Hispanics

Invite: Mon. June 20th Event -- What the 2010 Census Means for the 2012 Elections

America is going through profound demographic change.   The latest census results affirm what we at NDN have been saying for years: the Hispanic population is booming, the population is moving to the South and to the West,  and the Millennial Generation is on the rise.   But what does this new data tell us about how both parties will need to retool going into the 2012 elections?   What do these demographic shifts mean for American politics?

Join us on Monday, June 20th at 5:30pm ET for a panel discussion on what the 2010 Census means for the 2012 Election.  Morley Winograd, NDN Fellow and co-author of Millennial Makeover, one of New York Times Ten Favorite Books of 2008, and the forthcoming Millenium Momentum, will join us to discuss the growth of the Millennial Generation and how this fast-growing portion of the electorate can be engaged.  Joel Kotkin, an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, and the crtically acclaimed author of The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, will offer thoughts on migration within America, how suburbs and city-centers will change to accommodate population growth, and what those changes mean for state and national politics.  Carlos Odio, the former Deputy Latino Vote Director for Obama for America and Deputy Associate Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs, and now the Director of Special Projects at New Organizing Institute, will offer reflections on the changing Latino electorate and how and where their participation will make an impact in 2012.

Following the panel, there will be a brief reception with light refreshments.  Be sure to RSVP here.   

For background, be sure to check out the past work of NDN's 21st Century America Project.

EMERGE Panel: "My Journey" Panel Discussion & Networking Reception

Emerge Series
June 9, 5:30pm
The Donovan House, 1155 14th Street NW

RSVP

Join NDN Senior Advisor Alicia Menendez as she moderates a panel of emerging Latino leaders for this year's EMERGE series.  Panelists include Ingrid M. Duran, co-founder D&P Creative Strategies; Roderic Olvera Young,
Senior Vice President, Chair of Global Reputation Management Practice, MSLGROUP; and Victor Anger, Vice President, Agency in the Mid-Atlantic, State Farm.  The event is sponsored by Poder Magazine. 

Marco Rubio: Is a great last name enough to woo national Latino voters?

Marco Rubio: Latino friend or foe?  That's the question posed in today's Al Dia:

Líderes hispanos y activistas de inmigración esperaban que Rubio tomara una postura más moderada en vistas de una campaña electoral, pero en su lugar, el republicano ha tomado una postura de mayor oposición al DREAM-Act, y se refiere a cualquier medida que no esté relacionada con la seguridad fronteriza y al verificación de estatus migratorio para trabajar, como “amnistía”.

In short, activists continue to hope that Senator Rubio's position on immigration will evolve...back to what it was.  From Scott Wong at Politico:

as a state lawmaker in 2003 and 2004, Rubio co-sponsored a bill providing an in-state tuition break for high-achieving children of illegal immigrants. As speaker of the Florida House, Rubio blocked several bills from coming to the floor, saying it was Washington’s responsibility to solve the immigration problem.

But rather than stepping up on the issue, Rubio has stepped back.  From Politico:

...backed by grass-roots tea party activists on the campaign trail, Rubio tacked right on the immigration issue and never looked back. He endorsed Arizona’s controversial immigration law that is being challenged by the Obama administration in the courts. And he opposed an earlier version of the DREAM Act that was twice filibustered by Republicans in the Senate.

“My position is unchanged from the campaign that I ran on,” Rubio said. “I’m not here to break campaign promises.”

Marco Rubio is undoubtedly smart and charming.  His future is bright.  He has an opportunity here to demonstrate leadership and to act as a bridge between disparate communities.  Instead, he is playing it safe.  That is the real crisis of leadership. 

Rubio's name is freqently mentioned as a Republican vice-presidential candidate.  The implication is that having a Hispanic on the ticket makes it easier for Republicans to win in the Sunbelt.  But a last name isn't enough to woo Latino voters.  While Rubio carried the Cuban vote, he did not carry the non-Cuban vote in his own state.  If Rubio wants to be a national player he will need to take up the mantle of reform for his people, for his party, for America.  If he doesn't, it will be a big loss for him, for his party and for the people who sent him to congress. 

This Week in the 21st Century America Project

Inspired by “Ya es hora” campaign, Asian-Americans in California begin a major citizenship push

Joseph Berger at The New York Times has a great article about ethnic job niches.  In his piece, Berger suggests that as Koreans and Italians move out, Latinos are moving up:

The Koreans who streamed to the United States in the 1970s were often middle-class professionals who might have needed years to learn English and obtain their American credentials in engineering or chemistry. But a small nest egg might buy a store in a ragged neighborhood, and there were plenty of fruit markets and delis being forsaken by aging Italians and Jews. These older immigrants sold out to Koreans partly because the children they had sent to college did not want to inherit a business where they would have to lift fruit cartons. “The niche is not disappearing, but the previous occupants are,” Professor Kasinitz said.

A perfect illustration is what’s happening now: Since fewer South Koreans are leaving their now-prosperous homeland, and college-educated Korean offspring here want less grueling work, Latinos who once worked for the Koreans are taking over their stores. Similarly, Italian landscapers in the suburbs are slowly giving way to companies started by the Latino laborers the Italians once hired to cut grass.

So here’s my question:  once Latinos take over Korean delis, do we start calling them bodegas?  And in gentrifying neighborhoods, who is going to run those bodegas when the Latinos move out?  The hipsters?

And, Latino Decisions has a new tracking poll out showing that while Latino support for the Affordable Care Act remains high, it has decreased over time.  From today’s release:

Latino support for maintaining the law remains higher than the general public, as 49% of the sample report that the Affordable Care Act “should be left as law” compared to 31% who believe that the “bill should be repealed”.  Thus, compared to the general public at large, Latinos demonstrate a much lower preference for repeal (31% compared to 46% in Gallup).  However Latino support for Obama’s health care plan has dipped over time.

Matt Barreto, LD’s lead pollster suggests that perhaps the dip can be attributed to a lack of White House outreach.  What do you think? Was this a missed opportunity?

This Week in the 21st Century America Project

This weekend, singer Shakira was honored by the Harvard Foundation for her artistic and humanitarian work.  After the ceremony, Shakira offered a message of hope to the Latino community:

The Grammy Award-winning singer...said Latino immigrants in the U.S. facing various anti-immigrant bills will have "justice" as public awareness about their plight grows.

"Justice will come. I'm sure," Shakira told The Associated Press after the award ceremony. "Wherever there is ... a kid, who could be the son or the daughter of a Latino immigrant, who cannot attend a school in the United States of America, that kid should be a concern to all of us and our responsibility."

Shakira's sentiment is on-point with the results of a Pew Research poll released just last week which show that despite a rise in extreme rhetoric against Hispanic immigrants, including the emergence of a campaign to change the 14th ammendment, a majority of Americans oppose such radical proposals.  According to Bruce Drake at Politics Daily:

Proposals to deny citizenship to what immigration hardliners call "anchor babies" born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents are unpopular with the public. Fifty-seven percent oppose changing the Constitution's 14th amendment that grants automatic citizenship to anyone born on American soil. Thirty-nine percent favor changing the amendment and 4 percent are undecided.

Pew also released a different set of research last week - one examining the digital habits of Latinos and African-Americans.  The study found that Latinos have less home broadband access than black Americans but share similar rates of Internet and mobile use. Other key findings include both groups using mobile technology for internet access in the absence of home broadband.  Unsurprisingly, more acculturated Latinos reported greater online usage than their less acculturated peers.  In addition, when researchers controlled for income and education, the numbers were consistent across racial groups.  Jill Duffy has a good rundown of the data here.   

Finally, Chuck Raasch uses the scene in Wisconsin to examine the difference between Millennials and other generation when it comes to cooperation and combat.  You can read it here.

NDN Expands Ad Buys in AZ and CO - Help us do more.

Over a month ago, NDN launched a major Spanish-language radio campaign in three southwestern states designed to increase Hispanic participation in the upcoming elections. Our supporters have chipped in more than $350,000 so far for this campaign, and thanks to new donations received this week, we were able to significantly increase our media buys in Arizona and Colorado, and put a new closing ad on the air in each state.

You can listen to or read the scripts of these powerful, creative ads-- featuring Joe Arpaio, Jan Brewer and Tom Tancredo-- here.

But there are more stations to buy in our three states - Arizona, Colorado and Nevada - and more ads we can produce and run.  Can you help us expand our final weekend ad buys with a contribution of $25, $50 or more to our campaign? Every dollar you give will go into buying more time for our powerful ads which are now saturating the airwaves in these three states, but we must receive your donation by 4pm today.

Please support our campaign today and help us make sure that the fastest-growing part of the American electorate turns out strong this November.

And thanks for all that you do.

Hispanics Rising, 2010

At an event today, our affiliate, the New Policy Institute will release "Hispanics Rising, 2010", an updated version of a report we last released in 2008.  Join us in person or live on the web to see the presentation, and look for the full report on our website later today.  I offer up this executive summary of the report as a little appetizer:

Fueled by huge waves of recent immigration from the Americas and the Caribbean, the rapid growth of the U.S. Hispanic community is perhaps the most important American demographic story of the 21st century. At 15% of the US population today, Hispanics are now America’s largest “minority” group. One in ten Americans today is of Mexican descent, and the US now has the 2nd largest Hispanic population of any nation in the Americas. Over time this fast-growing population will grow to almost 30% of the total U.S. population, and will be the central driver in turning America into a “majority minority” nation by 2050.

Not surprisingly, this very rapid and profound population change is shifting political alignments in the U.S. Early in this decade George W. Bush’s remarkable success with this new community and electorate was critical to both of his Presidential victories. In 2005, however, the national Republican Party repudiated the modern, successful Hispanic strategy championed by the Bush family, and adopted a much more anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic strategy. This approach was instrumental in fueling the massive immigration rallies in the spring of 2006, and swinging Hispanics significantly to the Democrats and increasing their turnout in the 2006 elections. The Republican Party’s gains in this critical new part of the American electorate were lost.

The 2008 cycle saw a continuation of this new potent dynamic – an anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic national GOP, and a Democratic Party embracing, tentatively, the new demographic realities of the 21st century and one of its most visible battlegrounds – immigration reform. Once again the Hispanic electorate stayed with the Democrats and increased their share of the overall electorate. This emergence of a new, highly energized and pro-Democratic Hispanic electorate had an enormous impact on the 2008 presidential election. In six battleground states critical to the Electoral College - Colorado, Florida, Indiana, New Mexico Nevada and Virginia – increases in Hispanic turnout and a significant vote swing to Democrats helped tip these states from Republican to Democrat. This swing of Latino votes—as it was for George Bush in 2000 and 2004—was instrumental in electing Barack Obama to the White House in 2008.

In the span of just the last three Presidential elections, the Hispanic share of the American electorate has grown 80 percent, from 5 percent in 2000 to 9 percent in 2008, a sweeping and historic development.

The evidence of the rising political and cultural influence of America’s growing Hispanic population is all around us. In the 2008 Presidential election, each political party conducted an entire Presidential debate in Spanish, the Democratic Party fielded the first major Hispanic Presidential candidate, added a heavily Hispanic state, Nevada, to its early primary mix, and held its convention in Denver, a central spot in the new Southwestern Latino battleground. In 2009 the first Hispanic in American history, Sonia Sotomayor, was appointed to the Supreme Court. President Obama has appointed a record number of Hispanics to his Administration, including prominent Cabinet positions. Florida Senator Mel Martinez recently served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, and New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez now runs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Spanish is now commonly spoken and used by leading politicians and their offices across the country. After years of protest, Time Warner had the good sense to remove Lou Dobbs, the most virulent anti-immigrant voice in mainstream media, from CNN. America’s relationship with Mexico—a country which has now provided so much of our population but long been distant in the American imagination—is going through an historic warming period. The coming reapportionment and redistricting will further shift political power to Hispanic regions of the country, and Hispanic regions within states.

Data from this election cycle show that the Hispanic community is still with President Obama and the Democrats and still wary of the GOP, but their intention to vote this fall trails far below the national average. For a community that has voted in very high numbers in recent elections, this is a change, and perhaps a sign of their disappointment in Washington’s continued inability to resolve the issue so close to their communities and their families – immigration reform. How the two political parties manage this issue this year and in the years ahead—particularly given the fuel a new law in Arizona has added to the fire—will be critical to shaping the Hispanic population’s future political path, and, given their numbers, perhaps the nation itself. This next chapter of “Hispanics Rising” has yet to be written, but may be the most important yet.

Update: Here is the full report.

Broken No More?

There is a new breeze blowing through Washington this week. Yes it has hit 70 degrees outside. Spring is in the air, and it has lightened everyone's step a bit. But the real change is what is happening in the governing party and in the Capitol. The people's business is starting to get done.

It has been a remarkable few weeks here in DC. A payroll tax cut for small businesses to help provide a modest boost to the economy was signed into law, passing the Senate with 11 Republican votes. A serious bipartisan immigration reform plan outline was advanced. The final financial regulatory reform package is taking shape. The President offered up a thoughtful vision on how to improve the nation's education system, and is about to pass a major overall and expansion of the college student loan program. The FCC released a powerful vision for the future of broadband and the internet in the US.  Competitive - and what we all hope were fair - elections were conducted in Iraq. And of course, the big one - modernizing and improving our health care system - is close to passage. 

After a fitful first year, the Democrats are learning, however clumsily, to become the governing party. None of the three Democratic leaders - Obama, Reid, Pelosi - have ever been in their position when the Democratic Party was in such a strong position with the public, or had so much power in Washington. Democrats have more seats in Congress and received a higher vote share in 2008 than in any time since the 1960s. Barack Obama was not yet age ten the last time Democrats were in a similar position in DC, and frankly, the years of conservative ascendancy, which kept the Democrats on the defensive and largely out of power, left an entire generation of politicians more used to challenging the power of others than wielding it themselves. And it has shown over the past 14 months.

This new day for Democrats - huge Congressional majorities, a country tempered by failed conservative policies, a significant Party ID advantage, and a powerful and growing majority coalition - is unlike any time we've seen in Washington in at least 40, if not 70 years. The Democrats have clearly needed time to learn how to be a governing party, to align their interests, manage complex legislation, bring along a lot of new staff, Senators, Members of the House, and a young President into a coherent team. It has been a bumpy process - no big surprise - but there are signs this week that this new 21st century Democratic Party is finding its way, learning how to manage the new circumstances, do what is required to move the nation forward.  It is learning how, after the end of the conservative ascendancy, to become a governing party.

In 2007, Peter Leyden and I wrote an article called The 50 Year Strategy, which argued that the failure of conservative politics and the emergence of a "new politics" of the 21st century offered the chance for the progressive movement to build a new and durable progressive era, and usher in a re-alignment in American politics.  I still believe, deeply, that this opportunity is very much present today. With strong leadership and the courage to tackle the nation's most important problems, it is still very much within the center-left's grasp. And in many ways this question - could the Democrats seize the historic opportunity they had to realign politics, and usher in a new era of reform and progress? - has been, and remains the single most important question in American politics today.  This morning, the chances of the Democrats seizing the moment - and the conservatives continuing to make equally historic political miscalculations - seems ever more possible.

Steven Pearlstein has a nice reflection on all this in the Washington Post this morning.

It may not be morning in America just yet, but today it certainly feels a lot more like spring - a time of hope and of possibility - for Washington and for the 21st century center-left.

Update: See our recent report on the changing coalitions of the two political parties to learn more about the current state of the Democratic Party's emerging majority coalition.

Hispanics Hardest Hit by Economic Downturn

Yesterday morning NPR featured a segment on a study highlighted by The New Republic that shows that the poverty rate among Hispanics/Latinos has jumped at a rate much higher than for any other demographic.  The number of Hispanic children now living in poverty has swelled by 12%, while that number actually fell among other minorities.  Income has also gone down for Latinos more than for any other group - decreasing by an average of 5.6% for Latinos, while income only decreased about 2.3% for non-Hispanic whites and among blacks.  This data suggests serious demographic concern. 

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote about the economic plight of Latinos in honor of Hispanic Heritage month.  As this month begins anew, it is evident that things have not gotten any better for Latinos, rather the economic situation among this demographic has worsened, which in turn will have a ripple effect on all communities. 

The Coming Battle Over the Census

For many months now NDN has been making the case that inevitably the right would make a spirited case to prevent the Census, to be conducted next year, from counting undocumented immigrants, or at least using their numbers to influence reapportionment or the allocation of resources by the government (the primary purpose of the every ten year count).

Today the Wall Street Journal is running a well-articulated early salvo in this coming battle by John S. Baker and Elliot Stonecipher.  It starts off: 

Next year’s census will determine the apportionment of House members and Electoral College votes for each state. To accomplish these vital constitutional purposes, the enumeration should count only citizens and persons who are legal, permanent residents. But it won’t.

Instead, the U.S. Census Bureau is set to count all persons physically present in the country—including large numbers who are here illegally. The result will unconstitutionally increase the number of representatives in some states and deprive some other states of their rightful political representation. Citizens of “loser” states should be outraged. Yet few are even aware of what’s going on.

In 1790, the first Census Act provided that the enumeration of that year would count “inhabitants” and “distinguish” various subgroups by age, sex, status as free persons, etc. Inhabitant was a term with a well-defined meaning that encompassed, as the Oxford English Dictionary expressed it, one who “is a bona fide member of a State, subject to all the requisitions of its laws, and entitled to all the privileges which they confer.”

Thus early census questionnaires generally asked a question that got at the issue of citizenship or permanent resident status, e.g., “what state or foreign country were you born in?” or whether an individual who said he was foreign-born was naturalized. Over the years, however, Congress and the Census Bureau have added inquiries that have little or nothing to do with census’s constitutional purpose.

By 1980 there were two census forms. The shorter form went to every person physically present in the country and was used to establish congressional apportionment. It had no question pertaining to an individual’s citizenship or legal status as a resident. The longer form gathered various kinds of socioeconomic information including citizenship status, but it went only to a sample of U.S. households. That pattern was repeated for the 1990 and 2000 censuses.

The 2010 census will use only the short form. The long form has been replaced by the Census Bureau’s ongoing American Community Survey. Dr. Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau’s Immigration Statistics Staff, told us in a recent interview that the 2010 census short form does not ask about citizenship because “Congress has not asked us to do that.”

Because the census (since at least 1980) has not distinguished citizens and permanent, legal residents from individuals here illegally, the basis for apportionment of House seats has been skewed. According to the Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey data (2007), states with a significant net gain in population by inclusion of noncitizens include Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas. (There are tiny net gains for Hawaii and Massachusetts.)

This makes a real difference. Here’s why:

According to the latest American Community Survey, California has 5,622,422 noncitizens in its population of 36,264,467. Based on our round-number projection of a decade-end population in that state of 37,000,000 (including 5,750,000 noncitizens), California would have 57 members in the newly reapportioned U.S. House of Representatives.

However, with noncitizens not included for purposes of reapportionment, California would have 48 House seats (based on an estimated 308 million total population in 2010 with 283 million citizens, or 650,000 citizens per House seat). Using a similar projection, Texas would have 38 House members with noncitizens included. With only citizens counted, it would be entitled to 34 members.

You get the idea. 

We've been arguing, aggressively, that it is important for the Obama Administration to pass Compehensive Immigration Reform by March of 2010 (the count begins in April, 2010) in order to avoid what could become a very nasty debate indeed - in the middle of a very important election - about who exactly is an American.   To me the need to conduct a clean and accurate census, so essential to effective governance of the nation, is one of the most powerful reasons why immigration reform cannot wait till 2011, as some have suggested.

For more on this see my recent essay - Why Congress Should Pass Immigration Reform This Year.

And so the debate begins.

Update: The key passage from the 14th Amendment:

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State.

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