ARE LATINOS THE CONSUMER POWERHOUSE RESHAPING AMERICA?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Studio Gang Architects + Joseph Lekas Photography

This Easter weekend I went to an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York called “Foreclosure: Rehousing The American Dream,” a fascinating view into what the future of urban and suburban housing in America could look like. For this exhibit, five architectural teams proposed how they would re-invest the TARP money of 2008 to revitalize foreclosure-ravaged suburbs near five major cities in the United States.

I came away feeling most impressed about the transformational impact that Latinos are already having on this country and wondering if most companies are really prepared for what is around the corner. I was most impressed with how clearly they understood the demographic impact of both the rise of Hispanics as a mega buying force in the home-buyer market.

Photographs by Don Pollard.

While Hispanics were certainly not the focus of this exhibit, their impact on four of the five places featured could not be denied. From Rialto, Calif., to Cicero, Ill., where 88% of the population is Hispanic, Latino attitudes about homeownership were not only prominently featured and discussed by architects, but also helped frame the developing of what the exhibit calls the “national conversation on issues of housing, transportation, and public space.”

When I got home, I remembered that I had recently downloaded the latest report on the State of Hispanic Homeownership, published in March by The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and found that, in spite of also being hit by the housing crisis between 2007 and 2010, they too were predicting a new Latino housing mega trend.

“Over the next 10 years, Hispanics are expected to account for 40 percent of the estimated 12 million net new households, with minorities comprising 70 percent of total growth,” says Alejandro Becerra, author of the report. Unlike other groups, Latinos have not been big on saving for retirement. This is partly due to a cultural legacy that, hopefully, should change over the next few decades. Our American Dream has always mainly revolved around buying a home and depending on family to take care of us.
“An unrelenting drive to succeed combined with strong family values and larger family sizes fuel their yearning for a place to call home,” says Becerra. “This strong work ethic, often combined with a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, adds up to major consumerism. The Hispanic market made up over 50 percent of real growth in the U.S. consumer economy from 2005 to 2008, with $52 billion in new spending.”

According to the Census, Hispanics are already a significant segment of the workforce. “The role of Latinos in the nation’s labor force in the manufacturing, construction, real estate and service industries is both monumental and crucial. For well over a decade, Hispanics have also had the highest labor force participation in the nation. Currently, 66.7% of all working-age Latinos are employed, nearly three percentage points higher than the rest of the U.S. population,” adds Becerra.

And while many Baby Boomers are expected to age in place, the NAHREP report says that “current mobility rates suggest that 3.8 million baby boomers could downsize over the coming decade, adding further to the demand for compact, lower-cost homes.” As a result, smart start-ups like Boomerator,Southeast Discovery and GetawayStyle are all setting up to cater to the needs of this huge demographic shift.

But I don’t see the same kind of focus and innovation reaching and catering to Hispanics. In spite of the Hispanic demographic tsunami that everyone agrees is upon us, many companies still dedicate only 3% to 5% of their budgets to marketing to Latinos. If that’s your strategy to win in this economy.

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CONDOLEEZZA RICE: IF WE STOP ATTRACTING IMMIGRANTS WE LOSE ONE OF THE STRONGEST ELEMENTS OF NOT JUST OUR NATIONAL WEALTH BUT OUR NATIONAL SOUL

 THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ
                                                                        photo source: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, spoke to a full house in Page Auditorium Tuesday. Melissa Yeo
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke on a variety of topics in front of a crowd at Duke University Tuesday night, offering a particular criticism of the nation’s stance on immigration.

photo source: AP

“That immigrant culture that has renewed us … has been at the core of our strength,” she said, according to the The Raleigh News & Observer. “I don’t know when immigrants became the enemy.”
Rice has long lamented the Bush administration’s failure to address comprehensive immigration reform during two terms in office, a disappointment that she reportedly reiterated on Tuesday. In 2009, she called the lack of action one of her “biggest regrets.”
In this file photo, then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shake hands with Polish President Lech Kaczynski next to Polish Prime Minister Donal Tusk after signing a deal on basing an American missile shield in Poland, August 20, 2008 in Warsaw.
America has always been able to attract the most ambitious people who are determined to have a better life,” Rice said during an appearance at Stanford University, where she currently teaches. “If we ever lose that and start to believe that somehow that it is instead a threat to us to have those people come here, we are going to lose one of the strongest elements of not just our national wealth, but of our national soul.”
She has also spoken out on the need to get undocumented immigrants out of the “shadows,” and last year issued a warning about Alabama’s controversial immigration enforcement law.
“I think we need to be really careful about what kind of laws we pass and that, in the effort to get a handle on this problem, we don’t end up making the problem worse,” she told Alabama’s Press-Register, after claiming that inaction at the federal level was catalyzing such measures. “The fact is that, generally speaking, this patchwork approach is not serving us well and we need to find a better solution. State laws are just not going to do it.”
Rice has also recently been included on GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney‘s vice presidential short list, according to some reports, though she has denied that she’d accept the position.
READ MORE: HUFFINGTON POST

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WHO IS RAUL LABRADOR: THE CONSERVATIVE CONGRESSMAN AND FORMER IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

For all the continual bumps in the road, the GOP is doing what it can to make inroads in the Hispanic community.  But while it seems like everyone left, right, and center has heard of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID), fellow member of the class of 2010, has been behind the scenes advancing a strong conservative agenda in the House of Representatives. While Congressman Labrador has appeared on the Sunday shows a number of times, and was even a speaker at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., he has not received the same attention from media circles as his colleague in the Senate, despite the accolades from the right. He recently obtained a 100% rating from the Club for Growth and previously from Americans for Prosperity, two well established conservative organizations. In addition, he made recent news for putting his money where his mouth is regarding fiscal responsibility, returning21% of his office budget to to pay down the national debt.

Raul Labrador provides the GOP with a credible face for broader immigration reform. | AP Photo

Born and raised by a single mother in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Rep. Labrador first moved to the United States in 1981 at the age of 13, but not to the usual locations of New York or Florida. A friend of his mother’s suggested Las Vegas, Nevadawhich at the time experienced an economic boom. He later graduated from Brigham Young University (where he met his wife, Rebecca) and received his law degree from the University of Washington.

So how did Congressman Labrador find himself becoming a conservative standard bearer?

Labrador’s mother was heavily involved in Puerto Rican politics, describing her as a Democrat and strong admirer of the Kennedys. “But when we moved to Las Vegas, one of the first things [my mother] did after getting a job was getting registered to vote,” says Labrador in an interview with Politic365. “And in Las Vegas, Nevada you had to register by party, and she decided to register as a Republican, which was shocking to me!”

Labrador’s mother was one of those famed “Reagan Democrats,” excited about voting for Reagan in the next primary.

It was from there that Labrador discovered Ronald Reagan, the values and principles he held, discovering the same principles Reagan held aligned with those taught at home. His mother taught him to not rely on the government, to work hard, and be successful in whatever path he chose to take, and the GOP was the party who advocated these same principles. But despite Congressman Labrador’s virtually perfect backstory for a political candidate, like Marco Rubio he had to achieve victory over the GOP Establishment by winning the 2010 primary in an upset. “I went back to the old Reagan coalition,” Labrador explained when asked how he won over the primary voters, “and I talked to all of them about exactly how the Republican Party should be. I believed the Republican Party has kinda lost its way for awhile, sometimes we are good at espousing conservative principles, but not at living them.” Like many other Tea Party candidates in 2010, Labrador’s message of bringing honest conservative principles back to the GOP and a willingness to go against the wishes of the establishment propelled him to victory as a freshman member of Congress.

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) speaks at a Tea Party rally March 31, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The group says it is "challenging Congress and the members it helped sweep into power to take swift action on the budget." (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

 A Look at the Federal Tax Code

Coming into 2012, Congressman Labrador is hoping major progress can be made towards making the current federal tax code make sense. “When you talk to Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, they’re all frustrated with the current tax code that we have.” He lamented the current tax code as one that picks winners and losers, and places the blame on both parties favoring their own special interests when altering the code, leaving the middle class to suffer the burden. He believes in a flat and fair code in which everyone should pay something, from the 40-45% of American wage-earners who pay no federal income taxes, to corporations like General Electric who takes advantage of directed tax subsidies and loopholes, and can afford the accountants, lobbyists, and lawyers to obtain them. “That’s not what makes America great.”

Immigration Reform

On the tepid relationship between Hispanics and the GOP, and in particular the issue of immigration reform, Labrador’s experience as an immigration attorney gives him a unique measure of credibility on the issue. Labrador’s biggest piece of advice to Republicans: let Hispanics know that they are welcome in the party – Hispanic principles of family and hard work form the bedrock of the GOP’s platform. He argues rhetoric from some in the Republican Party has turned off many in the Hispanic community. “We can be for a strong border, but we can also be for legal immigration and finding a system that actually works in the United States, and I think most people are frustrated with the current system of immigration.” Labrador said his goal is to help the GOP articulate a conservative consensus on legal immigration.

A Rising Star

photo source AP

From taxes, to the debt crisis, to the issues of life and entitlements, Labrador has the record to make any conservative stand up and cheer. But, a unique background mixed with an ability to become a conservative conduit to Hispanics on immigration sets him apart from the other Tea Party freshmen in Congress. If he is not already a rising star in the Republican Party, many believe he should be.

READ MORE: POLITIC 365

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HOW DOES REPUBLICAN SENATOR MARCO RUBIO FEEL ABOUT FELLOW REPUBLICANS BEING ANTI-IMMIGRANT AND WILL HE BE THE NEXT VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE?

THE HISPANIC BLOG BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Will Marco Rubio be the Next Vice Presidential Candidate?

He has said –over and over and over again– that he does not intend to be the GOP vice presidential nominee. But, evidently, the disclaimer matters little to the public. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida once again has emerged in a national poll as the favorite to occupy the slot that is a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Beating out household names such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Rubio was the top choice in a new poll that asked roughly 800 registered Republican and Independent voters across the country: “No matter who is the Republican nominee for president, if you could pick the vice presidential nominee, who would it be?”

After Rubio, respondents picked GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania, then Christie, then Palin.

“Any time you place ahead of Sarah Palin, call yourself a winner,” said Peter Woolley, director of the poll, which was conducted from Feb. 6-12 by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind. “Her name recognition and presence are formidable.”

The results, released Monday, come shortly after a straw poll conducted at the Conservative Political Action Conference recently showed Rubio as an overwhelming favorite for the vice presidential slot. In the CPAC poll, Rubio was followed by Christie, and then Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

In the presidential straw poll, Mitt Romney was the top choice, followed by Santorum, former House Speaker Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Rubio has not yet endorsed any of the GOP presidential candidates; his endorsement would be a big get for any of the contenders.

His thoughts on the words and actions of the contenders have carried weight. He’s a Tea Party favorite, a GOP star and, many say, the future of the Republican Party.

Rubio, 40, is one of Florida’s most popular leaders, particularly among Republicans. A Quinnipiac University poll released Jan. 10 found that nearly 80 percent of Republicans and nearly half of independents approved of the job he is doing. Only a quarter of Democrats liked his job performance.

“It’s pretty easy to see why Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is on every GOP presidential candidate’s vice presidential shot list,” said an article in U.S. News & World Report. “The freshman, Cuban-American senator laid out a passionate, succinct, and unifying conservative agenda more effectively than any of those actually vying for the presidency have thus far, during remarks he made at the Conservative Political Action Conference.”

At CPAC, Rubio asked: “What is the conservative movement? It’s pretty straightforward. We believe that the way prosperity is created is when people have the freedom and the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

Rubio has not hesitated to call out fellow Republicans when he feels they have erred.

He has taken exception to what he considers potentially self-destructive talk by Republicans about illegal immigration. He has urged the party to focus its rhetoric on legal immigration.

He assailed Gingrich for airing an ad in the Cuban-American senator’s home state calling Romney, considered the frontrunner in the GOP primary, “anti-immigrant.”

“This kind of language is more than just unfortunate,” Rubio was quoted as saying in The Miami Herald. “It’s inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesn’t belong in this campaign.”

No sooner did the news of Rubio’s discomfiture hit the Web than the Gingrich campaign say that it planned to pull the radio ad out of “respect for the senator’s wishes.”

“We respect Senator Rubio tremendously and will remove the ad from the rotation,” said Gingrich’s Florida campaign leader, Jose Mallea, according to The Miami Herald.

Echoing the sentiment other presidential contenders in the GOP primary have expressed, Gingrich said during a debate before the Florida primary that Rubio was worthy of consideration for vice president.

Asked the next day to elaborate on his statement, Gingrich said in an interview with Fox News Latino: “I think that anybody who has any sense as a presidential candidate is going to recognize that Marco Rubio has to be on the short list.”

“He is so talented, he is so competent, his background is so strong, he’s such a good speaker. . .he has an ability to reach out and help with the very rapidly growing Latino community across the whole country. . .Anyone who wouldn’t put him there I think is just not serious about how you win the presidency.”

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/02/20/marco-rubio-is-top-choice-for-vp-among-gop-voters-in-new-poll/#ixzz1mxABrlY2

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HOW DOES RICK SANTORUM FEEL ABOUT HISPANIC ISSUES?

THE HISBANIC BLOG BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

RICK SANTORUM: ABOUT HISPANIC ISSUES

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum surprised many during last night’s Iowa Caucus, garnering 24.5 percent or 30,007 votes and coming in a scant 8 votes behind front-runner Mitt Romney, who took in 24.6 percent or 30,015 votes. A relative outsider only a few days ago, the social conservative politician is now one of the leaders in the GOP presidential race. Santorum is known mainly for

his support of family values, his pro-life stance and his opposition to gay marriage, but his record on immigration and other factors of importance to the Latino vote are less well publicized. Fox News Latino has compiled a list of some of issues key to the Hispanic vote and where Santorum stands.

Immigration

Santorum’s immigration policy falls in line with the general, hard-line stance held by most of the GOP hopefuls on the issue.

The son of Italian immigrants, he strongly opposes amnesty for undocumented immigrants, believes building more fencing along the border is an important part of the immigration issue, and also supports making English the official national language.

Santorum voted against establishing a Guest Worker Program with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in 2006, and is also strongly against in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. He made this clear in the September Fox News – Google Debate in which he attacked Texas Gov. Rick Perry for allowing undocumented immigrants in Texas the right to in-state tuition costs at state schools.

“What Gov. Perry’s done is he provided in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Maybe that was an attempt to attract the illegal vote–I mean, the Latino voters. But you attract Latino voters by talking about the importance of immigration,” Santorum said.

Border Security:

Santorum is a strong supporter of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in the hopes that it will stem the tide of undocumented immigrants entering the country. “What I would say is that first, we build the fence. Number two, we enforce the law, and that is that we don’t allow people who are in this country to work here illegally,” Santorum said during an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Channel’s “On The Record. “And when we do find people here illegally, and we go through the process of deportation.”

In recent debates Santorum has gone after Texas Gov. Rick Perry for being “soft on immigration” and opposed Perry’s resistance to a border fence. “What we have is a problem of an unsecure border,” Sanotrum said during the TEA Part debate.“Unlike Governor Perry, I believe we need to build more fence…I believe that we need to secure the border using technology and more personnel. And until we build that border, we should neither have storm troopers come in and throw people out of the country nor should we provide amnesty.”

Family Values

Rick Santorum is above all else a Social Conservative. Perhaps, there is no better way of describing the appeal and constituency of the 53-year-old politician.

In a nutshell: “his vision for America is to restore America’s greatness through the promotion of faith, family and freedom,” according to his website.

Santorum, a Catholic, is strongly pro-life, opposes gay marriage, wants to reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, and believes a two-parent home is the key to a thriving economy. The promotion of these so-called family values is the cornerstone of his campaign, and he has already made it clear it’s a topic he is willing to go toe-to-toe with against President Barack Obama.

“The Obama administration has a set of values,” Santorum said recently to a crowd of a few hundred students and parents at a conservative Christian school in Iowa. “I love it when the left and when the president say, ‘Don’t try to impose your values on us, you folks who hold your Bibles in your hand and cling to your guns.’ They have values too. Our values are based on religion, based on life. Their values are based on a religion of self.”

The father of seven children, Santorum, believes his stance on family values makes him the so called authentic conservative. He spells out his political vision in his book, “It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good.”

Education

Education has been a touchy issue for Santorum. The former Pennsylvania Senator is best known for introducing in 2001 the so-called “Santorum Ammendment” to the No Child Left Behind Act, which promotes the teaching of intelligent design along alongside scientific theories of evolution in schools.

Santorum has criticized what he calls government “meddling” in education and home schools his seven children. During a recent Fox News/Google debate, Santorum said that it was the parents responsibility to educate their children. “The government has convinced parents that at some point it’s no longer their responsibility. And in fact, they force them, in many respects, to turn their children over to the public education system and wrest control from them and block them out of participation of that,” Santorum said. “That has to change or education will not improve in this country.”

***PLEASE NOTE I TOOK THIS INFORMATION FROM FOX NEWS LATINO AND ORIGINAL ARTICLE MAY BE SEEN ON THEIR PAGE.
Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/01/04/iowas-surprise-where-rick-santorum-stands-on-latino-issues/#ixzz1lm234HdZ

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