NDN Blog

Panamanian Ambassador Aleman and Congressman Engel Discuss Bilateral Relations this Thursday

On March 4th at 11:45am, please join NDN's Latin American Policy Initiative Chair, Nelson Cunningham, Panamanian Ambassador Jaime E. Aleman, and Congressman Eliot Engel for a conversation on the challenges and opportunities in the relationship between the United States and Panama, and a unique perspective on bilateral relations.

The purpose of this series is to establich an ongoing dialogue to better inform those interested in Latin American policy.

As many of you know, this event was originally scheduled for February 11th but was rescheduled due to the inclement weather in Washington, DC.

Space is limited for this event, so please RSVP as soon as you can to reserve a spot.  We will serve lunch at 12:00pm, and the discussion will begin at 12:15pm.  The event will take place at 2255 Rayburn in the Capitol Complex.

For more information of if you have questions, please contact Sarah Sanchez at ssanchez@ndn.org.

A Conversation with the Panamanian Ambassador
Thursday, March 4, 11:45am
2255 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Click Here to RSVP


A Conversation with Panamanian Ambassador Jaime E. Aleman

Please join us on Thursday, March 4th at 11:45pm for the rescheduled event: A Conversation with Panamanian Ambassador Jaime E. Aleman.  This event, originally scheduled for February 11th, but cancelled due to the region's blizzard, will feature a conversation between Congressman Eliot Engle (D-NY) and Panamanian Ambassador Jaime E. Aleman.  Their conversation will touch upon the challenges and opportunities in the relationship between the United States and Panama and will offer a unique perspective on bilateral relations.

As space is limited for this event, please be sure to RSVP if you plan to attend.  We will erve lunch at 12:00pm, and the discussion will begin at 12:15pm.

The event will take place at 2255 Rayburn in the Capitol Complex.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Sarah Sanchez at ssanchez@ndn.org.  We hope to see you there!

Immigration Reform Still in the Pipeline?

While some lawmakers formerly suggested that CIR would make it to the agenda in 2010, skepticism among the media increases.  In the meantime, supporters continue to advocate the need for reform by quietly organizing today in a prayer vigil to urge lawmakers to not only seek Comprehensive Immigration Reform, but to also seek "compassionate" immigration reform.


An ecumenical prayer vigil for immigration reform will be held at 6 p.m. today at Las Americas Faith Community/Trinity United Methodist Church, 1548 Eighth St.

The vigil follows a National Day of Prayer coordinated by Interfaith Immigration. Similar prayer vigils are to take place nationwide.

The vigil will have prayers, songs and presentations, and those who attend will write postcards to legislators and call them during the service.

- Des Moines Register

Join NDN for A Conversation with the Colombian Ambassador

On Tuesday, January 19th, NDN will host Colombian Ambassador Carolina Barco for a luncheon and discussion on priorities in the relationship between Colombia and the United States. This forum is part of NDN's Latin American Policy Initiative, a program dedicated to building understanding of Latin America and the salient issues affecting each country individually.

As space is limited for this event, please RSVP.

We will serve lunch at 12:00pm, and the discussion will run from 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm. The event will take place at NDN, 729 15th Street, NW, between H St. and New York Avenue.

If you are unable to join us, you can watch a live webcast starting at 12:15pm ET.

If you have questions, or for more information about the event, please contact Sarah at ssanchez@ndn.org.

TONIGHT: Special Screening of 9500 Liberty

Tonight NDN will host a special screening of acclaimed documentary 9500 Liberty at the U.S. Navy Memorial Heritage Center's Burke Theatre.  After making its way around the country with premieres in San Francisco and New York City, 9500 Liberty returns to the capitol as the winner of Best Documentary at the Charlotte Film Festival and the St. Louis Film Festival.  We hope you will join NDN for this special screening.

Doors will open at 7:30pm and the film will begin promptly at 8:00pm.  Following the film, NDN Founder and President Simon Rosenberg will moderate a discussion with filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler.  Special Guest Rep. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16) will also be joining us for this wonderful evening. 

About the Film
9500 Liberty is a compelling new documentary about a suburban community's struggle to manage its changing population in a climate of fear and racial tension exploited by national groups and ambitious local politicians. The film documents how residents and advocacy groups on both sides used new media, technology and social networking to organize for the future of their community online, on the streets and at the center of local politics. 9500 Liberty provides a front-row seat to this battle, one that we will likely see repeated in the months to come as the immigration reform debate returns to the forefront of the national discourse.

U.S. Navy Memorial Heritage Center, Burke Theatre
701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004

To RSVP for you and a guest, please contact Sarah Sanchez at ssanchez@ndn.org or 202-384-1219.  The event is free and is nearly sold out, so please RSVP by 4:00pm to guarantee your seat.

The film 9500 Liberty is a produced by the Interactive Democracy Alliance, a non-profit organization (501c3 status pending). For more information about the film, please visit www.9500Liberty.com, where you can watch the trailer and read the film's most recent press stories.

Released Today at NDN, The New Constituents: How Latinos are Shaping Census 2010 & Congressional Reapportionment

Andres Ramirez, Senior Vice President of NDN, along with America's Voice Education Fund and Election Data Services, released a report at NDN today examining the role of Latinos in the 2010 Census and Congressional Reapportionment.  The report, entitled The New Constituents: How Latinos are Shaping Census 2010 & Congressional Reapportionment, suggests that since the last census in 2000, the Latino population has grown dramatically.  Latinos are now the largest minority group in the United States, and as such, will have a significant role in reshaping the US political map.  Projections show that nineteen states are poised to see changes in their Congressional representation: eight states will gain seats at least one House seat, while eleven will lose at least one seat in Congress.

NDN hosted an event to release the paper and discuss the topic with the papers' lead authors and immigration and census experts.  Those on the panel were Andres Ramirez, Senior Vice President, NDN, Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America's Voice, Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, NALEO, and Kim Brace, President, Election Data Services.

Watch the video below to see a video recording of today's event.



Follow this link to read the NDN Backgrounder on Census 2010, Immigration Status, and Reapportionment

Interested in Immigration? Come to our Event on Tuesday

This Tuesday, November 17th at 12pm, NDN will be hosting a discussion on the release of a recent report from America's Voice Education Fund on "How Latinos are Shaping Census 2010 & Congressional Reapportionment." Andres Ramirez, NDN Senior Vice President and Director of Hispanic Programs, Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), and Kim Brace, President of Election Data Services will discuss the results of the report, which demonstrate that Latinos are helping to re-shape the political map.

Eighteen states are poised to see changes in their Congressional representation due to the 2010 Census.  On Tuesday, learn how this could influence the make-up of Congress moving forward and the implications it has on immigration reform.

This event is open to the press and will take place at NDN, which is located at 729 15th St. NW, 1st Floor, Washington, DC.  As lunch will be provided for guests, please RSVP if you plan to attend.

If you are not in DC or if you can't make it this time, follow this link to watch "How Latinos are Shaping Census 2010 & Congressional Reapportionment" live online.  The livecast will begin at 12:15pm.

A video recording will be available on Wednesday, November 18th.

For more information, follow this link to NDN's backgrounder on Census 2010, Immigration and Reapportionment.

Senate Votes to Reject Vitter-Bennett Amendment

This afternoon, the United States Senate voted 60-39 on the motion to invoke cloture on HR 2847, Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill, rejecting the harmful amendment proposed by Senators Vitter (R-LA) and Bennett (R-UT).  NDN, along with 20 other leading advocacy organizations worked relentlessly over the past weeks to defeat this divisive amendment.  The Vitter-Bennett amendment would have irresponsibly disrupted the census next year and threatened the accuracy of the national reapportionment process in the years that follow.

Today's important vote would not have been possible without Harry Reid's strong leadership and commitment to justice.  NDN would also like to thank the strong coalition of advocacy groups that joined together to lead this effort.

Andres Ramirez, Senior Vice President at NDN and a leading voice in this debate said, "The Vitter-Bennett Amendment would have irresponsibility disrupted the census process next year.  We are proud of Senator Reid and the Senate for voting it down.  It is now much more likely that we have a clean and accurate census count next year."

Simon Rosenberg, President of NDN, said "I want to thank the 60 Senators who voted for cloture today, and for the dozens of groups who worked so far to defeat this irresponsible amendment. There is no doubt that if it had passed it would have disrupted the census next year, and reapportionment the years after.  I don't think this fight is over but this was an important victory for common sense and good government today."

For more information, follow this link to NDN's backgrounder on Census 2010, Immigration and Reapportionment.

Don't Wreck the Census

Happy Friday!  For those of you that have been following the Vitter-Bennett amendment discussions, we wanted to make sure you knew about another forum for information: Don't Wreck The Census

We have partnered with this site in order to provide another excellent resource for up to date information surrounding the census debate.  On it, you will also find resources that allow you to take action by calling or writing your representative.  Click here to tell your representatives to vote NO on the Vitter-Bennett amendment.

The Irony of the Net Neutrality Debate

Last week, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski held a hearing to introduce a new set of rules intended to preserve the free and open internet and to start a public discourse regarding whether or not they will be formally adopted.  To be clear, this post is not meant to support or oppose the rules themselves; rather, to comment on the nature of the discourse in its inception stages.

As dialogue surrounding FCC regulations on net neutrality becomes an issue with increasing visibility, so does the importance for each voice to be heard.  Like America, the Internet was created "for the people, by the people," so why would anyone try to silence the people?

By undermining the voices of eminent minority groups like the NAACP and the NCLR, Art Brodsky, the Communications Director at Public Knowledge (PK) is doing just that.  A comment on his blog post suggested that

"...the saddest part of the whole affair to date is the role of groups representing minority populations. For whatever reason - whether they believe what the Big Telecom companies tell them or not - many organizations seem to land on policies that hurt their constituencies and fall into ludicrous traps one suspects are not of their making."

His sentiment implies that well-respected organizations known for their century long fight for equal rights may be duped into a "trap" based on their so-called loyalty to "Big Telecom companies."  At worst, Mr. Brodsky is trying to silence strong civil rights organizations.  At best, his condescending commentary intends to devalue their intentions, research, and history.

After Mr. Brodsky posted his comments last week, Sylvia Aguilera, Executive Director of the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP) responded in a letter by demanding that PK "immediately repudiate the damaging statements."   Now, PK has linked the minority groups' positioning to loyalty based on monetary contributions - effectively suggesting that they are being bribed into taking their stance.  It would be naïve to think that operations of this sort never happen, but it is presumptuous and demeaning to suggest that money is the only factor on which their stance is based.

NDN has a history of partnering with organizations such as the NAACP and NCLR on a variety of issues, including the recent debate on the Vitter-Bennett amendment regarding the census.  Therefore, we can attest to their sincerity and leadership in advocating for their respective communities' interests.

For someone that advocates an open source platform as Mr. Brodsky claims to by supporting net neutrality, it seems ironic that he would try to silence the developing discourse on this topic.

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