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!
This November 2, Vote for Respect!
On November 4, 2008, the Latino community turned out in record numbers to vote. This year, as midterm elections approach, we need to remember that this election matters just as much, if not more.
Our country is enduring tough economic times, and the Hispanic community has been hit particularly hard by the recession. But we are also facing challenges of a different type. While intolerance and discrimination are nothing new to Latinos, our country's anti-Latino sentiment has escalated in recent months. We've seen this with the passage of SB 1070 in Arizona, in discussions from some senators about doing away with birthright citizenship, as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, and from a general, growing resentment toward the Hispanic community. It's time for us to stand up and say that we won't tolerate bigotry or discrimination anymore.
This November 2, your vote is your voice. Tell your elected officials that the Latino community deserves respect, not intolerance.
REGISTER TO VOTE now through the ya es hora (It's Time) campaign website and be counted in this year's election! You can also sign up for updates on the election by texting VOTE to 62571.
Also, check out NCLR's monthly issue updates below and stay informed on the policies that are affecting Latinos this election cycle.
Make your voice heard, and vote for respect.
Assistant Field Coordinator, National Campaigns
This month in...
California and Colorado have adopted the Common Core State Standards, which means that more students of color will be held to higher and more rigorous standards. Seventy-eight percent of Latino and 88% of Black students now reside in states that have adopted the new set of education standards. NCLR is urging policymakers to ensure the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards by supporting rigorous curricula, retaining effective teachers, improving assessments, and strengthening accountability.
The economic crisis has hit hard enough already, but life may become even more difficult for families who are enrolled the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. Last week, Congress slashed billions of dollars in resources for families who need help putting food on the table. NCLR is working with our friends at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) to stop cuts to SNAP benefits. If these cuts go through, a family of four -- who currently receives only about $4.50 per person per day -- will have nearly $60 less in SNAP dollars each month. Please go to FRAC's website and sign on to the letter to Congress.
For the nearly one in ten workers who are out of a job, Labor Day weekend is not a picnic. Congress must do more to create jobs in local communities that are still facing the consequences of the recession. Check out the NCLR blog to read the latest news on jobs and the economy.
On July 30, Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the "Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2010" (H.R. 6029). The bill would help reduce the disproportionate contact that Latino youth have with the juvenile justice system and would protect youth from the dangers of being held in adult jails and lockups. Learn more about NCLR's priorities for juvenile justice reform.
Before Arizona's SB 1070, the federal government had already deputized local police officers across the country through the controversial 287(g) program. Check out NCLR's new report, The Impact of Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on the Latino Community, and find out how this program and laws like it adversely impact the Latino community and decrease public safety.
The loss our nation has sustained from the housing crisis will only be compounded by a second wave of foreclosures that is predicted to hit in the next two years. As the American Dream flounders, remind decision-makers that we have hardly exhausted our foreclosure prevention options, such as mandatory loss mitigation, which have proven to help families hold on to their homes when possible.