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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

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

    Commission Co-chairs Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and Former Senators Mel Martinez and Kit Bond to Speak and Take Questions

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Housing Commission will release Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy, a report that contains a series of ground-breaking recommendations to help set a new direction for federal housing policy. Subjects covered in the report include a new system for housing finance, affordable rental housing, rural housing, and the key demographic changes that will present unique challenges and opportunities for our nation’s housing system. The report will be released on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 11:00AM at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

    The Commission’s co-chairs - former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell; former Senator and HUD Secretary Mel Martinez; former HUD Secretary and Mayor of San Antonio Henry G. Cisneros; and former Senator and Governor of Missouri Christopher S. “Kit” Bond - will unveil the report’s recommendations and take questions.

    The report is the culmination of a 16-month process that engaged the broad spectrum of America’s housing community. The Commission held numerous roundtable discussions, convened several regional housing forums, commissioned expert research, and hosted a blog that engaged the views of housing providers and practitioners from across the country. To learn more about BPC’s Housing Commission, click here.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:           Release of Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy

    WHO:            BPC Housing Commission Co-Chairs:
                           Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell
                           Senator and Secretary Mel Martinez
                           Secretary Henry G. Cisneros
                           Senator Christopher S. "Kit" Bond


    WHEN:          Monday, February 25, 2013
                           Press conference begins at 11:00AM

    WHERE:       The Newseum Knight Conference Center
                           555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 7th Floor (Use the 6th Street NW entrance)
                           Washington, D.C. 20001

    TO COVER: Members of the press wishing to attend, please RSVP to press@bipartisanpolicy.org. Registration is required and press set up begins at 10:30AM on February 25th.

    If you are interested in scheduling interviews with any of the Commissioners, please contact Ashley Berrang at (202) 637-1456 or aberrang@bipartisanpolicy.org.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Will urge Congress to ensure that immigration policies keep families together

    This Thursday, March 14, 2013, Clarissa Martínez de Castro, Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), will testify at the U.S. House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security for a hearing on “The Separation of Nuclear Families under U.S. Immigration Law.”

    Our country has recognized that family unity must be a core principle of our immigration policy. Keeping families together is a fundamental value and interest, and we must maintain this historic commitment. However, our broken immigration system hurts families who are kept apart by extraordinarily long wait times for visas, are excluded from the system or are torn apart by current enforcement practices. At the hearing, Ms. Martinez will address NCLR’s serious concerns about family separation, and the effect that it has on many communities and on our economy.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:        House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing titled "The Separation of Nuclear Families under U.S. Immigration Law."

    WHO:         Clarissa Martínez de Castro, Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement, NCLR, and additional witnesses

    WHEN:       Thursday, March 14, 2013
                        1:30 p.m. EDT

    WHERE:    Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237
                        Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street
                        Washington, DC 20003

    Ms. Martínez de Castro will be available for interviews following the hearing. To schedule an interview opportunity, please contact Julian Teixeira, Director of Communications, NCLR, at jteixeira@nclr.org or (202) 776-1812.

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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 hear of the passing of Raymond Telles, an iconic figure in Hispanic politics who was the first Mexican American elected as mayor of a major U.S. city, El Paso, Texas. Telles passed away last Friday at the age of 97.

    “Raymond Telles opened the door to the thousands of Hispanics who now serve as elected officials throughout the nation and at the highest levels of government. He was deeply involved in the Viva Kennedy movement, which marked the first time a national leader courted the Hispanic vote, and he lived to witness the Latino vote make the difference in the 2012 election. It is a great blessing that Telles was able to see the fruits of his groundbreaking work empower Latinos in this country,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

    Telles’s record of accomplishment is remarkable. In addition to being El Paso’s first Hispanic mayor, he served as the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and was appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by President Nixon. He also had a long career in the U.S. Army and Air Force and was a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War.

    “The life and legacy of Raymond Telles is testament to the fact that all of us in the Hispanic community stand on the shoulders of giants. With utmost dignity, thoughtfulness and modesty, Telles contributed much to his community that should be acknowledged and honored. Our deepest condolences to his wonderful family, his many friends and colleagues and the people of his beloved city of El Paso,” 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:
    Julian Teixeira
    (202) 776-1812
    jteixeira@nclr.org

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) announced today its support for Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, who is being considered by President Obama for Secretary of Labor, a vacancy left by former Secretary Hilda Solis. NCLR is encouraged by this potential appointment and urges the president to strongly consider Mr. Perez and other highly qualified Hispanics for cabinet positions. If nominated, Perez would be the only Latino in the president’s second-term cabinet and the first Dominican American ever to serve in a presidential cabinet. 

    “Thomas Perez is an eminently qualified public servant who has the professional experience and compelling personal story to serve at the highest levels of the administration,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “Mr. Perez’s impeccable legal background in civil rights issues, particularly workers’ rights, as well as his decades of service as an elected and appointed official make him uniquely prepared to address the policy complexities and management responsibilities at the Department of Labor.”

    Since his appointment in 2009, Perez has steered the Civil Rights Division to prioritize the full enforcement of critical civil rights statutes such as the National Voting Rights Act, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act—all programs that have aided the Latino community tremendously. He also helped build agreement among stakeholders to settle three of the largest lending cases in the Fair Housing Act’s history, securing more money for victims of discriminatory lending practices than had been secured by the federal government in the previous 23 years combined. During his tenure, the Civil Rights Division also championed the defense of military families and victims of hate crimes.

    “We are pleased to see the president once again strongly considering the nomination of a Latino candidate for this crucial position in his administration. We fully believe that Mr. Perez has the outstanding leadership and acumen to serve as Secretary of Labor,” Murguía added. “We hope that President Obama will continue to add diversity to his cabinet and consider qualified Latinos for additional cabinet positions as well as other senior-level presidential appointments.”

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

    Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is deeply concerned that the federal budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R–WI), The Path to Prosperity: A Responsible, Balanced Budget, would cause additional pain to Latino communities who have already been disproportionately harmed by recent cuts to programs that provide education, job training, health care and other basic needs. The Path to Prosperity: A Responsible, Balanced Budget provides over $4 trillion in additional tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthiest Americans. 

    “We need a budget plan that fosters economic opportunity, creates jobs and invests in our country’s future,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation, NCLR. “While it is necessary to stabilize our budget, we must do so in a way that is balanced and that protects the most vulnerable working families.”

    “The House budget plan is more about limiting the role of government than achieving any of these goals,” Rodriguez added. “Under the plan, the middle class and vulnerable working families would be asked to sacrifice more to fix our debt in exchange for nothing. Meanwhile, our nation’s wealthiest, who can afford to give more, are asked to contribute less. We can and should do better. The Senate budget (Foundation for Growth) proposal is a more balanced approach that better reflects the priorities of America’s Latino voters.”

    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:
    September 25, 2012                                                     Camila Gallardo
                                                                                         (305) 573-7329/cell: (305) 215-4259
                                                                                          cgallardo@nclr.org

     
    PSA unveiling, celebrity tweets and on-the-ground voter registration all part of aggressive push to get Latinos registered in time to vote in November

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, in celebration of National Voter Registration Day, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) will kick its Mobilize to Vote (M2V) campaign into high gear with a flurry of field and online activity aimed at encouraging Hispanics to register to vote as state deadlines approach.  The M2V campaign is a multi-state effort focused on registering eligible Latinos to vote and providing forums for discussion on the issues that most affect the community.  NCLR will unveil a new Public Service Announcement featuring The Black Eyed Peas musician Taboo (www.youtube.com/NCLR), and Latino celebrities are expected to join the push to register today by tweeting messages encouraging Latinos to make their voices heard in November.  Online, potential voters will be encouraged to join NCLR’s Mobilize to Vote Challenge where they can earn rewards for helping to get friends and family to register.

    “Today, on National Voter Registration Day, we are urging Latinos across the nation to reach out to their family, friends and neighbors and encourage them to take a few minutes to get registered.  With so many issues at stake for Latinos in this election, it really is time that we make our voices heard through this process,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Director of Civic Engagement and Immigration, NCLR. 

    On-the-ground activities for today, Tuesday, September 25, include:

    Philadelphia, Pa.—Voter registration and voter ID awareness at ASPIRA Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School 4322 North Fifth St., Philadelphia, Pa.  For more information, contact Rafael Collazo, Campaign Political Director, NCLR at (215) 432-6065.

    Miami, Fla.—On-site voter registration at various locations throughout Miami-Dade County. 
    For specific locations contact Natalie Carlier, Regional Field Coordinator, NCLR at (305) 573-7329.

    Univision Ya Es Hora telephone bank live during the newscast, 6–7 p.m., Univision affiliate channel 23 in Miami.

    Orlando, Fla.—On-site voter registration at various locations throughout the Orlando metropolitan area.  For specific locations contact Yanidsi Velez, Regional Field Coordinator, NCLR at (407) 406-1672.

    Participacion Civica:  Music, food and discussion sponsored by NCLR, ACLU, Mi Familia Vota, NALEO and DJ Chino, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Poinciana Community Center, 395 Marigold Ave., Poinciana, Fla.

    Las Vegas, Nev.—Voter registration, voter verification and voter education at NCLR’s office located at 3230 E. Charleston Ave., Suite 117, Las Vegas, Nev. 89104 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information contact Fernando Romero, Regional Field Coordinator, NCLR at (702) 596-9912.

    Denver, Colo.— Find out how to get involved in turning Latinos out to vote!  CentreTech Campus at Aurora Community College 16000 East CentreTech Parkway, Aurora, Colorado 80011-9036
    from 9am-2pm inside the Classroom Building Lobby.  Voter registration also available.   Contact Jesus Altamirano at (303) 722-5150 ext. 102. 

    Mobilize to Vote has already registered over 70,000 new Latino voters nationwide.

    For interview opportunities, please contact Julian Teixeira at (202) 776-1812 or Camila Gallardo at (305) 573-7329.

    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:
    March 18, 2013                                                                                    Julian Teixeira
                                                                                                                  (202) 776-1812
                                                                                                                  jteixeira@nclr.org                                        


    KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Earlier today, Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza), joined Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, Mo., and leaders of local NCLR Affiliates, to officially announce the selection of Kansas City as the site of the 2015 NCLR Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo®.  The event will be held in Kansas City July 11-14, 2015.

    “It’s exciting to bring the NCLR Annual Conference back to Kansas City, and it’s especially exciting to have the Conference in my hometown,” Murguía said.  “As many of you already know, the Kansas City–area Latino community has had a strong presence for more than a century, and the 2015 Annual Conference will not only highlight the area’s Hispanic community, but will reaffirm how our community has grown and continues to positively influence our country.  I want to thank Mayor James, the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association, our Affiliates and everyone who has made this possible.”  

    “NCLR is a tremendous civil rights and advocacy organization that does great things across the country,” said Mayor Sly James.  “I’m thrilled to welcome the group back to Kansas City, Missouri and look forward to a long-standing relationship with NCLR leadership, Affiliates, and supporters.  The fact that NCLR is headed back to Kansas City shows that we are a diverse, inclusive community that values people of all backgrounds.”

    The NCLR Annual Conference is the nation’s largest annual gathering of leaders, advocates, elected officials, business executives and change-makers whose work impacts the Latino community.  The National Latino Family Expo is one of the largest events in the country focused on resources and activities for the Latino family, averaging 200 exhibitors showcasing their products and services.  From live entertainment and giveaways to free health screenings, cooking and exercise demonstrations, all attendees will discover something new in a fun, exciting, family-friendly environment.

    “There’s going to be something for everybody,” Murguía added.  “This is a national event with a local focus, so whether you’re visiting for the Conference or a local resident, you’ll be able to find something new and interesting to enjoy.”

    This is NCLR’s second time hosting its Annual Conference in Kansas City, highlighting the city’s vibrant and growing Latino community.  The NCLR Annual Conference, a four-day experience featuring workshops, town halls and nationally recognized speakers, attracts nearly 5,000 registrants from throughout the nation.  Each year, the National Latino Family Expo, which is geared toward families, draws tens of thousands of individuals over its three days.

    This July, the 2013 NCLR Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo will take place in New Orleans, La., and the 2014 NCLR Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo will unfold in Los Angeles, Calif.  For more information on either event, visit the NCLR Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo website.

    NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Latinos.  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:
    Julian Teixeira
    (202) 776-1812
    jteixeira@nclr.org

    Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) hails President Barack Obama’s announcement that he will be nominating current Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez as Secretary of Labor. The announcement was made at a White House ceremony today. Perez will be the first Latino cabinet secretary in the President's second-term cabinet.

    “Throughout Tom's remarkable career no one has been a stronger champion of working families, including the millions of Hispanic families he has directly helped through his work. We believe that his considerable talent, experience and expertise coupled with his commitment and compassion will make him an exceptional Labor Secretary,” stated Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR.

    “Thanks to his courageous leadership on issues ranging from education to voting rights to immigration, Tom is a hero to many in the Latino community, both in his native Maryland and across the country. We commend the president on this stellar choice. We support this nomination without reservation and urge the Senate to confirm him for this position as quickly as possible,” Murguía concluded.

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


    Testimony at Senate hearing focused on the contributions of immigrant women and families in creating strong communities

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Jennifer Ng'andu, Director, Health and Civil Rights Policy Project, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the hearing “How Comprehensive Immigration Reform Should Address the Needs of Women and Families”. Often missing from the public debate on immigration are the contributions that immigrant families make and their eagerness to take on shared responsibility.

    During her testimony, Ng’andu urged members of the Committee to allow immigrant families, who pay their fair share of contributions, to participate in the systems that are fundamental to the infrastructure of American society. Their future health and well-being is important to sustaining the vibrancy of our country

    “There are significant mischaracterizations of immigrants’ access to public benefits. Many Americans are largely unaware of the fact that undocumented immigrants are almost entirely banned from most major health insurance and public safety-net programs. Lack of access is often buffered by lower ages, strong presence in the work force and positive health behaviors, ensuring that immigrants use fewer public resources. Immigrants are not only less likely to use public benefits systems, but when they actually do receive access to a program, they tend to use a lower value of benefits, which makes them less expensive to provide for when they are enrolled in programs,” said Ng’andu.

    Lower utilization has negative consequences and puts families at severe financial risk. Restrictions that keep immigrant families from accessing public services or purchasing insurance can be devastating when families fall on hard times. Therefore, it is common sense that immigrant families who are paying their fair share be eligible for systems that are integral to maintaining strong communities. “It comes down to a simple adage: penny-wise and pound-foolish. Giving immigrant women and families the tools for full integration now will pay off in their contributions later,” concluded Ng’andu.

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

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—This week, both the Senate and House of Representatives are expected to vote on their respective budget proposals. Although both are likely to pass in their respective chambers, the bills’ significant and striking differences make it unlikely that Congress will agree to a final bill in the conference process. As a result, the continuing resolutions passed in each chamber will be conferenced and potentially result in the sequester becoming the de facto budget for Fiscal Year 2013. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) strongly urges Congress to replace the sequester before the Easter/Passover recess and end the arbitrary cuts that will gut funding for critical programs in healthcare, education, workforce training and housing.

    “In the last election, Latino voters made it abundantly clear that they are primarily concerned with our economy and job creation and they expect Washington to invest in education and health programs that will ensure a promising future for our children,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Yet, months later, we are looking at a potential budget that does the exact opposite of what our community has advocated for.”

    “The sequester must be replaced.” Murguía continued. “It does not generate revenue and will cost the country hundreds of thousands of jobs—employment that the Hispanic community desperately needs. Latino families have already paid into deficit reduction through cuts from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and should not have to once again shoulder a disproportionate amount of the deficit reduction burden due to cuts in critical programs that keep our community and children healthy. Congress must come to a consensus on a budget that grows the economy, invests in the future and protects vulnerable people—allowing the sequestration cuts to continue is not the answer.”

    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:
    Julian Teixeira
    jteixeira@nclr.org

    (202) 776-1812

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Tuesday, March 26, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments concerning two cases involving the legal recognition of marriage equality. This is a landmark moment for many individuals, including Latinos, who have been closely following the debate over both California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). 

    This past summer, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) officially stated its support for same-sex marriage and released a study showing that the majority of Latinos favor legal recognition for same-sex couples. Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR, will join civil rights leaders and LGBT advocates on the steps of the Supreme Court on Tuesday for the “United for Marriage” rally to once again call for marriage equality.

    Murguía, along with a number of other NCLR spokespersons, will be available to answer questions about topics such as the overall support for marriage equality in the Latino community and the importance that this issue has in relation to the immigration debate. To coordinate an interview with a representative from NCLR, please contact Julian Teixeira at (202) 776-1812 or jteixeira@nclr.org.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHO: Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR

    WHAT: United for Marriage rally, oral arguments on marriage equality cases

    WHEN: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 8:30–11:00 a.m. Murguía will speak at 10:40 a.m.

    WHERE: 
    Supreme Court of the United States
    One First Street, NE,
    Washington, D.C. 20543

    TO COVER: Please contact Julian Teixeira at (202) 776-1812 or jteixeira@nclr.org.

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

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA                                                  Contacto:
    26 de marzo, 2013                                                                          Joseph Rendeiro
                                                                                                             (202) 776-1566
                                                                                                              jrendeiro@nclr.org
     
     
    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Hoy, la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos comenzará a escuchar los argumentos sobre dos casos de igualdad matrimonial para parejas del mismo sexo, examinando la constitucionalidad del Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) y la Proposición 8 de California.  El Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR por sus siglas en inglés), espera que la Corte Suprema falle a favor de la justicia y reconozca que la igualdad matrimonial no es un privilegio sino un derecho fundamental que no debe ser negado a los millones de americanos LGBT.

    “Cuando un grupo es negado la dignidad y derecho fundamental de casarse, nos disminuye a todos,” dijo Janet Murguía, Presidenta y Gerente General del NCLR.  “ Estamos aquí presentes con nuestros hermanos, hermanas, madres y padres, hijos e hijas LGBT, muchos de ellos Latinos, para instar a la Corte Suprema a que haga lo correcto y extiendan el derecho al matrimonio a las parejas del mismo sexo,” dijo Murguía.

    El año pasado, el NCLR fue una de las primeras organizaciones nacionales latinas que apoyó la igualdad matrimonial, con el apoyo unánime de la junta directiva del NCLR.  Numerosos estudios, incluyendo un estudio publicado el año pasado por NCLR demostró que, como la mayoría de los americanos, los Latinos apoyan la igualdad matrimonial. 

    La decisión de la Corte Suprema tiene importancia particular para los latinos en familias inmigrantes porque muchas de las parejas que vienen de distintos países son impedidos aplicar para un cambio de estatus a residencia permanente o ciudadanía para su pareja.  Muchas parejas no tienen otro recurso que regresar a su país de origen, separándolos no solo de su pareja pero en algunos instantes, de sus propios hijos.  De hecho, casi mitad de las parejas LGBT de distintos orígenes que se enfrentan a la separación familiar son hispanos.

    “No hay comunidad que le ponga más valor a la familia que la comunidad latina,” añadió Murguia.  “Nuestra política de debe separa a la familia basado en su estatus migratorio, su orientación sexual, o por cualquier otro motivo.  Para nosotros, familia es familia si es encabezada por dos papás o dos mamás, debemos hacer todo lo posible para proteger a las familias y mantenerlas juntas,” concluyó Murguía.

    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.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Contact:
    March 26, 2013                                                                                Joseph Rendeiro
                                                                                                            (202) 776-1566
                                                                                                            jrendeiro@nclr.org
     
     
    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on two cases involving marriage equality for same-sex couples; the cases examine the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8.  NCLR (National Council of La Raza) hopes that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of fairness and recognize that equal protection in marriage is not a privilege but a fundamental right that should no longer be withheld from millions of LGBT Americans who love and are committed to their partners.

    “When one group is denied the dignity and the right to marry, it diminishes us all,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR.  “We stand with our LGBT brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and sons and daughters, many of whom are Latino, and call upon the Supreme Court to make the right choice and extend the freedom to marry to the LGBT community.”

    Last year, NCLR become one of the first national Latino organizations to endorse marriage equality, with the unanimous backing of the NCLR Board of Directors.  Numerous studies, including a study released last year by NCLR, show that, like the majority of Americans, more than one-half of Hispanics support marriage equality.

    The Supreme Court decision is particularly important for Latinos in immigrant families because many same-sex binational couples are prohibited from petitioning for a foreign-born partner to receive permanent residence and citizenship.  Many spouses have had no choice but to return to their country of origin, often separating not only from their partner, but also from their children.  In fact, in nearly one-half of the binational LGBT couples facing separation, one of the partners is Hispanic.

    “There is no community that values family more than the Latino community,” Murguía added.  “Our policies should not separate families due to their immigration status, sexual orientation or anything else.  To us, familia es familia (family is family), whether it’s headed by a mom and a dad, two dads, or two moms.  We should do everything in our power to protect families and keep them together.”

    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:

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

    MORE THAN 100 WATCHDOG GROUPS DEMAND FULL FAIR-LENDING COMPLIANCE AND DISCLOSURE IN NATIONAL MORTGAGE SETTLEMENT

    On Wednesday, March 27th, a coalition made up of 109 civic groups sent a letter to Mortgage Settlement Monitor Joe Smith and the Executive Monitoring Committee highlighting concerns with the slow pace of change on the ground for hardest-hit communities and the need for greater oversight.

    Homeowners and advocates around the nation have grown frustrated by the banks’ failure to disclose information about consumer relief under the National Mortgage Settlement as communities continue to see persistent servicing violations and struggle to get affordable mortgage modifications with principal reduction.

    Advocates pointed out that communities of color and low-income communities, who are among the hardest hit by the fraudulent practices of Wall Street banks, have been slow to receive relief.

    “Latinos throughout the nation were disproportionately affected by the mortgage crisis,” says Janet Murguía, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza. “We in the civil rights community hoped that the National Mortgage Settlement might give our families relief from unnecessary foreclosure with the promise of principal reduction. However, a year since the agreement was made, we hear from our housing counselors that our families—those who were hit hardest by the crisis—have seen little to no relief. Without race, ethnic, and geographic data, it is impossible to tell whether banks have met their full obligations under the settlement. The Executive Monitoring Committee and Monitor Joe Smith must make this information available to the public so we can be confident the settlement is working for families who need it most.”

    “The cycle of discriminatory lending must be broken,” said Mark Ladov, counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice. “The national mortgage settlement was set up to help prevent foreclosures and end mortgage servicing abuse. The monitor must act now to make sure banks comply with the terms of the settlement agreement and live up to their side of the bargain. We need full transparency and accountability to ensure all borrowers, including communities of color, are receiving the help they need to stay in their homes.”

    “Communities of color were disproportionately targeted by abusive lenders, and they have been disproportionately hurt by the foreclosure crisis. We need both vigorous enforcement of servicing standards for all homeowners, and the data to make sure that communities of color are not also being disproportionately denied fair relief,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform.

    “The national mortgage settlement is supposed to bring relief to homeowners who were hardest hit by Wall Street’s malfeasance,” said Brian Kettenring of the Campaign for a Fair Settlement. “Unfortunately, the reports to date fail to provide any insight into whether the settlement is benefitting communities of color. Every week we see fresh evidence that the banks and servicers can’t be taken at their word: We need data and hard evidence that they’re doing what they’re required to do.”

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

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

    Yesterday, the President signed a continuing resolution passed by Congress that will make the sequester—the devastating automatic budget cuts that hit on March 1—the de facto budget for Fiscal Year 2013. Congress left last week for recess after failing to reach an agreement on the federal budget proposals put forth by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Although we are glad that a government shutdown has been averted, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is deeply concerned about the severe consequences that “kicking the can down the road” on the budget will have for Latino families.

    “Congress leaving town without agreeing to the federal budget sends a clear message that they are accepting the sequester as reality, regardless of how irresponsible and dangerous it is,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Latinos and other vulnerable communities shouldn’t be forced to live without vital programs that they rely on for health and education because lawmakers chose to dig their heels in instead of working together.”

    “President Obama and Congress must put partisanship aside and replace the sequester with a fair and equitable budget that grows the economy, invests in the future and protects vulnerable people,” added Murguía. “Latino families have paid their fair share of deficit reduction—it’s time for the president and Congress to deliver responsible solutions that prioritize the health and well-being of our communities and our economy.”

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA:

    Contacto:

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

    Ayer, el Presidente firmo una resolución aprobada por el Congreso que haría el ‘sequester’—los recortes automáticos que tomaron efecto el 1 de marzo—el presupuesto de facto para el Año Fiscal 2013. El Congreso se fue de receso la semana pasada después de no haber llegado a un acuerdo sobre el presupuesto federal de ambas cámaras—el Senado y el Congreso. Mientras que nos alegramos que el gobierno pudiera evitar un cierre, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR por sus siglas en inglés) está profundamente preocupado con las severas consecuencias para los latinos que puedan llegar como resultado de posponer una solución verdadera.

    “El hecho que el congreso se fue de Washington sin llegar a un acuerdo sobre el presupuesto federal manda un mensaje muy claro de que ellos aceptan al ‘sequester’ como hecho aunque sea irresponsable y tenga nefastas consecuencias,” dijo Janet Murguía, Presidenta y CEO del NCLR. “Los latinos y otras comunidades vulnerables no deben ser forzados a vivir sin los programas vitales a cual ellos se apoyan para su salud y educación simplemente porque los políticos no quisieron trabajar juntos.”

    “El Presidente Obama y el Congreso deben poner a un lado el partidismo y reemplazar el sequester con un presupuesto equitativo que crezca a la economía, invierte en el futuro y protege a las poblaciones vulnerables,” añadió Murguía. “Las familias Latinas han pagada su parte justa a la reducción del déficit—es tiempo ya que el Presidente y el Congreso traigan soluciones responsables que ponen como prioridad la salud y el bienestar de nuestras comunidades y nuestra economía.”

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA:

    Contacto:

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

    Ayer, el Presidente firmo una resolución aprobada por el Congreso que haría el ‘sequester’—los recortes automáticos que tomaron efecto el 1 de marzo—el presupuesto de facto para el Año Fiscal 2013. El Congreso se fue de receso la semana pasada después de no haber llegado a un acuerdo sobre el presupuesto federal de ambas cámaras—el Senado y el Congreso. Mientras que nos alegramos que el gobierno pudiera evitar un cierre, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR por sus siglas en inglés) está profundamente preocupado con las severas consecuencias para los latinos que puedan llegar como resultado de posponer una solución verdadera.

    “El hecho que el congreso se fue de Washington sin llegar a un acuerdo sobre el presupuesto federal manda un mensaje muy claro de que ellos aceptan al ‘sequester’ como hecho aunque sea irresponsable y tenga nefastas consecuencias,” dijo Janet Murguía, Presidenta y CEO del NCLR. “Los latinos y otras comunidades vulnerables no deben ser forzados a vivir sin los programas vitales a cual ellos se apoyan para su salud y educación simplemente porque los políticos no quisieron trabajar juntos.”

    “El Presidente Obama y el Congreso deben poner a un lado el partidismo y reemplazar el sequester con un presupuesto equitativo que crezca a la economía, invierte en el futuro y protege a las poblaciones vulnerables,” añadió Murguía. “Las familias Latinas han pagada su parte justa a la reducción del déficit—es tiempo ya que el Presidente y el Congreso traigan soluciones responsables que ponen como prioridad la salud y el bienestar de nuestras comunidades y nuestra economía.”

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Lyda Vanegas
    Director Adv. and Communications  
    Mary’s Center 
    (202) 420-7051
    lvanegas@maryscenter.org

    Amy Bruno
    Communications Associate
    Mary's Center
    (202) 420-7049
     abruno@maryscenter.org

    Julian Teixeira
    Director of Communications
    NCLR
    (202) 776-1812
    jteixeira@nclr.org

    Group joins growing list of supporters urging Hyatt to improve working conditions for housekeeping staff

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to work concerns at Hyatt Hotels, Mary’s Center pledged to not hold its 25th Anniversary Gala at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, DC. Mary’s Center was scheduled to hold its signature fundraising event at the Grand Hyatt on October 18, 2013. The event will now take place at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel on the same date.

    Mary’s Center determined that it would be a direct conflict to hold its most high-profile fundraising event at a company under boycott. This is especially problematic given that the Gala’s primary purpose is to raise funds to provide health care services to a patient population that overlaps significantly with the worker population at Hyatt hotels.

    Mary’s Center also noted the negative financial impact that would result if its primary fundraiser took place at a company under boycott. Many of its invitees and sponsors have already indicated that they will not give funds or participate in an event that takes place at a company under boycott. In addition, there remains a possibility that labor action could take place at the venue during the event, such as the actions taken by workers during the 2013 presidential inauguration in Washington, DC. That weekend, Hyatt workers and their supporters distributed over ten thousand flyers in front of several Hyatt hotels in the District of Columbia that, like the Grand Hyatt, do not have a contract with workers. The fliers informed people about the boycott and encouraged them to honor it. Were a similar labor action to occur during a Mary’s Center fundraiser, many of its guests might refuse to enter the hotel, with disastrous financial results for the organization’s bottom line.

    “Mary’s Center serves many of the ‘invisible’ workers who keep the business of the District and our nation running smoothly, especially workers in the hospitality industry,” said Dr. Julie Martínez Ortega, Chair of the Mary’s Center Board of Directors and a dental patient of the Center. “By moving the gala, Mary’s Center sends a clear message that we care for workers when they are ill and will also support them when they are securing safe working conditions for themselves and their family. We look forward to patronizing Hyatt once it has worked out the dispute with its employees.”

    “We salute Mary’s Center for taking a stand on this important human rights issue affecting the Latino community,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza). “This strong statement by Mary’s Center, a leading Hispanic-serving nonprofit organization and an NCLR Affiliate, should make Hyatt reconsider its refusal to cease its pattern of abuse and instead take this opportunity to become an industry leader by respecting workers’ health and safety.”

    Over 5,000 individuals and organizations, including NCLR, the NFL Players Association, the National Organization of Women (NOW), Feminist Majority, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Netroots Nation, Interfaith Worker Justice, and the Funders for LGBTQ Issues have joined the boycott.

    For more information regarding the boycott, visit www.HyattHurts.org. For information on NCLR’s position, visit http://tinyurl.com/c78mcsu. For media inquiries, please contact Lyda Vanegas, Director of Advocacy and Communications, Mary’s Center, at lvanegas@maryscenter.org or (202) 420-7051.

    ###

    MARY’S CENTER— founded in 1988, is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary care, family literacy and social services to individuals whose needs too often go unmet by the public and private healthcare systems. The Center offers high-quality, professional care in a safe and trusting environment to residents from the entire DC metropolitan region, including individuals from over 110 countries. With over 400 employees, Mary’s Center projects to serve over 70,000 individuals in 2013. The organization has received numerous recognitions and awards, including most recently the U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal Award to its Founder and President, Maria Gomez. For more information, please visit www.maryscenter.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

    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.    


    0 0



    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA:

    Contacto:

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

    Ayer, el Presidente firmó una resolución aprobada por el Congreso que haría el ‘sequester’—los recortes automáticos que tomaron efecto el 1 de marzo—el presupuesto de facto para el Año Fiscal 2013. El Congreso se fue de receso la semana pasada después de no haber llegado a un acuerdo sobre el presupuesto federal de ambas cámaras—el Senado y el Congreso. Mientras que nos alegramos que el gobierno pudiera evitar un cierre, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR por sus siglas en inglés) está profundamente preocupado con las severas consecuencias para los latinos que puedan llegar como resultado de posponer una solución verdadera.

    “El hecho que el congreso se fue de Washington sin llegar a un acuerdo sobre el presupuesto federal manda un mensaje muy claro de que ellos aceptan al ‘sequester’ como hecho aunque sea irresponsable y tenga nefastas consecuencias,” dijo Janet Murguía, Presidenta y CEO del NCLR. “Los latinos y otras comunidades vulnerables no deben ser forzados a vivir sin los programas vitales a cual ellos se apoyan para su salud y educación simplemente porque los políticos no quisieron trabajar juntos.”

    “El Presidente Obama y el Congreso deben poner a un lado el partidismo y reemplazar el sequester con un presupuesto equitativo que crezca a la economía, invierte en el futuro y protege a las poblaciones vulnerables,” añadió Murguía. “Las familias Latinas han pagada su parte justa a la reducción del déficit—es tiempo ya que el Presidente y el Congreso traigan soluciones responsables que ponen como prioridad la salud y el bienestar de nuestras comunidades y nuestra economía.”

    ###


     


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

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

    Yesterday, the Obama administration announced changes to its signature Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)—a program which lowers monthly mortgage payments for struggling homeowners—stating that funding can now be directed to housing counseling organizations, one of the most effective interventions for preventing foreclosure. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds the administration for making this critical adjustment which will help to better serve Latino communities that are still plagued with disproportionately high foreclosure rates.

    “This change represents an important recognition of the value that housing counseling has as one of the most productive foreclosure prevention methods we have at our disposal,” said Lot Diaz, Vice President of Housing and Community Development at NCLR. “The NCLR Homeownership Network (NHN) and hundreds of other local housing counseling organizations throughout the country have a proven track record of helping struggling homeowners, especially those who have limited English proficiency (LEP), navigate the complicated mortgage modification process. Putting more money into home-loss prevention strategies such as housing counseling will go a long way toward ultimately keeping families in their homes.”

    In partnership with the National Foreclosure Mitigation Program (NFMC), HAMP funds will now allow housing counseling agencies to assist homeowners by completing and submitting application documents to their mortgage companies free of charge. It will also support the agencies’ outreach efforts, especially to underserved and LEP communities. NHN, which is composed of 51 community-based organizations throughout the country, offers culturally competent housing counseling services to Latino families, working closely with borrowers through the entire foreclosure process. In addition, the administration announced the creation of a new Office of Housing Counseling, which signals a commitment to ensuring access to high-quality counseling services for all American families.

    “If potential homeowners seek sound advice from trusted community sources before buying their first home, there’s very little chance that they are going to make mistakes that lead them down the path of foreclosure,” added Diaz. “We need to ensure that our housing counseling agencies have the resources to assist homeowners at every step of the process, whether they are trying to buy or save their home. We applaud the administration for moving in the right direction, and we hope that they continue taking steps to improve HAMP and ensure that struggling homeowners can stay in their homes.”

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