What Is the State of Your Union?
Last night, NCLR watched with the rest of the country as President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. For the second year, the president focused on our economic future, stressing the need for job creation and a strengthened economy that will restore the nation’s competitiveness.
NCLR agrees with President Obama’s call for responsible investments by Congress that repair our economy and put the nation and future generations of Americans on sustainable economic footing. But decisions made by the Congress and the administration should not come at the cost of strong investments in the Latino community.
We urge President Obama to pursue a legislative agenda that provides real solutions to the challenges that plague our nation. Tell us what you think about the president’s address. What is the State of YOUR Union?
Text UNION + your name + your comments to 62571. We’ll post as many responses as we can to the NCLR website.
Our thoughts on…
Jobs and the Economy
We applaud the president’s call to invest in science, education, and technology to jump-start economic growth, but innovation relies on more than a few inventors. True American competitiveness depends on fair access to quality workforce preparation and jobs. Directing investments in transportation to the communities that need them most is a smart way to tackle unemployment in the short term and sow the seeds for a stronger economy in the long term.
NCLR agrees with President Obama that to be globally competitive, we must adequately prepare all American children to contribute to our economy. Latinos are a growing proportion of the future workforce, thus federal education reform must incentivize states to improve the quality of education for Hispanic students. Achieving this goal requires that schools be held accountable for holding all children to high academic standards and preparing them for success in college and the increasingly global economy. However, these reforms cannot stand alone. Congress and the Obama administration must support these efforts with strong investments in programs that support Latino student achievement. Without these reforms, the United States will continue to shortchange children and put American competiveness at risk.
We agree with President Obama: Congress should not repeal the health care reform legislation that passed last year, but rather improve upon it. While not perfect, the law has already expanded health coverage for many Hispanics and contains other important provisions that stand to improve Latino health outcomes, including funding for community health centers, investment in community-based prevention efforts, and diversification of the health care workforce. What can we do to make health care reform work for Latinos? Fully fund the programs that will make a difference for the community. Click here for a list of priorities that NCLR will be monitoring when the president releases his budget on February 14.
As the 112th Congress gets started, we need to continue urging members of Congress to reject the politics of division that have dominated the immigration debate and work together to find real solutions to fix our broken immigration system. We must stand together to reject federal and state proposals that further marginalize the immigrant community and instead work toward a fair and workable immigration system that restores the rule of law.
Latino youth need fair and equal treatment in the juvenile justice system. The president should give attention to and stand firmly
behind polices that reduce the disproportionate contact of Latino youth with the juvenile justice system and that provide support for culturally and linguistically competent community-based prevention services and alternatives to detention. The president and Congress should oppose overly punitive anti-gang policies and instead support policies that dissuade gang involvement by using supportive prevention programs that take into account youth’s environments.
Families have not recovered from mass foreclosures. Troubled borrowers continue to be shuffled into a dual-track system that processes loan modification papers while their foreclosure forms are signed off at a quicker pace. The Latino community, along with all Americans, still seeks relief from unsustainable loans, a market rife with fraud, and blatant discrepancies. We have run out of time, and we hope that 2011 brings opportunities for creditworthy families to buy a home, better accountability measures for loan servicers, and a more effective foreclosure prevention strategy.