December 5, 2016
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Congress Must Make Investments In Latino Community Says La Raza

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA OFFERS A GOOD BUDGET BLUEPRINT, BUT CONGRESS MUST ACT TO MAKE INVESTMENTS IN LATINO COMMUNITY, SAYS NCLR

 

Washington, DC-President Obama's 2011 budget calls for important job creation measures and economic recovery initiatives that Congress must target toward Latino communities according to NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. The budget proposal seeks to strike a balance between achieving fiscal responsibility and supporting important and needed investments in housing, labor, middle class relief, and health care. While the budget serves as an important starting point, Congress must now follow through by making investments in areas that matter to Latinos and refining proposals to specifically impact the hardest-hit communities to remedy damaging economic disparities and spur a strong economic recovery.

"NCLR applauds the Obama administration for prioritizing the needs of vulnerable and middle-class families," said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. "The budget plan focuses much-needed attention on jobs and recovery, which is on the minds of many Latino families. Now it's up to Congress to ensure that these measures reach Latinos and communities that were hit hard by the recession."

NCLR urges Congress to approve the following measures:

  • $88 million for housing counseling and $113 million for foreclosure counseling to help the 2.3 million Black and Latino families estimated to lose their homes to foreclosure in 2009-2012
  • $250 million to support affordable lending in low-income communities through targeted support to Community Development Financial Institutions that will open up crucial lines of credit to small businesses and nonprofits struggling in this recession-the largest employers in Latino communities
  • $261 million to support job training and encourage states to improve services, including $85 million for green job training and $40 million for transitional jobs programs to help individuals with multiple barriers to employment
  • $10.6 billion in community college funding over ten years to launch a new American Graduation Initiative that will graduate five million more students by 2020, and making permanent the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's increase in the Pell Grant maximum award
  • $18 million to promote citizenship and expand English learning tools
  • 11% increase for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to help implement the new hate crimes law
  • $12 million to the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division to prevent employers from illegally classifying employees as independent contractors to avoid paying them fair wages (see NCLR's report on the state of Latino workers for more information on this subject)
  • Increased funding for direct child care programs and dependent care tax credits; tax deductions for small businesses to start retirement programs for their employees and expand the saver's tax credit, thereby reaching low-income workers; and a hiring payroll tax credit per employee that would benefit small businesses and nonprofits

NCLR also urges Congress to do more to invest in Latinos in the following areas:

  • NCLR is disappointed in the proposed $10 million cut to fair housing programs at a time when predatory lending and scams are rampant among communities of color.
  • The administration has developed an education budget proposal that is closely aligned with their goals for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). However, the success of this proposal greatly depends on the ability of Congress to move quickly to reauthorize ESEA with the necessary improvements to secure the success of Latino and English language learner (ELL) children. Lawmakers must implement targeted measures to address the needs of young children in light of the proposed budget cuts that eliminated the Even Start Program and Parent Centers. Until Congress and the administration work together to clearly define how specific programs will meet the needs of Latino and ELL children, the budget will only be an empty promise for our nation's future.

For more information, visit www.nclr.org | http://www.facebook.com/nationalcounciloflaraza | http://www.myspace.com/nclr2008 | http://twitter.com/nclr.

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STORY TAGS: la raza, hispanic, spanish, latin, latino, latina, congress, community, investment, stimulus, money, funding, grant, recovery, black radio network, minority news, budget, 2010, obama administration, liberal, spending



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