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National Council of La Raza

NCLR in Action is a monthly communication from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, which provides information on issues of importance to Latinos.  Each email contains one action item, followed by updates on what's happening with other issue areas.  Take a look below and make your voice heard on Capitol Hill!

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Dear Friend,

I turned on the news last night to hear experts agreeing that our economy has "turned the corner."  Did I miss something?  How can that be true when there are still more than five jobseekers for every job opening?  Why is the unemployment rate nearly 10% for the nation overall, with Latinos and Blacks facing rates of more than 12% and 16%, respectively?  When it comes to jobs, our communities remain in a state of emergency.  What's worse is that Congress has yet to pass bold legislation to create jobs this year.

Tell Congress we can wait no longer for jobs!  Urge your representative to pass the "Local Jobs for America Act" (H.R. 4812).

This legislation, introduced by Congressman George Miller (D-CA), would provide critical funding to states, local governments, and nonprofit community-based organizations to save and create one million jobs in communities throughout the country.  If your representative has already cosponsored the "Local Jobs for America Act," urge him or her to push Speaker Pelosi to advance the bill.  If your representative has not signed onto the bill, send a letter asking him or her to do so.

We need to send Congress a message that we want jobs in our communities, for our communities!


Catherine Singley
Policy Analyst, Economic and Employment Policy Project

This month in...

On Friday afternoon, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer disappointed the country by signing SB 1070 into law.  This law makes it a crime to be an undocumented immigrant in Arizona and makes all Latinos suspect in their own communities, regardless of their immigration status.  While this is a setback for the state of Arizona, the debate surrounding this anti-immigrant bill has brought immigration reform back to the forefront of the legislative agenda.  Instead of anti-immigrant state laws, we need to see congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform.  Do your part to move reform forward.  Urge your senator to publicly commit by May 1 to reforming the immigration system in 2010!

NCLR released a survey earlier this month which revealed that slow-moving mortgage servicers responsible for processing mortgage payments and stubborn unemployment rates are major barriers to stemming the tide of preventable foreclosures.  Survey results show that mortgage servicers frequently lose clients' documents, neglect to respond in a timely manner, and send families to foreclosure while their applications are still being reviewed.

Juvenile Justice

Let your senators know that you won't wait another year for reauthorization of juvenile justice law.  Tell them to pass the "Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act (JJDPRA)" (S. 678) this year so Latino youth can get fairer treatment in the juvenile justice system.  JJDPRA would strengthen community-based delinquency prevention and alternatives to detention services, provide stronger guidance to states in reducing the disproportionate contact Latinos have with the juvenile justice system, and protect youth from dangers of incarceration.

Health Care
Health care reform legislation has passed.  Now it's important to take the time to reflect on the past year as well as begin to prepare for the future.  In order to continue to respond to your needs, NCLR has created a short survey.  Please take a moment to let us know your thoughts on the debate and what information would be most useful to you as we move forward.

As the school year comes to an end, students across the country are gearing up for high school graduation.  Unfortunately, not all students have the opportunity to celebrate.  In fact, only 55% of Latino students graduate on time.  Next week, the U.S. Senate will host a hearing called "Graduating America."   Call (202) 224-3121 to tell your senator how important it is to increase graduation rates for Latino students!

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