course of his life: by honoring me, you are really honoring them.

    The greatest way to honor Chavez is by continuing his struggle. We still have a long way to go to get full equality, respect, and dignity for our farmworkers. And we are fighting those who refuse to see the humanity of today’s immigrant workers and wish to make them again invisible.

    The designation of this new monument does many things: it cements Chavez’s rightful place in American history, it ensures that that history will not be lost to future generations, and it gives us a much-needed educational tool and powerful symbol in our effort to fulfill Chavez’s legacy. We are grateful to President Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for making this long-held dream a reality.
     


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   Contact:
    October 15, 2012                                    Aldira Aldape, Centro Hispano Milwaukee/Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc. (414) 384-3700 Ext. 214
                                                                      Kathy Mimberg, NCLR, (202) 776-1714
                                                                      kmimberg@nclr.org

                 
    Milwaukee community town hall to address Latino seniors’ concerns about the future of Social Security and Medicare

    MILWAUKEE—As concern grows over potential cuts to the financial safety net for America’s seniors and disabled, and voters consider the presidential candidates’ policy proposals, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), AARP and Centro Hispano Milwaukee/Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc. will host a community town hall on Thursday, October 18, to address Social Security and Medicare and their importance to Latino families and the state of Wisconsin. 

    The forum will begin at 10 a.m. at Centro Hispano Milwaukee, located in the Hillview Building at 1615 S. 22nd Street, 3rd Floor, in Milwaukee.  A light breakfast will be served at the event, which is free and open to the public.  Experts from AARP and NCLR will discuss the importance of the Social Security and Medicare systems to Hispanics and share analyses of how the presidential candidates’ proposals could change these programs.

    Our Social Security system is vital because it is the safest, most efficient, and most reliable way for Americans to guarantee their retirement savings.  In an economy where about half of all workers—and two-thirds of Hispanic workers—lack access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, this system is more important than ever.  More than 2 million Latino seniors today rely on Social Security benefits they earned while working.  Latino seniors are particularly vulnerable to cuts because Social Security benefits represent nearly all of their income.

    Medicare and Medicaid are also essential lifelines for vulnerable Americans.  An estimated 3.5 million Latino seniors and disabled adults and children use Medicare.  One-quarter of all Hispanics on Medicare were also covered by the Medicaid program and are extremely vulnerable to cuts to either program.  In addition, the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health reform law, is critical for Hispanics, since an estimated 6 million Hispanics will gain pathways to health insurance under the new program.

    In Wisconsin, Social Security contributes $14 billion annually to the local economy by paying benefits to over 1 million Wisconsin residents, including 716,800 retirees, 146,500 disabled workers and 77,000 children.  Almost one in five (18.7 percent) people who live in Wisconsin receives Social Security benefits.  About one in ten (11.6 percent) Hispanic households in Wisconsin receives income from Social Security.  Medicare contributes another $8 billion to the economy by serving 880,000 residents, and Medicaid also contributes $6.7 billion to the economy by serving 1 million Wisconsin residents.  The Milwaukee forum is the seventh in a series of town halls held across the country as part of the “Latinos and Social Security: ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!” campaign.  In addition to experts on this issue, Latino seniors at the event will be available for interviews.

    Centro Hispano Milwaukee
    is a member of the national NCLR Affiliate NetworkNCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.  Centro Hispano Milwaukee, established in 1964, making it Milwaukee’s first Hispanic-serving agency, provides educational, housing and social services.


    MEDIA ADVISORY
     

    WHAT:       Town hall on Social Security and Medicare:  How will the proposals by each presidential candidate change these systems?  This event is free and open to the public.

    WHO:      Aldira Aldape, Director, Bilingual Social Services, Centro Hispano Milwaukee
                   Leticia Miranda, Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Security Policy, NCLR
                   Lisa Lamkins, AARP Wisconsin Federal Issues Advocacy Director   

    WHEN:       Thursday, October 18, 2012
                      10 a.m. CDT

    WHERE:       Centro Hispano Milwaukee/Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc.
                         Hillview Building
                         1615 S. 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
                         Milwaukee, WI 53204
                         (free parking available)
     

    Space is limited.  To RSVP for this event or to get more information, call Aldira Aldape at (414) 384-3700 Ext. 214, or email aaldape@spanishcenter-milw.org.

    For more information about the Centro Hispano Milwaukee, visit www.spanishcenter-milw.org/.

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

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

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA              Contactos:
    15 de octubre, 2012                                    Aldira Aldape, Centro Hispano Milwaukee/Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc. (414) 384-3700, ext. 214
                                                                            Kathy Mimberg, NCLR  kmimberg@nclr.org; (202) 785-1670


    Reunión comunitaria de Milwaukee abordará las preocupaciones de los adultos de mayor edad de la comunidad hispana sobre el futuro del Seguro Social y Medicare
     

    MILWAUKEE—A medida que crecen las preocupaciones sobre posibles recortes en la red de seguridad financiera para las personas mayores y los discapacitados estadounidenses, los votantes consideran las propuestas de los candidatos presidenciales. Por ello, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés), AARP y el Centro Hispano Milwaukee/Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc. serán los anfitriones para llevar a cabo una reunión comunitaria el jueves, 18 de octubre, con el objetivo de tratar los temas sobre el Seguro Social y Medicare y su importancia para las familias hispanas y el estado de Wisconsin.

    El foro comenzará a las 10 a.m. en el Centro Hispano Milwaukee, ubicado en el Hillview Building en 1615 S. 22nd Street, 3rd Floor, en Milwaukee. El evento es gratuito y abierto al público y se servirá un ligero desayuno. Los expertos de AARP y NCLR discutirán la importancia de los sistemas del Seguro Social y Medicare para los hispanos y asimismo presentarán análisis sobre cómo las propuestas de los candidatos presidenciales podrían cambiar estos programas.

    Nuestro sistema de Seguro Social es de vital importancia ya que es la manera más seguro, más eficiente y más confiable para los estadounidenses para garantizar sus ahorros de jubilación. En una economía donde casi la mitad de todos los trabajadores—y dos tercios de los trabajadores hispanos—no tienen acceso a un plan de jubilación patrocinado por el empleador, siendo este sistema más importante que nunca. Hoy en día más de 2 millones de hispanos de mayor edad dependen de los beneficios que provee el Seguro Social; tales prestaciones son el resultado de sus aportes durante sus años de trabajo. Los hispanos de mayor edad son particularmente vulnerables a los recortes puesto que los beneficios que reciben del Seguro Social representan casi la totalidad de sus ingresos.

    Medicare y Medicaid son también elementos esenciales para el sector vulnerable de los estadounidenses. Se estima que hay 3,5 millones de adultos mayores y personas con discapacidades y niños hispanos que usan Medicare. Una cuarta parte de todos los hispanos que utilizan Medicare también estuvieron cubiertos por Medicaid y serían los beneficiarios extremadamente vulnerables a los recortes a  las prestaciones de cualquiera de estos dos programas. Además, la Ley de Cuidado de Salud Asequible (Affordable Care Act)—la reforma a la ley de salud hecha por el Presidente Obama—es  fundamental para los hispanos, ya que se estima que 6 millones de hispanos obtendrán acceso a un seguro médico bajo el nuevo programa.

    En Wisconsin, el Seguro Social aporta $14 mil millones anuales a la economía local mediante el pago de prestaciones a más de un  millón de residentes de Wisconsin, lo que incluye 716.800 jubilados, 146.500 discapacitados y 77.000 niños. Aproximadamente una de cada cinco personas  (18,7 por ciento), que reside en Wisconsin recibe beneficios del Seguro Social. Aproximadamente uno de cada diez hogares hispanos (11,6 por ciento) en Wisconsin recibe fondos del Seguro Social. Medicare aporta otros $8 mil millones a la economía por servir a 880.000 residentes, mientras que Medicaid también contribuye con $6,7 mil millones a la economía al servir un  millón de residentes de Wisconsin. El foro de Milwaukee es el séptimo de una serie de reuniones comunitarias celebradas en todo el país como parte de la campaña "Seguro Social y los hispanos: ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!". Además de la asistencia de expertos en la materia, en el evento se podrá llevar a cabo entrevistas a adultos mayores de la comunidad hispana.

    El Centro Hispano Milwaukee es miembro de la Red Nacional de Afiliados de NCLR. El Consejo Nacional de La Raza – la organización nacional más grande de apoyo y defensa de los derechos civiles en los Estados Unidos – trabaja para mejorar las oportunidades de los hispanoamericanos.  El Centro Hispano Milwaukee, establecido en 1964, es la primera oficina hispana de Milwaukee que provee servicios sociales, educativos y acceso a viviendas.


    AVISO A LA PRENSA
     

    QUÉ:       Reunión comunitaria sobre el Seguro Social y Medicare: ¿Cómo las propuestas de cada candidato presidencial cambiaría estos sistemas?  Este evento es gratuito y abierto al público. 

    QUIÉNES:     Aldira Aldape, Directora de los Servicios Sociales Bilingües, Centro Hispano Milwaukee
                          Leticia Miranda, Asesora Principal sobre Políticas de Seguridad Económica, NCLR
                          Lisa Lamkins, Directora, Temas de Defensa Federal, AARP Wisconsin   

    CUÁNDO:     Jueves, 18 de octubre de 2012
                          10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Hora Estándar Central (CDT)

    DÓNDE:     Centro Hispano Milwaukee/Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc.
                        Hillview Building
                        1615 S. 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
                        Milwaukee, WI 53204
                        (Estacionamiento gratis)

    El espacio es limitado. Para confirmar su asistencia a este evento o para obtener más información, llame a Aldira Aldape (414) 384-3700 ext. 214, o al correo electrónico aaldape@spanishcenter-milw.org.

    Para obtener más información sobre el Centro Hispano Milwaukee visite www.spanishcenter-milw.org.

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

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

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    With voter suppression laws popping up all over the country, knowing what you can and can’t do on Election Day can be confusing—or even discouraging.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    With just a few pieces of vital information, you’ll be ready to vote on November 6. Check out the infographic below (in English and Spanish) to understand what you need to know to exercise your right to vote.

    Haven’t registered yet? Depending on where you live, there may still be time. Check here to see if your state’s deadline has passed and then go to nclr.org/register to get signed up!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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    If you live in Nevada, Maryland or New Jersey today is your last chance to register to vote.

    Use the tool below to register now and be sure to go to the polls on Election Day, November 6! Or, visit nclr.org/register to register to vote, print your form, and mail it in to your local officials. It’s easy and takes two minutes! Do it now!

    And, just so you understand why your vote is so important….


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Local community groups deliver more than 35,000 signatures to campaign headquarters 

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Frustrated by the lack of consideration both presidential candidates have given to resolving the housing crisis, advocates from local community centers in Chicago and Boston visited both President Barack Obama’s and Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign headquarters earlier today to demand that each candidate outline their plans to help underwater homeowners. Representatives from The Resurrection Project, the local chapter of the National Urban League, and NCLR (National Council of La Raza) in Chicago and the Center for Assistance to Families, Asian Community Development Corporation, Viet-AID, and NCLR in Boston delivered more than 35,000 signatures to each campaign asking that the candidates share their plans to:

    • Stop needless foreclosures
    • Expand affordable rental housing
    • Revive a sustainable path to homeownership

    “At best, the candidates have released vague sketches of what their housing policies may look like if elected, but that simply doesn’t cut it when millions of Americans have already lost their homes and millions more are facing foreclosure,” said Janis Bowdler, Director of the Wealth-Building Policy Project at NCLR. “The details make all the difference. And, quite frankly, homeowners don’t have the time or money to spare for our leaders to be indifferent on this issue.”

    (To download photos of the event, please visit NCLR’s photo gallery.)

    The signatures were collected as part of the national Home for Good campaign, which included a town hall tour across the country. Local and state legislators, housing policy experts and homeowners sat down to discuss the challenges that families are facing in the wake of the housing market collapse and the solutions that this country needs to keep the dream of homeownership alive. Today’s delivery coincides with tonight’s televised presidential debate, in this case a town forum, which will be the last opportunity both candidates have to address domestic issues during the presidential debates.

    “We will not be able to fix the economy without getting the housing market back on track—the two go hand-in-hand,” added Bowdler. “So as much as voters need to know how the candidates plan to create jobs, they also need to know how they are going to keep families in their homes. It’s inexplicable that both candidates would ignore such a huge problem that directly impacts the economic recovery of this country.”

    NCLR partnered with the Opportunity Agenda, National CAPACD, National Urban League, Kirwan Institute, Center for Responsible Lending, and National Fair Housing Alliance, among many other partners on the Home for Good campaign. For more information about the campaign, visit www.myhomeforgood.com.

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

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA            PARA MÁS INFORMACIÓN:
    18 de octubre, 2012                                   Aldira Aldape, Centro Hispano Milwaukee/ Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc.,  (414) 384-3700 Ext. 214
                                                                           Kathy Mimberg, NCLR, (202) 776-1714; kmimberg@nclr.org

                
    Foro comunitario  proporciona información dirigida a abodar las preocupaciones de los latinos en Milwaukee

    MILWAUKEE—En una reunión municipal de la comunidad que se llevó a cabo hoy en el Centro Hispano Milwaukee/Council for the Spanish Speaking (Centro Hispano), personas hispanas de mayor edad expresaron una gran preocupación por los amenazantes recortes a la red de seguridad financiera de las personas mayores y los discapacitados del país. Expertos del NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza), de AARP y del Centro Hispano respondieron a sus preguntas sobre las políticas propuestas por los candidatos presidenciales para el Seguro Social y Medicare. Las tres organizaciones fueron anfitrionas del foro que sirvió para abordar la importancia que estos programas tienen para las familias latinas y el estado de Wisconsin, que recibe $14 mil millones de dólares anualmente en beneficios de Seguro Social pagados a sus residentes.

    “Los latinos dependen de nuestro sistemas de Seguro Social”, dijo Aldira Aldape, directora de servicios sociales bilingües del Centro Hispano. “Sé por experiencia al hablar con las personas mayores de nuestra comunidad que saber que pueden depender del Seguro Social, el sistema más seguro, fiable y eficiente posible, les da tranquilidad. Les preocupa escuchar sobre posibles recortes al Seguro Social y Medicare”.

    Casi  la mitad de todos los trabajadores –y dos tercios de los trabajadores hispanos– carecen de un plan de jubilación patrocinado por el empleador, lo que hace que el sistema de Seguro Social sea más importante que nunca. Actualmente, más de 2 millones de personas latinas de mayor edad dependen de los beneficios que reciben del Seguro Social, fruto de sus aportaciones mientras trabajaron. Las personas latinas mayores son especialmente vulnerables a los recortes porque más de la mitad de éstas dependen del Seguro Social para casi el total de sus ingresos. El promedio anual de los beneficios que reciben los hombres y las mujeres hispanos mayores es solamente de $12,213 y $9,536 respectivamente. Casi una de cada cinco personas hispanas de mayor edad vive en la pobreza, dos veces más que las personas blancas mayores. En Wisconsin, el Seguro Social proporciona beneficios a 9,523 hogares latinos, es decir a uno de cada nueve (11.6%).

    “Los trabajadores latinos tienen salarios más bajos y poca probabilidad de tener acceso a los planes de jubilación que otros trabajadores, por lo tanto dependen enormemente de los beneficios del Seguro Social en la vejez”, dijo Leticia Miranda, asesora principal de políticas del NCLR. “Nos oponemos a cualquiera de los planes de los candidatos que reduzca los beneficios en formas que afecten a los trabajadores de bajos ingresos y a las personas mayores vulnerables. Nuestro sistema de Seguro Social debería fortalecerse para las generaciones futuras, no recortarse y debilitarse”.

    Medicare y Medicaid también son un medio esencial de supervivencia para los estadounidenses vulnerables. Se estima que 3.5 millones de personas latinas mayores, adultos discapacitados y niños utilizan Medicare. Una cuarta parte de todos los hispanos que utilizan Medicare también estuvieron cubiertos por el programa Medicaid y son extremadamente vulnerables a los recortes en cualquiera de estos programas. Además, la Ley de Cuidado de Salud Asequible (Affordable Care Act), la ley de reforma de salud del presidente Obama, es fundamental para los hispanos, ya que se estima que 6 millones de estos tendrán acceso a un seguro de salud bajo este nuevo programa.

    “Hemos escuchado a millones de miembros que están cansados de las discrepancias partidistas y el giro político sobre los asuntos importantes de Medicare en discusión. Los candidatos deben dar respuestas directas a los votantes para que sepan estos a que atenerse. En unas elecciones tan reñidas, los candidatos tienen la gran oportunidad de llegar a los votantes clave con sus planes para el futuro de Medicare –y si los ignoran estarán arriesgándose enormemente”, dijo Lisa Lamkins, directora de asuntos de defensa de AARP Wisconsin.

    Lamkins citó una encuesta nacional reciente de AARP que mostró que los votantes mayores de 50 años piensan con agobio que los candidatos no han explicado bien sus planes sobre Medicare (63%). Estos votantes, de uno u otro partido, dicen (70%) que si tuvieran más información acerca de los planes de los candidatos sobre Medicare, les ayudaría a determinar su voto el día de las elecciones.

    En Wisconsin, el Seguro Social aporta $14 mil millones de dólares anualmente a la economía local mediante el pago de beneficios a más de un  millón de residentes del estado, lo que incluye a 716,800 jubilados, 146,500 trabajadores discapacitados y 77,000 niños. En 2008, los beneficios del Seguro Social mantuvieron a 372,000 residentes de Wisconsin fuera de la pobreza. Medicare y Medicaid aportan otros $15 mil millones de dólares a la economía al servir aproximadamente a un millón de residentes de Wisconsin cada uno. El foro de Milwaukee es el séptimo de una serie de reuniones municipales realizadas en todo el país como parte de la campaña "Los latinos y el Seguro Social: ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!".

    El Centro Hispano Milwaukee
    es miembro de la Red Nacional de Afiliados del NCLR.  El Centro Hispano Milwaukee se estableció en 1964 y es la primera oficina hispana de Milwaukee que provee servicios educativos, de vivienda y sociales.  Para más información acerca de Centro Hispano Milwaukee, visite www.spanishcenter-milw.org/.

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

    Para más información acerca de AARP, visite www.aarp.org.

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