• How an FCC Proposal Could Hurt Latinos

    March 28, 2017 01:25:am

    -- by THI Chairman Gus West, for The Hill:

    January 13, 2016

    There are few things that Latinos consume more than broadcast news. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 86 percent of Latino adults say that on a typical weekday they get their news from television, and nearly 70 percent say they rely on Spanish language news media. Broadcast news continues to be an integral and positive part of Hispanicfamilies’ daily media diet in this country.

    At the Hispanic Institute, we are troubled by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposalto eliminate long-standing broadcast exclusivity rules – rules that protect TV broadcasters so that they are compensated fairly for the redistribution of their content by cable providers. These regulations also allow the FCC to review complaints by broadcasters that cable companies have violated the terms of these agreements. While the Hispanic Institute supports free enterprise, we also advocate for a fair, competitive marketplace and regulations that help our families – not harm them. Unfortunately, Chairman Wheeler’s proposal falls into thelatter category.

    Read the Full Piece

  • AT&T U-Verse Holds Univision Programming Hostage

    March 28, 2017 01:24:am

    -- by Gus West, for The Hill:

    March 10, 2016 

    Once again, the powerful and wealthy pay-TV industry is playing politics with Americans’ access to vital programming in order to pad their pocketbooks. On Friday, March 4, AT&T U-Verse stopped providing Univision’s networks to its millions of subscribers around the United States. While AT&T has agreed to pay market rates to English-language broadcasters, it apparently does not feel it necessary to treat the largest U.S. Spanish-language network, known for its unique relationship and commitment to the Hispanic community, in the same manner. 

    Indeed, viewers who lost service learned very quickly what AT&T thinks of Spanish-language media. In place of Univision’s networks were notices saying “please enjoy” a few other Spanish-language networks that AT&T carries, as if all Spanish-language networks are interchangeable. Meanwhile, there are Spanish-speaking households across the country who are currently blocked from accessing the Univision networks they pay for and depend upon. These subscribers are turning on their televisions and finding that they cannot watch the content they love and need most, simply because AT&T does not value these paying customers' needs and interests. That is not just bad business – it’s bad ethics.

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  • Don't Let Trump's Rhetoric Distract Us

    March 19, 2017 19:12:pm

    -- by Gus West for The Las Vegas Sun, March 16, 2017:

    It’s safe to say that Donald Trump doesn’t have many fans in the Hispanic community.

    ButHispanics shouldn’t take Trump’s election as a personal affront — or a signal that they’re unwelcome in their own land.In fact, polling data show that the United States remains far more united in its commitment totolerance, diversity and fair immigration policy than at any time in our history.

    Those who value these principles can’t afford to be distracted by their private contempt for Trump. On the contrary, now is the time for sober, loyal opposition focused on the legitimate policy threats posed by an erratic president.

    That process starts with the recognition that Trump’s divisive tenor, particularly on immigrationissues, isn’t representative of the nation at large. After all, his share of the popular vote was nearly 3 million short of his opponent Hillary Clinton’s. The “rigged system” that Trump spent much of the campaign decrying is what installed him in the White House.

    Read the Full Piece


  • Federal Panel Rules Some of Texas' Congressional Districts Illegal

    March 19, 2017 19:07:pm

    -- by Ross Ramsey and Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune:

    Some of Texas’ 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act, a panel of federal judgesruled Friday.

    In a long-delayed ruling, the judges ruled 2-1 that the Texas Legislature must redraw the political maps it most recently used for the2016 elections.

    "The Court finds that this evidence persuasively demonstrates that mapdrawers intentionally packed [concentrated certain populations] and cracked [diluted certain populations] on the basis of race (using race as a proxy for voting behavior) with the intent to dilute minority voting strength," U.S. District Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriguez wrote in the majority opinion.

    Specifically, they pointed to Congressional District 23, which stretches from San Antonio to El Paso, takes in most of the Texas-Mexico border and is represented by Republican Will Hurd of Helotes; Congressional District 27, represented by Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi; and Congressional District 35, a Central Texas district represented by Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.

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  • California Chief Justice Protests Immigration Agents "Stalking" Courts

    March 17, 2017 18:50:pm

    -- by Matt Shuham, TPM.com:

    The chief justice of the California Supreme Court wrote to the attorney general and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Thursday, expressing concern about reports that immigration agents were “stalking” courthouses in an effort to target undocumented immigrants for arrest.

    “AsChief Justice of California responsible for the safe and fair delivery of justice in our state, I am deeply concerned about reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote Thursday to Jeff Sessions and John Kelly.

    She added: “Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.”

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  • Trump's Assault on Immigrants Will Seriously Damage the Economy

    March 17, 2017 18:44:pm

    -- by Herman Schwartz, The Nation:

    President Trump has promised to add millions of “good jobs” to the US economy and to raise the gross domestic product by more than 4percent annually, at one point asserting: “I think we can do better than that”—as much as 6 percent. “This is the most pro-growth, pro-jobs,pro-family plan put forth in the history of our country,” he proclaimed.

    At the same time, the president has vowed to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants and to curtail future entries, branding immigrants as “gang members,” “drug dealers,” and “bad hombres.” After his January 27 travel banon people from seven Muslim-majority countries was blocked by the courts, Trump devised a toned-down version applied to six of them—even though his own Department of Homeland Security has concluded that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorism.”

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  • Immigrants Are Going Hungry So They Won't Be Deported

    March 17, 2017 18:34:pm

    -- by Caitlin Dewey, The Washington Post:

    Luisa Fortin sometimes sits up at night, wondering what her clients are eating. She is the SNAP Outreach Coordinator for the Chattanooga Food Bank — but lately she has done less outreaching.

    Her families, working immigrants in northwest Georgia, are spooked by the political climate, Fortin said. Increasingly, she’s being asked to explain how food stamps may impact immigration status, if not to outright cancel family food benefits.

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  • Court-Ordered Texas Congressional Remap Could Put State's Only Swing District in Play Again

    March 17, 2017 18:31:pm

    -- by Jordan Rudner The Dallas Morning News:

    In Texas, where almost all congressional districts are safely in the red or blue column, the 23rd District, stretching from El Paso to San Antonio, represents a rare swing seat.

    When federal judges ruled last weekthat Republican state legislators had deliberately drawn congressional district lines to put minority voters at a disadvantage, they didn't specify what the next steps would be. But one thing is clear for GOP leaders: District 23 is where the stakes are highest.  

    "Thatwas a Latino-performing district," said Michael Li, a Texas redistricting expert at the Brennan Center for Justice. "As the Legislature redrew it, it doesn't seem to be an especially strong district for Latinos, and that could change again."

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  • The Hispanic Institute Launches Bilingual PSA for Get-Out-The-Vote Campaign

    March 07, 2017 03:34:am

    The key to reaching Hispanic voters? Speak both their languages!

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22) -- Today, The Hispanic Institute launched a bilingual public service announcement video encouraging Hispanics to vote in this November's midterm elections. The video -- which transitions seamlessly between English and Spanish -- is part of the Institute's 2014 Get-Out-The-Vote campaign.


    Our Responsibility to Vote! from Aalia Network on Vimeo.


    "America's 54 million Hispanics owe it to themselves and their families to make their voices heard at the polls this November," said Gus West, Board Chair of The Hispanic Institute. "Our video appeals to Hispanic Americans' sense of civic duty -- whatever their preferred language may be."

    Historically, Hispanics have been under-represented politically. That's largely because they've voted at rates 25 percent lower than blacks and whites.

    The Hispanic Institute's video aims to change that. And reaching Hispanics requires bilingual outreach. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts the use of Spanish as the primary language will decrease among Hispanics in the coming years. Already, a quarter of Hispanic Americans speak only English at home.

    The Hispanic Institute is looking to air its Get-Out-The-Vote video in five states with the most competitive elections this fall: Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa.

    "With the mid-term elections just six weeks away, Hispanics have a historic chance to influence policy on the issues that matter most to them," said West. "Our campaign will call on them to seize that opportunity."


    For more information or to schedule an interview with The Hispanic Institute, please contact XiNomara Velazquez Yehuda at (202) 544-8284 or xinomara@thehispanicinstitute.net.

    About The Hispanic InstituteThe Hispanic Institute (THI) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that seeks to promote and grow the participation of Hispanics in civic engagement and the electoral process. To achieve this goal, THI organizes and implements Voter Registration, Voter Education, and Get-Out-The-Vote projects throughout the country. For more information, please visit www.thehispanicinstitute.org.

  • GALEO and The Hispanic Institute Partner to Ensure Strong Latino Voter Turnout in Georgia

    March 07, 2017 03:33:am

    Focusing on voter engagement and mobilization, GALEO and the HispanicInstitute have once again partnered to ensure the Latino electorate in Georgia will turn out to vote in the 2016 election cycle.

    In 2003, the Latino electorate in Georgia only accounted for approximately 10,000 voters. According to a CNN analysis, the Latino electorate in Georgia is 330,000 strong in potential for the presidential election this year. Additionally, a recent analysis of the voter registration data provided by the GeorgiaSecretary of State indicated a surge in minority voter registrations statewide. Latinos lead statewide with an impressive 46.2% voter registration increase since last year (White registration rose 15%, black registration rose 20.5%, and Asian registration rose 40.7%).

    "GALEO is proud to partner again with the Hispanic Institute. As we have seen over the years, the Latino vote continues to grow and engage in Georgia. We have seen tremendous interest from our community about voting and ensuring that our collective voices are respected by policymakers," said Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of GALEO.

    "Georgia is an important state, and we have taken notice of the growth of the Latino electorate. The Hispanic Institute is honored to partner with GALEO to make the Latino vote even stronger," said Gus West, chairman and president of the Hispanic Institute.

    The partnership will focus on support for door-to-door canvassing, live bilingual phone calls to Latino voters and social media/Spanish media outreach.

    About The Hispanic Institute
    The Hispanic Instituteis a 501 (c) 3 designated nonprofit organization. THI provides an effective education forum for an informed and empowered Hispanic America. www.thehispanicinstitute.org.

    About GALEO
    GALEO's mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia. Vision: GALEO strives for a better Georgia where the Latino community is engaged civically and its contributions and concernsare recognized. CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive. www.galeo.org.