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Thursday, June 10, 2021 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET

Federal Infrastructure Investments and Latino communities: Broadband

When it comes to broadband, the pandemic made three things clear:

First, broadband is a vital service in today's interconnected world; second, U.S. broadband networks held up exceedingly well as much of the nation transitioned to working and learning from home; and third, the Digital Divide is very real, deep and difficult to bridge.  Federal policymakers are currently debating federal infrastructure legislation, including funding mechanisms for making broadband more affordable for low-income households and more widely available in rural areas where the economics of deploying networks are challenging at best.  This session will highlight national discussions with policy experts to explain and explore the costs, policy benefits, and risks associated with closing the Digital Divide for low income, rural and communities of color.

This session will begin with an interview by FCC Acting Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, moderated by Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (NM).

Panel Discussion:
Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (NM), NHCSL President
Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO, NHMC
Anna Gomez, Chair, FCC Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment
Joi O. Chaney, Executive Director of Washington Bureau, NUL
Alejandro Roark, Executive Director, HTTP

Friday, June 11, 2021 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET

Reopening of Schools and Priorities

The Covid-19 pandemic upended our educational system. No community was spared. But Latinos and other people of color were particularly impacted by problems with distance learning, worsening the achievement gap. As schools fully reopen for the Fall semester, the focus cannot be just on safety but on making up for that lost achievement. Along with that, other core education issues still need addressing for many Pre-K–12 students. These include ethnic studies, improved universal sex education, ending school lunch shaming and fostering good counseling toward college and apprenticeships. And beyond K-12 the issues of college pricing and student loan debt (payment for which was postponed as part of pandemic relief) were major in the last election and remain so moving forward.

Secretary Miguel Cardona is only the third Hispanic (after Lauro Cavazos and John King, Jr.) to ever lead our nation’s educational policy, taking over at this critical juncture. He will discuss his vision and approach as well as specifics about some of those topics in a fireside chat format with Assemblywoman Selena Torres (NV), a High School teacher who chairs the Nevada Hispanic Legislative Caucus and is Vice-Chair of NHCSL’s Education Task Force.

Following that, NHCSL President, Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (NM), will interview Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Friday, June 11, 2021 3:00PM – 4:00PM ET

Fighting the Wave of Disenfranchisement Bills

Messaging training for legislators to fight the hundreds of voting-restriction bills currently filed in states. Discussion of legal resources.

The session begins with an interview of Stacey Abrams, Founder of Fair Fight Action and will be moderated by NHCSL President, Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (NM).

Panel Discussion:
Hector Sanchez, Executive Director and CEO, Mi Familia Vota
Ellen Buchman, President of The Opportunity Agenda
Maria Teresa Kumar, CEO & President of Voto Latino
Lydia Camarillo, President, SVREP
Jorge Vasquez, Program Director, Power and Democracy at the Advancement Project

Presented in Collaboration with:

Date & Time To Be Determined

Federal Infrastructure Investments and Latino Communities

When Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently said some of our infrastructure is built on racism, he reignited a long battle to lay bare the truth about how America's highways and other infrastructure was designed to keep minorities down. The new Infrastructure Bill in Congress seeks to remedy that at least partially.

The session begins with an interview of Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Invited), moderated by NHCSL President, Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (NM).

Panel Discussion:
Senator Nellie Pou (NJ), President-Elect, NHCSL
Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, The White House
Emily Fisher, Senior Vice President for Clean Energy, EEI
Laura Rodriguez, Vice President for Government Affairs, Center for American Progress

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Legislators and BBA Members Lunch Option

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