Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Wishes


New Years Wishes
Originally uploaded by Pandarine.
Photo by "Pandarine." View her collection at flickr.

For my Puerto Rico Sun friends, happy new year!! Peace, love, joy, happiness, health, wealth and everything good in the new year.

Clarisel

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

SOURCE: Hispanic PR WIRE

Technology

Online Holiday Shopping Not So Feliz for Latinos
(HISPANIC PR WIRE - CONTEXTO LATINO)--Area malls and retail stores are often brimming with holiday shoppers come this time of year, hoping to find the perfect gift for loved ones and friends. But as any hurried shopper can attest, sometimes the crowds at the stores and long lines at the checkout counters can take the "merry" out of the holiday season. That's why many shoppers look for alternative ways to do their shopping that don't involve the hassle of getting in the car and spending all day at the store.
Online retailers offer the convenience of fast shopping from the privacy and comfort of your own home. With the click of a button you can purchase gifts and have them shipped directly to your house. Some will even do the wrapping for you. However, as Latinos and other ethnicities are learning, not all of these online retailers make shopping convenient for those who speak English as a second language.
Common Sense Advisory, Inc., an independent research firm, has researched online communications, customer service practices, and business-to-consumer marketing for online retailers and published a study on the ability of these firms to reach the American Latino community online. Unfortunately the results aren't promising for the Hispanic community.
According to the study, of the top 50 online retailers, only four offer content in Spanish. The results are based on the sites' multicultural content, e-mail and Web forms and whether customer service representatives are able to communicate in both English and Spanish.
Most U.S. companies have yet to market to Latinos and other ethnicities. It seems American companies prefer to operate in English, and have expressed that a targeted campaign to Latinos exceeds their budgets. In addition, e-mail communication is rarely conducted in any language except English. However, some stand-out firms like The Sharper Image and 1-800-Flowers embrace the opportunity to tap the multicultural market.
Regardless of the language spoken with these top online retailers, if a customer doesn't receive feedback from a representative, he or she is likely to leave an e-tailer site with a bad impression -- resulting in lower sales for the company and potentially driving more calls to an already overloaded call center this holiday season. Considering most Latinos will not use a company that doesn't meet their unique needs, the retailer is missing out on considerable sales opportunities by the influential Hispanic market.
According to Common Sense Advisory's lead analyst, Donald A. DePalma, Ph.D., "If you sell consumer goods or services online, it is time to review your strategy for ethnic communities in the United States. E-tailers should reassess multicultural opportunities and needs in this changing economy -- not just for this year's holiday shopping season, but in an effort to become trusted suppliers to a financially powerful demographic."
For more information on Common Sense Advisory and this study, visit http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/latino.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HEALTH
Young Men are Least Likely to use Seat Belts, but Almost 90 Percent of American Adults Wear them Regularly
Rockville, MD--(HISPANIC PR WIRE – US Newswire)--December 23, 2004--Men between the ages of 19 and 29 are the group least likely to wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a car and are three times as likely not to use their seat belt as women of the same age, according to a new data analysis from HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The data, from AHRQ’s 2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, show that 88 percent of people between 16 and 64 years of age were reported to always or nearly always use seat belts. This number is close to the goal set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to increase national seat belt use to 90 percent by the year 2005. Healthy People 2010 set a goal of 92 percent use of seat belts by 2010. However, a little more than 5 percent of people ages 16 to 64 never or seldom use their seat belt, and another 7 percent use their seat belts only sometimes.

Other data about the people who never or seldom use their seat belts:

-- Non-students ages 19 to 21 are four times as likely not to use their seat belts as students of the same age (12 percent compared with 3 percent).

-- People with only high school education were twice as likely not to wear their seat belts as those with some additional education (almost 8 percent compared with almost 4 percent).

-- People living in non-metropolitan areas were more than twice as likely not to wear their seat belts as people living in large metropolitan areas (about 9 percent versus 4 percent).

In addition, of all people ages 16 to 64, those ages 16 to 18 were the group least likely to drive or ride in a car without their seat belt. Only about 3 percent of girls and 4 percent of boys were reported to have never used their seat belt.

Details are in Statistical Brief #62: Characteristics of Persons Who Seldom or Never Wear Seat Belts, 2002, found on the Web at http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/PrintProducts/PrintProd_Detail.asp?ID=655.

MEPS collects information each year from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households about health care use, expenses, access, health status, and quality. MEPS is a unique government survey because of the degree of detail in its data, as well as its ability to link data on health services spending and health insurance to demographic, employment, economic, health status, and other characteristics of individuals and families. General information about MEPS is available at http://www.meps.ahrq.gov.



Monday, December 27, 2004

El Yunque


El Yunque
Originally uploaded by GinoPR.
Stop in and view scenic photos of El Yunque as well as surfer-in-action shots by photographer Gino Ferreira on flickr. Just click on "GinoPR" for more information about Gino.

Urban Train


Urban Train
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
SAN JUAN -- Puerto Ricans are finally boarding the famous "Tren Urbano" with officials offering free service for the first few weeks.

Passengers are definitely taking advantage of the free weekend service of the Urban Train, which runs 11 miles from Santurce to Bayamon. While many passengers are now taking the train to just go out for the day to sightsee, others are using it to go to work, shop and do business.

The train was scheduled to open in 2001, but has faced construction delays, safety problems and rising costs. The price tag has nearly doubled from $1.2 billion to $2.3 billion, with the federal government paying about 40 percent.

The cost of a train ride will be $1.50 single fare, which also includes a connecting bus ride, sometime next month.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

La Pava


La Pava
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Puerto Rico has a new governor-elect: Anibal Acevedo Vilá of the pro-commonwealth Popular Democratic Party. Results will be certified next week, but Acevedo Vilá will be the island's next governor.

Acevedo Vilá has won the recount challenge to the governor's seat. This comes a month and a half after the Nov. 2 elections and a host of legal challenges and controversy.





Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Health

St. Jude Halloween Promotion Raises More Than $3.2 Million to Help Save the Lives of Children Fighting Cancer Worldwide
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Businesses across the country united to help fight childhood cancer through the 13th annual Halloween Promotion benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R) and helped to raise more than $3.2 million. During the month of October, participating establishments recognized a $1 donation to St. Jude by writing the donor's name on a pumpkin-themed wall pinup. Hundreds of thousands of pinups were posted throughout the country on the days leading up to Halloween.
Sponsored by Coors Brewing Company, the month-long promotion involved restaurants and retail outlets. Since the promotion's inception in 1992, more than $24 million has been contributed to the hospital's mission of finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
"Our Halloween Promotion partners did a tremendous job this year," said Richard C. Shadyac, chief operating officer of ALSAC/St. Jude, the fund- raising arm of the hospital. "Each and every one of them embraced this promotion and sold as many pumpkins as they possibly could. We are grateful for their help, as well as for all the customers who took part. Each one of the pumpkins they bought will make a difference in a child's life."
"St. Jude would like to especially thank the top six Halloween Promotion fund-raisers for this year," said John Vranas, vice president of Field Operations at ALSAC/St. Jude. "Buffalo Wild Wings, Casey's General Stores, A & P Supermarkets, Favorite Markets, Giant Food Stores, and Petro Stopping Centers all went above and beyond to make this year's program a success."
Founded in 1873, Coors Brewing Company is the third-largest U.S. brewer and the eighth largest brewer in the world. Coors sells its products in North American, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Coors Light is the company's largest brand and is the seventh largest beer brand in the world. For more information on Coors, go to http://www.coors.com/.
"Coors has been a proud sponsor of the St. Jude Halloween Promotion for 13 years," said Roy Gifford, Coors Director of Channel Marketing, "We are so pleased that we can excite people around the country to help St. Jude continue its fantastic work in research and treatment."
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, TN. St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities throughout the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fund-raising organization. For more information, please visit http://www.stjude.org/ .

Source: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

FYI:

Puerto Rico Sun is listed in the "links directory" of boricua.com.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Source: PRLDEF statement

December 20, 2004
REVIEW OF 2004 ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE
PRLDEF INSTITUTE FOR PUERTO RICAN POLICY

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the PRLDEF Institute for Puerto Rican Policy, 2004 was a year of much activity as our small crew worked tirelessly to promote a positive policy agenda for Puerto Ricans and other Latinos. This included:

Promoting increased civic participation and discussion of critical issues facing Latinos in this Presidential election year by:

● Challenging the television networks’ inaccurate exit poll findings that 44 percent of Latinos voted for the President, when the actual figure was closer to 39 percent and the Democratic challenger probably received the same level of support as he did in the 2000 election. IPR wrote op-eds on the subject in newspapers like the New York Post and participated in forums sponsored by think tanks like Demos.
● Providing and participating in forums for the discussion of critical issues like the production of a New York cable television program on the 2004 election, speaking at such local and national events as the first annual conference of the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute in Los Angeles, the annual policy Institute of the National Puerto Rican Coalition in Orlando, and others.
● Conducting research on Latino voting, such as writing the chapter on New York in the book, Muted Voices: Latinos and the 2000 Election.
● Mobilizing the largest gathering of Puerto Rican community activists from throughout the United States in years by being the leading force behind the convening of Encuentro Boricua 2004, on May 21-22 at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx.
● Convened the first Northeast Regional Meeting of Latino Political Action Committees (PAC) in cooperation with the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, resulting in the creation of the L-PAC Listserv moderated by us.
Promoting an increasing awareness of critical issues facing the nation’s growing Puerto Rican population and its relationship to Puerto Rico by:
● Producing the first ever Atlas of Stateside Puerto Ricans, under contract with the government of Puerto Rico, which documented for the first time that the Stateside Puerto Rican population had become larger than that of Puerto Rico.
● Compiling and disseminating a Latino Datanote that brought attention to the high poverty rate of Stateside Puerto Ricans and compared the socioeconomic status of Stateside with Island Puerto Ricans for the first time.
● Co-edited a new book that presents the first general history of Puerto Ricans in New York City entitled, Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City.
Holding the media accountable to the Latino community by:
● Mobilizing community support and providing technical research support to efforts to challenge the measurement of Latino television audiences by the Nielsen Research Media, including the first study ever conducted analyzing the Nielsen methodology that was conducted by the National Latino Media Council.
● Housing the New York Chapter of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and assisting in its monitoring of the diversity agreements signed by ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.
● Helping the National Hispanic Media Coalition develop their first foundation-funded effort, the Latino Media Policy Consortium, which was funded by the Ford Foundation.
Providing The Latino Policy Forum series for the discussion of critical policy issues affecting the Latino community, such as:
● The “30th Anniversary of the Aspira Consent Decree” and the future of bilingual education in New York, which brought together the original attorneys that brought the Aspira lawsuit in 1972 and bilingual education advocates.
● “Latinos and the New Culture Wars: The Hispanic Threat to this Country’s National Security, Race Relations ... and Other Rightwing Fantasies,” which brought together leading Latino scholars to discuss the implications of two recent book: Huntington’s Who We Are and Vaca’s Presumed Alliance.
Developing a Latino Data Center to provide timely Census and other statistics on Latino trends and to monitor the planning of the 2010 Census, by
● Being an active participant in the Census Bureau’s Census Information Center Program as an officer of the program’s National Steering Committee, and participating in all the national meetings of the Urban Institute, CIC, the State Data Centers and the Racial and Ethnic Advisory Committees to the Census.
● Beta testing new software, such as IBM’s ¡Traducelo Ahora! web-based translation program.
● Being the only organization in the country that has independently monitored a field test for the year 2010 Census, conducting meetings and focus groups with Latino community-based organizations and leaders in the 2004 Queens test site. The result will be a report evaluating the test from a community-based perspective.
● Making presentations on Census issues as they affect Latinos before such organizations as the National Association of Ethnic Studies at the annual meeting in Philadelphia, the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, the Pennsylvania Statewide Latino Coalition as well as local community-based institutions such as Boricua College, the New York State Assembly, and others.
● Conducting a survey of the data needs of Latino community-based organizations on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico that will result in a report to be issued in early 2005 under the working title, Beyond the Cuchifrito Syndrome: Assessing the Data Needs of Latino Nonprofits.
Increasing government accountability to the Latino community by:
● Developing a New York City Latino Municipal Priorities Project as a national pilot, taking advantage of the 2005 Mayoral elections.
● Competing research on an analysis of the responsive of over 40 NYC government agencies to the needs of the Latino community.
● Completing research on the employment of Latinos by New York City government and assessing the state of its workforce diversity.
● Releasing a report on the exclusion of Latinos from the NYC private hospitals’ policymaking positions entitled, Condition Critical: The Absence of Latinos from Policymaking Positions in New York City’s Voluntary Hospitals, by Annette Fuentes. The follow-up to the report will monitor how local, state and federal regulatory agencies have responded to this problem.
● Speaking at various conferences and other forums on the role of policy advocacy, such as the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture held in Kansas City and government bodies such as the New York City Council.
Finally, don’t forget to visit our Policy Library on the Web, it’s at:
http://www.prldef.org/lib/Policy_Library.htm

Thursday, December 16, 2004

CONDITION CRITICAL:
The Absence of Latinos Among Policymakers
in New York City’s Voluntary Hospitals
by Annette Fuentes


(New York: PRLDEF, December 2004), 66 pages

To download a copy of the full report as a PDF file, go to:
http://www.prldef.org/lib/Condition_Critical.pdf

Key Findings
● Six of 13 New York City voluntary hospitals surveyed had no Latinos on their boards of trustees; one hospital had two Latino members (representing only 2% of their trustees) and two hospitals had one Latino member (1% of trustees).
● One of 13 hospitals had a Latino president/CEO; the same hospital had Latinos in 33% of its senior management positions.
● 12 of 13 hospitals had no Latinos in any senior management positions.
● The Greater New York Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York, the two largest industry lobbying/trade groups, had just one Latino each on their boards of trustees, representing 3% and 2% of members, respectively.
● The Greater New York Hospital Association this spring failed to meet the Equal Employment Opportunity standards of the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation, a GNYHA member, because of lack of diversity in 7 of 20 job categories among staff.

Latinos Face Multiple Barriers to Care
● Hospitals routinely fail to follow regulations on providing language interpreter services for Spanish-speaking patients and others with limited English proficiency
● Hospitals fail to provide written materials, such as financial forms, in patients’ language
● Hospitals receive millions in state funds to care for the uninsured but fail to inform patients such assistance is available
● Many hospitals maintain a dual system of care in their specialty practices – a clinic system for poor with resident doctors, and a private practice with attending physicians
● Hospitals serve low percentages of uninsured patients despite regulatory and legal mandates to serve all regardless of ability to pay; Public hospitals continue to be safety net providers for the uninsured and immigrant populations.

This report was developed by the PRLDEF Institute for Puerto Rican Policy and was funded in large part by a grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation.



The Reading Life
By Vivian Lake, Puerto Rico Sun Book Editor

Memoria de mis putas tristes by Gabriel García Márquez Vintage Books, $10.95)This is the first novel from the author in ten years. Anticipation was so feverish that bootlegged copies of the book hit the streets in his native Colombia weeks before the official publication date. A revised ending written at the last minute has made the pirated versions obsolete. When the book finally hit the stores, sales were clocked in at 1,000 volumes per hour. One wonders what his compatriots have to say about this unexpected story.
A few guesses: Offensive, sad, misogynistic, ridiculous. Not words usually associated with the beloved Gabo.
A 90 year-old man wants a last fling with a young virgin for his birthday and falls in "love" for the first time. Not even García Márquez's formidable talent (still very much in evidence here) can make this story poignant or compelling.
Set in the Colombian coastal city of Barranquilla during the 1930's, the first-person narrative introduces the protagonist, a retired journalist, who is looking back at his life and preparing to face death. But first, he wants that virgin. For this he contacts an old friend of his, the madam of a whorehouse with whom he has a long acquaitance: he has never had sex without paying for it; even if the woman wasn't a prostitute, he insisted on paying. The old writer has kept a list of the women he has slept with (including descriptions and a scoring system); the list contains 514 names. He has lived alone, writing his columns, listening to classical music his whole life. He was almost married once, but ditched the bride on their wedding day. The misogyny fairly boils over the margins.
After some difficulty a young girl is found and the assignation made. When he arrives, she is asleep on the bed, nude, her face grossly made up. He doesn't wake her or touch her in any way, but watches her and leaves the next morning. He arranges to meet the girl several nights per week, for the same pathetic charade. She is always nude and asleep, he watches her and occasionally caresses her, nothing more. Eventually he brings his favorite music, books and objects to the room -- ostensibly for her, but she is always asleep.
When the house closes unexpectedly and the madam disappears, the man is bereft. Desperate to see the girl, he walks the streets, looking for her, imagining that he sees her, when he realizes that he wouldn't know what she looked like fully dressed and standing up. He doesn't know her name or the sound of her voice, and tries to imagine it. Then he realizes he doesn't want to hear it. He prefers her silent.
Amazed at his desperation to find her, his agony at not seeing her, he realizes that for the first time in his life he is in love. With what is unclear, since the girl has never even been awake in the same room with him. He knows the girl works her fingers to the bone every day in a factory as the sole support of her family, and he has done nothing to help her, even mocks her to the madam about it. He calls her "Delgadina" (little slender one) but she is described as malnourished by somone else (not that he cares). He does nothing to find out if she gets enough to eat, or to ensure she is getting a fair share of what he pays the madam. He loves her silent somnolence which neither demands nor complains. There is no poignant love story here, just a lingering distaste.
Review of Spanish language edition.

Burning Precinct Puerto Rico: Book Three by Steven Torres (Thomas Dunne Books, $23.95)This is the third novel featuring the no-nonsense Sheriff Luis Gonzalo of Angustias, Puerto Rico, a remote small town in the mountains. The year is 1989 and Sheriff Gonzalo has 25 years on the job. His last duty before an extended vacation is to attend his anniversary celebration in the town square, where he's bored to tears by the speeches and distracted during the ceremony. Then billowing smoke in the distance signals a major fire on the outskirts of town and all hell breaks loose.
When the smoke clears, a family has been killed and their home burned down. The Ortiz family seemed to be farmers, but the violence signals something more serious was going on. The story moves at breakneck speed as Sheriff Gonzalo starts investigating and two dangerous suspects come to light. Other leads indicate the drug trade blighting the cities has moved up into this mountain idyll. But how? The town is so impenetrable even the walkie-talkies don't work steadily. Solidly relentless, the Sheriff follows the investigation through more twists than a daytime soap, as deputies get shot, people disappear and the new mayor continues trys to get him off the case.
An intimate sense of place, vivid and well-devoloped characterization and fast-paced action make this crime-spree a must-read.

To read more of Lake's work, go to www.bookauthority.blogspot.com.

Saturday, December 11, 2004



Originally uploaded by minusbaby.
Photo by "minusbaby."

Check out minusbaby's work at flickr.
Felicidades. In this month of sending holiday wishes, consider sending an e-card of Puerto Rico.

Reminder -- My photos are now part of the photo collection at the Escape to Puerto Rico site.

My work is located under the categories:

Old San Juan
escape.topuertorico.com/postcards/oldsj8.shtml

Churches
escape.topuertorico.com/postcards/church4.shtml

Folklore
escape.topuertorico.com/postcards/folklore3.shtml

Please visit and send an Isla del Encanto e-card.

Thanks.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

In the News

COMING UP ON DEMOCRACY NOW!

Thursday, December 9:
* A look at the contested Puerto Rican election of 2004: The candidate
narrowly leading in last month's governors race is charging the U.S.
government with acting as a colonial ruler for seizing control of
ballot counting in the protracted election. A Boston-based federal judge has
decided to step in and overrule Puerto Rico's Supreme Court on how to
run the recount. Last week 20,000 people protested outside the federal
courthouse in San Juan to denounce the decision of U.S. District Judge
Daniel Dominguez. Some demonstrators held signs reading "Stop the
federal coup, respect Puerto Rico." Gubernatorial candidate Aníbal
Acevedo Vilá said the U.S. judge's move "tortures the island's
residents and holds them hostage."

* A discussion on the future of the nation's labor movement
For more information, www.democracynow.org.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Guitar, maracas, oh my!


Guitar, maracas, oh my!
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
!Feliz Navidad!

Thanks for your support of the Puerto Rico Sun project.

Peace and love always.

Clarisel

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Boricuas in Gotham forum

Community News

IPR Policy Forum

BORICUAS IN GOTHAM
Puerto Ricans in the Making
of Modern New York City

Wednesday, December 8, 2004
6:00 pm (followed by a book signing reception)
PRLDEF Conference Room
99 Hudson Street, 14th Floor
(between Franklin and Leonard Streets in Manhattan; #1 or 9 subways to Franklin St.)

This forum will critically examine issues in the writing of the history of the Puerto Rican community in New York City as presented in the newly-published book, Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City -- Essays in Honor of Dr. Antonia Pantoja (Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2004).
Boricuas in Gotham, edited by Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Angelo Falcón and Félix Matos-Rodríguez, attempts to recover that history from 1945 to the present through the writings of leading scholars in the field. The book’s contributors are: José Cruz (SUNY-Albany), Angelo Falcón (PRLDEF and Columbia University), Fernando Ferrer (NYC Mayoral Candidate), Gabriel Haslip-Viera (City College of New York), Antonia Pantoja, Francisco Rivera-Batiz (Columbia University and the Russell Sage Foundation), Clara Rodriguez (Fordham University), Virginia Sánchez-Korrol (Brooklyn College) and Ana Celia Zentella (University of California-San Diego).
A panel of respected experts has been invited to critique the book and discuss its implications for the Puerto Rican community and New York City. These are:
Javier Castaño (Hoy Newspaper; author of New York Colombiano)
Juan Flores (Hunter College; author of From Bomba to Hip Hop)
Lillian Jimenez (Latino Educational Media Center)
Ed Morales (freelance writer; author of Living in Spanglish)
John Kuo Wei Tchen (New York University; author of New York Before Chinatown)

Lillian Jimenez will be showing clips from her documentary, "Antonia Pantoja: Abriendo Caminos," chronicling the Puerto Rican community's educational and language rights struggles in New York. The documentary features interviews with Dr. Antonia Pantoja and other members of the Puerto Rican community from the 1950s to the early 1970s. It includes rarely seen archival footage and never-before-seen 8mm home movies of the era.
This IPR Policy Forum is organized by the PRLDEF Institute for Puerto Rican Policy, and co-sponsored by the New York Regional Office of the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College, the Latin American and Hispanic Caribbean Studies Program at the City College of New York, and Markus Wiener Publishers.

Please RSVP with Myra Y. Estepa at MEstepa@aol.com or 212-739-7499.
Myra Y. Estepa
Policy Networking Program Coordinator
PRLDEF, Inc.
99 Hudson Street, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10013
(212) 739-7499 (Direct)
(212) 431-4276 (Fax)

"Querer ser libre es empezar a serlo"

Zero Improvement for Hispanic Workers: Hispanic Unemployment Rate Unchanged, Significantly Higher Than National Rate

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/
-- Today the government reported that the Hispanic unemployment rate continued to be disproportionately higher than the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 6.7 percent, with 1.3 million Hispanic Americans looking for work -- a 16 percent increase since President Bush took office.
The national unemployment rate was at 5.4 percent; with today's weak job numbers, 1.2 million private-sector jobs have been lost over the last four years. The average length of unemployment is at a 20-year high, and manufacturing jobs have been lost three months in a row remaining at a 54-year low. Americans working hard to provide for their families need good jobs and a growing economy.
"Today's lackluster jobs report makes clear that the economy has not 'turned the corner,' as President Bush claimed during the campaign," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said. "Under Republican leadership, the manufacturing sector has been devastated, wages have not kept pace with inflation, and we have the worst record of job creation since the Great Depression."
"The Latino unemployment rate did not improve and it remains staggeringly higher than the national rate," Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA), member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said. "The policies of this Administration and the Republican Congress ignore the economic realities facing the hard working Latino community, making matters worse for Latinos, and benefiting the very wealthy at the expense of American workers."
"According to the President's spokesman, the Bush Administration is planning an economic summit in two weeks, to 'force' the President to focus on economic issues," Pelosi said. "Instead of using this summit to push the radical Republican plan to cut retirement benefits, or to discuss the merits of exporting American jobs, Republicans should use that time to come up with a real plan to create good paying jobs here at home, control the deficit, and help the middle class achieve financial security. Bipartisan solutions exist. But first, the Republicans must replace economic theory with real-world strategies that focus on job creation."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an additional 1.3 million people fell out of the middle class and into poverty last year, with paychecks flat and household income down. While annual average incomes remained flat, incomes for Hispanics dropped by 2.6 percent, the only group whose incomes fell last year.
House Democrats have always fought on behalf of Hispanic American working families. The Democrat's Hispanic Agenda, Compromiso Democrata con el Pueblo Latino embodies this commitment. The proposals put forth by House Democrats would create 10 million new jobs, would fully fund education programs so that all our children can reach their potential, including migrant and seasonal worker's children. The Democratic commitment to Latino families is the same that produced 20 million new jobs during the 1990s and that has always defended the interests of the Hispanic community, especially during the last four years of insensitive neglect from Congressional Republicans and President Bush.

Source: Office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

CONTACT: Federico A. de Jesus of the Office of House Democratic Leader
Nancy Pelosi, +1-202-225-0100


Web site: http://democraticleader.house.gov/



Wednesday, December 01, 2004