NACOPRW National Conference New York City 2017

Hostos Community College
500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

Click Here for more info




Memorial Announcement

Vivian

We are sad to announce that Vivian Ortiz passed away on April 18th, 2017

The Philadelphia Chapter of NACOPRW would like to extend our sincerest & deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community of our former Chapter President and NACOPRW National President, Vivian Ortiz.

She was a respected leader, a woman of motivation, a positive mentor and role model to all women, specifically of the Puerto Rican community and culture.

She dedicated over 10 years of service to The National Conference of Puerto Rican Women and has become an icon of her times.

We take with us Vivian's strength, as she fought for so long and hard, wisdom, as she enjoyed speaking of tackling the weaknesses of our community around women's issues, loyalty, as all knew they could count on Vivan to be an open mind and a listening ear, and her passion and dedication to the human race, as she loved all who she welcomed into her space.

Vivian, you will forever be loved and missed.
Thank you for your service.





Memorial Announcement

Carmen

We are sad to announce that Carmen Delgado Votaw passed away on February 18, 2017 at her home in Bethesda, MD.

The Memorial service will be held at the National Cathedral at 10AM Friday, March 24, 2017. 3101 Wisconsin Ave. Washington, DC

As an alternative in case you want to send flowers, please consider donations to the Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington, DC GalaTheatre.org or the Maryland Women's Heritage Center

mdwomensheritagecenter.publishpath.com or any of the other causes you may have had in common with Carmen.

View Carmen's Memorial Video below...



Memorial video for Carmen Delgado Votaw above





NACOPRW National Conference Milwaukee 2016

Please wait for pictures from the NACOPRW National Conference Milwaukee 2016 to load...

Pictures above from
NACOPRW National Conference 2016
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
October 28-30, 2016
Rising to Excellence through Health,
Education and Economic Development

For more info, click here.


Vision 2020 Letter from the Chair

January 2017 Letter from the Chair

Suddenly it's 2017 and our target year of 2020 seems not so far away. That, of course, will be the time we not only celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, but also when we present a public report card on our national progress toward women's economic, political and social equality in the United States. We will examine especially the issue of Shared Leadership among women and men in business and government, as a benchmark in the long process to complete the unfinished business of women's equality. With fewer than 1,100 days between now and 2020, the time will go quickly.

Vision 2020's role as a national convener will be demonstrated again on January 30th when we host a strategy session to increase women's participation in the political process - as voters and as leaders in public service - with some of our major national allied organizations. The dual focus will be on encouraging more women to run for public office and inspiring all eligible women to vote in the 2020 election.

The session will be conducted at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Co-sponsoring with Vision 2020 are:
The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University
The League of Women Voters of the United States
Rock the Vote
Nonprofit VOTE
The Voter Participation Center

Also participating are leaders of more than 15 other national and regional allied organizations. Our goal here is to work collaboratively in a model of collective impact, supporting each other's missions and achieving greater positive change together.

Over the holidays, I read some interesting articles and commentaries on women's progress (or lack thereof), and I commend to you two of those, both from the New York Times. The first, in the category of good news, is "A Talent War for Women," - yes, for. It describes the efforts of tech companies to recruit more women to their boards. With mounting pressure for gender diversity in their corporate governance, those companies' efforts provide an important incentive and opportunity for women in the STEM fields. The other, a not so good news commentary, is a news analysis by Susan Chira, editor on gender issues for the Times, "What Women Lost." Chira underscores the real and potential negative impacts of the election results on the women's movement and the questions raised by those results about women's solidarity, since a majority of white women voted for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.

There are many messages in this column that demonstrate the importance of building bridges among women - across differences of age, race, class, political affiliation, etc. - and I believe that's where Vision 2020 comes in.

We have the opportunity and the challenge now to work harder and faster together toward the year 2020, to identify shared goals and visions and to find common ground. We need to learn from and listen to each other to understand and exercise the power we have or, as I have said many times over the years, to think and act like the majority we are.

As we work together to achieve Shared Leadership in business and government, beginning with the January 30 session and continuing through 2020, there will be many ways for each of you to participate. We invite your ideas and progress reports on your efforts.

One change coming this year will be the Vision 2020 communications format. We will soon introduce a monthly newsletter filled with information from Vision 2020 Delegates and Allies across the nation. This Letter from the Chair will go away, but you can't escape me entirely. My message will be included in each newsletter.

Here's to high energy in 2017!


Women's March on Washington DC

For more info on the Womens march in Washington DC, click here.

January 21st Women's March on Washington. Please read and share!
1. The national organizers have announced that they DO HAVE A PERMIT! The march will commence at the intersection of Independence Ave and Third St SW, near the U.S. Capitol, at 10:00am on January 21. Details about speakers will be forthcoming

2. Why We March: The organizers are seeking input on "Why We March" - go to the official website at womensmarch.com Within the next few weeks, they will release and we will share the results

3. Call to Action: We need everyone to spread the word about this event. We are on a time crunch to fill the second bus; Payment is needed to do this (see bus info below)

4. NWI Delegation Information * There are two US Coachways busses leaving from Portage as well as scheduled Rally busses scheduled to leave from Valpo, Merrillville, and Michigan City. See bus info below. * hoosierwomen@gmail.com is the new email established for future communication about March (other than US Coachways bus information) * Congressional Contacts: We hope to connect with Senator Donnelly and Congressman Visclosky - please fill free to contact them yourselves and encourage them to meet with us * Identifiable Wearables: At today's meet-up, we decided that we agreed on Purple hats/ gloves and flags/banners with a NWI logo. More information about this will be forthcoming * Sponsors and donations: We are seeking sponsoring groups to assist with these hats, gloves, banners, and/or with the end-off dinner, and with donations to offset the bus costs for those that cannot afford the full amount. Please let me (Rebecca) know if you or others can help and we will work out the logistics.

5. Bus and Travel Information US Coachways Bus Info: Two 55 passenger buses Roundtrip cost = $120

To reserve a spot email Rebecca Reiner @ rebreiner@yahoo.com AND send payment IN FULL via PayPal to rebreiner@yahoo.com or Mail check to her at 408 Lafayette, Valparaiso, IN.

Depart: 7:00 PM Friday, January 20, from 5201 US Highway 6, Portage Send-off dinner at same site from 5:45 PM - 6:45 PM Drive through the night - stopping for breakfast around 6:30 AM Arrive: 9:00 AM Saturday, January 21 at march site, Washington DC Leave: 6:00 PM Saturday, January 21 Washington DC Stop for dinner around 7:30 PM - drive through the night Arrive: 9:00 AM Sunday, January 22, 5201 US Highway 6 Portage at 7:00 PM Friday January 20 and returning to same location by Sunday morning January 22. o confirm your reservation on the

Rally Bus Information: http://rallybus.net/womens-march-on-Washington There are buses listed as leaving from Merrillville, Valpo, and Michigan City - Roundtrip cost is currently between $195 -$205 All are listed as leaving on Friday Jan. 20 at 7PM and returning by Sunday morning.

6. Additional Links: Please post your statements of support for this march on the following links and/or on your local papers and with your own network of contacts.

Facebook Page is https://www.facebook.com/Womens-March-on-Washington-1338822066131069/ Twitter: Women's March (@womensmarch) | Twitter

Women's March (@womensmarch) | Twitter The latest Tweets from Women's March (@womensmarch). On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, D.C. f...

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/womensmarch

Sister Marches: Women's March on Washington- Indianapolis https://www.facebook.com/events/337517963271272/
Women's March on Washington - Chicago - https://facebook.com/groups/1274648525889466/

Statement from PRESENTE.ORG

PRESENTE.ORG WELCOMES HUD'S "MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS TO DATE FOR DISTRESSED NOTES SALES PROGRAM"

Click here to go to Presente.org for more information.

Statement from Presente.org’s Managing Director, Matt Nelson:

"While much remains to be done, this is an important victory for Latinx homeowners and others impacted by the predatory practices of big Wall Street banks and it wouldn’t have happened without fierce and courageous advocacy — including from thousands of Presente.org members — that challenged and held accountable a prominent Latino leader. Now, more than ever, government and private sector leaders must be aggressively held accountable to the interests of Latinxs, Black, and other marginalized communities. We know from experience that if we do not demand this accountability, our interests will not be represented. We also know that when we do advocate for our interests — directly, forcefully, and persistently — we can achieve great progress."

“Our efforts to shine a spotlight on Secretary Castro and demand change at HUD made us the subject of attacks and smears questioning our motives and our identity as a Latinx advocacy organization. This victory shows that our strategy was effective and has resulted in policy that will better protect Latino homeowners, rather than allowing Wall Street to extract our wealth and accelerate foreclosures, displacement, and gentrification that destroys our communities.”

"Our campaign worked. It was the right strategy at the right time. We took a lot of heat. But it was worth it. We applaud Secretary Castro for being an accountable leader and responding to the voices of our members and others who demanded that HUD stop selling our homes to Wall Street."

The changes HUD announced are listed here. In April 2016, Presente.org and a coalition of 11 housing advocacy, progressive, and community organizations organized a campaign at DontSellOurHomesToWallStreet.org calling on Sec. Julian Castro to institute urgent reforms to HUD's mortgage sales. The petition gained more than 117,000 signatures urging that loans be sold to nonprofit and mission-driven organizations and qualified buyers meeting higher standards.

Presente.org is the nation’s largest online Latino organizing group; advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture. Click here to go to Presente.org for more information.


Action Alert: Puerto Rico is not for sale!

Tell Congress that Puerto Rico is Not for Sale!

This week the House Natural Resources Committee is expected to consider H.R. 4900, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). The bill was crafted to address the ongoing economic turmoil on the island, but tucked into section 405 of the bill is language that would allow the federal government to sell thousands of acres of public lands in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

A bill that would deny all Americans the right to visit Vieques National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico is unacceptable.

Vieques is the largest natural refuge in the Caribbean and should be treasured rather than put up for sale.

Contact Members of Congress and urge them to drop the proposal to sell thousands of acres of federal land in Vieques, Puerto Rico!

Click here for more information.


A Message From The New National President

National President

Dear NACOPRW Sisters, Partners and Friends,

Welcome to the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc., website. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a great New Year filled with many opportunities to collaborate and engage everyone in our vision and mission of NACOPRW.

I am grateful and honored to serve as your National President for 2016 and 2017. Currently, we as Puerto Ricans and Latina Women face enormous challenges in our local communities and in our island of Puerto Rico, currently undergoing its most significant financial crisis.

Our former President, Lourdes Hernandez and previous predecessors are women who have led us by examples of integrity and truth. It is my intent to continue to maintain our high standards of professionalism, advocacy and service that is NACOPRW’s legacy.

We hope to make this year one that marks and sets the course for the next century.


Wanda Gordils, NACOPRW National President

At a national level, we will:

  1. Advocate for the abused women who suffer from domestic and other violence by engaging in dialogue.

  2. Continue to support equal pay for women and family-leave policies to promote gender equality in the workplace.

  3. Continue our collaboration with the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA’s) Latinas Represent initiative to educate and encourage women to seek political office at both the national and local level.

  4. Advocate for and participate in initiatives at both the National and local level to create awareness and identify solutions to help Puerto Rico through is financial crisis in order to prevent further devastation to the economic and social fabric of the island.

Internally, we will:

  1. Enhance our communication mechanisms to allow information to quickly flow from the National to our local chapters and its members.

  2. Continue to provide board and chapter development that supports our chapter leadership and increases membership. We hope to engage our next generation of Latinas and develop their capacity to become the future leaders of NACOPRW.

  3. Support local chapters as they provide scholarships opportunities for Latinas pursuing their formal education. This year we named two scholarships in honor of Edna Laverdi and Carmen-Delgado Votaw, two NACOPRW trailblazers who are nationally known Civil Rights advocates for Latinas and youth.

Please save the date to attend our National Conference to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from October 28 - 30, 2016. Our theme this year, “Rising to Excellence Through Health, Education and Economic Development” promises to provide the framework for a very exciting and enriching conference and will allow us to connect with our newly formed chapter in Milwaukee Wisconsin, their members and the local community.

I am proud of our collective accomplishments and want to thank our outgoing National President Lourdes Hernandez and her Executive Committee for their commitment and hard work to position NACOPRW to grow and to stay committed to our agenda as NACOPRW sisters.

As always, there remains more work to be done. I ask you, our friends and colleagues to join us in our effort. With your unwavering support, NACOPRW will continue to build our membership, achieve our mission and vision while empowering Latina/Women and Puerto Rican’s in our perspective communities. I will humbly serve as your National President for 2016-2017 and will promise you to stay committed and focused to what is important to us as a National organization.

Yours in leadership and service,

Wanda Gordils
NACOPRW National President



Press Release

NPRC


BROAD COALITION OF PUERTO RICAN LEADERS CALLS ON SENATE TO OPPOSE HOUSE BILL TO ADDRESS PUERTO RICO'S FISCAL CRISIS

Rejects Bill as Undemocratic and Says Majority of Island Residents Oppose a Fiscal Control Board

Washington, D.C. --- A broad coalition of prominent Puerto Rican civil society leaders and organizations, representing all sides of the ideological and political spectrum, today issued an open letter to U.S. Senators calling on them to oppose the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (the so-called PROMESA bill, HR 5278), which passed the House of Representatives several weeks ago.

The coalition denounced PROMESA saying "it revokes the Puerto Rican people's basic, fundamental right to democratic self-governance, by imposing a federally-appointed "oversight board" composed of unelected Washington bureaucrats to govern the island without any accountability nor the consent of the governed."

The coalition criticized efforts by Senate leadership to pass the bill on a cloture vote without properly having a thorough debate and the possibility to introduce amendments.

The coalition includes important national organizations and leaders such as the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC), the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators and Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award winner Willie Colon.

Text of the letter below:

Open letter from Broad Coalition of Puerto Rican Leaders to the United States Senate

Dear Senators,

We, the undersigned Puerto Rican leaders urge you to oppose cloture on the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (the so-called PROMESA bill, HR 5278), and to oppose it outright if the bill is not amended in a manner that respects the rights of the 3.5 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico and up to 8 million US citizens of Puerto Rican heritage living in the mainland United States.

The PROMESA bill revokes the Puerto Rican people's basic, fundamental right to democratic self-governance, by imposing a federally-appointed "oversight board" composed of unelected Washington bureaucrats to govern the island without any accountability nor the consent of the governed.

As reflected by several polls, the majority of Puerto Ricans oppose PROMESA. In fact, for most PROMESA represents a setback to the island's democratic developments. Unfortunately the White House and Congressional leaders are not in tune with the political reality of the island.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle claim that this bill will simply impose an "oversight board" but the details of the bill show that this Board would control nearly every aspect of the local government and will not promote nor incentivize any kind of economic development in the island. Also, politicians have said many times that if this bill does not pass the way it is written, "a humanitarian crisis will ensue in the island". We, as leaders of the community, who have many of our loved ones in the island, can attest that this is misleading and that is only being used maliciously to force senators to support this bill without proper debate. Truth is, this bill does not tackle properly the fiscal crisis the island is going through and it could make matters worse.

It is bad enough that Congress would trample on the basic rights of its people. That Congress would circumvent the democratic process and to do so at the behest of the White House and Congressional leaders - thus depriving lawmakers of the chance to amend the bill in any way that might improve it - is profoundly un-American. Any bill, and especially one with such consequential, long-term implications for tens of millions of American citizens, must be subjected to the full legislative process.

Puerto Ricans want a move towards full self-government not a limitation of democracy. They want to see an end to the colonial rule, not its perpetuation. We urge you to support regular order by opposing cloture for this bill, and to take a stand for the rule of law by voting "no" if it is not sufficiently amended.

Thank you for your time and consideration, we look forward to being a resource to you as you consider this issue further.

Sincerely,

Alfonso Aguilar Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles Rafael Fantauzzi National Puerto Rican Coalition

Willie Colon International Musician and multi-Grammy winner Fernando Negron 1030 La Grande Radio Host

Alejandro Manzanares StandUp for Puerto Rico Carlos Guzman Puerto Rican Leadership Council

Rev. Carlos Perez-Toro Catholic Priest Lydia Valencia Puerto Rican Congress of New Jersey

Luis Figueroa Boricua Ahora Es, FL Juan Arturo Morales Epiko Magazine

Betsy Franceschini Ex-PRFAA Director, FL Dr. Keren Riquelme Una Sola Voz National Coalition

Carlos R. Mercader Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles Peter Vivaldi Florida Community Leader

William J. Diaz National Association of Hispanic Journalists Alejandro Negron Media personality

Ronald Blackburn-Moreno National ASPIRA, Inc.

Victor Pineda Puerto Rican Entrepreneur, Florida

National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Puerto Rican Action Initiative

The Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles works to engage the Latino community on conservative causes and garner greater Latino support for our issues and conservative candidates. We encourage the conservative movement to support Latino conservative groups, leaders, candidates, and policies that are welcoming of Latino immigrants.

For more info: Contact: media@latino-partnership.org

Tel: 202-770-0938

Latino-partnership.org


A Message From The Former National President

National President

December 31, 2015

Dear NACOPRW members:

As I reflect on my time as President, it is rewarding to see that all we have accomplished is due to the highly committed and talented women of NACOPRW. It was an honor to have served as your National President for the past two years. This has been a very rewarding journey and I have learned and grown from this experience. It is amazing how quickly time passes.

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to my Executive Committee for their hard work and support, to the National Board and all of our Chapter members for their continued support and commitment to NACOPRW.

We are very proud of our new addition to NACOPRW, the Milwaukee chapter. We embrace their energy and enthusiasm and we look forward to many good things to come from their chapter.

The continuous financial crisis in Puerto Rico has been a top priority for NACOPRW. We have partnered with many Latino organizations to advocate in Washington D.C. with Congress and the Senate, and with our local chapter government officials, to bring this issue to the forefront of policy agendas. We hope that our efforts will bring relief to our island in 2016.

This year we lost a dear sister, Edna Laverdi. A founding member of NACOPRW, Edna contributed greatly to the history of our organization. At our National Summit in November, we had an opportunity to honor both Edna Laverdi and Carmen Delgado Votaw for their accomplishments and commitment to Latina women and youth.

I wish our new National President, Wanda Gordils and her Executive Committee much success. I am certain that under Wanda’s leadership, NACOPRW will continue to grow and prosper. I will continue to support and work with our Executive Committee in 2016.

Muchisimas gracias for this great honor and I wish you all the very best in the New Year!

Con cariño,

Lourdes Hernandez
NACOPRW National President



July 16, 2015

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

 

Re: Recommendations for Addressing Puerto Rico’s Financial Crisis

Dear Mr. President:

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 39 of the most prominent Latino organizations representing the nation’s 57 million Latinos, respectfully urges you to immediately address the financial crisis confronting Puerto Rico today. The challenges facing Puerto Rico’s economy not only affect the 3.5 million United States citizens who live on the island or the almost 5 million Puerto Ricans who live within the fifty states, it affects all Latinos and indeed, the nation itself. The NHLA is alarmed by Puerto Rico’s rapidly deteriorating economy and the inaction of the federal government.

As you are aware Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced Puerto Rico’s $73 billion is “unpayable” under the current repayment timelines. Puerto Rico has the political will to address this challenge. What it lacks are the tools necessary to provide a full array of options to stabilize its economy and provide an orderly path to pay its creditors. Without federal intervention Puerto Rico will be unable to stem the loss of jobs that has caused the greatest migration in its territorial history. Ignoring the problem will be an expensive mistake. The NHLA is convinced that only the federal government can give Puerto Rico the tools necessary to solve the crisis. The painful reforms and cost cutting measures already taken by Puerto Rico’s authorities on their own will not be able to solve the problem. Puerto Rico requires federal support that goes beyond technical assistance at this time.

In the short term Puerto Rico should be provided the following options:

• Rectification of Congressional oversight by allowing bankruptcy protection if the Island chooses that route. The need to restructure the Island’s debt especially that of its government authorities could be addressed under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and passage of the Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act (H.R. 870) would permit just that.

• Direct White House communication to Congressional members in support of legislation that could provide the tools for Puerto Rico to restructure its debt.

• Immediate Executive Action especially in the areas of the Treasury, Homeland Security, and Transportation that maximizes the options available to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt.

• Creation of a comprehensive economic development plan by the White House by way of a special task force on Puerto Rico or via the deliberations of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. The White House is particularly poised to bring the best minds together, including leaders from the financial and business sectors on the Island, to address the executive policies that impede an orderly solution to Puerto Rico’s debt service, as well as the authority to convene both creditors and the government of Puerto Rico for an orderly resolution of this crisis.

• Preserve and enhance federal tax incentives designed to attract businesses and investments to Puerto Rico.

• Exemption for Puerto Rico from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (also known as the Jones Act) which unfairly increases the prices of imports and exports to and from Puerto Rico with requirements that all goods transported on the seas between U.S. ports be carried on U.S. flag ships. A temporary waiver by the federal government should be ordered by the President while Congress deliberates over the necessary statutory changes to exempt Puerto Rico from this market distorting law that hurts Puerto Rico consumers and U.S. businesses alike.

• Assignment of a White House Congressional Liaison to communicate with Congress in support of legislation to assist Puerto Rico’s economic recovery.

Other issues in the near term also threaten to exacerbate the challenges facing Puerto Rico’s economy, such as the upcoming financial shortfall of the Affordable Care Act provisions in the Island and the double-digit reduction in Medicaid reimbursements already in place. These healthcare related cuts will impact the government’s future attempts to provide services and must also be addressed immediately. Medicare Advantage (MA) cuts to the tune of 11% (as opposed to increases by 3% for the states) should be immediately revised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), given the fact that Puerto Rico residents pay the same amount of Medicare payroll taxes as residents of the states, and close to 76% of Medicare patients use MA plans, as opposed to only 26% in the states. We urge the Obama Administration to empower all federal agencies to identify opportunities to infuse needed funds that will bolster the island’s economy and address critical short- and long-term health, environmental, energy, infrastructure and other critically-vital services.

While there may be other prescriptive measures that can be taken at this time what is clear is that inaction is not an option. Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Its residents have fought valiantly in every war since World War I. Its diaspora has been an important presence in communities throughout the fifty States of the Union. Nor are its current economic woes an abstract concern for pensions and mutual funds in the United States. Indeed, 3 out of every 4 municipal funds in the country hold Puerto Rico’s bonds.

From the perspective of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda what affects Puerto Rico affects all Latinos in the United States. Accordingly, the solutions to the Island’s economic crisis will be part of our focus now, in the coming election cycle, and in the near future. Indeed, we further believe that avoiding helping solve the problem now, will only prove to be more costly to the federal government down the road. Already we have seen more than 300,000 Puerto Ricans move to the states. Further deterioration of the island’s economy will only exacerbate this migration and will further increase state and federal costs as a result.

Therefore, inaction is not an option.

We urge you to take all necessary steps to provide Puerto Rico with a full array of options that will address its financial obligations in an orderly fashion. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Teresa Acuña, NHLA’s Director of Policy and Leadership Programs at (202) 508-6919 or teresa@nationalhispanicleadership.org.

Sincerely,

Hector Sanchez

Chair, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda

Executive Director, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

815 16th St. NW, 3rd Floor • Washington, DC 20005 • 202-508-6919 • nationalhispanicleadership.org • @NHLAgenda



July 16, 2015

The Honorable John A. Boehner                                             The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Speaker of the House                                                              Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                                                            U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20515                                                                       Washington, DC 20510

 

Re: Recommendations for Addressing Puerto Rico’s Financial Crisis

Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell:

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 39 of the most prominent Latino organizations representing the nation’s 57 million Latinos, respectfully urges you to immediately address the financial crisis confronting Puerto Rico today. The challenges facing Puerto Rico’s economy not only affect the 3.5 million United States citizens who live on the island or the almost 5 million Puerto Ricans who live within the fifty states, it affects all Latinos and indeed, the nation itself. The NHLA is alarmed by Puerto Rico’s rapidly deteriorating economy and the inaction of the federal government.

As you are aware Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced Puerto Rico’s $73 billion is “unpayable” under the current repayment timelines. Puerto Rico has the political will to address this challenge. What it lacks are the tools necessary to provide a full array of options to stabilize its economy and provide an orderly path to pay its creditors. Without federal intervention Puerto Rico will be unable to stem the loss of jobs that has caused the greatest migration in its territorial history. Ignoring the problem will be an expensive mistake. The NHLA is convinced that only the federal government can give Puerto Rico the tools necessary to solve the crisis. The painful reforms and cost cutting measures already taken by Puerto Rico’s authorities on their own will not be able to solve the problem. Puerto Rico requires federal support that goes beyond technical assistance at this time.

In the short term Puerto Rico should be provided the following options:

• Rectification of Congressional oversight by allowing bankruptcy protection if the Island chooses that route. The need to restructure the Island’s debt especially that of its government authorities could be addressed under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and passage of the Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act (H.R. 870) would permit just that.

• Direct White House communication to Congressional members in support of legislation that could provide the tools for Puerto Rico to restructure its debt.

• Immediate Executive Action especially in the areas of the Treasury, Homeland Security, and Transportation that maximizes the options available to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt.

• Creation of a comprehensive economic development plan by the White House by way of a special task force on Puerto Rico or via the deliberations of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. The White House is particularly poised to bring the best minds together, including leaders from the financial and business sectors on the Island, to address the executive policies that impede an orderly solution to Puerto Rico’s debt service, as well as the authority to convene both creditors and the government of Puerto Rico for an orderly resolution of this crisis.

• Preserve and enhance federal tax incentives designed to attract businesses and investments to Puerto Rico.

 

• Exemption for Puerto Rico from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (also known as the Jones Act) which unfairly increases the prices of imports and exports to and from Puerto Rico with requirements that all goods transported on the seas between U.S. ports be carried on U.S. flag ships. A temporary waiver by the federal government should be ordered by the President while Congress deliberates over the necessary statutory changes to exempt Puerto Rico from this market distorting law that hurts Puerto Rico consumers and U.S. businesses alike.

• Assignment of a White House Congressional Liaison to communicate with Congress in support of legislation to assist Puerto Rico’s economic recovery.

Other issues in the near term also threaten to exacerbate the challenges facing Puerto Rico’s economy, such as the upcoming financial shortfall of the Affordable Care Act provisions in the Island and the double-digit reduction in Medicaid reimbursements already in place. These healthcare related cuts will impact the government’s future attempts to provide services and must also be addressed immediately. Medicare Advantage (MA) cuts to the tune of 11% (as opposed to increases by 3% for the states) should be immediately revised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), given the fact that Puerto Rico residents pay the same amount of Medicare payroll taxes as residents of the states, and close to 76% of Medicare patients use MA plans, as opposed to only 26% in the states. We urge the Obama Administration to empower all federal agencies to identify opportunities to infuse needed funds that will bolster the island’s economy and address critical short- and long-term health, environmental, energy, infrastructure and other critically-vital services.

While there may be other prescriptive measures that can be taken at this time what is clear is that inaction is not an option. Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Its residents have fought valiantly in every war since World War I. Its diaspora has been an important presence in communities throughout the fifty States of the Union. Nor are its current economic woes an abstract concern for pensions and mutual funds in the United States. Indeed, 3 out of every 4 municipal funds in the country hold Puerto Rico’s bonds.

From the perspective of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda what affects Puerto Rico affects all Latinos in the United States. Accordingly, the solutions to the Island’s economic crisis will be part of our focus now, in the coming election cycle, and in the near future. Indeed, we further believe that avoiding helping solve the problem now, will only prove to be more costly to the federal government down the road. Already we have seen more than 300,000 Puerto Ricans move to the states. Further deterioration of the island’s economy will only exacerbate this migration and will further increase state and federal costs as a result.

Therefore, inaction is not an option.

We urge you to take all necessary steps to provide Puerto Rico with a full array of options that will address its financial obligations in an orderly fashion. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Teresa Acuña, NHLA’s Director of Policy and Leadership Programs at (202) 508-6919 or teresa@nationalhispanicleadership.org.

Sincerely,

Hector Sanchez

Chair, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda

Executive Director, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

 

815 16th St. NW, 3rd Floor • Washington, DC 20005 • 202-508-6919 • nationalhispanicleadership.org • @NHLAgenda

 

MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS

American G.I. Forum

ASPIRA Association

Avance Inc.

Casa de Esperanza

Cuban American National Council

Farmworker Justice

Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities

Hispanic Federation Hispanic National Bar Association

Inter-University Program for Latino Research

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

LatinoJustice PRLDEF

League of United Latin American Citizens

MANA, A National Latina Organization

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities

National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives

National Association of Hispanic Publications

NALEO Educational Fund

National Association of Latino Independent Producers

National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc.

National Council of La Raza

National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators

National Hispana Leadership Institute

National Hispanic Council on Aging

National Hispanic Environmental Council

National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts

National Hispanic Medical Association

National Hispanic Media Coalition

National Institute for Latino Policy

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Puerto Rican Coalition

Presente.org

SER Jobs for Progress – National

Southwest Voter Registration Education Project

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

United States Hispanic Leadership Institute

United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce

U.S.- Mexico Foundation

 


August is an important month on the Vision 2020 calendar. It was in August of 1920, 95 years ago, that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution became law. Congress later designated August 26 as Women's Equality Day to mark the historic event that enfranchised over half the U.S. population.

The right to vote for women came 133 years after the signing of the Constitution. The women suffragists, who struggled for 72 years to win this fundamental right of citizenship, believed their victory signaled the first step towards full gender equality. We know today, almost a century later, that was not the case. And that's why Vision 2020 was born.

I've been writing my recent Huffington Post blogs on the Vision 2020 goal themes, and the one posted last week Is Civic Engagement an On-Ramp to the Women's Equality Expressway? is on civic engagement. The suffragists demonstrated the ultimate in civic engagement in their time, marching, picketing the White House, even going to jail to achieve women's voting rights, and the Vision 2020 coalition of Delegates nationwide and nearly 100 Allied organizations are committed to completing their unfinished agenda.

To succeed, it is essential that all parts of the coalition work together, and that's why Vision 2020 is the Coalition Convener. The Fifth National Congress in Nashville, October 26-28, will bring together leaders from across the U.S., from organizations large and small, from communities in all 50 states, to collaborate for collective impact in achieving women's economic, political and social equality.

We remember our history, to "honor the past," and in Nashville we will hear the story of Harry Burn, the young Tennessee legislator who cast the deciding vote for women's suffrage after his mother wrote him a letter that encouraged his affirmative vote and reminded him, "Don't forget to be a good boy." We'll celebrate the role of Tennessee as the 36th and last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment.

We will "enrich the present" by learning from each other about successful efforts to increase the numbers of women in senior leadership, to close the gender gap in pay and retirement income, to teach young girls and boys to value gender equality, and to register, educate and mobilize women to vote.

And we will "shape the future" by focusing on the year 2020, with the huge national celebration of the Centennial of women's voting rights, and the four years that lead up to it in a "Countdown to 2020."

So on August 26 this year, Vision 2020 will host its annual Toast to Tenacity, recognizing the contributions of the suffragists and setting its sights on the future of women's equality. Our Partners, including the National Constitution Center, and federal, state and local leaders will join us in lifting a glass of grape juice (Prohibition was in force in 1920) to toast the courage and perseverance of the women, and men, who achieved voting rights for all the women citizens of America.

Looking forward, when we get to Nashville in October, we're planning an interactive program and we need your participation! Please confirm your attendance now.

Happy August,
Lynn Yeakel

NHLA Presidential Appointments Project 

STEPS | RESOURCES | DECIDING TO APPLY | APPLY | VOLUNTEER | CONFIRM TOM PEREZ

Sotomayer Nomination
On May 26, 2009, in the East Room of the White House, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden officially welcomed then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nominee to become the next Justice of the Supreme Court -- making her the first Latina to serve on the highest court in the nation. Click the photo to view more White House photos of Justice Sotomayor's confirmation journey. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

BACKGROUND - Nominations and Appointment Process Background

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is leading a community-wide effort to identify strong candidates to serve the President of the United States.

NHLA’s Presidential Appointments Project serves as the talent bank for Latino professionals seeking appointed positions in the next presidential administration. If you’ve ever considered working for the federal government, now is the time to apply for an appointment to the Obama Administration and help to bring about positive change for our country.

While Barack Obama lays out the agenda to move the country forward, his staff plays a key role in actually undertaking the hard work of implementation. Appointed officials have the power to set or influence the policies of the many federal departments and administrative agencies that make up the executive branch of government.

NHLA's Project will ensure that qualified, committed and talented members of the Latino community have the support they need to pursue important appointed positions. NACOPRW supports the NHLA Presidential Appointments Project.



 Mari Carmen Aponte Ambassador      

Ambassador Aponte had the Support of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda. 

Countless local and national Latino organizations around the country, including the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and NACOPRW worked tirelessly over the past several months to get Ms. Mari Carmen Aponte confirmed as Ambassador of El Salvador. President Obama supported her and the White House staff worked diligently to secure every vote possible. Secretary Clinton personally called Senators to advocate for Ms. Aponte’s nomination. Also NACOPRW commends Senator Menendez for supporting Ms. Aponte from the start and for his noteworthy leadership on this issue.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the following: “… Ambassador Aponte was an exemplary nominee of whom all Americans can feel proud, and I am glad she has been given the opportunity to continue to serve her nation as an excellent ambassador...” During her recess appointment, Ambassador Aponte was an outspoken advocate for American values and democracy and a staunch supporter of U.S. private enterprise. She reached an agreement with the Salvadorian government to open a new, jointly-funded electronic monitoring center to fight transnational crime.

Born in Puerto Rico, Mrs. Aponte went to school on the United States mainland but never severed her roots to Puerto Rico. She obtained a B.A. in Political Science from Rosemont College and went on to earn her Juris Doctor at Temple University. She is known for her legal experience and accomplishments in the private, public and non-for-profit sector and for dedicating countless hours to advocating on behalf of those in need.


The National Conference of Puerto Rican Women is a proud member of the National Women’s History Museum

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What is the National Women's History Museum?
The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM), founded in 1996, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women, and integrating this rich heritage fully into our nation's history.

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The ASPIRA Association promotes the empowerment of the Puerto Rican and Latino community by developing and nurturing the leadership, intellectual, and cultural potential of its youth so that they may contribute their skills and dedication to the fullest development of the Puerto Rican and Latino community everywhere.

Drexel University College of Medicine -An American Conversation about Women and Leadership which was created by the University’s Institute for Women’s Health

Vision 2020 is dedicated to creating a decade of action and education to promote women’s leadership and gender equality leading up to celebration of the 19th Amendment which created women’s suffrage in 2020