News Clips Feb. 1, 2010

Latino Leaders Grade Obama

FRESNO, Calif.–Latino voters helped Barack Obama make history and become the first black president by handing him more than seven out of 10 votes in the November 2008 election.

Obama — while not delivering on a campaign promise to overhaul the country’s immigration system — remains popular among Latinos, with a recent poll showing him with a 67 percent approval rate from Latinos.

The president, who marked his first year in office last week, has been praised for naming Latinos to top positions at a record rate. He has appointed 48 Latinos to posts that require Senate confirmation. Obama’s most visible appointees are U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Labor Secretary Hilda Solís and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

GOP sends out ‘census’ forms; Democrats, Latino groups cry foul

A national Republican fundraising campaign that invokes the word “census” and claims to be an “official document” is raising the blood pressure of Democrats and Latino advocacy groups.

Critics say the mailing is designed to confuse people and garner responses from individuals who think they’re participating in the decennial Census, which begins in March for most of the nation.

The mailing, with its letter from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, questionnaire on political attitudes, and plea for donations, is emblazoned with the phrase “2010 Congressional District Census.”

The envelope is marked with the words, “Do Not Destroy, Official Document.”

Democrats say they’re disgusted but unsurprised by the mailing, a version of which was circulated before the last Census, in 2000.

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U.S. Jews and Latinos form unlikely bond over immigration policy

Even as health care reform twists in the wind, immigration policy looms as the next big political debate, and Hispanics and Jews are moving to the forefront in a burgeoning political alliance.

The next three months are seen as critical in the fight for immigration reform, but the weakening of the Democrats, grip on Congress with the recent loss of a key Massachusetts Senate seat does not bode well for the passage of reform legislation.

The Jewish-Latino alliance on immigration issues builds on the heritage and experience of the Jewish community and on the enthusiasm and urgent needs of the Hispanic community, which has a strong interest in issues of family unification and the status of the some 12 million illegal immigrants, most of them from Latin America.

Gaps emerging in US census outreach to immigrants

WASHINGTON — The government is fumbling some efforts to assure immigrants that U.S. census data won’t be used against them, including gaps in outreach and foreign language guides that refer to the decennial count as an investigation.

With the launch of the head count weeks away, the Census Bureau’s outreach has been falling short in at least a dozen major cities, such as Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Jose, Calif., and Seattle, according to a report being released Monday by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Many of their states are on the cusp of gaining or losing U.S. House seats and face a redrawing of legislative boundaries that may tilt the balance of political power.

California’s independent streak

‘Decline to State’ voters here don’t quite fit the national mold, but they do call most of the shots.

From Sacramento
Democrats and Republicans will make all the noise, but nonpartisan independents will decide the winners of California’s competitive statewide elections in November.

That has increasingly become the case in recent years.

California may be a Democratic state, but it’s not true blue. And the best barometer of how it will vote in any general election is the fast-growing faction of independents.

They’re officially registered as “Decline to State” — as in “a pox on both your parties.”

At last count, they make up 20% of registered voters, and the number keeps rising. In 1990 it was less than half that, 9%; in 2002 it was 15%.

Democrats represent about 45% of registered voters, down from 50% in 1990 but roughly the same as in 2002. Republicans have suffered a steady slide from 39% in 1990 to 31% last year.,0,3357043.column

Head of Mass. Latino political group to step down

BOSTON — The head of a Latino political group credited with helping elect dozens of Latinos to offices around the state has announced she is stepping down.

Giovanna Negretti, executive director of Oiste, said she is leaving the group in September to pursue other “professional opportunities.”

The Puerto Rican-born 38-year-old helped found the group in 1999 when only a handful of Latinos in Massachusetts held any public offices. The nonprofit group has since trained and supported Latino candidates who have won offices in Lawrence, Springfield, and Boston.

Hispanic Media Outreach for Haiti Unprecedented

With Haiti outreach, Hispanic media take up mantle of advocate, long an English-only role

As horrific images of Haiti flashed across the screens, murmurs of recognition floated through the audience at Univision Network’s live celebrity telethon, many people nodding as they recalled disasters in their native countries.

To drive the connection home, host Mario Kreutzberger, aka “Don Francisco,” brought out a recent earthquake survivor from Peru, reuniting him by video with his hospitalized daughter.

“The world has helped us many times. Now it is time for us to return that help to Haiti,” Kreutzberger told the millions of Latinos in the U.S. and across the Western Hemisphere who watched the special edition of his weekly “Sabado Gigante” variety program.

Mirror, mirror: AZGOP launches Hispanic website

The State’s Republican Party launched a website last month to address “the issues and concerns of one of the state’s most dynamic and diverse communities.”

The State’s Republican Party launched a website last month to address “the issues and concerns of one of the state’s most dynamic and diverse communities.” Party Chairman Randy Pullen is optimistic about the effort, “Democrats have consistently taken [Hispanics’] votes for granted, and we share their feeling that our government has gotten seriously off track. Combined with our message of traditional family values, I believe that our principles mirror those of Arizona’s Hispanic population.”

Library officials work to keep up as Hispanic population grows

The Montgomery County Memorial Library System hopes to stay on top of population trends and books residents want to read.

That’s why a donation of 150 Spanish-language books from Consul General of Mexico in Houston Carlos Gonzalez Magallon received praise from library officials during a reception Wednesday night.

Running for the hills on immigration

San Diego, California (CNN) — Thirty-seven words. In this week’s State of the Union address — which was more than 7,000 words long and lasted longer than an hour — all President Obama devoted to the issue of immigration reform was 37 measly words.

Here they are: “And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system — to secure our borders, enforce our laws and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.”


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