Tuesday, November 1, 2011

White House Latino Update

¡Buenas Tardes!

The President’s efforts to help put Americans back to work and strengthen the economy took him to Colorado and Nevada this past week where he delivered a strong message, that “we can’t wait” for Congress to act as Republicans continue to stand in the way of the American Jobs Act. The President highlighted executive actions his Administration is taking without help from Republicans in Congress, making it clear that our problems are too serious, the stakes are too high, and that the issues facing Americans require serious bipartisan solutions.

On Monday, the President traveled to Las Vegas to highlight a set of steps announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to make it easier for some homeowners to refinance their mortgages. On Tuesday, President Obama called for new initiatives to help create jobs for military medics, including a challenge to hire 8,000 veterans in three years and a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) pledged to open up career-paths beyond nursing and expand opportunities for veterans to become physician assistants.

On Wednesday, from the University of Colorado, the President announced new efforts to make college more affordable by helping millions of borrowers better manage their federal student loan debt. Finally, on Friday, the President signed two executive memorandums: one that would shorten the time it takes for companies to commercialize federal research, and another to launch BusinessUSA -- a website that will make it easier for companies to learn about federal resources for business and exports -- in early 2012.

President Barack Obama waves to the crowd after arriving at the University of Colorado Denver campus, in Denver, Colo., Oct. 26, 2011. The President delivered remarks on the steps the Administration is taking to increase college affordability by making it easier to manage student loan debt. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Also last week, White House officials were busy answering questions from the American people. As the President made his announcements in the West, Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, held Office Hours to answer questions via Twitter about the President’s new efforts. On Wednesday, one of President Obama's top education advisors, Roberto Rodriguez, issued the first response to a petition created through We the People. In an Open for Questions event, USAID Administrator Raj Shah and special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of the National Security Council Gayle Smith fielded questions about the war, famine and drought crisis in the Horn of Africa.

In addition the President announced a few new Latino Nominees for key Administration posts, Secretary Solis announced a new social media partnership to connect unemployed Americans with jobs, and USDA, HHS, and Interior announced new efforts to partner with and recognize the contributions of Latinos.

Be sure to check out the Engage page, a one-stop-shop for all the ways you can engage with the White House online. This website features upcoming engagement opportunities, the latest news on White House policies and programs, links to community pages, and much more. Check it out, and let us know what you think! Finally, be sure to visit our other new pages: the Citizens Medal website, where you can watch videos from the ceremony and learn more about the work of the 13 honorees, and the Economy page, which highlights the President's initiatives to create jobs and provide security for the middle class.


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
On October 17th and 18th President Barack Obama announced the nominations of a number of Hispanics to key Administration posts. Julissa Reynoso, was nominated as the Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Department of State. Freddy Balsera was nominated to serve as a Member of United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy and Albert Gonzales was nominated to serve as a Member of the National Selective Service Appeal.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis Announces Social Media partnership to connect unemployed Americans with jobs Board
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced an innovative partnership that leverages the combined audience and expertise of officials from the U.S. Department of Labor, Facebook, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, Direct Employers Association and the National Association of Colleges and Employers to provide crucial employment resources to job seekers through the use of social networks.

Administration on Aging awards National Hispanic Senior Medicare Patrol grant to fight Medicare fraud
Earlier this month, the Administration on Aging (AoA) announced the award of $640,000 for the National Hispanic Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). The National Hispanic SMP is a Medicare fraud prevention program that targets its education efforts specifically to Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers. The grant goes to the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), which established the National Hispanic SMP with AoA funding in 2008.To learn about how the Senior Medicare Patrol works, click here. For information and resources in the SMP effort to reduce Medicare Fraud, click here.

USDA Announces Grants to Support Food and Agricultural Sciences Education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded 20 competitive grants to Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in six states and Puerto Rico to enhance the ability of these colleges and universities to support underserved students and develop a skilled American work force. The grants are administered through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Cesar Chavez Special Resource Study
The draft Cesar Chavez Special Resource Study and Environmental Assessment is available for public review and comment. The executive summary of the draft study report is available here.The full report is available here. The executive summary is also available in Spanish here. The draft study report is available for public comment for 30 days. The comment period extends through November 14, 2011. We welcome your comments through e-mail, our web site, mail or at one of the public meetings.

Upcoming White House Conference Calls

Appropriations and Social Safety Net Organizations, with Martha Coven, OMB Associate Director for Education, Income Maintenance, and Labor
WHEN: Tuesday, November 1st
Start Time: 10:30 AM EDT
Dial In: (800) 398-9386
Call Title: White House Update
To ensure an adequate number of lines, please RSVP here.

Appropriations and Consumer Protection, with Kenneth Baer, OMB Communications Director
WHEN: Tuesday, November 1st
Start Time: 10:45 AM EDT
Dial In: (800) 398-9379
Call Title: White House Update
To ensure an adequate number of lines, please RSVP here.

Appropriations and the Environment, with Heather Higginbottom, OMB Deputy Director
WHEN: Tuesday, November 1st
Start Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Dial In: (800) 398-9389
Call Title: White House Update
To ensure an adequate number of lines, please RSVP here.

Executive Actions – “We Can’t Wait”
WHEN: Wednesday, November 2nd
Start Time: 3:00 PM EDT
Dial In: (800) 398-9367
Call Title: White House Update Call
To ensure an adequate number of lines, please RSVP here.

Blog Highlights

Commitment to the Hispanic Community in the American Jobs Act
October 14, 2011
The American Jobs Act reflects a commitment to strengthen the recovery and help increase access to jobs for all Americans. Hispanic families, who will account for 65% of the Nation’s population growth between 2010 and 2050, will help form the backbone of America’s labor force in the coming decades. That’s why the President is putting forward a plan to increase the pace of job creation in America, and why he is committed to fighting for Congress to act.

President Obama Presents the National Medals of Science to DR. Richard Tapia
October 14, 2011
You may not know it, but Tuesday, September 27, 2011, was a momentous day for us Latinos in science, engineering, and technology. On that day, President Obama announced the names of seven prominent scientists and engineers who will receive the National Medal of Science. One of these luminaries is Dr. Richard Tapia, University Professor and Maxfield-Oshman Professor of Engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Read the President’s remarks.

Secretary Duncan’s Straight Talk Is Music to Puerto Ricans’ Ears
October 20, 2011
On the island of Puerto Rico, home to the third-largest school district in the United States, Secretary Duncan on Monday brought a tough, but optimistic message to the “Investing in Our Future” Education Summit. Puerto Rico, Duncan said to the more than 300 attendees, must choose “the path of embracing innovation, academic rigor, accountability, and effective strategies for accelerating learning for all students.”

"Entrepreneurs in Residence": Realizing the Job-Creating Potential of Current Immigration Law
October 21, 2011
Last week, I joined the President’s Jobs Council in Pittsburgh to announce “Entrepreneurs in Residence.” This initiative will help U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) obtain industry expertise on immigrant investors, entrepreneurs, and workers with specialized skills, knowledge, or abilities.

Making Progress Inside and Outside of the Courtroom
October 24, 2011
For two years, I have been honored to lead the terrific staff of MALDEF, one of the nation’s leading civil rights legal organizations, in pursuing a mission of promoting the rights of all Latinos living in the United States. MALDEF’s unique contribution among our sister national Latino advocacy groups is to bring legal knowledge and activity, including a sizeable amount of litigation, to the shared goal of social progress.

Julie Rodriguez
Associate Director
White House | Office of Public Engagement

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