Archive for June, 2011

Democrats losing favor with some Latinos

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) Early this year, Brian Sandoval and Susana Martinez made history. He became Nevada’s first Latino governor. In New Mexico, she became the country’s first Latina governor.

Just as striking as their breakthrough is their party affiliation: Both are Republicans.

For many in the GOP, the twin victories last November, along with the election of Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, marked an important step in efforts to mend the party’s frayed ties with Latino voters, which have suffered over the last several years of hard-line talk on immigration.

For Democrats, the election of the three was something else: a warning sign at a time when Latino support has grown increasingly vital to the party’s success, especially in the battleground states of the Rocky Mountains and desert Southwest.

Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada and Michael Bennet of Colorado each withstood the 2010 Republican wave thanks in good part to Latino support. President Obama is counting on strong Latino turnout to hold on to Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico — states he won in the last White House race — and to expand the 2012 competition to Arizona and, maybe, Texas and Georgia.

Full story…

Talks Progress Between Hispanic and Women Farmers and the USDA

Monday, June 13th, 2011

(Hispanic Business) USDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Fred Pfaeffle met with Hispanic and women farmers this week regarding discrimination that may have occurred over loans and other assistance between 1981 and 2000. Hispanic women farmers claim that loans and other assistance routinely went to whites.

On Feb. 25, the USDA announced it would pay up to $50,000 each to Hispanic farmers who can prove wrongful treatment. Pfaeffle held a series of meetings with farmers to discuss the process that has been put in place to resolve the claims, according to a USDA press release. There are no fees for people to participate in the program and it is voluntary.

Pfaeffle said the program offers alternatives to litigation and provides “at least $1.3 billion in compensation and up to $160 million in farm debt relief to eligible Hispanic and women farmers.”

“The Obama administration is committed to resolving all claims of past discrimination at USDA, so we can close this sad chapter in the department’s history,” Pfaeffle said. “We want to make sure that any Hispanic or women farmer or rancher who alleges discrimination is aware of this option to come forward, to have his or her claims heard and to participate in a process to receive compensation.”

Full story…

Obama to be welcomed in Puerto Rico but rare visit expected to help with US Hispanics

Monday, June 13th, 2011

(Washington Post) Cheering crowds in the steamy tropical heat are expected Tuesday when President Barack Obama makes a rare presidential visit to Puerto Rico.

But the nearly 4 million U.S. citizens who live on the island and can’t vote in the general election aren’t really the point.

Organizers are hoping this trip, the first in decades by a president to the U.S. Caribbean territory, will generate good will on the mainland, particularly in Florida, where the fast-growing Hispanic population will be essential to Obama’s re-election effort in 2012.

“The past decade has witnessed a staggering growth in the Puerto Rican community,” said Andres W. Lopez, a member of the Democratic Central Committee who helped organize the visit. “They have become the quintessential battleground community in the nation’s battleground state.”

There are almost a million more Puerto Ricans on the mainland than on the island. They long had been concentrated in the Northeast, but the 2010 census shows that Florida is in second place, with about 841,000, mostly in the Orlando area. These transplants tend to be younger and more educated than their counterparts in established communities in places such as Hartford, Conn., and New York. As more recent arrivals they also tend to have closer ties to family back home.

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African Americans Are The Most Likely To Recommend

Monday, June 13th, 2011

(Customer Experience Matters) In a previous post, we examined the companies that consumers were most and least likely to recommend. Now let’s look at how likely consumers with different ethnicity are to recommend companies to their friends and family. Our analysis covers 12 industries.

Here are some observations of the data:

In 10 of the 12 industries, African American are the most likely to recommend companies to friends and relatives.
In 11 of the industries, Caucasians are the least likely to recommend companies. The only exception: They are the most likely to recommend Investment Firms.
Hispanics are the most likely to recommend TV Service Providers and Hotels.
Half of the industries have an ethnic gap of more than five percentage points: Internet Service Providers, TV Service Providers, Investment Firms, Credit Card Issuers, Health Plans, and Retailers.

Full story…

Secretary of Labor: Economic Recovery Needs to Include Black Community

Monday, June 13th, 2011

(The Root) In a blog post on Work in Progress, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Labor, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis tackles unemployment and its impact on “vulnerable demographic populations.” She discusses the unacceptably high rate of unemployment among blacks in general, which is at 16 percent, and black teens, which is at 40.7 percent.

Those factors were outlined in the report The Black Labor Force in the Recovery, which was released last week. Read an excerpt of what Solis has to say about what black communities are facing in the job market. What do you think should be done to help decrease the disparity?

The unemployment rate for black workers remains unacceptably high at 16.2%. African American workers are more likely to work in the public sector than either white or Latino workers, so they’ve faced more of the burden of the continuing loss of state and local government jobs. Black employment took the largest hit in manufacturing, financial activities, wholesale/retail trade, transportation/warehousing, and construction. But industries like transportation, warehousing and health care employ a large share of black workers and are growing. We need to match the skills needed in these areas to more African American workers, and then match those people to the growing number of jobs in those industries.

Full story…

Diversity Study: Pay Gap Still Exists for Some

Monday, June 13th, 2011

(Main St) A new report casts light on the state of diversity in the workplace, finding ethnicity, sexuality and disability all continue to make a difference when it comes to earning power and opportunity for advancement.

The CareerBuilder survey of more than 1,300 workers in the country’s 20 largest population centers found a number of associations between demographics and career success. Disabled workers, for instance, were most likely to report annual earnings below $50,000, with 58% of that group earning salaries in the lowest range. They were followed by women, 52% of whom fell into that earning group, and Hispanics at 51%. Asians were least likely to fall into the group, with three out of four Asian workers making more than $50,000 a year.

At the end of the spectrum, LGBT workers dominated, with 18% of those surveyed reporting a salary more than $100,000. That barely edged out “nondiverse workers,” defined as straight white males, 17% of whom earn six figures.

Full story…

Seattle Supreme Court Overturns Case in Which Prosecutor Used Racist Remarks

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

(BET) A Seattle man will be re-tried after the Seattle Supreme Court found the prosecutor in the case guilty of “prosecutorial misconduct.”

In an 8-1 ruling, the Supreme Court found that James Konat, a King County deputy prosecutor “made a blatant and inappropriate appeal to racial prejudice and undermined the credibility of African-American witnesses based on their race,” in the 2007 conviction of Kevin L. Monday, Jr., according to the Seattle Times.

Monday was convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree assault, and sentenced to 64 years in prison for a 2006 gang-related shooting. Seattle police claimed that he fired at least 10 shots at Francisco Roche Green. He was also accused of firing shots at a vehicle, consequently wounding the driver and a passenger.

In questioning the witnesses Konat made references to the “PO-leese,” and questioned about a street “code” which he claimed prevented them from talking to the police. In his closing argument to jurors Konat said, “the code is Black folk don’t testify against Black folk. You don’t snitch to the police.”

Full story…

Breaking Barriers at Harvard Law School

Friday, June 10th, 2011

(Sampan) Considered as an “A list celebrity” in the world of law, Jeannie Suk recently became the first Asian American woman to receive tenure at Harvard Law School. At a young age, Suk was already passionate about becoming a lawyer. Her passion to become a lawyer was intrigued by the idea of arguing cases in front of a jury.

Suk was born in Seoul, Korea. When her father was given the opportunity to attend a medical training program in the U.S., her family immigrated here. Suk commented, “I’ve never totally understood how one undertakes the momentous decision to start a life in a new country.” Fortunately for Suk’s family, her family did not immigrant to the U.S. alone. Instead, they came along with her father’s classmates, where they shared a common goal and provided support for each other – forming a community. Now, Suk’s father is a physician and owns his own private practice; her mother manages the business in Flushing, New York.

Full story…

Latino groups push Obama on ozone standards

Friday, June 10th, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) On the heels of a scathing critique by former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt on Wednesday, President Obama faced pressure from a burgeoning environmental justice coalition demanding stronger action on ozone, a component of smog, in predominantly Latino communities.

Fourteen groups sent a letter to Obama expressing dismay at missed opportunities and delays in bringing permissible ozone levels down to between 60 and 70 parts per billion:

The EPA estimates that the strongest standard of 60 parts per billion would avoid as many as 12,000 deaths and 58,000 asthma attacks per year. Implementing a weaker standard would mean more lives lost and more asthma attacks –- costs that Latinos would disproportionately bear.

The Latino community has faced many challenges over the past few years. We’ve seen missed opportunities, delays and more. With lives at stake, we hope that we won’t see yet another burden if polluting industries succeed in blocking EPA’s efforts to protect us from smog.

Full story…

Phoenix Latino groups praise Supreme Court in-state tuition decision

Friday, June 10th, 2011

( Phoenix Latino civil rights groups Chicanos Unidos Arizona, Take Back Aztlán, and Nuestros Reconquistos are very happy that the United States Supreme Court has decided that undocumented migrants can be eligible for in-state tuition. This will be eligible for all three groups to continue with their in-state scholarship program for undocumented Latinos.

“We have an annual $10,000 scholarship that many politicians and educational leaders contribute to,” says Jorge Serrano of Take Back Aztlán. “However, without in-state tuition rates, this scholarship wouldn’t even be possible.”

“It is only fair that many young Latinos who have attended the same high school for years be allowed in-state tuition rates. This is great news,” says Cecilia Maldonado of Chicanos Unidos Arizona.

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