Tag Archives: Latino community

Rep. Luis Gutierrez speaks on why he got arrested

NBC Latino

Illinois Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez said he will not give up on comprehensive immigration reform, even if it means getting arrested.

“We are not going away, the movement is stronger and more determined than ever,” Gutierrez said on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki.”

Gutierrez said the momentum for immigration reform was in the streets and in events such as the “National Day for Dignity and Respect,” where thousands of immigration supporters around the country gathered to advocate for immigration reform. Then on Oct. 8 supporters culminated the events in a rally in Washington D.C., where Gutierrez and seven other members of the House of Representatives were arrested.

RELATED: Photos: National Day for Dignity and Respect puts immigration in the spotlight

“The immigrant community isn’t giving up,” said Gutierrez, noting that everyday about 2,000 Latinos turn 18, making them eligible to vote.

He also added that he knew of about 40 to 50 Republicans who…

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Meet David Alvarez and Mike Aguirre, two Latinos running for mayor of San Diego

NBC Latino

After Bob Filner resigned from his position as mayor of San Diego, Calif., on August 30 following an onslaught of sexual harassment allegations, 11 candidates qualified for the ballot to run for mayor in the November 19 special election.

Two of those candidates, David Alvarez and Mike Aguirre, are Latinos who have prior experience as elected office holders in the city of 1.3 million people that sits adjacent to Tijuana, Mexico. Currently, 28.3 percent of the city’s population is Latino.

Alvarez and Aguirre have the opportunity to become the first Latino mayor of San Diego since California became a state. Despite former Assembly member Nathan Fletcher’s emergence as a front-runner, the presence of two Latinos among the top four candidates for mayor in the country’s eighth largest city points to the growing influence of the Latino community.

Learn about the two Latino mayoral contenders:

Name: David Alvarez

Age: …

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Gay Boricua boxer Orlando Cruz will wear rainbow shorts, pink gloves in upcoming fight

NBC Latino

Puerto Rican Featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz – the first in his sport to come out as openly gay – will support two causes as he steps into the ring in Las Vegas in an upcoming bout against  Orlando Salido as part of the Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Marquez event on October 12.

Cruz will wear rainbow-colored boxing trunks and clothes in support of the LGBT community, and he will pink and black boxing gloves in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The rainbow-colored trunks and the pink gloves are all by Everlast.

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The 32-year-old boxer came out in 2012, and will marry his partner Jose Manuel on November 16, according to Yahoo News.

When Cruz publicly came out as a gay man, he told Yahoo Sport’s Kevin Iole: “I was scared,” saying he had to see a psychologist to help him work through his feelings.

“I was worried about other boxers…

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Explaining health care law to mixed-status families, young people

NBC Latino

In Kern County, California, the Community Health Initiative aims to educate Latinos on the new health care exchanges by partnering with various family resource centers where community members are already seeking help. The organization trains Certified Enrollment Counselors to help families through the application process by explaining their options and gathering required documentation. They also hope to address any confusion regarding the new law and prepare for any possible scams.

“There are always people who seek to take advantage of our community. It’s definitely something that we intend to tackle,” says Edgar Aguilar, program manager. He stresses that those seeking to enroll should know that they should never be charged any fee for assistance and that enrollment counselors are not allowed to ask for any financial information, such as credit card numbers or bank numbers,

Aguilar says that another challenge is educating mixed-status families. “A big fear is something called…

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Opinion: When jokes feed into “hyper-sexual Latino” stereotypes

NBC Latino

The exchange between Mexican actor Diego Luna and Conan O’Brien on the Tonight Show illustrates how Latinos often reaffirm stereotypes that are damaging to the community, particularly among Latinas.

During the interview, Mr. Luna and O’Brien talked about the changing demographics of the country and how speaking Spanish would be a necessity in the future. Luna said, “47 million people speak Spanish today and we like having sex, so multiply that [by] eight…” and you get the picture of where the country is headed.

It was an unfortunate quip in an otherwise funny conversation, but it underscored that even Latinos succumb to believing that we are hyper-sexual beings by virtue of our ethnicity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the teenage pregnancy rate remains two times higher than the rate for non-Hispanic teens in 2011. But does this mean Latinos are more sexual than others? Not likely.

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[Video] Familia es Familia PSA

“Marriage matters for the same reasons to all people, gay or straight. And it’s our responsibility to support inclusion of our gay and lesbian friends and family members in the important institution of marriage. I’m happy to be a part of the marriage movement and to continue the push for all loving and committed couples’ freedom to marry.” -Dolores Huerta Civil Rights Leader

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Latinas: It’s time to give ourselves some credit!

Latinas are making things happen.  Despite strong traditional gender norms and expectations Latinas are putting themselves and the Latino community on the map.  Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that by 2020 the rate of Latinas in the workforce will increase to 56.1 %.  Economic empowerment is necessary in order for women to lead independent lives.  Latinas are outnumbering Latino males in higher education. With our growing participation in higher education and in the labor force we can expect to see higher incomes and greater participation in professional fields by Latinas. We still have to work hard to overcome systemic racism, poverty, and cultural gender expectations, but the fact that we are willing to fight against these social barriers without compromising our cultural heritage and individuality is praise worthy. We are gaining momentum and from now on there is no stopping it. On March 8, 2013 the organization Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) unveiled The Economic Status of Latinas Report. Not only does this report give information about Latinas in the U.S., it also highlights positive findings about Latina women, putting special focus on Latinas in California. The findings of this report and other studies on the Latina population show the progress that we are making in our lives and communities. Today, we can proudly proclaim to be an unquestionable force in America.

Latina numbers are growing in higher education

Although the numbers of Latinas in public schools do not translate into the same number of Latinas who enter four year universities, there are now more Latinas enrolling in college than before. This is a step forward.  Many would like to argue that our culture has a large impact on the lack of enrollment in institutes of higher education, but the fact is that our socioeconomic status and school systems play a greater role. The fact that we are attending four year universities more than before is indicative of the progressive changes we are willing make for ourselves, our communities and the country.  Pursuing higher education is only a positive gain for us and our community. With growing numbers of Latino males and females pursuing higher education we are creating a positive trend in our communities which can positively influence and inform future generations of Latinos who previously did not have access to a support system or mentors to help them navigate through the college and financial aid application process. 

What we have to address: Many young Latinos attend public schools where test scores are more important than preparing students to attend college.  Latinas who are the most affected by the recession are ones with low education.  Our school system is failing us. There is no reason why public schools should prepare some students better than others for college.  As citizens of the U.S. we should be afforded quality public education and be prepared for high income earning careers. 

Latinas play an important role in the economic sector

Latinas are entrepreneurs and our businesses have a great success rate.  Before the current recession Latina owned businesses in California generated $13 billion in sales and employed over 700,000 workers.  By 2020 our increasing numbers in the workforce combined with our growing numbers in higher education should positively impact the economic sector of the U.S. 

What we have to address: the fact that Latina women especially in California earn 42 cents for every dollar earned by a white male.  If we work as much as another person and if we meet the demands of our contracts then there should be no reason why we are earning 42 cents to another person’s dollar. We must demand equal pay for equal work and endorse elected officials who support such measures. 

Latinas are part of the changing demographic of the U.S political sector

In the history of the United States the last election saw a larger amount of women elected to government positions.  Latinas were no exception. Our numbers as elected officials are growing.  According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), 5,850 Latinos currently serve as elected officials in the U.S. in all levels of government. 9 Latinos serve in state wide offices, including the Office of the Governor.  Let’s not forget that a proud Latina, Sonia Sotomayor, serves as a Supreme Court Justice.

Let’s give ourselves some credit because,

“[i]n 1996, Latino elected officials served in 34 states; by 2010, that number had
increased to 43. Between 1996 and 2010, the number of Latina elected officials
grew faster than the number of male Latino officials the number of Latinas
increased by 105%, compared to 37% for male Latinos.  As a result, the Latina
share of all Latino elected officials grew from 24% in 1996 to 32% in 2010” (NALEO).

Also, our numbers as voters matter. Total numbers of Latino voters have been increasing.  The fact is that most of the Latino population is not of voting age yet, it is up to our generation to influence our younger generations to be active in the political arena.  If the last presidential election demonstrated anything, it is that we are an electoral power. There is no reason to stop now. 

What we need to address:  The numbers are still not representative of our population. Our community needs more political involvement. Our voices do matter. It’s time we begin to represent ourselves politically and our population numbers should reflect our representation in government. Let’s get involved in taking office either locally, nationally or internationally. Let’s vote! More importantly, let’s motivate and educate younger Latino/a generations about the importance of civic participation.

Let’s be the generation that leads the Latino community to reach its full potential.  Latinas are an emerging powerhouse. Our multicultural perspectives can enlighten U.S. policies both domestically and internationally.  Let’s change the negative perceptions that for so long have been used as a scapegoat for politicians who are not worried about investing in our communities.  Let’s strive for fair representation in our government and equal opportunities both in the economic and in the educational sector.  Let’s stop giving fuel to racist and prejudiced allegations against our Hispanic culture and get involved. The numbers don’t lie. Latinas are making a name for themselves. We are not the kind of women who wait for things to change; we are taking charge of our lives and making this happen, not only for ourselves and our communities, but for our country as well. We are no longer sitting on the side lines. We  are the movers and shakers of this generation and for many to come. Let’s give credit where credit is due.  

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