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Programs & Initiatives

 

PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES
2010-2011


The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement is a 501 (c)3 non-profit that advances social, political and economic justice for Hispanics throughout the Americas. LCLAA's future reflects its 35-year history as an advocacy organization empowering Latino working families. Its policy platform and educational programs are based on a commitment to high standards in both the quality of the research that forms the foundation of its advocacy work and the estimated impact that changes in government policy will have on the welfare of the Latino community. LCLAA's work is based on a three-pronged approach promoting integration through community-building, leadership development, political empowerment and civic participation.



RESEARCH, POLICY AND ADVOCACY PROGRAMS


LCLAA Bi-annual Convention:
The bi-annual LCLAA Convention convenes LCLAA's membership in a week-long event consisting of educational workshops, exhibits, banquets, the election of LCLAA's national officers, and a general assembly to set the organization's policies and establish its positions on issues of critical concern to the Latino community. Topics at the convention include education, economic development, worker training, leadership development, health and workplace safety.

Economic, Social and Political Policy Research
LCLAA is committed to delivering quality and objective policy research so as to expand the knowledge base upon which policies affecting the Latino community are created. LCLAA is also committed to pioneering solutions to advance the social, economic, and political welfare of the Hispanic community and to the Americas as a whole in the areas of:  Education; Government, the Economy and Infrastructure Improvement; Immigration, Trade and Economic Development; and Global Warming and Job Growth among others. By anticipating emerging issues and through creative partnerships, LCLAA seeks to establish new angles of inquiry in order to provide a roadmap for responses by government, Labor and society taking into account the unique needs of burgeoning Hispanic demographics.

La Voz Magazine:

LCLAA publishes a semi-monthly magazine to keep the LCLAA membership and community members informed about the important policy issues going on in Washington, DC and to highlight important community service announcements, as well as to keep the membership informed about the organization's activities. The magazine is mailed to LCLAA's membership and to other influential members of our community and the labor movement. The cost of production is financed through the sale of advertisements placed in the publication. La Voz Latina Spring 2009 - Click Here. Read our latest issues of our quarterly magazine.

Community Building and Political Empowerment: Leadership Development Initiative
Throughout its 35 year history, LCLAA has developed unique programs that bring together Latino leaders with labor, non-governmental organizations, and local political leadership to open pathways of opportunity for Latino working families and the communities they live in. Through the creation of Leadership Programs, LCLAA has contributed to the establishment of a pipeline of Latinos that can work on campaigns social and political - and run for office. In tandem with its leadership programs, LCLAA has developed innovative non-partisan voter education, registration, GOTV and voter protection programs nationally that focus on enhancing the sustainability of the Latino voter, meaning, that beyond growing the number of Latino voters that they begin to behave in a more consistent manner by turning them out to vote on a regular schedule.

Regional Leadership Conferences
The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) has created a Regional Leadership Development Conference series to not only begin addressing the challenges of globalization in a broader perspective, but also to begin linking the bigger issues with the training necessary to organize communities around those issues in order to be able to enact a progressive agenda * one where worker solidarity is based on an understanding of how politics, security and the economy are interwoven.


The creation of a conscious and educated union membership will enable the Labor movement to better mobilize its constituents along with the communities in which they live and work * a point that is particularly poignant with Latino union members, many of which are new to the movement.

Latino Coalition for Workers' Rights (LCWR)

The long-term goal of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Latinos for Workers' Rights Campaign is to educate the Latino community about the roles that unions can play in the improvement of their economic, social and political welfare, so as to increase the number of Latinos in the labor movement. The overarching aims of the campaign are twofold:

1) To educate the Latino community around the issue of their right to organize; what the Employee Free Choice Act would do to facilitate that process and why it is deemed necessary so as to gain their support; and
2) To develop leadership within the Latino rank and file who belong to a union so as to increase their advocacy role and visibility within the unions.

Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR)
The original purpose of Latinos for a Secure Retirement was to prevent the privatization of Social Security.  Over time, the nature of this advocacy effort transformed into programs to address the financial educational needs of Latino families through a creation of a series of community forums addressing issues like: home ownership; predatory lending; investing for retirement and health care reform, among others.

Worker Safety Education and Advocacy Project:
From 1992 to 2006, OSHA has consistently indicated that the number of fatal injuries on the job for Latino workers has been steadily increasing. A 2008 report by the AFL-CIO entitled, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect demonstrates that Latino workers have a fatality rate 25 percent higher than all U.S. workers. The number of reported fatalities among immigrants in 2006 was the highest ever reported. Since 1992, when these data were first collected, the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported that fatalities among Hispanic workers had increased by 86 percent, while the overall number dropped. The overarching aim of the campaign is twofold: 1) to inform, educate, and mobilize Latino workers to become stewards of their workplace through proactive measures to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on the job; 2) to create change through the promotion of sustainable frameworks of occupational safety both in terms of training and public policy to raise the profile of this terrible crisis regionally and nationally. 

The New Economy: Greening Jobs, Growing Technology Project

The long-term goal of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Education and Advocacy Project on Climate Change - The New Economy: Greening Jobs, Growing Technology is to increase awareness and educate the Latino community about the correlation of global warming and environmental justice to health problems, quality of life issues, labor and the economy. The overarching aims of the 24-month campaign are twofold: 1) to inform, educate, and mobilize Latinos into becoming stewards of the environment through proactive measures that would help in the reduction of global warming and its concomitant impact on trends in weather change such as drought, hurricanes, tornados, etc., which adversely impact Latino communities around the globe; 2) to create change through the promotion of sustainable frameworks of development that would stabilize the national economy, improve workforce training in the Latino community and raise awareness about the interconnectedness between climate change and job creation. 

Know Your Rights Campaign
Immigrant communities are currently facing unusual sets of challenges from law enforcement agencies across the country, federal, state and local. The Know Your Rights campaign is an effort by LCLAA in combination with union locals to ensure that immigrant families understand the law and their options when facing legal engagement. This pilot project is based in the DC Metro area and covers MD, VA, and DC.

LCLAA Democracy Initiative:
Latinos have traditionally viewed the attainment of effective political representation as the first step in leveling the playing field. LCLAA's 35-year history is one where its voter education and GOTV program help to harness the growing number of potential Latino voters by informing the community about issues that affect them while giving them a voice in the political arena and ultimately a say in how resources are allocated in their neighborhoods and throughout their state via voter registration, education, get-out-the-vote and voter protection. Our voter protection campaign will ensure that their votes are counted, while our communications campaign will generate enthusiasm and hope in Latino voting power.

Community Service Education Projects:
In order to inform and prepare vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the disabled, and immigrants, LCLAA educates and distributes educational materials among its national, state, and local networks and features links to government information on the LCLAA website, as well as does national e-mail blasts and printed publications. Issues covered include digital transition, emergency services, and infrastructure redevelopment. 

Miguel Contreras Fellowship Program
Miguel Contreras was renowned for his commitment to economic justice and civic engagement. He was unexpectedly taken away from us but his vision lives on through the Fellowship and Internship program that were created to memorialize his work. Established in 2006, the Miguel Contreras Fellowship and Internship Program introduces young Hispanics to the dramatic changes in the world economy and the nature, size and composition of the workplace and the value of the labor movement. Through the program, each Fellow has an opportunity to gain insights into the complex political, social and economic forces that shape the operating environment of the labor movement. Housed inside the AFL-CIO in Washington, DC - fellows are in a privileged environment where they can exchange perspectives with leaders in the labor movement, the political arena and other experts who are internationally recognized for their expertise on economic and labor issues.

LCLAA Health Initiative
The LCLAA national office advocates for policies and legislation, training and public health education programs that improve the physical, behavioral and mental health and well-being of Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico.  LCLAA's health initiatives focus on health issues that affect Latinos in higher percentages than the general population including insurance, prescription drugs, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, asthma, and AIDS.

LCLAA Brownbag Policy Series
This unique Brownbag Policy Series creates partnerships with other non-profits interested in the international aspects of human, civil and labor rights within the Americas. Beginning in September 2007, LCLAA will host a monthly series of informational dialogues with trade unionists, community leaders and legislators from Latin America and the Caribbean to find common ground where possible around inter-related transnational agendas and the unintended consequences at the local level of globalization, trade and immigration.

National Office Washington, DC:
LCLAA has established a permanent national office in Washington, DC with a full-time staff. The office coordinates implementation of LCLAA's national programs, impacts policy and advocates on behalf of LCLAA members before Congress and the administration. The staff also compiles legislative information for the LCLAA membership and community at-large.  LCLAA also performs important research and analysis around issues important to Latino workers nationwide.

Maria Portalat­in and Yvonne Perez Scholarship Fund

Maria Portalati­n and Yvonne Perez are pioneers in the field of education. Proud members of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) these long-time advocates have worked within the labor movement to advance young Latinos through educational opportunity. This scholarship fund reflects their vision by ensuring that the children of Latino working families have the resources necessary for them to continue with their education. Too many young Hispanics fall through the cracks. This important scholarship fund guarantees the future of the next generation of Latino leaders.

LCLAA Dreamers' Fund
Approximately 2.8 million students will graduate from US High Schools this year. Some will go on to college; others will join the military or take another path in life. But they will get the opportunity to test their dreams and live their American story. However, a group of about 65,000 students a year will not have this opportunity because they bear the inherited title of undocumented immigrant. Many of these highly motivated students were brought to the US at a very young age and had no say in the decision to come here.  Many have lived in the United States all their lives and and have little or no ties to their country of origin.

For these deserving students, LCLAA established the DREAMERS’ FUND Scholarship in 2009 and presented a check to the Orange County DREAM Team at the Western Regional Leadership Conference.  The Scholarship recipient used LCLAA’s contribution to help cover the cost of tuition for the fall semester

The DREAM Act ‒ introduced by Senators Richard Durbin of Illinois and Richard Lugar of Indiana and Rep. Howard Berman of California and Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida‒ can solve this growing problem. Under the rigorous provisions of the DREAM Act, undocumented young people could be eligible for a conditional path to citizenship in exchange for a mandatory two years in higher education or military service. Undocumented young people must also demonstrate good moral character to be eligible for and stay in conditional residency. At the end of the long process, the young person can have the chance to become an American citizen.