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Nov 21, 2018

NHCSL Takes the Lead in Hurricane Response Efforts

As a membership organization, NHCSL prides itself in taking care of its own. This was the case when our former president, Sen. Iris Martínez (IL), was literally in harm’s way after Hurricane Irma devastated the island of Saint Maarten. While on vacation there, I received a call that Senator Martínez literally feared for her life, as the eye of the storm was about to pass through this small Caribbean island. Knowing the danger she was facing, our team immediately coordinated a rescue effort with the office of Senator Dick Durbin (IL), the Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rosselló – and his Washington Representative Carlos Mercader – our Vice President Sen. Carmelo Ríos (PR), our immediate past President Sen. Eduardo Bhatia (PR), Puerto Rico House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez, the Illinois Senate President John Cullerton; the US State Department; the French Embassy; Dutch officials; and Senator Martínez’s Chief of Staff, Kerry O’Brien. We were fortunate to be able to arrange a successful evacuation mission for Senator Martínez, the parents of Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA), and hundreds of other refugees who arrived safely in Puerto Rico after a horrible ordeal. Little did we know, however, that this incident would only be the calm before the storm.

Nov 21, 2018

Addressing Latina Underrepresentation in Elective Office

Despite comprising 8.1% of the United States population, Hispanic women currently hold only 10 of the 535 seats in the 115th Congress (1.9%): one of the one hundred seats in the Senate, and 9 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives (2.1%). In addition, one Hispanic woman serves as a non-voting Resident Commissioner representing Puerto Rico in Congress. Latinas made only tiny gains in the 2016 elections, adding mere fractions of one percent (0.2% in state legislatures and 0.3% in Congress) to their shares of those bodies.

Jun 21, 2018

¡Ya era hora!

Welcome to the Summer Edition of our quarterly newsletter. I am excited to write my first welcome letter as President, following my election at our Annual Summit in Chicago last February.

Jun 21, 2018

NHCSL Elects New Leadership and Spearheads Initiative to Increase Latina Representation

NHCSL held its annual gathering earlier this year where the organization elected new leadership, approved resolutions on some of the most relevant topics of the day and held panels on some of those key issues.

Jun 21, 2018

Ensuring The Census Works for All Americans

Just a few weeks after NHCSL kicked off its 15th Annual National Summit of Hispanic State Legislators with a policy session on the 2020 Census, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, announced his decision to include a question about respondents’ citizenship in the 2020 Census that is likely to cause an undercount of Hispanics, unless Congress or the courts overturn this decision.

Jun 21, 2018

NHCSL Amends Bylaws to Enshrine Gender and Regional Diversity

In a historic vote at our Annual Summit in February, NHCSL’s Legislative Members unanimously approved changes to the Caucus’ bylaws that enshrine gender and regional diversity at all levels of the organization. The changes require absolute gender parity in the Executive Committee — the body charged with governing the Caucus — and they create new officers, and representative and electoral requirements that guarantee NHCSL’s regional diversity moving forward.

Dec 21, 2017

Strengthening Our Voices

It has been a privilege to serve as President of NHCSL for the past two years. I am very proud of the work we have accomplished together. Thanks to you, our members, NHCSL’s staff, our BBA, and other partners, we have been able to raise the profile of this organization and ensure it is an impactful voice of the national conversation on the major issues of the day.

Dec 21, 2017

Walmart Rolls-Out Higher Wages, Bonuses, and Expanded Family Benefits

As the nation’s largest private sector employer, Walmart understands how people make a difference. From greeting customers with a smile when they walk in the door, to helping customers locate that perfect item, Walmart associates personify the company’s mission every day.

Dec 21, 2017

Our Economy and Our People Need a Deal on the DREAMERS Now

In April 2017, the NHCSL Executive Committee adopted a much-needed resolution sponsored by Sen. Richard Martínez (NM), Encouraging the Continuity of the DACA and DAPA Programs. However, since then, much has changed for DREAMers and the challenges they face.

Dec 21, 2017

Hispanics Need Consumer Financial Protection Rules To Be Strengthen, Not Undermined

When NHCSL held its second bi-annual Executive Committee meeting in Boston last August, we unanimously approved a resolution calling for the preservation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Understanding that the widespread predatory lending incidents that contributed to the financial crash of 2008 unfairly targeted Latinos and other minorities, NHCSL took a bold stance against attempts to weaken many of the CFPB’s pro-consumer rules and enforcement authority.