Let’s Focus on What Matters

By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Photo: Gage Skidmore

It seems that we in the Latino community are not exempt from this election’s silly season. This week Buzzfeed published an article stating that the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA)—a 25-year-old coalition of the 40 largest Latino organizations in the country—was “kicking out” Presente, an online organization that aims to amplify Latino voices, because of its attack this week on HUD Secretary Julián Castro. This is false. And apparently reporting from the future, kos of Daily Kos took this unsubstantiated and unconfirmed rumor as fact and even ascribed motivations to why it was done: “old school” Latino organizations objecting to criticism of a Latino leader.

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We Support Sen. Murphy’s Accountability Amendment to the Education Bill

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The Senate is considering a bill to rewrite the Education and Secondary Education Act. While we support these efforts, the bill in its current form falls short in a crucial area: accountability. Robust accountability must be included in a final rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act if we are to live up to the collective promise of ensuring quality education for all kids. Read the letter the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda sent to Congress, which we signed.

Latino Leaders Dismayed by President’s Immigration Delay, Will Push Community to Vote in November

Imm_Presser_post1Today, we joined the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda for a press conference to express our disappointment with President Obama’s recent decision to delay immigration action and to reveal the latest Congressional immigration scorecard. Our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, as well as our Vice President for Policy, Eric Rodriguez, represented NCLR. Latino voter engagement was also a major focus of the event as we gear up for the mid-term elections, which are just eight weeks away. If you haven’t registered yet, do it now and go to the polls in November!

Watch the full press event below. We’ve also included higlights from the event after the video.

Keeping Job-Seekers Out of the Cold

The 1.3 million Americans struggling to find work are one step closer to getting relief today after the Senate approved a procedural vote that will allow debate to begin over whether to extend unemployment insurance through March 31, 2014.  If the bipartisan measure is passed, it will reinstate unemployment benefits that ran out shortly after Christmas Day.

As the Senate prepared for the vote and the proceeding debate, President Obama gathered with reporters, advocates and supporters at the White House to make the case for why Congress should pass the extension immediately. NCLR was also in attendance at the White House event, which featured our very own Alicia Criado, who was asked to join the president on stage.

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Alicia Criado (second row from bottom, first from right) represented NCLR at today’s White House event.

Watch video of the full remarks below:

Even as the overall unemployment rate inched down at the end of 2013, more than 37.3 percent of the nearly 11 million unemployed had been out of work for 27 weeks or longer or long-term unemployed.  While Hispanics make up 18.4 percent of the long-term unemployed, they are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to apply for unemployment insurance benefits or to receive them once they apply.  Nevertheless, the extension is still critical in the Latino community, which as of November 2013 has an 8.7 percent unemployment rate. That’s higher than the national average of 7 percent.

In a letter to Senators, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda highlighted the unemployment problem in the Latino community and asked Senators to help Latinos by passing an extension of benefits. It was signed by NCLR Vice President Eric Rodriguez, and Javier Palomarez, both co-chairs of the NHLA Economic Empowerment Policy Committee.

From the letter:

“With Latino unemployment at 8.7 percent, above the national average of 7 percent, Latinos know the hardships of living through periods of unemployment. A timely extension of unemployment insurance benefits will be critical for many Americans, who have already been squeezed by multiple rounds of federal budget cuts in recent years, leading to less support for job training, child care, rental assistance, and education.”

While this first vote was a positive step forward, passage is by no means certain. We need your help to make sure Congress knows the Latino community is watching and waiting for action. Join our Mobile Action Network today by texting JOBS to 62571 and you’ll be signed up for all the latest news and information you need about issues impacting working families.

Tell the Senate to Confirm Tom Perez

Perez_photo2The country needs a labor secretary and we think Tom Perez is the best man for the job. That’s why today we’re calling on senators to stop the unwarranted attacks and filibuster threats against the president’s nominee. We’re joining our Affiliate, Casa de Maryland, and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) in a march and a press conference today to make sure we’re heard loud and clear.

Tomorrow, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is scheduled to vote on Perez’ nomination and we need your help in making sure those senators know we support him.

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