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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                  Contact:
    November 20, 2013                                                                                                                Joseph Rendeiro
                                                                                                                                                jrendeiro@nclr.org
                                                                                                                                                (202) 776-1566

    Murguía calls on Congress to pass a budget that aligns with Latinos’ values

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza) joined Sens. Robert Menendez (D–NJ), Chair of the Hispanic Task Force; Barbara Mikulski (D–MD), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee; and Patty Murray (D–WA), Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, on a telephonic town hall to discuss the ongoing budget negotiations in Congress. Murguía highlighted what’s at stake for the Hispanic community, underscoring the need for stronger investments in programs that have already been gutted by sequestration.

    “The federal budget should be a reflection of the highest priorities of our society,” said Murguía. “Policies that cost jobs and cut investments in education, health care and employment are directly at odds with the values of Latinos and our country as a whole.”

    “After the disastrous government shutdown this past October, Congress now has a window of opportunity to regain the public’s trust, to set aside ideological and partisan differences and to once again begin governing in the interest of our nation,” continued Murguía. “We know our community cares about this issue. But, more importantly, Latino voters are watching the budget debate and outcome. Our voice will be heard and we plan to weigh in on Election Day.”

    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:
    November 21, 2013                                                                                                      Joseph Rendeiro
                                                                                                                                      (202) 776-1566
                                                                                                                                      jrendeiro@nclr.org

    Proposed USDA rule would increase injury rates in poultry plants

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—As millions of Americans sit down for Thanksgiving dinner this November, most don’t think about what it takes for a turkey to make it from the farm to the table. But consumers may want to take a closer look, particularly if a proposed regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) moves forward. The USDA rule change would pull government food inspectors out of poultry plants and allow companies to speed up production lines, threatening the safety of turkey products and the workers who process them—34% of whom are Latino. Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) held a telephonic press conference with Food & Water Watch, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, a turkey processing worker and a retired USDA inspector to urge Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to withdraw the harmful rule and pursue protective measures together with Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.

    "This Thanksgiving, as we give thanks for our food and the hands that prepared it, we should remember the injured hands and bodies of poultry workers who labor at dizzying speeds without basic health and safety protections," said Catherine Singley, Senior Policy Analyst for Economic Policy at NCLR. "NCLR urges Secretary Vilsack to not increase line speed and instead work with Secretary Perez to improve worker safety in poultry and meatpacking."

    Last year, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service proposed a new regulation that would allow poultry processing plants to increase line speeds from 32 turkeys per minute to 55 turkeys per minute. Although the rule was designed to improve food safety by automating some aspects of the inspection process that are required to identify and dispose of contaminated poultry, the proposed changes do not account for the expected adverse impacts that a faster line speed will have on worker health and safety. Many consumer advocates are also concerned that the rule could worsen food safety.

    “The recent GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) report on the proposed poultry rule raises uncomfortable questions about the rationale for the rule change," said Bill Lucy, President Emeritus of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

    The groups on the call were joined by Esmundo Juárez Carranza, a member of the Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center, who worked for a turkey plant in Arkansas for seven years. Mr. Juárez Carranza shared a firsthand account of the grueling work that laborers are required to endure, noting the potential impact that increasing line speeds could have.

    “Current conditions in chicken and turkey plants make it impossible to work with dignity,” said Juárez Carranza. “If they increase the line speed even more, the workers won’t be able to do their jobs as well. There will be more contamination in the product and the companies will blame the workers.”

    The rule would also remove government inspectors from the processing lines, allowing companies to hire their own inspectors. Ken Ward, a retired USDA meat and poultry inspector, believes that this type of regulation would ultimately be harmful for consumers.

    "I worked 30 years as an inspector for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service and I saw firsthand how badly the HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) has worked in poultry plants,” said Ward. “Expanding the pilot to all poultry plants will put consumers at risk by letting the companies self-regulate. USDA needs to allow government inspectors to do their jobs and protect consumers."

    All of the groups on the call agreed that modernizing poultry processing plants should be an important goal for the USDA, but that this rule is at odds with important worker health and safety concerns.

    "This proposed rule will not improve food safety. Based on the results of the pilot project that USDA has been operating since 1998 using this deregulated inspection model, Food & Water Watch and a number of other food safety consumer advocacy organizations have come to the conclusion that the rule should be withdrawn," said Tony Corbo, Senior Lobbyist for Food & Water Watch.

    Organizations opposing this rule include Center for Progressive Reform, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Coalition of Poultry Workers, Food & Water Watch, NCLR, Nebraska Appleseed, Center for Law in the Public Interest, Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center, and Southern Poverty Law Center.

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

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

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

    After reaching an agreement with Hyatt Hotels, UNITE HERE, the union representing Hyatt workers, has ended the global boycott of the hotel chain which NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) joined earlier this year. NCLR, MALDEF and LCLAA joined the boycott in response to widespread evidence of harmful working conditions for hotel housekeepers, who are predominantly women of color, including Latinas. The agreement will result in strong new contracts for Hyatt workers that will make hotel jobs safer and more secure. The agreement will also offer some nonunion Hyatt workers a fair process for unionizing.

    “NCLR is pleased to have helped Hyatt workers achieve this major victory that will improve working conditions, wages and their right to a voice on the job,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “By joining the boycott, we sent a clear message that all workers should be fairly compensated and treated with dignity and respect. We are proud to stand by Hyatt workers and will continue to push for stronger workplace protections that guarantee the rights and safety of workers within the hotel industry.”

    “The end of this boycott marks a victory not just for the workers—whose hard-fought efforts led to this well-deserved agreement—but also for our economy, for fairness and for the basic constitutional principles that have united our nation and facilitated its longstanding success,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF.

    “This is an important victory for workers. After many years of mobilization by the courageous hard workers of Hyatt, many of whom are Latinas, one of the world’s largest hotel chains is addressing the problems of basic worker rights, fair wages and safer working conditions,” said Milton Rosado, National President, LCLAA. “We are pleased Hyatt has agreed to offer new contracts for Latino workers and has promised to make hotel jobs safer. We applaud Hyatt’s new commitment to allow nonunion Hyatt workers to unionize. While we celebrate this hard-earned victory, LCLAA will continue to fight for better wages and working conditions for all hotel workers.”

    While the global boycott has ended, labor disputes at several local Hyatt hotels persist (see the online Union Hotel Guide). Going forward, NCLR, MALDEF and LCLAA will remain vigilant and adhere to a policy of avoiding hotels where labor disputes exist.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                     Contact:
    December 3, 2013                                                                                                                    Ricky Garza
                                                                                                                                                   (202) 776-1732
                                                                                                                                                   rgarza@nclr.org

    NCLR strives to deepen impact on policy as it re-launches Policy Analysis Center

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is pleased to announce that Dr. Margaret R. (Peggy) McLeod has joined the organization as its new Deputy Vice President of Education and Workforce Development. In this capacity, Dr. McLeod will lead NCLR’s education and workforce development programs, aligning several programs that help young Latinos prepare for college and careers under a rebranded NCLR’s Líderes youth leadership initiative.

    In addition, Albert Jacquez has been named Director of the NCLR Policy Analysis Center, established in 1980 to provide fact-based analysis of relevant policy issues facing the Latino community. As Director, Mr. Jacquez will set strategic direction and advance NCLR’s policy priorities while continuing to support NCLR’s legislative work on Capitol Hill.

    Prior to her appointment at NCLR, Dr. McLeod served as Executive Director of Student Services in the Alexandria (VA) City Public Schools. She holds a doctorate in education in Bilingual Special Education Leadership from the George Washington University, a master’s degree in Special Education from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Puerto Rico.

    “Dr. McLeod brings significant knowledge and experience to NCLR from her years in the classroom and in education reform, particularly her background with Latino students and English-language learners. Our education and workforce development programs will benefit enormously from her expertise and we are excited about growing these programs to meet a critical need among young Latinos for quality preparation for college and high-wage jobs,” stated Delia Pompa, Senior Vice President, Programs.

    Prior to joining NCLR, Mr. Jacquez was a principal at Strategic Solutions Washington, a public interest consulting firm. He was also appointed by President Clinton as Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. He was the chief of staff for Congressman Esteban E. Torres and staff director of the House Banking Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs. He holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas and a bachelor’s of arts degree from Whittier College.

    “Mr. Jacquez brings extensive policy expertise to this role and will bring experienced leadership to NCLR’s economic public policy work specifically,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation. “Affordable homeownership opportunities, consumer protection, and access to good quality jobs are important priorities for millions of Latinos. It is clear that there is more work to be done in these areas if we are to narrow disparities in income and wealth. Albert will work with a talented team of experts to make advancements in these areas while supporting NCLR’s work on other policy priorities such as education, health, and immigration reform.”

    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 us on Facebook and Twitter.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:

    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    Después de cuatro días de diálogo reflexivo entre los activistas latinos más influyentes del país, Janet Murguía, presidenta y directora general del NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza), reconoció a los ganadores de los premios nacionales de la institución en su Gala de Premios anual. La Gala fue el evento de clausura de la Conferencia Anual 2013 del NCLR que tomo lugar del 20 al 23 de Julio en el Centro de Convenciones Ernest N. Morial en New Orleans. Se presentaron seis premios en honor de las personas y organizaciones que han demostrado logros ejemplares, tanto en sus campos como en el servicio a la comunidad hispana de EE.UU.

    Los ganadores de este año incluyeron a: el afiliado del NCLR Southwest Key Programs, una organización no lucrativa con sede en Austin, Texas; María Chávez, directora general de Girl Scouts of America; Salvador Longoria, abogado de New Orleans y activista comunitario, así como fundador y presidente de la Junta Directiva de Puentes New Orleans, un afiliado del NCLR; Rocsi Díaz de Entertainment Tonight y fundadora de la Fundación RocStar; Minnie Miñoso, beisbolista legendario y exjugador de Chicago White Sox; y Luis Ubiñas, presidente de la Fundación Ford.

    “Felicitamos a los ganadores de este año y les agradecemos su visión, ardua labor y dedicación. Ellos son representantes de las diversas e importantes contribuciones de los latinos a este gran país. Espero cada año tener la oportunidad en la Gala de Premios del NCLR de honrar y destacar los logros de los extraordinarios líderes que sirven a la comunidad latina”, dijo Murguía.

    Los ganadores de los premios de este año son:

    Southwest Key Programs, receptor del premio Afiliado del Año del NCLR, es una organización privada no lucrativa que proporciona educación transformadora, albergues innovadores y seguros y alternativas al encarcelamiento de jóvenes, al mismo tiempo que crea oportunidades para que sus familias lleguen a ser autosuficientes en los estados de Arizona, California, Georgia, Nueva York, Texas y Wisconsin.

    El Centro de Familia de Southwest Key Programs —una instalación de 30,000 pies cuadrados en el corazón del este de Austin—es sede de programas e iniciativas que incluyen trabajo de abogacía comunitaria, registro de votantes, desarrollo de la fuerza laboral, iniciativas de salud y bienestar, emprendimiento social, centro comunitario de tecnología, East Austin College Prep (un afiliado del NCLR), club para niños y niñas, alfabetización de adultos y programas educativos, servicios de capacitación de la juventud y programas de arte culturales.

    Por 25 años, Southwest Key Programs ha demostrado un avance ejemplar en satisfacer las necesidades de los latinos y en asegurar que estos tengan acceso al sueño americano. El Afiliado del Año es el honor más alto otorgado a una organización afiliada por su ejemplar gestión no lucrativa, servicio a su comunidad, y para reconocer la participación activa de la misma en la promoción de las iniciativas programáticas y de apoyo del NCLR.

    Anna María Chávez, miembro de toda una vida de Girl Scouts of the United States of America y su primera directora general latina, recibió el Premio Graciela Olivarez La Raza. Como directora general de Girl Scouts of the USA, Chávez dirige la organización más grande de niñas del mundo, con 3.2 millones de orgullosas miembros en sus 100 años de compromiso al desarrollo del potencial de liderazgo. Chávez personifica el valor, la confianza y el carácter que ayuda a reafirmar las Girl Scouts a través de actividades relacionadas con la ciencia y la tecnología, conocimiento de negocios y economía, y concientización del medio ambiente y del exterior. Tiene un Doctorado en Jurisprudencia de la facultad de derecho James E. Rogers de la Universidad del Estado de Arizona y una licenciatura en Historia Estadounidense de la Universidad de Yale. Antes de unirse a las Girl Scouts, Chávez fue subjefa de personal de relaciones urbanas y desarrollo comunitario bajo la dirección de Janet Napolitano, exgobernadora de Arizona y actual Secretaria de Seguridad Nacional de EE.UU.

    El NCLR otorga anualmente el Premio Graciela Olivarez La Raza a una persona u organización que haya contribuido considerablemente a la promoción de los intereses de los estadounidenses de origen hispano. Desde su humilde comienzo en el pequeño pueblo de Eloy en Arizona, hasta toda una vida de servicio público, Anna María Chávez es una líder que enorgullece a la comunidad hispana. Así como Graciela Olivarez fue una pionera no sólo para la mujer latina sino para las mujeres en general, la labor de toda la vida de Chávez ha ayudado a potenciar a las jóvenes para maximizar su potencial.

    El Premio al Liderazgo Maclovio Barraza se otorgó a Salvador Longoria, abogado y activista comunitario de Nueva Orleans y fundador y presidente de la Junta Directiva de la organización local no lucrativa Puentes New Orleans, el único afiliado del NCLR en Louisiana. Mientras Longoria ha tenido una exitosa carrera de abogado como socio de Gaudin & Longoria, también ha prestado su talento a las familias latinas interesadas en abrir una pequeña empresa o llenar las planillas de inmigración, permitiéndoles perseguir el sueño americano, mismo que él persiguió cuando llegó de La Habana durante la fase de puente aéreo de la emigración cubana hacia los EE.UU. Graduado de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Loyola, continua sirviendo a su alma máter como miembro de la asociación de exalumnos y consejo del presidente de su Junta Directiva.

    Por décadas, Salvador Longoria ha servido con pasión y energía a la comunidad hispana y área metropolitana de Nueva Orleans, trabajando en nombre de las personas mayores, refugiados, prisioneros e inmigrantes detenidos. Poco después del huracán Katrina, ayudó a impulsar el crecimiento y el éxito de Puentes New Orleans, uniendo líderes en torno a las necesidades de la comunidad latina y los nuevos inmigrantes que llegaron para ayudar a reconstruir la ciudad.

    El Premio al Liderazgo Maclovio Barraza reconoce a aquellos que han trabajado por el mejoramiento de la comunidad hispana a nivel local y cuyo liderazgo ha servido como fuente de fortaleza y apoyo para dicha comunidad.

    Raquel “Rocsi” Díaz, la copresentadora de fin de semana y corresponsal diaria del programa Entertainment Tonight de la cadena CBS, recibió el Premio de Comunicaciones Rubén Salazar. Nacida en Tegucigalpa, Honduras, y criada en Nueva Orleans, Rocsi es reconocida por los televidentes de 85 países que han disfrutado del programa principal de BET, 106 & Park, el cual Rocsi copresentó después de ganar el concurso “New Faces” de BET en 2006.

    La carrera de Rocsi despego después de su salida de New Orleans, pero nunca se ha olvidado la ciudad donde se crió. En 2005, cuando el huracán Katrina devastó su ciudad, utilizó su red, recursos y popularidad para ayudar a las victimas de la tormenta y fundó la Fundación RocStar cuando se enteró de que las escuelas en la área donde se crió y estudió quedaron destruidas. Colaboró con otras celebridades en una obra para recaudar fondos para su alma máter, la preparatoria West Jefferson, y espera ampliar la Fundación RocStar para ayudar a construir escuelas en todo el mundo, especialmente en países del tercer mundo como Honduras y países del África.

    Las nuevas generaciones ven en Rocsi un modelo a seguir. Abriendo puertas para los latinos en espacios como 106 & Park y Entertainment Tonight, donde los rostros latinos no siempre han dominado, ella está derribando paredes y forjando nuevas oportunidades para los aspirantes a periodistas de todos los orígenes. El Premio de Comunicaciones Rubén Salazar se otorga a una persona que haya dedicado su vida profesional a resaltar en un foro público los problemas, preocupaciones y/o noticias relevantes para los estadounidenses de origen hispano, así como a promover las contribuciones positivas que los latinos han hecho a la sociedad estadounidense.

    El Premio de Excelencia en el Deporte Roberto Clemente fue otorgado a Minnie Miñoso, el legendario beisbolista y exjugador de Chicago White Sox. Nacido en Cuba, Miñoso cambió la historia en 1949 cuando se unió a los Indios de Cleveland y se convirtió en el primer hispano de color que jugara en las Grandes Ligas de Béisbol (MLB, por sus siglas en inglés). Es considerado por muchos como el Jackie Robinson latinoamericano. 54 latinos habían jugado en la liga antes que él, pero Miñoso fue el primer latino de color en lograr un lugar en un equipo de la MLB.
    Sigue siendo una de las dos personas en la historia que han jugado en la MLB por cinco décadas, desde la primera vez que tomó un bate como un Cleveland Indian en 1949 hasta su último juego con los White Sox el 5 de octubre del 1980.

    Su marca en la historia cubana es indisputable y su leyenda todavía inspira a los jóvenes beisbolistas. En el espíritu de Roberto Clemente, Mike Cuellar y otros grandes del béisbol latino, Miñoso abrió las puertas de la oportunidad a las comunidades de color en los deportes profesionales estadounidenses, y sigue siendo un modelo a seguir para las generaciones de amantes del béisbol de todo el país. Más allá del campo, Miñoso dio su tiempo y nombre a la Fundación de Cystic Fibrosis y se convirtió en un embajador mundial de los White Sox, apoyando obras benéficas y esfuerzos filantrópicos del equipo.
    El Premio de Excelencia en el Deporte Roberto Clemente se otorga a una persona de renombre en el mundo del deporte y que esté comprometida con el progreso de los estadounidenses de origen hispano.

    El Premio del Presidente Raúl Yzaguirre fue otorgado a Luis Ubiñas, presidente de la Fundación Ford. La segunda entidad filantrópica más grande de los Estados Unidos con más de $10.5 mil millones de activos y $500 millones de donaciones anuales. Ubiñas ha apoyado el trabajo de las organizaciones no lucrativas de todo el mundo, y ha creado un programa enfocado estratégicamente a aumentar la participación de personas y comunidades pobres y marginadas en las oportunidades económicas, sociales y políticas de la sociedad.

    La colaboración entre la Fundación Ford y el NCLR comenzó en 1968 cuando el Southwest Council of La Raza —que luego llegará a ser el NCLR— se fundó con el apoyo de la subvención de planificación de $150,000 de la Fundación Ford. Desde entonces, la Fundación ha sido uno de los partidarios más apasionados y aliado comprometido en el progreso económico y social de la comunidad latina. Ubiñas reconoció desde el principio cómo el crecimiento demográfico estaba cambiando en nuestro país y entendió la importancia de que las instituciones latinas ayuden a guiar el camino en este nuevo Estados Unidos. También comprendió lo importante que era para los latinos aprovechar este momento tan especial, aumentando su participación cívica, sus puestos de liderazgo, alzando sus voces y votando. Bajo la administración de Ubiñas, el NCLR pudo potenciar la participación cívica entre los latinos, extender su alcance a los estados clave y sostener sus proyectos de política pública que cubren asuntos tales como los derechos civiles, justicia criminal, movilidad económica, educación, salud, inmigración y construcción de bienes.

    La Fundación Ford ha apoyado al NCLR desde su humilde comienzo hasta hoy día. Su confianza en el NCLR y en la comunidad latina ha sido firme, y con Luis Ubiñas como líder de la Fundación, el NCLR se mantendrá de forma segura al frente de los asuntos que más les importan a los estadounidenses de origen hispano. El Premio del Presidente Raúl Yzaguirre se otorga cada año a aquella persona u organización que ha demostrado su apoyo extraordinario a la misión, metas y filosofía del NCLR.

    La Gala de Entrega de Premios del NCLR fue copatrocinada este año por Amtrak, Ford Motor Company, Southwest Airlines, UPS y Walmart.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                 Contact:
    December 10, 2013                                                                                                                              Organizational contacts below

    Report cards to be issued to Latino communities before 2014 election

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—National Latino organizations engaged in voter education and registration efforts today reported how the 113th Congress—including every member of the House of Representatives and the Senate—has dealt with the issue of immigration so far. The mid-term report card gives a “green checkmark” to the U.S. Senate for passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation earlier this year. However, the House of Representatives receives only an “I” for incomplete because it has not acted on reform except for a spending vote to undo the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would result in the deportation of all DREAMers. Therefore, the only vote allowed on the House floor to date was one to kill an overwhelmingly popular initiative among Latino and many other voters.

    “The mid-term report puts Congress on notice that these organizations will be ‘scoring’ all upcoming votes related to immigration in 2014 and providing this information to the Hispanic community,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. In the meantime, the groups are delivering a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, signed by over 200 Latino organizations, urging action on immigration reform. They will also distribute pledge cards to individual members of the House asking them to commit to advancing reform.

    The organizations include the Hispanic Federation, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, NALEO Educational Fund, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and Voto Latino. Each of these organizations is active in civic engagement campaigns that include citizenship drives, voter registration and mobilization and immigration advocacy. There were 1.5 million more Latino voters in 2012 than in 2008, compared with a decrease of two million voters among non-Hispanic Whites during this time. The Latino electorate will continue growing at a fast pace, with an average of 880,000 Latino citizens turning 18 every year for the next 15 years.

    “Today’s progress report essentially means we are calling in the House leadership for a parent-teacher conference. The ‘caution mark’ means the House still has time to redeem itself on immigration, but needs to turn around their performance and show immediate progress in order for individual House members to make the grade with Latino voters and with the nation,” said Bertha Alisia Guerrero, Director of National Advocacy, Hispanic Federation. “In the short run, individual members can improve their standing by co-sponsoring H.R. 15 or signing a pledge stating their support for reform and publicly committing to move it forward, but the final grade will be based on whether reform is achieved.”

    “How Congress handles immigration during the next dozen months will go a long way toward determining national politics for the next dozen years,” said Clarissa Martinez-De-Castro, Director of Civic Engagement and Immigration, NCLR. “Every serious political and media observer saw that the Hispanic vote and immigration were decisive, game-changing factors in the 2012 national election outcome. So far, only one chamber has reacted to the new electoral reality and taken action to fix our immigration system in a bipartisan and politically popular manner. Today’s progress report reminds Congress that we are monitoring their actions, or lack thereof, and will issue a formal evaluation of how they address one of the greatest concerns in our community.”

    “The Latino community’s commitment to immigration reform has only grown stronger since the 2012 election. Last week, Cristian Avila, a Mi Familia Vota team member from Arizona and a DREAMer, ended 22 days of fasting—as others stepped in—to put a human face on the immorality of the current immigration system and Congress’s inaction. During 2013, our groups have continued building the Latino electorate through citizenship workshops, voter registration, education and mobilization campaigns. We have rallied, marched and pressed members of Congress for reform. We will grow even stronger next year, and if members do not want F’s on their report cards that we deliver to the community, they need to deliver quickly and responsibly on comprehensive immigration reform," said Ben Monterroso, Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota Education Fund.

    “Latino voters accounted for 8.4 percent of all voters in the 2012 election, making a decisive impact in the race for the White House and other state and municipal contests,” said Max Sevillia, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, NALEO Educational Fund. “In the lead-up to Election Day, the Latino community’s political influence will continue to grow, with the eligible Latino electorate set to reach 25.2 million. Immigration is a deeply personal issue for Latino voters, and our growing electorate will be closely monitoring legislative movement on this issue in Congress in the coming months.”

    “For Latinos, immigration is personal,” said Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino. “We work with Latino millennials, who are fueling the accelerated growth of our community’s electorate with an average of 880,000 young Latinos turning 18 every year and know that the choices Congress makes today have a powerful effect on shaping these new and future voters’ political map. These young voters are engaged and are seeing their family and friends suffer the consequences of inaction, even though the votes exist to end our nation’s immigration crisis. How Congress handles the immigration issue now will have a huge impact on political elections for years to come.”

    “Immigration reform is clearly a morally and politically defining issue for Latinos, but the benefits go way beyond politics,” said Brent Wilkes, Executive Director of LULAC. “The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated immigration reform would reduce the deficit by $200 billion and increase GDP by $700 billion in the first decade, while inaction is depriving the nation of these economic benefits. As Congress continues budget negotiations the politicians must understand how immediate action on immigration reform can help build our economy and create jobs.”

    “It is time to act,” said Hector Sanchez, Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “We know the votes exist in the House to get this done, and the time for obstruction is over. There is no way to avoid this issue because labor, faith and community groups are united, and we and our allies across the political spectrum are bringing the voice and action of our communities and constituents to the doorstep of Congress. Nobody is off the hook and even with a bill passed in the Senate, nobody is unfurling a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner for any party or politician. The damage caused by our broken immigration system is too high—every single day—to keep wasting time on the road to reform.”

    PLEDGE LANGUAGE
    “I support immigration reform that includes a clear road map to earned citizenship for hardworking, tax-paying immigrants; keeps families together; promotes the full integration of newcomers into American society; and creates an internal and border law enforcement regimen that focuses on preventing criminals, drug cartels and other bad actors from entering the U.S. or engaging in criminal activities. I also call on House leadership to schedule a vote on immigration reform.”

    CONTACTS
    Hispanic Federation: Bertha Guerrero, bguerrero@hispanicfederation.org, 202-641-7186
    LCLAA: Victor Baten, vbaten@lclaa.org, 202-508-6989
    LULAC: Paloma Zuleta, pzuleta@lulac.org, 202-812-4477
    Mi Familia Vota: Lizette Escobedo, lizette@mifamiliavota.org, 858-583-5014
    NALEO Educational Fund: Amanda Bosquez, abosquez@naleo.org, 361-548-6989
    NCLR: Joseph Rendeiro, jrendeiro@nclr.org, 202-776-1566
    Voto Latino: Jimmy Hernandez, jimmy@votolatino.org, 305-720-0699

    The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is the leading national organization for Latino(a) workers and their families. LCLAA represents the interest of more than 2 million Latino workers in the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), The Change to Win Federation, Independent Unions and all its membership. Visit LCLAA on the web at www.lclaa.org, on Facebook and Twitter.

    The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

    Mi Familia Vota is a national non-profit organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through increased civic participation by promoting citizenship, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota is one of the premiere Latino civic engagement organizations in the country with operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas. Visit online: www.mifamiliavota.org | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube |

    NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-partisan, non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. Visit us online: www.naleo.org | Facebook | 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.

    Voto Latino is a national civic engagement organization that celebrates 10 years in 2014 of galvanizing Latino Millennials and their family members and friends into the political process to effect positive change. United by the belief that Latino issues are American issues and American issues are Latino issues, Voto Latino has influenced millions of Latino Millennials through its digital and traditional media campaigns, through the tireless work of its artist coalition, and the organization’s leadership initiatives. To learn more about Voto Latino, visit www.VotoLatino.org. Also engage Voto Latino on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VotoLatino, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VotoLatino and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/VotoLatino.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

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

    61 percent of Latino voters more likely to vote for a candidate in 2014 who votes to stop the cuts

    With a bipartisan budget agreement announced earlier this week, Latino voters are closely watching lawmakers on Capitol Hill to see whether they can finally pass a budget that offers much-needed relief from the painful cuts brought about by sequestration. A new national survey released today by NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and Latino Decisions shows that Hispanic voters are dissatisfied with the handling of federal budget policy by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. However, members of Congress who vote to end the sequester cuts stand to gain significant support among the Latino community.

    According to the survey of registered Latino voters, neither of the two parties get a passing grade from Latinos. Only 27 percent of Latino voters approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing to handle the federal budget, while 63 percent disapprove. Democrats have fared somewhat better, with 48 percent approval and 42 percent disapproval.

    Both groups have a chance to turn these numbers around. The survey found that 61 percent of Latino voters are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who supports stopping the cuts and restoring funding for government programs, more than double the 26 percent who said that this would make them less likely to vote for the candidate.

    “Jobs and the economy remain a top priority for Latino voters one year after the presidential election,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation, NCLR. “The poll shows that deficit reduction is important but that both Democratic and Republican Hispanic voters value investments in education and preschool. These voters intend to support leaders in 2014 who stop cuts in these areas and address our job creation and economic growth needs.”

    Regardless of party affiliation, Latino voters staunchly reject a federal budget policy that emphasizes deeper cuts to programs. Overall, 86 percent of Latinos are concerned about the automatic sequester cuts, including 71 percent of Latino Republicans, with the greatest concerns being for cuts to preschool education (91 percent concerned), college assistance (88 percent) and job training programs (86 percent). An overwhelming 96 percent of Latinos would rather see investments in infrastructure and education to stimulate the economy. Support for increased investments is strong among both Latino Democrats (99 percent) and Latino Republicans (95 percent).

    “This new survey makes clear that Latino voters overwhelming reject the automatic sequester cuts. Latinos know that these cuts are hurting our community, and they want to see Congress pass a responsible budget deal that restores funding to important programs and stops the cuts. Hispanic voters are watching the budget debate closely and this issue will figure prominently in their evaluation of congressional candidates in 2014,” said Dr. Matt A. Barreto, Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, who oversaw the poll for NCLR.

    For more information please contact Joseph Rendeiro, NCLR, at (202) 776-1566 or jrendeiro@nclr.org, or Matt Barreto, Latino Decisions, at (909) 489-2955 or matt.barreto@latinodecisions.com.

    The entire poll results can be found online at www.latinodecisions.com/recent-polls.

    About the poll. Latino Decisions interviewed 800 total Latino registered voters nationwide from December 1 to 8, 2013. Respondents were interviewed in English or Spanish, at their discretion, by fully bilingual interviewers. The overall survey contains a margin of error of +/– 3.5 percent, and on split sample items (n=400) the margin of error is +/– 4.9 percent. The survey questions and sampling process were designed by Dr. Matt Barreto and Dr. Gary Segura, co-founders of Latino Decisions. Respondents were reached through a mix of landline telephones, cell phones and the Latino Decisions web panel.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

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

    El 61% de los votantes latinos es más propenso a votar en 2014 por un candidato que haya votado por detener los recortes

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Con el anuncio a principios de semana de un acuerdo presupuestario bipartidista, los votantes latinos están muy atentos para ver si los legisladores del Capitolio aprueban de una vez un presupuesto que ofrezca el tan necesario alivio a los dolorosos recortes que trajeron los recortes automáticos del presupuesto federal. Una nueva encuesta, llevada a cabo a nivel nacional, que publicó hoy NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza) y Latino Decisions muestra que los votantes hispanos no están satisfechos con la manera en que los legisladores de ambos partidos han manejado el presupuesto federal. No obstante, los congresistas que votaron por que se diera fin a los recortes automáticos están entre los que obtendrán mayor apoyo por parte de la comunidad latina.

    Según la encuesta a los votantes registrados latinos, ninguno de los dos partidos pasa la prueba. Sólo el 27 % de los votantes latinos aprueba la labor que los republicanos está haciendo en el Congreso para manejar el presupuesto federal, mientras que el 63 % la desaprueba. En cuanto a los demócratas, parece que lo están haciendo un poco mejor, ya que el 48 % está de acuerdo y el 42 % en desacuerdo.

    Ambos grupos tienen la oportunidad de cambiar estos porcentajes. La encuesta encontró que el 61 % de los votantes latinos es más propensos a votar por un congresista que apoye el cese de los recortes y el reestablecimiento de la financiación a los programas del gobierno, más del doble del 26 % que dijo que esto los haría menos propensos a votar por el candidato.

    “Un año después de las elecciones presidenciales, los trabajos y la economía siguen estando al principio de la lista de prioridades de los votantes latinos”, dijo Eric Rodríguez, vicepresidente de la Oficina de Investigación, Abogacía y Legislación del NCLR. La encuesta muestra que la reducción del déficit es importante pero que, tanto los votantes hispanos demócratas como los republicanos, valoran la inversión en la educación desde el nivel preescolar. Estos votantes piensan apoyar a los líderes en 2014 que detengan los recortes en estas áreas y que aborden nuestras necesidades de creación de empleos y crecimiento económico”.

    Independientemente de su afiliación política, los votantes latinos rechazan firmemente una política de presupuesto federal que haga hincapié en seguir recortando los fondos a los programas. En general, el 86 % de los latinos está preocupado por los recortes automáticos, incluyendo el 71 % de los latinos republicanos, preocupándoles principalmente los recortes a la educación preescolar (91 % está preocupado), la asistencia universitaria (88 %) y los programas de capacitación para el empleo (86 %). Un arrollador 96 % de los latinos prefiere ver inversiones en infraestructura y educación para estimular la economía. El apoyo del aumento de la inversión es fuerte entre los latinos demócratas (99 %) y los latinos republicanos (95 %).

    “Esta nueva encuesta muestra claramente que la gran mayoría de los votantes latinos rechaza los recortes automáticos. Ellos saben que estos recortes hacen daño a nuestra comunidad y quieren que el Congreso apruebe un presupuesto responsable que restaure la financiación a los programas importantes y detenga los recortes. Los votantes hispanos están muy atentos al debate sobre el presupuesto y este asunto sobresaldrá a la hora de evaluar a los candidatos congresistas en 2014”, dijo Dr. Matt A. Barreto, cofundador de Latino Decisions, quien supervisó la encuesta para el NCLR.

    Para más información, por favor póngase en contacto con Joseph Rendeiro del NCLR llamando al (202) 776-1566 o jrendeiro@nclr.org, o con Matt Barreto de Latino Decisions en el (909) 489-2955 o matt.barreto@latinodecisions.com.

    Para ver los resultados de la encuesta, visite www.latinodecisions.com/recent-polls.

    Sobre la encuesta. Latino Decisions entrevistó a un total de 800 votantes latinos registrados a nivel nacional del 1 al 8 de diciembre de 2013. A preferencia de los entrevistados, estos fueron entrevistados en inglés o español por entrevistadores completamente bilingües. La encuesta general tiene un margen de error de +/– 3.5 %, y la división de la muestra (n=400) uno de +/– 4.9 %. Las preguntas y el proceso de selección fueron diseñados por el Dr. Matt Barreto y el Dr. Gary Segura, cofundadores de Latino Decisions. Los entrevistados fueron contactados a través de líneas telefónicas fijas, móviles y el panel de la página de Internet de Latino Decisions.

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


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    Site to provide support and tools to education-based nonprofits working with Hispanic students

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) formally launched its “Learning from Leaders” website, a portal designed to provide important tools and information to nonprofits working to improve the educational experience of and advance educational attainment for Latino students. Latino students make up 22 percent of the nation’s pre-K–12 students; in states like California, they represent nearly one-half of all students enrolled in public education. Hispanics have historically faced slow progress in educational attainment, ranking last in the nation when compared to other ethnic groups. Less than one-half of Latino students earn their high school diplomas on time and only 13 percent go on to earn bachelor’s degrees.

    Some of the perceived obstacles to long-term success in the education system have included a lack of cultural competence, language barriers, and a lack of family engagement. “Learning from Leaders” will offer groups and individuals the ability to participate in a series of free webinars where participants will hear from and interact with experts in the field of education. Upcoming webinars include: “Parents Matter: Engaging Parents in Culturally Competent Ways to Improve Academic Success,” which will be held on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at 1:00 p.m.; “Teaching Strategies for English Language Learners Success in Mathematics,” scheduled for January 15, 2014, at 1:00 p.m.; “Cultura, Aprendizaje, Servicio y Accion (CASA): Developing Culturally Aware Youth Leaders” will take place on February 19, 2014, at 1:00 p.m.; and on March 19, 2014, at 1:00 p.m., “Common Core Standards Implementation,” will be the subject of the interactive webinar presentation. In addition to the free webinar series, the website provides a wealth of research, tools and presentations, available to nonprofits, educators, parents and the general public, meant to help bolster Latino educational performance.

    “We are excited to formally launch our ‘Learning from Leaders’ site today; we believe the tools contained within the portal will help pave the way to reducing educational disparities between Latino students and their non-Hispanic school counterparts,” said Peggy McLeod, Ed.D., Deputy Vice President, Education and Workforce Development, NCLR. “Through promoting best practices and ensuring we are providing a critical window to policymakers about the Latino educational experience, we hope to increase Latino educational success and attainment,” concluded McLeod.


    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

    Attendees polled at 2013 NCLR Annual Conference in New Orleans

    As the fate of comprehensive immigration reform rests in the hands of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, a new straw poll of more than 1,000 attendees at the 2013 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Annual Conference shows near-unanimous support for the passage of this legislation. Approximately 95 percent of respondents said it is important to them that immigration reform is passed in 2013, a sentiment that was shared regardless of political affiliation. Overall, 91 percent of Democrat, 90 percent of independent and 82 percent of Republican attendees see passage of legislation this year as very important.

    “This survey echoes what we have seen in poll after poll—no matter their party ID, demographics or geography, Americans want their elected officials to fix the country’s broken immigration system and provide a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring Americans. America deserves a vote,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Simply put, passing immigration reform this year is in the best interest of our country. This legislation will be a boon to our still-recovering economy and bring stability to the social fabric of our communities, as well as the American workforce.”

    The straw poll, conducted in partnership with Lake Research Partners and Revolution Messaging via text message, also showed high levels of engagement with this issue among attendees. More than 60 percent of respondents are following how their members of Congress vote on immigration reform. And the political ramifications for members of Congress who fail to back comprehensive immigration reform are even clearer: 97 percent of attendees confirm that they will be more likely to support politicians who get in line behind this legislation.

    “Latinos are watching what’s happening on Capitol Hill very closely. They will certainly remember who is fighting to preserve failed policies that serve no one, and who is working to serve our national interests by delivering an effective solution on immigration,” added Murguía. “We are a strong and growing political force in this country, and we are prepared to be the voice for those who are silenced by the fear and uncertainty of our broken immigration system. The Senate has provided a model for how to move forward on this issue through bipartisanship and compromise—it’s time for the House to follow suit.”

    Latinos throughout the U.S. are calling and visiting their members of Congress and will continue to engage in a constant drumbeat of activity to push immigration reform to the finish line. Nearly half (47 percent) of attendees reported having already contacted their members of Congress to urge them to pass reform, and almost four in ten (37%) say they plan to do so.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                  Contact:
    December 16, 2013                                                                                               Camila Gallardo
                                                                                                                                   (305) 215-4259
                                                                                                                                   cgallardo@nclr.org

    Washington, D.C.—Thursday, December 19, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., NCLR (National Council of La Raza) will host a community field-hearing to discuss perspectives on pending housing legislation that is set to impact market access and affordability for low income communities. The Corker-Warner bill (S. 1217), would reform the country’s housing finance system by replacing government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a new government agency: Federal Mortgage Insurance Agency. The move would shift more of the risks of mortgage lending to the private sector. While proponents view the bill as a way to help the housing market, some have wondered how or if it will help America’s diverse home buyers in accessing affordable homeownership opportunities and financing. 

    The National Council of La Raza and the Center for American Progress released a study last spring, “Making the Mortgage Market Safe for America’s Families,” which outlined the needs in the current housing market and set forth a proposed set of principles necessary to support a broad, accessible and affordable housing market. Among the recommendations—the establishment of a fully funded Market Access Fund to promote broader access to mortgage credit and to foster new and safe mortgage products as a way of also increasing access and the current bill.

    The field hearing will explore the potential impact of the bipartisan bill on the community and the housing market. Industry leaders, interested community members and housing organizations will join NCLR at the McCoart Administration Building in Woodbridge, Va., for the timely discussion.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    What:   Virginia Field Hearing on Housing Finance Reform

    When:  Thursday, December 19, 2013
                  11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    Where: McCoart Administration Building
                  Powell’s Creek Conference Room
                  1 County Complex Court
                  Woodbridge, VA 22192

    Who:    Moderator: Enrique Lopezlira, Senior Policy Advisory, Economic Policy, NCLR
                 Michelle Maiwurm, Legislative Office of Senator Mark Warner
                 James Carr, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and Distinguished Scholar with The Opportunity Agenda
                 Father Gerry Creedon, Catholics for Housing
                 Mercy Struthers, Casals Realtors
                 Bill Vaughan, Chief Economist, Prince William County Office of Finance

    Lunch will be provided for participants. Participants should RSVP their attendance to ldelavara@nclr.org to ensure a meal. Media interested in attending please RSVP to Camila Gallardo, NCLR, at cgallardo@nclr.org or (305) 215-4259.

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

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

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

    By a vote of 64 to 36, today the Senate passed the “Bipartisan Budget Act,” which will restore $23 billion in funding for programs that were slashed by sequestration. Although the agreement is not perfect, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) commends Congress for working together to craft a budget that offers significant relief from some sequester cuts for two years and avoids another unnecessary fiscal crisis.

    “We are pleased to see lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree to a budget that mitigates the harm of another round of deep cuts to the health, education and employment programs that Latinos and other communities need to survive,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Latinos understand the importance of deficit reduction but strongly believe that it cannot come at the expense of our children’s health and education. Congress is finally listening to the American people who overwhelmingly rejected the policies that led to the government shutdown. We hope that today’s vote marks a turning point for how Congress handles federal budget policy moving forward.”

    NCLR and Latino Decisions recently released a survey showing that Hispanic voters have been dissatisfied with the handling of federal budget policy by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The survey found that Latino voters are twice as likely to vote for a member of Congress who supports stopping the cuts and restoring funding for government programs than a member who supports keeping sequestration.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Gov. Chris Christie signed the New Jersey Dream Act into law, offering young Americans-in-waiting the opportunity to pay in-state tuition rates. Although NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is disappointed that the law does not allow New Jersey “Dreamers” to apply for state financial aid, even though they and their families contribute to the state’s tax coffers, the bill is a significant step toward providing these promising students with the chance to go to college. 

    “We applaud Gov. Christie and the New Jersey state legislature for working in a bipartisan fashion to pass this important piece of legislation. This bill will help many of New Jersey’s brightest students achieve their dream of obtaining a college education,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Today’s victory shows that both sides of the aisle can come together to invest in our future. We would note that this is still a temporary solution and underscores the importance of passing comprehensive immigration reform, so that DREAMers throughout the U.S. can not only earn a college degree but also live and work without the threat of deportation.”

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

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

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

    As Congress continues debate on a bill to extend unemployment benefits, several senators are pushing an amendment that would cut off access to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for millions of children and their families. The proposal would eliminate the CTC for hardworking, taxpaying parents who file tax returns using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). ITINs are commonly used by immigrants who lack a Social Security number so they can pay their share of income, Social Security and Medicare taxes. This amendment would disproportionately harm Latinos, including more than four million Hispanic children and their hardworking families who use their tax credits to help put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

    “On the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s speech declaring a war on poverty, it’s appalling that some in Congress are advocating for proposals that would throw millions of children further into poverty,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at NCLR. “These senators are attempting to pit the unemployed and veterans against poor children—a fight that will have no winners. This ill-conceived proposal essentially wages war on the impoverished, who would face greater hunger and hardship should it be approved.”

    “The Senate should find another solution and not cut an effective tool for reducing child poverty,” added Rodriguez. “Hispanic voters are closely watching how this debate unfolds and will not stand for an attack on their children and the most vulnerable in the Latino community.”

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             Contact:
    January 13, 2014                                                                                                              Joseph Rendeiro
                                                                                                                                              (202) 776-1566
                                                                                                                                               jrendeiro@nclr.org


    WASHINGTON, D.C.—As part of an initiative to increase economic activity and expand opportunities in impoverished areas throughout the country, President Obama awarded a federal Promise Zone designation to the city of Los Angeles and their lead partner, the Youth Policy Institute, an NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Affiliate. The city will receive up to $500 million in grants to help revitalize central Los Angeles neighborhoods, which include many predominantly Latino areas, by investing in job creation, creating affordable housing, improving public safety and ensuring access to quality education.

    “It’s been 50 years since President Johnson’s War on Poverty speech, and, unfortunately, poverty continues to plague far too many neighborhoods throughout this country,” said Delia de la Vara, Vice President of the California Region of NCLR. “However, this initiative takes a comprehensive approach to dealing with this challenging issue by investing in many different facets of a community in order to improve the overall quality of life. By creating better jobs, schools and housing, we can begin to put the different puzzle pieces together that will ultimately help get struggling Angelenos back on their feet. We commend the Obama administration for making these critical investments and applaud Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and our Affiliate, the Youth Policy Institute, for the tremendous commitment to revive the city’s struggling neighborhoods.”

    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

    As Congress continues debate on a bill to extend unemployment benefits, several senators are pushing an amendment that would cut off access to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for millions of children and their families. The proposal would eliminate the CTC for hardworking, taxpaying parents who file tax returns using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). ITINs are commonly used by immigrants who lack a Social Security number so they can pay their share of income, Social Security and Medicare taxes. This amendment would disproportionately harm Latinos, including more than four million Hispanic children and their hardworking families who use their tax credits to help put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

    “On the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s speech declaring a war on poverty, it’s appalling that some in Congress are advocating for proposals that would throw millions of children further into poverty,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at NCLR. “These senators are attempting to pit the unemployed and veterans against poor children—a fight that will have no winners. This ill-conceived proposal essentially wages war on the impoverished, who would face greater hunger and hardship should it be approved.”

    “The Senate should find another solution and not cut an effective tool for reducing child poverty,” added Rodriguez. “Hispanic voters are closely watching how this debate unfolds and will not stand for an attack on their children and the most vulnerable in the Latino community.”

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             Contact:
    January 13, 2014                                                                                                              Joseph Rendeiro
                                                                                                                                              (202) 776-1566
                                                                                                                                               jrendeiro@nclr.org


    WASHINGTON, D.C.—As part of an initiative to increase economic activity and expand opportunities in impoverished areas throughout the country, President Obama awarded a federal Promise Zone designation to the city of Los Angeles and their lead partner, the Youth Policy Institute, an NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Affiliate. The city will receive up to $500 million in grants to help revitalize central Los Angeles neighborhoods, which include many predominantly Latino areas, by investing in job creation, creating affordable housing, improving public safety and ensuring access to quality education.

    “It’s been 50 years since President Johnson’s War on Poverty speech, and, unfortunately, poverty continues to plague far too many neighborhoods throughout this country,” said Delia de la Vara, Vice President of the California Region of NCLR. “However, this initiative takes a comprehensive approach to dealing with this challenging issue by investing in many different facets of a community in order to improve the overall quality of life. By creating better jobs, schools and housing, we can begin to put the different puzzle pieces together that will ultimately help get struggling Angelenos back on their feet. We commend the Obama administration for making these critical investments and applaud Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and our Affiliate, the Youth Policy Institute, for the tremendous commitment to revive the city’s struggling neighborhoods.”

    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

    Earlier today, President Obama nominated Maria Contreras-Sweet, founder and board chair of Pro¬América Bank, a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, to head the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Formerly secretary of California’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Contreras-Sweet will be responsible for overseeing the agency’s lending programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs as well as the federal government’s small business contracting programs. While already long overdue, Contreras-Sweet’s confirmation will make her the second Hispanic and eighth woman to serve in President Obama’s second-term cabinet.

    “As one of the most respected leaders in the business and Latino communities of California, Maria Contreras-Sweet is a stellar choice for this post and will bring her very valuable experience and perspective to the president’s cabinet,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza). “With her expertise in both the business and the government sides of banking and lending, the benefit to small business owners and nonprofits, especially in communities of color, and to our economy will be substantial.”

    “Through her work with Pro¬América Bank, Maria Contreras-Sweet has played a critical role in ensuring that Latino entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as Latino-focused nonprofits, receive the necessary capital that they need to get their operations off the ground. Not only has this created countless jobs for Hispanics in Los Angeles, it has also ensured that nonprofits are able to provide their valuable services to the community. We urge the Senate to confirm her nomination as soon as possible,” Murguía added.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       Contact:
    January 16, 2014                                                                       Ricky Garza
                                                                                                     (202) 776-1732
                                                                                                     rgarza@nclr.org


    NCLR JOINS COMMUNITY GROUPS FOR DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY OF SERVICE

    WASHINGTON, D.C.— NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and local nonprofit partners will hold community activities across the nation on Friday, Jan. 17, and Monday, Jan. 20, in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  NCLR AmeriCorps members will join community organizations in California, Illinois, Maryland and Texas that belong to the NCLR Affiliate Network in paying tribute to Dr. King through community service projects and celebrations of civil rights activism.  Members of the public are invited to participate in these activities; a description of each project and contact information are listed below by state and community organization.

    California:

    AltaMed Health Services Corporation—Los Angeles, Calif.
    Monday, January 20
    NCLR AmeriCorps LENS Members and AltaMed Community HealthCorps will participate in the Roosevelt High School Campus Beautification Project, which will bring the community together to renovate the campus.  Volunteers and AmeriCorps Members will help with painting, restoring artwork, gardening and general clean-up.  AmeriCorps Members will also host an information booth and share information about the NCLR AmeriCorps LENS Project and AltaMed services so the community can learn about resources available through their program.
    Contact:  Desiree Zamora Valadez, DZValadez@altamed.org

    MAAC Project—San Diego, Calif.
    Monday, January 20
    NCLR AmeriCorps LENS Members will join the 26th Annual All People’s Celebration Breakfast.  Volunteers will participate in a program planned along with the breakfast to highlight the progress made in civil rights.  The breakfast is being held in a public market area.
    Contact:  Diamond Wallace, Diamond@alliancesd.org

    The Unity Council—Oakland, Calif.
    Monday, January 20
    NCLR AmeriCorps LENS Members will work with Attitudinal Healing Connection of Oakland for the MLK, Make the Dream Real community celebration.  Members are organizing food donations, coordinating volunteers and providing outreach to the community.  On the day of the event, members will facilitate discussions about Dr. King’s teachings on how to be an agent of change.  The event will encourage volunteering, honor community members who are doing exemplary service in the Bay Area, showcase young artistic presentations and provide inspiring speeches by prominent keynote speakers.  This year’s theme is “Dream a System of Racial Equality,” and the event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Shakti Butler of World Trust.
    Contact:  Amadeia Rector, arector@unitycouncil.org

    Youth Policy Institute (YPI)—Los Angeles, Calif.
    Friday, January 17
    The YPI NCLR AmeriCorps LENS program is partnering with the YPI VISTA program in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., to create care packages for homeless people in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles.  Skid Row is one of the largest populated areas of homeless people in the United States, with sidewalks lined with people, tents, carts and cardboard homes.  AmeriCorps Members will gather volunteers and donations—including hygiene products and used clothing—from school sites and donors and distribute them to many organizations in the area.  
    Contact:  Noemi Rodriguez, noemi.rodriguez@ypiusa.org

    Illinois:

    Instituto del Progreso Latino, Gads Hill Center and Association House of Chicago—Chicago, Ill.
    Monday, January 20
    NCLR’s AmeriCorps LENS programs in Chicago, Instituto del Progresso Latino, Gads Hill Center and the Association House of Chicago are partnering for the third annual MLK Day Clothing Drive. AmeriCorps members will collect and sort through donated clothing.  The drive will take place from noon to 6:00 p.m. at Instituto del Progreso Latino, located at 2520 S. Western Ave.  Volunteers will be accepted on the day of event.
    Contact:  Yvonne Nieves, y.nieves@idpl.org

    Maryland:

    Latin American Youth Center – Maryland Multicultural Youth Center—Riverdale, Md.
    Monday, January 20
    NCLR AmeriCorps LENS Members will coordinate a day of activities and special presentations on Martin Luther King, Jr., for Buck Lodge Middle School and Nicholas Oram Middle School in Riverdale, Md.  Members will assist with diversity, conflict resolution and anti-bullying workshops.
    Contact:  Luis Quinones, Arturo@layc.org

    Texas:

    Southwest Key Program—Austin, Texas
    Accepting donations January 17–February 6
    NCLR AmeriCorps LENS Members will hold a winter hat, scarf and glove drive on behalf of the needy in Austin.  The project will be completed during a three-week period at the East Austin College Prep campus, located at 6002 Jain Lane.  The collections will be taken to the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition.
    Contact: Marlen Soto, msoto@eaprep.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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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org


    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Yesterday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers took the first step toward restoring the integrity of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) with the introduction of H.R. 3899, the “Voting Rights Amendment Act.” The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. John Conyers (D–Mich.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R–Wis.) and in the Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–Vt.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In a narrow decision (5–4) last year, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4(b), a provision of the VRA that sets forth a preclearance process for states or municipalities with prevalent histories of voting discrimination.

    “We are very encouraged that a strong bipartisan group of policymakers has stepped up to introduce a measure that will make our Voting Rights Act whole again,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza). “Our nation has made many advancements in civil rights since 1965, yet voter discrimination and voter suppression are unfortunately still part of our current reality. We have seen many examples of this discrimination in states across the nation during the last election, and surely without a strong preclearance provision we would embolden those efforts in this year’s elections.”

    “We are concerned, though, that the bill introduced does not go far enough to stop the kind of voter suppression practices that particularly affect the fastest-growing groups of voters in this country. It is our hope and expectation that this will be addressed as quickly as possible as the bill goes through the congressional process,” 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 follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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