Unlocking Latino Civic Potential, New Report from the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program

January 27, 2016

Contact: Sarah Alvarez
Program Associate
The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program
202-736-3542 | email sarah.alvarez@aspeninst.org

Unlocking Latino Civic Potential, New Report from the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program
Recommendations Identified for Advancing Latino Civic Engagement

Washington, D.C. January 27, 2016 – In the lead up to the 2016 presidential election the Unlocking Latino Civic Potential report identifies four priority areas and tactics for unleashing the civic potential of Latinos in the United States. Focusing on immigrant integration and naturalization, voter engagement, civic education, and leadership development; the report offers a comprehensive vision for how to engage the nation’s second largest population group, beyond election cycles, to participate more fully in our democracy.

To view the launch discussion live starting at 12:20pm ET go to: http://as.pn/civicpotential

To read the report go to: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/latinos-society/unlocking-latino-civic-potential

A selection of the key recommendations are as follows:

Immigrant Integration and Naturalization
  • Initiate a national call to action based around English as a gateway to integration, citizenship and financial literacy
  • Create a non-partisan National Task Force for English Learning
  • Make naturalization a priority of the U.S. immigration system
Voter Engagement
  • Implement automatic voter registration and remove onerous barriers to voting
  • Sustain Latino mobilization efforts beyond Presidential elections
  • Improve the quality and collection of Latino voter data
Civic Education
  • Engage Latinos at an early age with civic participation opportunities
  • Create a Resource Bank of age-appropriate civic education resources
  • Launch a national campaign about the importance of civic education
Leadership Development
  • Direct young Latinos to leadership incubators such as Teach for America and the Peace Corps
  • Further develop leaders of Community Based Organizations
  • Boost the capacity of the Latino Appointment Program

“When one in four public school students is Latino and 80,000 Latinos turn 18 every month, the civic health of our democracy depends on ensuring this group is engaged.” said Monica Lozano, Chair of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program.

Historically, Latinos have underperformed relative to other groups in a variety of civic participation indicators. Through this report, The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program hopes to drive a meaningful increase in Latino civic participation by encouraging stakeholders (funders, researchers, advocacy organizations, schools, policy makers, etc.) to advance and build upon the ideas and recommendations shared.

“This report is the first of its kind bringing the voices of a diverse group of invested organizations and experts to bear upon a long-term, sustained and multipronged approach to activating Latinos civic potential, which is exactly what is required to have a meaningful impact.” said Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director, Latinos and Society Program.

The report launch featured Monica Lozano, Chair, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program. Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, NALEO Educational Fund; Cristina Jiménez, Co-founder and Managing Director, United We Dream; Joshua W. Hoyt, Executive Director, National Partnerships for New Americans; Luis R. Fraga, Co-Director of the Institute for Latino Studies, Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame. See full video of panel discussion here: http://as.pn/civicpotential.

“Empowering the Hispanic community has been at the core of Univision’s mission for close to 60 years. That is why we are pleased to support The Aspen institutes’ efforts to increase civic engagement among U.S. Latinos. This report is both timely and important to achieving this crucial goal,” said Roberto Llamas, executive vice president Human Resources & Community Empowerment, Univision Communications, Inc.

The production, launch, and dissemination of the Unlocking Latino Civic Participation report was made possible in part through important support from Univision Communications, Inc.

Further Online Information
To continue the conversation, please tweet @AspenLatinos and @AspenInstitute using #LatinosEngage

The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program aims to create broad awareness of the growth and importance of the Latino community to the future success of the United States. We do this by bringing together Latino and non-Latino influencers and deci­sion-makers to find areas of common ground that advance issues and policies of importance to Latinos and the country as a whole. We also work to develop the leadership capacity of Latinos to participate fully in all levels of society. www.aspeninstitute.org/latinos-society

Year-round support for the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program is provided by the Ricardo Salinas Foundation, the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Blum Family Foundation.


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