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    September 17, 2015      Camila Gallardo
        (305) 215-4259

    Congressional Inaction Threatens to Keep Latino Working Families in Poverty

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Yesterday the U.S. Census Bureau released new data that showed that income and poverty rates in the Latino community barely budged from last year. Hispanic households had a median income of $42,491 in 2014, a number just slightly higher than 2013, when the median income was $40,337. Data from the Census showed a slight drop in the poverty rate among Latinos to 23.6 percent in 2014 from 24.7 percent the previous year. However, the rate remains too high and is almost twice that of the general population (14.8 percent).

    While there is no statistical difference in the data reported in 2013 and 2014, the newer Census numbers demonstrate that Latinos continue to face real challenges to financial progress and that too many in our community, including 5.7 million children, continue to live in poverty,” said Samantha Vargas Poppe, Associate Director, Policy Analysis Center, NCLR.

    With poverty disproportionately burdening the Latino community, prevention policies are vital. These include the federal minimum wage and refundable tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). However, Congress has yet to take action to boost the federal minimum wage or make permanent the 2009 expansion of the EITC and CTC set to expire in 2017. The enhanced EITC and CTC helped lift 10 million Americans out of poverty in 2014. If these improvements are not maintained, roughly five million working Latino families will lose an average of $1,000 each and 16 million Americans will be pushed into or deeper into poverty. In addition, raising the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour would help boost the income of about 8.5 million Latino workers.

    “Congress has an opportunity to act on several fronts that will have an indelible impact on helping lift Latinos and other Americans out of poverty. Raising the minimum wage and saving tax credits for working families would place them on a smoother path to gaining financial security,” continued Vargas Poppe.

    Find out more about the latest data from the U.S. Census and what it reveals about Latinos in an NCLR fact sheet.

    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, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             Contact:
    September 22, 2015   Camila Gallardo
        (305) 215-4259

    NCLR Marks National Voter Registration Day with Message to Eligible Latinos:
    Defeat bigotry on the campaign trail—register and vote!

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, as the nation commemorates National Voter Registration Day, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is urging eligible Latinos across the United States to register early online or at local government agencies or participating community-based organizations, including many NCLR Affiliates. NCLR will be launching its full voter registration campaign this fall.

    “Latinos are part of the fabric of America, and our active participation helps ensure the electorate accurately reflects the nation and those elected lead responsibly. Our voices are critical, particularly as we see the presidential campaign season unfold, with some candidates intent on demonizing the Latino community and awakening a virulent nativist streak in our society. The best way to defend our community from bigotry, and to be true to our nation’s motto, E Pluribus Unum, is to register and vote,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Deputy Vice President, NCLR.

    Between 2008 and 2012, the number of Latinos registered to vote grew by two million (from 11.6 million to 13.7 million). According to recent projections, that number is expected to grow to 16.7 million in 2016. Part of this growth is fueled by the nearly one million Latino citizens turning 18 every year, and community efforts to register them and other Latino citizens of voting age. Nearly 10 million Latino voting-age citizens were unregistered in 2012, making voter registration efforts a critical component in the electoral growth of this community.

    “We have already proven to be a critical factor in the winning equation for the White House and many races across the country, and our growth potential is still considerable. Bringing even more eligible Latinos onto the voter rolls and into the voting booth will strengthen the message that our community needs to be engaged meaningfully by candidates, and that candidates need to provide solutions rather than incite hatred if they want to win elections,” continued Martínez-De-Castro.

    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, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       Contact:
    September 23, 2015   Kathy Mimberg
        (202) 776-1714

    San Antonio forum focuses on innovative efforts throughout nation to build healthy communities

    SAN ANTONIO—Public health experts, community leaders and government officials came together at the NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Health Summit in San Antonio September 22–23 to discuss ways to improve Latino health outcomes and address how the built environment—the places we live, work and play—affect our health. Speakers shared ideas and best practices on such issues as helping those newly insured under the Affordable Care Act find medical care, working with grocery stores to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and advocating for healthier options in housing and schools.

    “The places where we live affect our quality of life—particularly our mental and physical health. A neighborhood that has no sidewalks or parks, or that has poor air quality, for example, discourages physical activity and can damage health. We must empower communities to address barriers to good health so more people can exercise, eat right and get the medical care they need,” said Delia Pompa, Senior Vice President, Programs, NCLR.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), how communities are designed and built contributes to public health challenges like asthma, obesity and heart disease, all prevalent conditions among Latinos. Communities that advocate for changes such as requiring school bus drivers to turn off their engines when idlingcan improve air quality and reduce medical emergencies for people with asthma. Neighborhoods with sidewalks and bike trails offer more opportunities for exercise and make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

    San Antonio, which is nearly two-thirds Latino, is located in Bexar County, where CDC data show that 65 percent of the adults are overweight or obese. To bring down obesity levels, the city has launched a bike share program, worked with restaurants to develop healthier menu items, installed more fitness equipment in public spaces and strengthened physical education resources in schools. From 2010 to 2012, obesity rates in San Antonio and Bexar County dropped from 35.1 percent in 2010 to 28.5 percent.

    “We commend the work of our colleagues here in San Antonio for helping residents become healthier and more active. Change is hard, but communities that create opportunities to engage people in good nutrition and regular exercise are going to see better health outcomes. Through the NCLR Health Summit, we were able to spotlight real-world examples of community advocacy that have changed people’s lives for the better,” said Pompa.

    Participants heard from Cara James, Director of the Office of Minority Health, Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Jose Plaza, National Director for Latino Engagement, Enroll America, among others. In addition to sessions on grassroots and digital advocacy, representatives from community-based organizations shared lessons learned in how to provide health information and services to Latinos. Among other topics, community health care experts presented on the following:

    • Using the promotores de salud (community health workers) model to effectively educate Latinos on such issues as diabetes, nutrition and depression
    • Working with school communities to positively impact health, emphasizing Latino cultural strengths and providing services to the entire family
    • Being culturally sensitive and appropriate by offering information and services in multiple languages and presenting it in ways that these diverse communities can identify with

    Please visit the NCLR website to learn more about Latino health and nutrition and access the Health Summit agenda and the newly released “NCLR 2015 Profiles of Latino Health” series. For more information or to interview one of NCLR’s health experts, please contact Kathy Mimberg at or (202) 776-1714.

    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 or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.


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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA                             Contacto:
    23 de septiembre de 2015   Gaby Gomez
        (202) 776-1732

    El foro de San Antonio remarcó los esfuerzos innovadores que se realizan en toda la nación para construir comunidades saludables

    SAN ANTONIO—Expertos, líderes y funcionarios gubernamentales especializados en el tema de la salud pública se reunieron en San Antonio, durante los días 22 y 23 de septiembre, para la conferencia Cumbre NCLR sobre la Salud a fin de encontrar mejoras para la salud de los latinos y tratar el tema sobre las edificaciones del entorno --los lugares donde vivimos, trabajamos y jugamos. Los disertantes compartieron ideas y las mejores prácticas que existen para ayudar a que las personas que recientemente se inscribieron en el sistema de seguros de la Ley de Asistencia Asequible encuentren atención médica, se aumenten las posibilidades de conseguir tiendas que vendan frutas y verduras frescas, y abogar por opciones más saludables para las viviendas y las escuelas de la población hispana.

    "Los lugares donde vivimos afectan nuestra calidad de vida, sobre todo nuestra salud mental y física. Un barrio donde no hay aceras ni parques o tiene mala calidad del aire, desalienta la actividad física de sus residentes y hasta puede dañar su salud. Debemos tratar de capacitar mejor las comunidades para que solucionen las barreras existentes que impiden a que un número mayor de personas puedan comer bien, hacer ejercicios físicos y obtener la atención médica que necesitan ", dijo Delia Pompa, Vicepresidenta Sénior de Programas de NCLR.

    Según los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés), el mal diseño y la mala construcción de las comunidades son factores que inciden en la salud pública agravando problemas relacionados con el asma, la obesidad y las enfermedades cardiacas y son todas estas condiciones las que prevalecen entre los latinos. Las comunidades que abogan la implementación de cambios, por ejemplo, exigir que los conductores de autobuses escolares apaguen los motores de los buses cuando no están en marcha, puesto que ese cambio mejoraría la calidad del aire y reduciría las emergencias médicas para los asmáticos. Los barrios con aceras y senderos para bicicletas ofrecen más oportunidades para el ejercicio físico y facilitan a que la gente pueda mantener un peso saludable y reducir los riesgos referentes a enfermedades cardiacas, accidentes cerebro-vasculares y diabetes.

    San Antonio -- donde cerca de dos tercios de sus residentes son hispanos -- está situada en el condado de Bexar, y los datos de los CDC muestran que el 65% de los adultos de esta área tienen sobrepeso o son obesos. Para reducir los niveles de obesidad, la ciudad puso en marcha un programa compartido para el uso de bicicletas, trabajó con los restaurantes para que ofrecieran menús de comida más saludable, instaló más equipos de gimnasia en los espacios públicos y recomendó que se enfatizara la educación física en las escuelas. Desde 2010 a 2012, las tasas de obesidad en San Antonio y el condado de Bexar disminuyeron de 35,1% en 2010 a 28,5% en 2012.

    "Elogiamos el trabajo de nuestros colegas aquí en San Antonio por haber ayudado a que los residentes lleven una vida más saludable y más activa. El cambio es duro, pero las comunidades que hacen participar a la gente para que se alimenten mejor y que con regularidad hagan ejercicios físicos logran mejorar su salud. A través de la Cumbre de Salud NCLR, hemos podido enfatizar ejemplos del mundo real que ayudan a que las comunidades mejoren la vida de sus residentes", dijo Pompa.

    Durante el foro Cara James, Directora de la Oficina de Salud de las Minorías, Centro de los Servicios de Medicaid y Medicare, del Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos de los Estados Unidos, y José Plaza, Director Nacional de Latino Engagement, Enroll America, se dirigieron a la audiencia. Además de las sesiones del foro donde se mostraron materiales digitales sobre sistemas de apoyo y defensa de las comunidades, los representantes de organizaciones de base comunitaria compartieron con el público lecciones aprendidas sobre la manera de proporcionar información sobre la salud y los servicios a la población hispana. Entre otros temas, los expertos en el cuidado de la salud de la comunidad presentaron lo siguiente:

    • Utilizando el modelo para los promotores de salud (trabajadores de la salud de la comunidad), educar de manera eficaz a los latinos sobre temas tales como la diabetes, la nutrición y la depresión.
    • Trabajar con las escuelas de la comunidad para enseñarles cómo mejorar la salud, enfatizando temas positivos de la cultura de los hispanos y proveer servicios a toda la familia.
    • Ofrecer información y servicios en varios idiomas, apropiados a la sensibilidad y cultura de la población, y presentar los temas de manera que estas diversas comunidades puedan identificarse

    Por favor, visite el sitio web de NCLR (NCLR website) para aprender más sobre la salud y la nutrición de los latinos y acceder a la agenda de la Cumbre de la Salud y a la serie recientemente publicada "NCLR 2015 Profiles of Latino Health". Para obtener más información o para entrevistar a uno de los expertos en salud de NCLR, por favor póngase en contacto con Gaby Gomez en o (202) 776-1732.

    El Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés) –la organización nacional más grande de apoyo y defensa de los derechos civiles de los hispanos en los Estados Unidos– trabaja para mejorar las oportunidades de los estadounidenses hispanos. Para más información sobre NCLR, visite o síganos en Facebook y Twitter.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        Contact:
    September 25, 2015   Camila Gallardo
        (305) 215-4259

    Don’t Let Important Tax Credits Expire
    Groups, Miami Mayor call for action on expiring tax credits that help nearly half of
    Miami-Dade County residents

    MIAMI—Today NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado joined together at a noon press conference to urge Congress to protect tax credits for working families that affect 46 percent of Miami-Dade County residents. Expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are set to expire in 2017, harming the economic well-being of one million low-income Floridians. In 2012, the EITC added $5.1 billion to Florida’s economy and roughly $1 billion to Miami-Dade County’s, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

    If Congress lets key provisions of these pro-work tax credits expire at the end of 2017:

    • Five million Latino working families with nine million children stand to lose an average of more than $1,000 each.
    • Fifty million Americans, including 25 million children, will lose part or all of their EITC or CTC.
    • More than one million Florida families would fall into, or deeper into, poverty.

    Together, the CTC and EITC help lift 9.4 million people out of poverty every year, including five million children—more than one million in Florida. Married couples and families with more than two children would lose part of their EITC if not renewed, and many newlyweds would face a stiff marriage penalty (or a bigger marriage penalty). A married couple with three children and earnings of $35,000 would see their EITC shrink by roughly $1,200.

    “We must urge Congress to act in the best interests of America’s hardworking families. Letting these critical tax credits expire will pull the financial rug right from under millions of families, pushing many of them into poverty," said Jared Nordlund, Florida Senior Strategist, NCLR.

    Congress will soon vote to make certain tax credits for businesses permanent, including the Research and Development credit. The groups today called on Congress to pair any action on tax credits for business with those for working families, providing Americans more security about their financial futures.

    “As a business leader, I am glad to hear that our elected officials are thinking ahead because a number of important tax credits for businesses need to be renewed before they expire at the end of this year. As Senators Rubio and Nelson consider making some of these tax credits permanent, they should do the same for tax credits that help working families who are just as important to strengthening our economy,” said Liliam M. López, President and CEO of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

    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 or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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