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New report on the “State of Latinos” strives to stave off a dismal future for the nation

LatinaLista — The idea that the Latino vote could play a pivotal position with this year’s presidential election is one that is appreciated by all Latinos.
It’s also being capitalized upon.
After all, knowing that both parties are strategizing on how to better reach out to the Latino electorate provides the perfect platform for Latino organizations to make their voices heard about the issues that are important to the Latino community.
These issues, which will impact the country’s future if they are not addressed in a timely manner, are presented in a new report released today.
The preliminary report, The State of Latinos 2008: Defining an Agenda for the Future,” is the collaborative result of The University of Denver (DU) and Grupo Salinas’ Fundacion Azteca America, the non-profit arm of the Azteca America Network.

The full report will be released on September 23 in a televised forum to members of Congress in Washington, D.C., as well as, to both presidential campaigns.

The report focuses on five issues of importance to the Latino community: education, health care, the economy, immigration and the Latino vote.
Among the general findings are that Latino communities want to be self-sufficient and contribute to the U.S. society. However, Latinos face major challenges in accessing quality education, health care, and economic services. And a lack of comprehensive immigration reform widens disparities and limits the future progress of the Latino community and the nation.

While the fuller report will make policy recommendations, one such suggestion included in the preliminary report is that the next administration create a “presidential advisory committee on Latino issues to increase the access of the Latino community to vital educational, health, economic, and civic opportunities.”
This report signifies that it is no longer sufficient to merely “diagnose” the ailments that afflict the Latino electorate but it is time to rectify the problems before the future majority demographic of the nation also transforms this country into one that is the most highly under-educated, unhealthy, working poor and apathetic towards civic engagement.
The problems are known and even how to fix them, but what is lacking may be political will or acknowledgement of just how big an impact Latinos will have on the U.S. economy/society in the future.

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