Hispanic Policy Conference Breakout Session Part 4

Uploaded by whitehouse on 11.07.2011

José Rico: First of all, thanks, everybody, for being able to eat and sit
and talk all at the same time and networking.
We want to be able to use this time right now with our next
Administration official to be able to go right again into
questions and answers.
As many of you might already know, John,
he has been one of the top leaders in the Department of
Housing and Urban Development.
I asked him just to go straight into talking a little bit about,
you know, what his office does.
But we want to get right away into questions and answers.
We know that many of the questions that you had in some
of our earlier sessions was around housing and
sustainable communities.
And John is the right person for you.
So I'm going to have John just do a quick introduction and then
we're going to dive into questions and answers.
John Trasvina: Thank you.
And good afternoon, everyone.
It's really an honor to be here, as the Assistant Secretary for
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
What we do at FHEO is obviously enforce the Fair Housing Act;
race, religion, national origin, color, gender,
people with families, and people with disabilities.
Those are the areas.
But I think what's particularly important is our initiative on
national origin discrimination.
Going in to -- I just came back from Las Vegas last Friday where
we did a town hall meeting focused specifically on outreach
to the Latino community, to the Asian American communities on
national origin discrimination.
We've been to Omaha.
As you know that's right next to Fremont, Nebraska,
where if the law hadn't been blocked by the courts you'd have
to go and, you'd have to go to the police department before you
would be able to rent in Fremont, Nebraska.
We'll be coming up, we'll be doing sessions at the NCLR
conference coming up and in Lancaster, Pennsylvania,
and Charlotte.
So we're going to the areas of the country that typically are
not the five gateway states but also our role is to make sure
that people know what their rights are,
their responsibilities, and the remedies and resources available
to them under the Fair Housing Act.
We have started to use our bilingual hiring authority so
both of our investigators in Las Vegas are Spanish bilingual.
We have a Chinese bilingual staff investigator in
Orange County.
We are looking for people to add to our team.
We're looking for a Spanish speaker in Albuquerque to head
that office.
Also in Little Rock, Arkansas.
So we are blending both the traditional areas as well as the
new areas for the community.
I'd be happy to answer your questions.
And I know a number of you.
And look forward to continuing our work together.
José Rico: Great; questions?
Speaker: (inaudible) national conference of Puerto Rican Immigrants.
Is the foreclosure crisis over?
How did it impact the Hispanic community in general?
And what can we do in the future to avoid such cataclysms?
John Trasvina: Well, the foreclosure crisis is by no means over.
And clearly it has affected the Latino community,
African-American communities, and tremendous amounts
of lost wealth.
When you look at going back from the mid '80s when we had
legalized individuals, they went from temporary status to
permanent status, to citizenship, to homeownership.
And that, particularly that area, that group, that,
really the backbone of the Latino working and middle class,
were drastically affected by the foreclosure crisis.
Our work in fair housing deals with some of the mortgage
discrimination that has gone on in the past.
Also eradicating some of the scammers that are
still out there.
So we have provided funding to a number of different
organizations specifically targeted to lending
discrimination to working with the state AGs and my friend Tom
Pettus at the Civil Rights division to eradicate some of
the mortgage lending areas.
Going forward, obviously what's critically important,
which we were not able to keep in the budget this year,
the housing counselors.
The work that so many people in this room do.
And I have been with you to a variety of different places
where the housing counselors sit and work with the lenders,
work with the community to make sure people know how to get out
of their current situation but also more important to prepare
and plan for the future.
And that is consistently our vision.
As you know, in the FY12 budget that our budget is going to come
out shortly, it includes money for housing counseling.
We don't know whether we're going to get it.
That's obviously an important area.
José Rico: Great; next question.
Diana Rodriguez: Yes, you were speaking on the lines of housing
and foreclosure.
The process is so cumbersome right now for people who are
losing their home.
I mean, already, it's an overwhelming task when they're
losing their home.
And so then to jump through the hoops that they need
to go through.
And I understand the initial application is a one-sheet
process but then it goes through like, you know,
you have to call all the time.
Lenders are not friendly.
And so, you know, I think that there's a lot of responsibility
right now on the federal government in terms of pushing
on to the lenders that they have to be more friendly,
they have to be more educational,
and have to be more open to the process.
So what is being done right now about that?
José Rico: Can you -- your name and your organization?
Diana Rodriguez: Diana Rodriguez from Sacramento City Unified School District.
John Trasvina: Thank you, Diana.
And I think more and more attention is given to it.
And I know people don't really care,
they look at the federal government as the
federal government.
But a large part of this is over at Treasury,
a large part is Secretary Geithner and Secretary Donovan
have met with key, the top people in the banking industry
to push them to do more.
A lot of the programs that do exist require,
they virtually all require the lender cooperation.
And it has been uneven.
And when I go around the country to different communities,
I ask people, so, where do the different banks line up?
And I get different answers depending on the community.
So we have come up with, rolled out some programs early on in
this Administration and then have adjusted the programs based
upon the geography.
Currently there are programs for those who are not in bad
mortgages, necessarily, but are unemployed or are under water.
So there are different types of programs.
But the key is making sure people know what those
programs are.
And as you acknowledged and made clear,
because it depends on lender cooperation,
we have to continue to push the industry to do a better job.
Diana Rodriguez: Yes.
José Rico: Other questions?
The mic please?
And then also your name and organization, please.
Suleika Cabrera Drinane: My name is Suleika Cabrera Drinane,
I'm with the Institute for the Puerto Rican Hispanic Elderly.
One of the areas that I find and I would like to see in terms of
the Mitchalama and the ones that become private and the impact it
has on the elderly population and the displacement that it
has, how is that going and are you continuing privatizing most
of these Mitchalamas?
John Trasvina: I'm sorry, what is the -- what are you --
Speaker: That's a state issue.
Suleika Cabrera Drinane: Huh?
Speaker: That's a state issue.
Suleika Cabrera Drinane: It is?
Speaker: Yes.
Suleika Cabrera Drinane: The Mitchelama?
I thought it was HUD.
It's the federal and -- you're right, you're right.
But the other area of that, do you ever see Section 8 coming
back in a little bit larger proportion?
John Trasvina: It is, yes, I mean, that is one of our key areas,
the housing choice vouchers, whether it's section,
through Section 8.
And the particularly important part of that from my perspective
in Fair Housing is to make sure that the Latinos who are there
have full access to Section 8.
We are working in a number of different enforcement areas
around the country where heavily Latino users of Section 8 have
been discriminated against.
Bill Lann Lee, the Former Assistant Attorney General in
the Clinton Administration, has recently brought a suit on
behalf of Latino and African-American residents in
Lancaster and Palmdale, California.
And that is one we are looking very, very closely at to see,
to make sure that Latino, but any Section 8 voucher holders
are not singled out.
José Rico: The gentleman from Puerto Rico.
Eduardo Bateo [phonetic]: Yes, I am Eduardo Bateo from Puerto Rico.
Two questions.
One is perhaps or you can share perhaps later with us what the
foreclosures in terms of the heavily Latino states,
how is it, you know, in those pockets,
how is it being affected and how, you know,
because it's an issue.
It really is an issue for states that have large Latino
populations and therefore it has to be addressed locally also by
the policymakers.
The second issue is more a philosophical question.
Does HUD still recommend that folks are starting to buy homes
or should they rent?
John Trasvina: I'm not sure how much I have for the second question.
There's time.
But let me get to the first question first.
And you are absolutely right.
I can provide you data, all of you data later on,
but the states that are hardest hit are the ones where there are
heavy Latino populations.
California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada.
There's another one.
It's usually states with a lot of sand.
Those are, and I have walked the neighborhoods and you see
the difference.
So when we have an impact it goes both ways.
You can have a house in a neighborhood where there's
a foreclosure.
It affects not just that house but all the other houses in the
entire neighborhood around it.
When we're successful, you can also see the successes.
In terms of the larger question of, is HUD still behind
homeownership as the American dream -- yes,
but there has to be -- it has be combined with financial literacy
and combined with other options, making other options attractive.
We have looked at patterns of other countries where renting is
part of that country's dream as well.
But we don't want to, in the process of dealing with the bad
mortgage practices of the recent years,
we don't want to pull out the rug out from everybody.
People can still prepare to buy homes so that's certainly not
off the table.
Eduardo Bateo [phonetic]: Right, but can I just ask one last comment on that?
Not just on that but the prior panel had to do
with immigration.
John Trasvina: Mm-hmm.
Eduardo Bateo [phonetic]: And one of the issues that has come up over and over again
recently is the fact there are so many baby boomers reaching
the age where they sell their homes and move to a smaller
apartment, there's a lot of housing out there.
And it is perhaps the working immigrants who can actually
buy those homes.
But we have to solve the issue of immigration before they can
actually go and afford -- go and legally buy those homes.
Is that something that you're looking into at all?
John Trasvina: Well, from my perspective that's exactly what I'm looking into.
And as I said earlier the group that got legalized back in the
'80s, they became the homeowners after they were able to
regularize their status and move up and be able to
prepare for that.
So, yes, you would see the same thing again.
What we're looking at at HUD overall is in terms of
immigrant integration.
There will be comprehensive immigration reform whether it's
today, tomorrow or whenever, that's not for HUD to say.
But it will be there.
And we want to channel the intel --
I won't say intelligence, but the energies of the mayors and
the city council members and the school boards not into these
anti-immigrant organizations but into local matters that make all
the difference in the world on immigrant integration.
One of those is fair housing.
Another is access to equal credit for mortgages.
Speaker: John, sort of, obviously I have no doubt of your commitment to
this issue, it's your entire life's work,
but when you look at the foreclosure workouts and you
look at the fact that our communities,
the African-American community, Hispanic community were the
hardest hit, yet you don't see the workouts for them as
aggressively as you have seen in other communities, right?
And what can you do to sort of force banks to be much more
aggressive on that?
Because it isn't only the fact that it takes our people longer
to work these out but that our communities get left behind and
obviously the impact is far greater because there are so
many houses.
You know, it is not, that part of the market is not as
attractive and the banks aren't working them out as quickly
because the margins are much less.
John Trasvina: Well, as I said earlier, we are constantly readjusting the
programs to address prior to the time, earlier,
addressing the mortgages; now addressing the
unemployment issue.
Channeling different monies into different geographic areas.
The NSP program, the -- and it works with community-based
organizations to allow them to buy homes and local
jurisdictions to buy homes for affordable housing.
So there are a panoply of programs that are out there.
Obviously they are not working as successfully as they should.
But we're going to continue to work at it.
It's constantly looking at what is working,
what's not working and then adjusting to it.
Speaker: Specifically, sort of, when you look at the lenders, right,
the very fact that to some degree the impact now has not
been necessarily the house but getting out of the house and
getting that house back into the market; right?
That they're working out other groups' problems before they're
working out those communities that are most impacted.
And the housing market, particularly in the
African-American and Hispanic community where the
overvaluation and the money taken out is far greater in some
of these and the interest of the market to pick up these assets
isn't as great because the -- is there any way to sort of force
lenders to work these loans out much more aggressively?
John Trasvina: Well, that's not my particular area to deal with but obviously
if we can get you the people in Housing and Treasury to address
some specifics, whether it's in Florida or elsewhere,
I'd be happy to do that.
Elizabeth Valdez [phonetic]: Elizabeth Valdez with the IF Industrial Areas Foundation at
Work in Texas.
Does HUD or TDHCA oversee the hurricane relief money,
now that we're in the hurricane season again,
is your department overseeing the hurricane relief funds?
John Trasvina: HUD does.
It's all, our contribution to it is it the Community Development
Block Grant Program typically.
So they have to, as part of getting CDBG money,
they have to follow the civil rights laws.
Elizabeth Valdez [phonetic]: Because there is some funding that is pending for the State of
Texas for both the Houston-Galveston area as well
as the southern tip of Texas and that is three years in
the process.
So anything that can cut that red tape would be very helpful.
Because families are now going to go in to their fourth year
of hurricane.
John Trasvina: Right, just note -- you're absolutely right, but just note,
too, that the money goes down to the state.
The state doesn't always get the money out the door fast enough.
And so some of the problems are down there.
We've spent a lot of time dealing with Galveston and the
reshaping of the public housing off the island and northern
Broadway, and it is a situation that we look at very,
very closely.
Ernesto Loperena: Ernesto Loperena, New York Council on Adoptable Children.
I have a question regarding, you mentioned before lost wealth.
Some people might describe it as a transfer of wealth from the
middle class and the poor to banks and financial
securities firms.
And I'm wondering what the department is looking at in
terms of policies to prevent this from happening again?
John Trasvina: Well, the department itself is not the place that would be
doing it.
That would be the Department of Treasury and I can't speak fully
as to that aspect of the problem.
But it's something that the Secretaries and the President
are well aware of.
Javier Gonzalez: Javier Gonzales with the Latino Leadership Alliance of
Silicon Valley.
Just to feedback, I'd like to see the Administration apply
greater pressure on the banks to really work with --
banks and loan servicing companies to work with the
homeowners because what I have experienced in working with
community people is that these banks and loan servicing
companies are just, you know, they take the initial request
and they just go in circles and circles.
They don't have a direct person to deal with and so people are
getting frustrated and they're leaving their homes and
it's unfortunate.
And, you know, coming from San Jose where it's one of the areas
that is greatest hit to see families and neighborhoods just
abandoned, it's sad.
And it's not good for the economy.
And it's destroying people's, the American dream for
communities of the Latinos, Asians, African-Americans.
So just like the banks during the financial meltdown,
we're knocking on the government steps asking for money and
a bailout.
It's time for the banks to be good corporate citizens and work
honestly with these people to keep them in their homes.
John Trasvina: Well, it's past time!
Speaker: Agreed.
Reverend Eve Nunez: Reverend Eve Nunez from Arizona, the National Hispanic
Leadership Conference.
And I'm also a HUD counselor.
I started working three years ago to assist my community and
went through a certification through Neighborworks and got
all my volunteers -- let's help our community.
But what we have seen in 600 clients that we have seen as HUD
counselors in the last, I would say, 18 months,
is we've seen a lot of discrimination with servicers
and banks and especially against Hispanics and some
And even though we have done escalations,
gone through HUD to try to get help for some of our clients,
we have not seen the results that I would like to see.
I really wish that we could have kept some of that funding for
HUD counselors because those are the two, I believe,
saints in the community.
It was like a life support that people could go to a HUD
counselor and not pay anything but get some type of help.
And we were able to help some people.
We did get good outcomes but literally had to fight with
these servicers and loan specialists.
And my recommendation is that the loan servicers that we were
competing against go through the same education that we had to go
through to help some of the families that were losing their
homes and listen to some of their stories.
I saw discrimination with the disabled.
I saw, like I said, Hispanics.
And we need to see what can be done to put some of those
housing counselors back to work and to see oversight over some
of those loan specialists that are telling mothers,
get a divorce if you want me to help you.
I had a woman that was disabled, 30 years old, the bank told her,
we were on a speaker phone, divorce your husband and we'll
help you stay in your home.
I mean, I have story after story.
I have recordings, serious, you know --
John Trasvina: And that's where we'll jump in on them,
whether it's family status discrimination or national
origin discrimination.
I'm not sure -- I'm sure you brought those up to the right
level of attention, but they didn't get over to Fair Housing,
because once they do we will move and act on those.
José Rico: Again, thank you so much.
Thank you so much.
John Trasvina: Thank you.
José Rico: The lightning round.
Great, so now we're waiting for our next group and the next
group is under Small Business Administration and access to
capital for small businesses.
And a reminder, I am doing my best to call on everybody as
equitably as possible.
Please keep your hands up if you need me to call on you because I
forget when you put your hands back down.
So if you need, please put your hands up again, I apologize.
I'm trying to do my best.
Speaker: Is that Alzheimer's starting to kick in?
José Rico: Excuse me?
Speaker: Alzheimer's?
José Rico: All right, we have our next set of speakers.
Matt Josephs: Just four of us.
José Rico: Yep, yep; so you get four.
José Rico: We're about to get started if we can take our seats.
As we have our next session around small business and access
to capital.
As you all know, and I am going to let them know since there is
four of them what we're going to ask them to do is just introduce
themselves and their office.
We don't right now need any top line or any explanations.
We're going to just jump in to questions.
This group has been excellent.
They've been averaging around 20 questions a session.
Ana Harvey: Wow!
José Rico: So the only way we're going to be able to do that is to
get started.
So we're going to have them introduce themselves,
their offices.
And then as soon as they're done introductions we're going to
get started.
So do you want to start?
Matt Josephs: Sure.
Good afternoon, my name is Matt Josephs,
I'm the Senior Advisor for Policy at the Community
Development Financial Institutions Fund at the
Department of Treasury.
Thank you.
It's nice to be here.
Alejandra Castillo: Buenas tardes.
Good afternoon.
My name is Alejandra Castillo, I'm the National Deputy Director
of the Minority Business Development Agency at the
Department of Commerce.
And I have to say it's tough to speak at a crowd where we have
so many friends and families in the room.
So I'm delighted to be here, thank you.
J.D. Salinas: Hi, my name is J.D. Salinas, I'm the Regional Administrator for
General Services Administration including Texas, Oklahoma,
New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas.
I work for Mr. Compos usually but today I'm working here
today volunteering.
Nice to see you.
Ana Harvey: Good afternoon, my name is Ana Harvey and I'm Assistant
Administrator for the Office of Women Business Ownership at the
Small Business Administration.
José Rico: Great, so you know who they are.
Yes, right here.
Mark Magaña: I'm Mark Magaña with the National Coalition on
Climate Change.
Here with the previous speaker we were talking about
housing issues.
And I want to draw a relationship between that and
small business.
A lot of the way that Latinos will often develop their equity
is through their houses.
And there is some people who asked questions and the last
speaker about the move to the Administration is pushing more
towards renting than on homeownership.
The long-term effect -- there are short-term effects and long
term -- one of the long-term effects is that we as a
community, since we use our houses to build the equity,
won't have that as -- not as many families will have that as
a source of building equity.
And one of the things, significant things that our
community does with that equity, besides sending our kids to
school and other things, is to build small business from it.
I was wondering how you might be working with HUD or Treasury who
is also doing work on this to be able to say that this is a
significant part of small business is the housing
ownership and equity.
Ana Harvey: Well, I can start a little bit just from the Small Business
Administration just to say that, you know,
I used to own my own business before I became the President of
the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.,
and now I am here.
So I was just on that side of the room not long ago.
And I financed my business through my own, you know,
capital, so I'm very, very aware of what's happening.
My goal right now is to open new avenues for those companies not
to rely solely on that type of financing.
So, you know, with the SBA we guarantee loans and of course we
still have to go through the lending,
through the lending partners.
But we want to guarantee the loan 85% that we're guaranteed
up to a limit.
But for our community, for Hispanics,
I think we should take advantage of the microlending programs
that we have at the SBA up to $50,000.
Six years is a really, really good way,
and we just need to educate our community that there are other
sources of capital that is not our house,
and it's not actually in my case I even used credit cards because
I did not know that we had all these services.
So we just need to inform the community that there are other
sources of financing.
J.D. Salinas: The General Service Administration doesn't work with
housing directly, but what we're doing as the GSA invest more
than $30 billion a year and then if we take that other federal
agencies and what we spend is $465 billion nationwide.
What we're trying to do is a lot of outreach to help small
business and minority-owned business get on GSA's schedule
so that the federal government can buy from those
small businesses.
So that's our charge and that's what we're trying to do is a lot
of outreach to help in that.
Matt Josephs: So I was going to say, I'm part of the Treasury Department,
the CDFI fund we support a network of community-based
financial institutions, banks, credit unions,
loan funds that work in low income neighborhoods and target
distressed borrowers, and they provide assistance for housing,
for first-time home buyers, also for small business lending and
microenterprise lending.
And, you know, the Administration has supported
large increases in our budget to support these activities over
the last few years.
And it's worthwhile to note that about one out of every five of
our CDFI's is working in markets where at least 25% of the
population is Latino population.
We've invested over $1 billion in these areas over the last
several years and through our new market tax credit program,
over 2.9 billion has been invested in communities with at
least a 25% Latino population.
So these are programs that have a lot of support from the
Administration and are really hitting the markets you are
talking about.
Speaker: So when you talk about the SBA programs and what's going on,
clearly when you look at major lending institutions that do
not, you know, they'll buy your paper, because they love it,
once a loan is processed, but beforehand they won't.
Why don't you require them, those who buy paper which
obviously it's a great paper to buy, it's guaranteed,
that they process these loans.
There are literally thousands of bankers that are unemployed
now with the restructuring that know how to process these loans
that could do it on the outside.
Secondly you reduce the amount that the initiate --
the, what do they call it, the person who creates the loan,
the writer --
Ana Harvey: The originator.
Speaker: -- gets, so it makes it even less incentive for the bank on
the front end and so what we've done is make it impossible for
small banks and even large banks to even engage in
these programs.
They buy the loan, they get your credit, but they're not --
Ana Harvey: I want to cheat a little bit because I watched you this
morning ask that question before,
so it's at great recommendation.
It was on live stream.
Oh, you know, that I was really excited about that,
I wrote that down already as a recommendation.
Speaker: I'm glad somebody is watching.
Ana Harvey: Yeah, I was watching.
José Rico: Any other questions?
J.R. Gonzalez [phonetic]: J.R. Gonzalez, NHBO, the National Hispanic
Business Organization.
I asked a question earlier from another person;
I didn't quite get a straight answer.
We were talking about the President of this Administration
is beating the drum, more jobs, more jobs, more jobs.
We're looking at the Latino community.
We all know the numbers.
We know the increase.
The fact that Latino businesses are growing three times faster
than any other market segment, Latina-owned business is growing
six times faster.
We're very significant.
We're entrepreneurial.
We're a significant part in the economic engine of this country
and it can be very, very significant also in recovery.
But at the same time we're still getting either,
I don't want to say discrimination,
but it is some discriminatory practice out there whether it be
lending from banks -- and I'm not saying this has happened
with the SBA -- but there is some obstacles that our
community faces.
But at the same time as the President has beaten that drum
to say we need more jobs, I mean,
the basic form of economic development for anybody is
a good job.
How do we get this organization, our different organizations to
get that word out and try to encourage or put something into
place where we can start maybe motivating or encouraging people
to start new business to get jobs out there?
Alejandra Castillo: I'm going to try to give you a straight answer and I am going
to try my best.
Speaker: I appreciate it.
Alejandra Castillo: The issue is not solely creation of businesses.
I think you've stated the stats.
We are creating, Latino are creating businesses at a very
fast rate, particularly Hispanic women are creating a lot
of businesses.
The issue really is how do we make them grow because if we
don't have capacity in size and scale,
it is very difficult to get those contracts to explore
new markets.
And at the end of the day it's as Ana said,
it's to educate our communities that the services are out there.
They can go to SBA.
They can come to MBDA.
We have over 40 different funded centers.
They need to have those technical assistance and support
to make sure that the focus is on growing and that's where the
job creation starts to happen.
And you're absolutely right.
Latino-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses as the
President challenges us to export more,
minority-owned businesses are twice as likely to consider
exporting than nonminorities for various reasons: Linguistic and
cultural ties.
And they're succeeding.
But they're succeeding because at some point they connect to
the network of resources that are out there.
And I think we need to do a better job communicating
those resources.
And the community needs to do a better job understanding that
they're there to help them.
Speaker: But how can we help you communicate that?
Ana Harvey: The way I just defined this in my own terms is that for us
Hispanics we need to stop improvising our way to success.
We just need to find the resources.
We need to make sure that we connect.
Make sure that we have a plan.
And I'm not talking about a simple business plan,
but a plan, what is it that I want to do.
How far I want to go and see where that pot of gold that's
yours and just not improvise our way to success but just plan our
way to success.
It is kind of a, you know, a vague answer but it is just that
we have to do --
Alejandra Castillo: More importantly, it's not going to happen overnight because as
Joe knows these types of relationships,
particularly if you're doing business with the government,
you need to have those relationships.
You need to make sure that you're in front of
the obstacles.
You need to make sure that you know who the contracting
offices are.
What the forecast is.
How are you planning.
These are all growth strategies that take time.
But we need to start today.
J.D. Salinas: One of your questions is, for example,
what is it the NHBO can help?
The General Service Administration right now is
trying to get as many people as we can that are good companies
to get on and produce a schedule.
And how you can help is by hosting us and get the General
Service Administration to come to your community,
to your college or wherever you may have and help you get your
small business on our schedule.
If you're not on the GSA schedule it's going to be hard
to do business with the federal government.
José Rico: Great; Lillian?
Lillian López: Perfect segue!
So Latinos' are the fastest growing businesses.
They are also the fastest closing businesses.
So, Alejandra, an area that you know well --
Washington Heights in New York is losing one out of --
has lost about one out of every three businesses out on 180th
Street in the last 18 months.
So I wanted to just say not a question but a suggestion that
we should be using the networks that exist in our community as
bridges to help these small businesses.
That it's not just about telling the small business doing email
or evite hey, we're doing this solicitation but that we use
these networks to convene these small businesses and as you say,
outside of the 40 centers which get taxed say this is how you do
this and provide the technical support and the capacity
building around accessing small business loans as well as
government contracts as well as local government
contracts as well.
So and I will say I have not seen that level of
community engagement.
I'm Lillian López and I'm with the Hispanic Federation.
We have a very large network and no one has said to us can you
help us convene a meeting of the chambers in our region.
Alejandra Castillo: Well, I will make that request, because, as you know,
New York is very near and dear to my heart,
not just Washington Heights, and I've traveled to Wichita,
Kansas, to Moline, Illinois, I tell people if you invite me I
will definitely go.
I'm a public servant.
But more importantly, I thank you for the comment,
because we're trying to broaden the narrative of what Latino
policy issues are.
And minority-owned businesses is right in the middle of it.
Not as a social issue or a civil rights issue,
but as a business imperative issue.
Lillian López: The other issue that we have is in MHLA hat we have networked
with a lot of the different department secretaries and we
keep -- sometimes it's very hard to diagnose the problem when
they aren't willing to give you metrics around how the
contracting is going for Latino businesses or Hispanic-owned
businesses throughout federal government.
And that is something that I think we need to see.
If there is a solution that is within the law which we think it
could be where you actually find ways of quantifying that because
it is very hard to treat a patient when you really haven't
been able to diagnose the symptoms.
Alejandra Castillo: And Lillian, we definitely should sit down and talk more,
and I think --
Lillian López: If you would meet with all of us we would be very excited
about that.
Alejandra Castillo: We have an opportunity, William Ramos is in the room,
we're going to have a new Commerce Secretary as well as a
Deputy Secretary and I think this is the perfect time for
NIHL to really speak to the Commerce Department.
José Rico: Right here.
Elizabeth Valdez [phonetic]: Elizabeth Valdez with Industrial Areas Foundation out of Texas.
It is interesting that in light of the recession that we are
facing and have been facing for the last couple of years,
what we have found is that in going and talking to employers,
there are jobs that continue to go begging for a skilled
workforce in our highway career path jobs but the employers need
to be at the table to have those conversations to see what are
the skills that people need, partnering with the community
college and even adapting curriculum if needed be for that
skill set to be there as well.
But also include the community.
The community needs to be aware of where are the jobs so that
they can also be interested in developing those skills.
So we've created what we call labor market intermediaries that
partner with the employers, with the community college,
with the community at large, with businesses so that together
we can address the issues and say, look,
we have a community college that is developing the skill sets for
the jobs to come to our community whether they're
minority owned or not so that, you know,
those businesses can go to a community.
Alejandra Castillo: I have to applaud you because that's exactly what we need to
do and I'll give you an example.
In Wichita, Kansas, they have a Boeing plant,
they also have Spirit Airlines which is a subcontractor
to Boeing.
The community in Wichita, Kansas,
has not connected to Boeing because of that gap in
the skill sets.
So we need to do more STEM, whether it's a charter school or
just getting it in to the curriculum because you're
absolutely right, the gap, if we don't address it on the
educational level and on the skill set level,
that is very challenging.
Elizabeth Valdez [phonetic]: Well, in south Texas, we're importing nurses from the
Philippines when there is a line of people trying to get into
those jobs and are career jobs.
But what's interesting in this scenario is that it's been
difficult to get the federal government,
i.e., the Department of Labor, Education, or whoever,
to invest in those kind of local labor market intermediaries so
that they can expand and grow.
José Rico: Let me get some questions.
I've got two more questions, there and there.
Go ahead.
Roger Rivera: Great, thank you.
Hi, Roger Rivera, National Hispanic Environment Council.
I want to follow-up on one of the issues that Lillian just
alluded to and it's this: She said NHLA has been meeting with
the Cabinet and secretaries for the last two and a half years
and we have been meaning to talk about the snapshot of things,
how are we doing at these agencies in employment,
in education, in partnerships, and in the minority business.
And when we -- and we can get the numbers from the Secretaries
and from their staff when it comes to the numbers of Latinos
that need employment, need education, internships,
scholarships, et cetera, partnerships, all of that,
but what we can never get are the numbers regarding
minority businesses.
Specifically the numbers of, the status of Latino contracting
with federal agencies.
And the other, the subset to this issue is,
what is sort of driving some of us crazy is,
it seems some agencies do break down their numbers in terms of
minority business opportunities and contracts let at these
agencies by ethnicity and race.
But seemingly most, the answer we've mostly got is,
I'm sorry we either can't or we won't do that.
Some agencies cite Adarand as the reason why they
cannot do that.
Other agencies cite their general counsel's advice why
they can't do that.
But when we press a little bit the answer typically is not that
they, you know, they won't do it, it's that, you know, well,
maybe we can and maybe we can't.
So given the composition of this panel,
can you give us a definitive answer as to whether or not
federal agencies can compile data as to minority business by
ethnicity and race and specifically by the
Latino community?
Ana Harvey: I know the SBA is not compiling that and I would have to
actually go back to my general counsel and ask why because
actually to make the numbers, you know,
I do minority and women-owned businesses and even when I go to
Congress they ask me for numbers and the numbers that
I don't have.
There is different impediments, for example, in my case,
for women business ownership, I cannot --
it's voluntary information to ask for their ethnic,
you know, background.
So it's not reliable in terms of my program.
So it's different layers.
But I would be happy to just go back and just give you an answer
from SBA.
J.D. Salinas: The General Services Administration has to keep up
with contract by contract.
For example, if we have a construction contract,
we have a goal of 40% MBWA, we have to make sure that
that happens.
So I'm not sure how we get to those numbers but I'll check and
give you my card and meet you afterwards and see how the
General Service Administration does that.
Alejandra Castillo: Roger, you're right on target.
It's very difficult.
And Adarand is cited and so is Rofie,
a lot of different Supreme Court cases that are along the lines
of race and ethnicity.
And the General Counsel have at many times advised that that's
not the way they break the numbers down.
They break the numbers down by minority owned, women owned,
veteran disabled, HUB zones, but it is very difficult.
And I, too, like you would like to have those numbers but I have
not been able to get those.
José Rico: Real quick last question, please:
Toni Martinez [phonetic]: I am Toni Martinez here and my volunteer role here is at
Hispanic National Bar Association,
but my day job is that I work with my family.
My father 40 years ago created a manufacturing business.
He does manufacturing for the Department of Defense,
and Department of Energy, mainly vehicles,
ground support systems for the military and so forth.
And my father has done a great job and been very successful up
to this point and now it's up to my brother and I to take up the
helm and go to the next generation.
And then I would really encourage the Administration to
take a look at the longevity of the businesses.
Since Ms. Castillo has pointed out earlier really we have to
look at the longevity and going to the second and third
generation whether it's a family-owned business or not to
make sure that those businesses continue to thrive.
One particular concern that we have working in the energy and
defense space is this idea of the federal contracts mainly
going to these prime contractors.
And you were talking about statistics and several comments
you made resonate that with me because it's very difficult as a
small, especially small minority-owned business and soon
to be small minority woman-owned business since I am taking over
from my father, to be able to penetrate these markets.
There is not a lot of data that you volunteer and so I would
encourage you to please be able to work with the prime
contractors and see how access can be given to --
Ana Harvey: Absolutely.
Just very, very quickly.
We're trying to work on the unbundling of the bundles.
José Rico: Great.
Thank you so much.
José Rico: All right.
We're going to get ready for our next speaker.
An issue that has been raised several times already here
around STEM issues.
José Rico: All right, we're going to get started with our next session.
And I would just like to, again, Kumar is going to do his own
introduction, but throughout the course today we've been talking
about bridging the pipeline, how to get education and
workforce together.
And obviously one of the big areas is around the STEM field,
so I would like to just head the panel over,
give the mic over to Kumar who is in charge here with the White
House Office of Science and Technology.
And again brief one minute, what your title is and then we want
to jump into questions because the people here have a lot of
questions and they get mad at me if I don't pick on every one.
So I have to make sure we get enough time.
So go ahead, Kumar.
Kumar Garg: All right.
Hey, hi, everyone, so my name is Kumar Garg,
I work on education for the White House Office of Science
Technology Policy -- that means I report to the President's
science advisor, and we, you know,
huddle up with the Office of Public Engagement,
the Department of Education, the Domestic Policy Council,
the National Economic Council, on all things education related.
But we were really excited that STEM was a topic here.
I've been in government now two years and I focus on the
cross-cutting focus and education.
And the reason why I thought this was really useful and I
want to, you know, basically use this as an opportunity to get
your feedback, is the President is just really passionate on
this issue.
It's, we always joke that we don't know when he got religion
on this issue, whether it was before we showed up.
And the reason I think the President really focuses on
this, he started focusing on it from day one of the
Administration is, I think, you know,
this is really about the jobs and careers of the future.
How are we going, you know, more and more jobs of the future are
going to be science/technology related.
How are we making sure that students today are ready
for those jobs.
That all students today are ready for those jobs.
And steps that we're taking on a federal policy level,
on a public/private partnerships level,
on a buoy public level to make sure that's happening.
So the President early on in the Administration went to the
National Academy of Sciences and really put down a marker which
was how can we go from the middle of the pack,
how can we go from 17th and 25th back to the top of the pack in
math and science education.
And, you know, this is a really big lift and so it's going to
really require an all-hands-on-deck.
So that involved making STEM, that science, technology,
engineering, and math education, and building it into our
core programs.
Building it into "Race to the Top" and making it the sole
competitor priority and giving real emphasis on what states
were doing around under-represented groups that
meant, you know, thinking about private/ public partnerships in
a really serious way.
So launching the "Educate to Innovate Campaign" which is
really challenge companies, nonprofits,
foundations to do more.
And we, you know, for example, launched "Easy Equation" which
is a coalition of 110 CEOs that are focused on this issue.
And it involves, you know, continuing to think about what
are key new steps.
So the President, in the State of the Union,
called for a hundred thousand new math and science teachers
that who be able to train in these subjects over the
next decade.
So one thing that I'll sort of talk about now that I've hit my
two-year mark in the White House and feel like a veteran,
is in addition to the policy side,
in addition to I think one thing that I always underappreciate in
this job and I underappreciated before I came in is the really
powerful role that we do in idea matching.
I want to do this and it would be great to work with X.
Because one thing that's really powerful in these spaces are
multi-sector collaborations.
And so, you know, I think it is really powerful to ask the
question imagine if X, Y and Z came together and worked on
an issue.
So imagine if the video game companies came together and
built a game that was as successful at teaching at math
and science as it was in creating monsters and, you know,
killing monsters and taking their treasure.
Or imagine a social media campaign that took the best of
what the Valley is thinking about,
spreading means through and thought about how parents could
get their kids more involved or how students could take their
passion and spread it to other students.
So I think there is a lot to be done here.
I would love to hear your thoughts about both things
you're finding exciting and really powerful collaborations.
Representative Rubén Gallego: Representative Rubén Gallego from Arizona.
I actually have a great story in Arizona.
We have qualitative robotics, a qualitative robotics team and
they've gone to the National Underwater Robotics Tournament
as well as the robotics tournament at MIT,
it's a high school team, low income Latino,
some of them are undocumented students,
and they've won this award.
And previous award winners have actually met the President.
They have not been invited.
And it would be really good if you could take a message to the
President, please invite them because that's a great way to
inspire the Latino community to be inspired to follow science
and engineering to see these young Latinos and Latinos in our
community really from the poorest parts of this country,
be at the White House and receive an award that doesn't
have to do with sports, it has to do with science and
engineering, I think it would really go a long way.
There are people that are trying to write movies
about these kids.
I would really encourage the President to please invite them.
They actually asked me personally to bring back that
question up if I ever had a chance so I am fulfilling my
promise to them.
Kumar Garg: No, that's great.
So the President definitely agrees, right?
So one of the things that he still talks about a lot on the
trail is the fact that we did the first ever White House
Science Fair.
And what the President talked about the White House Science
Fair was, you know, that we need to, you know,
if we're going to get ahead we need to celebrate our STEM
stars, the students who are doing math and science,
just like we celebrate our sports stars.
And he had this, he was joking about, you know,
you may not get Gatorade poured over your head,
but maybe you should, you know?
Because if you are doing well in math and science you're really
playing for the future.
And so part of -- we had some amazing students at
the first one.
I'm not saying that we caught everybody, but, you know,
for example, there was a really interesting student,
a team that came out of Arizona that was --
it was their second time on an airplane coming to the White
House Science Fair.
They had a fellow student that had disabilities and they
designed a robotic chair to assist him with his disability.
Representative Rubén Gallego: That's also my district.
Kumar Garg: And so we would love more ideas for how to celebrate this work.
And, you know, this goes back to this whole question about
culture which is, you know, the President really believes that
in a free society you get what you celebrate.
And so we have to be having a conversation about how this is a
fundamental opportunity going forward.
José Rico: Here and then back here.
Hold on.
Right here first.
Javier Gonzalez: My name is Javier Gonzalez with the Latino Leadership Alliance
of Silicone Valley and I also work for a state legislator,
Assembly member Nora Compos.
In the discussions that she's had with CEOs of Silicone
Valley, education and STEM in a big issue.
What is the Administration going to do to make sure that poor
school districts or districts with poor resources are making
sure that those curriculums are making it to the classroom.
Because it is our Latino children,
African-American children, who are not going to get those
opportunities to become the next scientists, engineers,
if they don't have that foundation and level of
education when they're students.
So what do you guys see yourself playing a role in making sure
that districts that don't have the resources compared to other
districts to make sure that that is in the classrooms.
And, you know, there is partnerships and other things
that are out there, but how can we use the pulpit or the
President and also existing resources to make sure that that
happens in our poor income neighborhoods?
Kumar Garg: Yes, so I think that's a great question.
I think this is something the President always goes back to.
This came up in the Twitter town hall where the President got a
question about, hey, you know, if we're struggling with
education, why don't we just privatize it.
And what the President said was, you know,
this is a public responsibility.
It's not just a public responsibility,
at every major transformation that the American economy has
taken it is because we've stepped up and reinvested in our
future that we have been able to make those transitions.
It involved moving into a conversation about every child
should go to high school when it came to folks making it from the
agriculture sector for the manufacturing age.
It involved, you know, investing in the G.I. Bill when
folks came back.
So the President really thinks we have to invest.
And the other part is the President thinks it has to be
something where we're building math and science into our core
education reform agenda.
So it, you know, we want to make,
that's why we want the Department of Education at the
core and we built it in the "Race to the Top."
That's why we talk about math and science and we talk about
school turnaround and we talk about, you know,
the schools that are underperforming.
And it's why we're talking about having a much larger cohort of
excellent teachers.
Because one of the things that happens in underperforming
districts is that's not where the math and science teachers
are going.
And those folks, they're coming to us, you know,
telling us about all of these sort of equity challenges.
So I totally agree and we're trying to think both about it as
building it into the resources that we're investing,
and then also thinking about additional --
Javier Gonzalez: I mean, this is a very important issue for the United States to
remain competitive globally so that we're not exporting our
engineers into other countries that have come here,
have picked up our sciences, our ideas,
and have now gone across to other parts and have now
become competition.
So in order for us to be the leader in the global economy,
we have to make sure that we are educating our children here so
more resources can be allocated to the STEM education and
gearing it towards my districts where they have poor resources,
that's a very critical thing to do.
José Rico: Thank you; (inaudible).
Speaker: Very briefly (inaudible) the digital divide in the Latino
communities, which is abysmal.
I mean, it's horrible.
I don't think we can get there unless we first deal with the
concept of supplying the right Internet, the right speed,
the right equipment to the Latino community.
Kumar Garg: So, I think the digital divide, it's one,
it's a policy area that we work a lot on.
It's something that in the broadband plan that the FCC put
out, there's a huge focus on how do we sort of think about the
digital divide as it relates to education.
Part of this is we know that a lot of the innovation that is
going to happen, a lot of the technology,
these trends are going to be really powerful for the learning
opportunities the students are going to face.
And so the connectivity into the classroom matters a lot.
So what are the broadband speeds into to it.
And so the Department of Education and the FCC recently
stood up a website that sort of tracks broadband speeds.
It also means having a lot more investment in this area.
And so the President has talked about how there should be
additional resources towards a national broadband
infrastructure that really starts to enable these
kinds of speeds.
And then third is starting to think about having an explicit
focus and this is something the Department of Ed works a lot
with the FCC on, on focusing on underserved communities as it
relates to digital divide.
The fourth area I'd say is it's worth working backwards from how
these kind of educational opportunities are enabled.
So the President, when he went out to Marquette and talked
about the wireless infrastructure of the future,
talked about, you know, the unique opportunities that
distance learning gives you where you're able to have access
to the cutting-edge researchers of today.
Or if you're able to access teachers of today.
So I think it's both figuring out why we need this and
providing the resources.
José Rico: Over here.
Jessica Gonzalez: Hi, Jessica Gonzalez with the National Hispanic
Media Coalition.
We work on media and telecom policy.
Kumar Garg: Yes.
Jessica Gonzalez: But in my former life I was a public school teacher in LA
And we have done a lot of work on the E-rate program,
I brought it up early today.
Kumar Garg: Yes.
Jessica Gonzalez: And I was sort of disappointed.
I understand it's just to bring broadband into the schools.
But I just need to share with you --
Kumar Garg: Yes.
Jessica Gonzalez: -- what the situation is in a lot of low income schools,
is that they might have a connection but they have no one
there who can help the students learn how to use it.
Kumar Garg: Right.
Jessica Gonzalez: And this is holding our students back in very serious ways as the
curriculum for math, science, even reading,
becomes integrated with Internet, you know, learning.
And so is the -- I just want to know,
is there going to be any source of funding to either, A,
get the teachers educated about how to teach their students?
Because there's a whole lot of teachers who just want to know
but don't have the resources to educate themselves on this.
Kumar Garg: So, I think you're totally right.
So there is a huge policy question and the huge area that
we're working on which is how do you, you know,
there is both the access question but then there is the
empowerment question, right, which is a lot of times people
start with access but don't think about how did
this drive use.
And we have lots of powerful stories where teachers,
when given the resources and ways to actually do it,
then start to implement it in a classroom has a major impact.
The way that the Department of Ed has started to think about
this is not to have technology be the separate thing that sits
there, but embedded into a cross wide priority into all
their programs.
So the Department of Ed is thinking a lot about
technologies as a priority in its professional development
resources; right?
And so I think that is going to have some powerful impact.
They're also trying to think about how can they use E-rate
and these programs that other agencies like the FCC are
running as a way to also have a conversation with school
districts around what is your learning strategy, right?
So a lot of times it just becomes, hey,
we've got this kind of pipe into our classrooms, you know,
and they're not thinking about instructional support.
I would say that a third area that's important is we also want
to make it easier for teachers to connect with each other and
engage in cross professional development.
So one of the things that we've sort of noticed is there's a lot
of professional development that happens across the teaching
sector, and how do we use online tools and these kind of things
to build more online communities.
Some of this is Department of Education and the National
Science Foundation, but I think we would love to work and talk
to folks around how do we make this more possible.
Part of it is even in the world of existing resources we want to
put technology much more front and center.
Speaker: I totally appreciate that.
I just, I get worried that some of us are back here still and
we're starting from here and trying to go to here without,
and then there's like a whole group of folks who are just
totally left behind.
Kumar Garg: Right.
And we try to work backwards from what are we actually trying
to enable educators and students to do.
So one of the things, you know, so that Office of Science Tech
was there when people were like what is this Internet thing?
And this thing was, when you were in '94 and '95,
the big conversation was just let --
is this Internet thing going to be useful for learning or for --
you know, now the question is we know it can be a really powerful
tool, how do we actually make sure, you know,
because otherwise a lot of times when I talk to teachers they
say, you know, my -- the current tools I have available is when
I'm thinking about, you know, lesson development, you know,
I have either a really good infrastructure at school or
somebody down the hallway, or I type it in to Google.
You know, and then, you know, I see if something comes up.
And so the question is, you know,
that suggests that we've got some more work to do.
And I think a lot of the folks in the tech space are here.
José Rico: Here and here.
Mark Magaña: Hi, I'm Mark Magaña with the National Latino Coalition on
Climate Change.
We're always looking for more science, people in the sciences,
environmental sciences, et cetera.
One significant disadvantage our community has is being prepared
to learn as an early education.
We don't have as much access or the ability in the finance field
to send our kids to a more formalized early childhood
education environment.
Oftentimes it's sent to the grandmother's house or whoever
can take care of the child.
One thing that we're working with is HIT and Public
Television Network who's developing a television computer
phone, multi-platform educational systems for early ed
and then as they go on including voc ed.
That's using games and Little Miss Spider and
these different --
Kumar Garg: Yeah.
Mark Magaña: To be able to train them both as a child just basics on education
and math and English and environment,
and obesity messages as well.
I do believe there does need to be more investment in
nontraditional multi-platform ways to educate early --
early childhood education for children who don't have access
to the more formalized environments.
Kumar Garg: Yes.
Mark Magaña: Because oftentimes, the kids will be just handed over an iPod
or you know, an iPad, or just, play with this.
And if they can give them something to play with that's
educational you can give them that.
So I would love to see more support for that type of
multi-platform educational environment.
Kumar Garg: Right.
No, I totally agree.
So in education we call this time on task, right?
So in education the big driving force is the more you can
increase time on task, the more students generally perform.
Well, like, you know, maybe the video game community has thought
a little bit about time on task, they just call it
something else, right?
Which is if you can increase the amount of highly engaged,
you know, sort of engagement with a platform,
that has a lot of impact.
One of the things that the Department of Ed along with HHS,
is they just launched an Early Learning Race to the
Top Challenge.
And alongside the half a billion dollars that they're going to
invest in this, is they put out a call to high-tech
entrepreneurs and researchers to focus on what kind of technology
tools could help both students, parents,
and health care providers in this space.
And I think they know that they're on the very early end of
this and they would love to do more.
So I think they would certainly be interesting.
I think the second part of it is,
even the little bit that we've learned in this area shows that
we're just touching the beginnings of this.
Which is Sesame did this really interesting pilot study which
was they said we will give out free like cell phone minutes and
we will have Elmo call a parent that signs up.
And Elmo will give the parent a letter of the day.
And what the parent will do is pick out things during the day
that start with that letter.
So the letter is T, that's a tree.
There's lots of sort of when it comes to cognitive word
development about word association with letters.
They then did an evaluation of this program and had a pretty
interesting spike in word recognition.
That was, you know, a small pilot leveraging, you know,
basically just a cell phone and a device and just, you know,
a free text -- phone call.
And that had some -- so, you know,
I think that says to us there's a lot more we can do in this
area and we need to be thinking about it.
Mark Magaña: Also encourages it to be done in a bilingual environment because
often the parents --
Kumar Garg: Yes.
Mark Magaña: -- if they don't understand it, they're not going to reach out
to the kids.
there's a lot of pushback on the bilingual environment --
Kumar Garg: No, no, exactly.
Mark Magaña: -- in the government when it comes to this kind of education.
So hopefully you can push that back.
Speaker: Thank you.
José Rico: Diana, and Diana.
Diana Rodriguez: Thank you.
Diana Rodriguez, Sacramento City Unified School District.
Thank you, welcome here.
So I have, I have a concern about --
Kumar Garg: Yes.
Diana Rodriguez: It's not necessarily the policy where I'm from,
it's the implementation of the policy.
Kumar Garg: Yes.
Diana Rodriguez: And I feel that, you know, at the federal level perhaps we can
help push and direct some of this implementation.
Kumar Garg: Right.
Diana Rodriguez: And so it almost seems like my district talks about SEM,
not STEM, because of way they're choosing to implement the T
in the STEM.
Kumar Garg: Right.
Diana Rodriguez: They feel that as long as there's a computer in front of
the child, that's technology.
As long as there's, you know, programs on that computer,
that's technology.
Kumar Garg: Right.
Diana Rodriguez: And so, and right along with, you know,
our partner back here about the E-rate program and all of the
concerns about, you know, the lack of availability of staff in
the classroom.
Kumar Garg: Right.
Diana Rodriguez: When these children do have the equipment in front of them.
And so, you know, even myself as a board member,
as a graduate of one of our technology schools, you know,
I try to educate, but it's really hard to educate --
Kumar Garg: Right.
Diana Rodriguez: -- you know, somebody, when they don't even know what a
relational database is and how they're using it in their
everyday life.
And so, you know, how can we direct this policy from our end,
it's, the education component to the decision makers that are
implementing the policy.
Kumar Garg: Right.
So I think that's a great point.
I mean, one of the things that I think people sometimes think
about as technology is that you can just put --
so imagine if you didn't know what to do with a computer but I
just put it next to your desk while you were working.
Well, the kind of business productivity gains that we've
had along email, you know, a computer sitting next to
somebody, you don't get those just by like putting a device
next to somebody.
The big potential when it comes, and why we try to work backwards
from applied use, what does technology allow you to do and
then work backwards as to enabling that technology in
the classrooms.
So one of the things -- so, I work a lot with Connecticut
school districts.
One of the things that you would find is that Connecticut was
investing in data systems.
So if you just sort of think about data systems as this back
end thing, okay, now you have a data system, well,
the way an instructor usually thinks about it is how does this
help me do my job.
And so when you actually invest in sort of thinking about common
planning time alongside, hey, here's what we can show you
about your classroom, here's what's working, hey,
everybody got question 17 wrong.
Or half the class got it wrong, half the class got it right,
and you actually sort of show, okay, well,
then you start to build it into your, into your like,
into your planning time because you're like, hey,
this is teaching me something about your classroom.
And so I think technology without enabled practice isn't
going to ever sort of take off in the same way.
Now, of course we can make things more plug and play,
which is it shouldn't, you know, if somebody says, oh,
if somebody says, like, hey, the only way this thing works is if
we spend a huge amount of money training everybody.
Well, then, of course, that would be great, but, you know,
that also makes for a huge strategic gap.
So the more we can make it such that folks can enable themselves
to learn this stuff, the better.
But not thinking that the enabling doesn't have to happen,
it's just, you know, it's just technology for
technology's state.
José Rico: Great.
Thank you.
Kumar Garg: Thank you so much.
José Rico: Sorry for having to wrap it up.
Thank you so much.
Appreciate it.
Speaker: Only two more sessions left, guys.
You're almost there.
Speaker: I wonder for the purposes of this room to ask you about the
senior population, we have some senior providers here.
We'll walk them out.
Young children, critically important schools.
But as we all age, myself included --
José Rico: So if we could get the next group of folks coming in.
Speaker: I don't think that same --
José Rico: That's okay.
I apologize, but I need to keep people moving.
Thank you.
So the next group that are coming is around how to build
neighborhood partnerships and faith-based partnerships with
our White House office and our other agencies.
José Rico: If we could take our seats, we're gonna get started.
If we could take our seats, we're gonna get started.
We have one of our presenters here.
So this next panel, we have both of our presenters here,
one of is about to join us shortly.
So this next panel is something that everybody in this room
knows how to do very well, and we're trying to be able to
provide more opportunities to be able to do partnerships here
with the Administration.
And I'm gonna allow our two participants Alexia and Marta to
introduce themselves.
They know already that we don't need to do any,
any prepared remarks, that we're just gonna jump into questions
and answers because we only have 20 minutes.
So I'm gonna let them start off with their,
with their names and what they do and where they're from,
and then right away we're gonna jump into questions and answers.
So do you want to begin?
Marta Urquilla: Sure.
Good afternoon, my name is -- do I --
José Rico: Yeah.
Marta Urquilla: Good afternoon, my name is -- good afternoon,
my name is Marta Urquilla, I work in the Domestic Policy
Council in the Office of Social Innovation and Civic
Participation, and I'm a Senior Policy Advisor.
Alexia Kelley: Hello, my name's Alexia Kelley and I'm Deputy Director in the
White House Office of Faith-Based and
Neighborhood Partnerships.
Alexia Kelley, I'm the Deputy Director in the White House
Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
José Rico: Great.
Any questions?
Name and organization, please.
Gentleman from Puerto Rico.
Anthony: Anthony (inaudible) from Puerto Rico.
The faith-based office within the White House --
started I guess in the previous administration and has continued
on, how do you draw the line between, you know,
supporting state, you know, church and state debate?
We've been trying to do that at home and it's getting messy.
Alexia Kelley: Well, we engage both faith-based and secular nonprofit
organizations, so faith-based and neighborhood organizations.
And, you know, if it's serving the common purpose,
the common good of our country in that our mission is to build
partnerships between community and faith-based organizations
and the government in order to better serve
communities in need.
We actually do have an Advisory Council of faith and community
leaders that meets, and the first council was charged with
the very purpose of looking at some of the legal issues and
ensuring a strong legal footing of the office.
So that was a charge of the first advisory council that met
to do that, and those recommendations are being
implemented -- have been implemented.
José Rico: Yes.
Lillian López: Hi, my name is Lillian Rodríguez Lopez, I'm --
I lead a network of a hundred Latino community service
providers in the northeast region,
and I have become increasingly concerned about the level of
support, and when I say support I mean policy support,
but more specifically funding opportunities that are being
made available to Latino nonprofits around the country.
I see that we're losing capacity in our sector at a time when
Latino nonprofits should be grown and more aggressively
utilized, given what's happening in our country and there's a
population growth.
The Latino-led institutions are not being fully supported.
Is there a strategy or any analysis that's being done at
the White House or within your specific area to really analyze
how we can build that capacity of better supporting --
there's a lot of groups that apply for federal grants that
aren't getting federal grants, and I want to say this,
and this is a rhetorical statement.
We're not getting the outcomes that we like around
our community.
We know that around education and health care and a lot of
other key areas.
The one critical piece that's missing when we look at it is
best practices, the funded organizations and who's not
there, the Latino-led service providers.
Is there a strategy around that to sort of maintain capacity?
They're suffering losses that all levels of state government,
and city government, federal.
Marta Urquilla: So I think I'll start and then Alexia also.
Forgive me.
I'll start and then Alexia will answer as well.
So one is just taking it back one step,
it's just overall the nonprofit sector has taken a hard
hit in general.
And so, and even without the hit it's very difficult for the
current structure and flow of resources for nonprofits that
are doing effective work to be able to continue doing that
effective work, focus solely on doing that effective work,
and be able to grow and expand those solutions to reach
more communities.
So part of what we're looking at is how do you realign the
incentives and the ways in which the resources are awarded to
communities so that you're not duplicating efforts,
you're not supplanting efforts, but you're pushing what's
working, investing in what works,
and using evidence as a standard, you know,
performance, results.
Many of us -- and I've been there,
I've worked in the nonprofit sector --
we know that often your performance and your results
isn't what gets you the dollars that you need to run your
organization, which then becomes the distraction that takes you,
the innovator, the solution, the community solution away from
your agenda and your mission and pursuit of those results.
So we're promoting public-private partnerships,
ways in which philanthropy can play a role.
We're promoting different approaches to market-based
solutions to achieving social impact.
So how do we think about the incentives,
create an incentive for people to want to be a part of
organizational work that is outcomes oriented that is about
growth in scale, that is about thinking about the capital
in that way.
This is, this is very important.
Race to the Top, many of you may be familiar with that example,
you know, has realigned the ways in which states think about
their educational outcomes and how they commit to that agenda.
So one is the conversation that just needs to happen around what
are the outcomes we want to achieve and how are we rewarding
organizations that seek those outcomes.
So this is very hard work to do.
Two is, also I think the idea that, you know,
we are investing, and this is new to this Administration in
the last two years of investing in what works is a very
different way for the federal government to invest
in communities.
To ask organizations to show us their track record,
to show us their evidence of success,
to show us what their proposed design is,
how they intend to measure around outcomes, not outputs.
So again, behavior changing.
I think that we are seeing this in the Social Innovation Fund,
for example, which was launched last year,
its first year of grants were announced last summer.
We have investments, 138 investments in communities
around the country where Latino communities are receiving those
dollars to focus on economic opportunity,
to focus on creating jobs, to focus on support for young
people, focus on health.
These are very important investments,
and the evaluation component that comes with that will build
those best practices, will make it such that those solutions can
go to scale to reach more communities, and that,
that is an example of a start.
But had it not been for the design of that fund to be
focused in the way that it was, I don't know necessarily that
those investments would have been made in those communities
or others.
You know, we're changing the parameters by which you compete
for dollars and by which you are rewarded.
And that has, potentially those solutions are in a three- to
five-year period in those local communities.
You know, what they, what they deliver in those three to five
years has the potential to reach many,
many more communities because of that program.
Alexia Kelley: I just want to lift up two initiatives.
One at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at their
human services arm, Administration for Children
and Families.
They've, over the last couple of years, the senior advisor there
to the Secretary, the assistant Secretary, has run an initiative
to increase the engagement of Hispanic and other communities,
typically not, who are not accessing the agreements and
grants to the extent that other communities are to look at that
and make sure that they're at the table for
those opportunities.
So I can connect you with that initiative at ACF,
Administration for Children and Families.
And a second initiative is at the U.S. Department
of Agriculture.
Our partnership center there has run a program called La Mesa
Completa to ensure the engagement of the Hispanic
community in all of their, the USDA programs.
So I'm happy to connect you to that.
Those are just two that I would mention today to answer
your question.
Marta Urquilla: And I would add to that with the Corporation for National and
Community Service, they have an explicit part of their approach
to investing in communities to reach more communities that
haven't traditionally been a part of their portfolio.
And so, outreach to Latino communities is something that
they are intently pursuing in terms of building civic
participation, which is also part of our office portfolio.
Speaker: My question is for Alexia Kelley.
And out of the faith-based offices,
I understand you have 12 different faith-based directors
and 12 -- and you have deputy directors under those
faith-based directors in the different cabinets.
And I'd like to know how many of those are Hispanic since we are
representing about 50 million Hispanics in the United States.
I'd like to see more representation in there,
and also more clergy, especially if you call it a
faith-based director.
I know David from Homeland Security and also Joshua DuBois,
there's two clergy, but if you have these faith-based directors
in these different cabinets, why don't we have more of a Hispanic
representation and more of a clergy in there because we need
to come to the table at all levels,
and I believe that people are having discussions without us,
and it's affecting a lot of things are being done at state
levels that we're not at the table at most of these meetings.
Alexia Kelley: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
We actually, there are 13 centers.
Speaker: Yes.
Alexia Kelley: We don't have deputy directors at all those centers.
Some are just a one-person center.
Speaker: Okay.
Alexia Kelley: One person strategic advisor, for example,
at CNCS and Commerce and SBA and a few others,
and some are much larger.
And certainly there's lots of growth in that area.
The EPA center's staffing up, so I'm happy to talk to you
about that.
Roxana Barillas is Deputy Director of our USDA Center,
so has really made great strides in their initiative that I
mentioned before, La Mesa Completa.
So, you know, there are several, but the percentage,
we have some work to do there, I would say.
Thank you.
Speaker: Thank you.
José Rico: Any other questions?
Right here and then back there.
Dixon Slingerland: Dixon Slingerland with the Youth Policy Institute.
You mentioned investing in what works.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the Promised
Neighborhoods initiative.
Marta Urquilla: Yeah.
At lot of these funds, I mean, the relationship is there as
well in terms of one, you know, the place-based investments we
think are very, very important from the domestic
policy standpoint.
I mean, we see the interrelation of all these funds, you know.
Where there are place-based investments like Promised
Neighborhoods, there are also groups that have applied for the
Social Innovation Fund or have applied for the i3 fund,
et cetera.
So we know that when you put out a grant,
a call for a grant competition there is that interplay and
those relationships are there at the table.
So, one, we want to be aligned in what we put out.
Two, we want to be supportive, and in the case of, for example,
the Social Innovation Fund, we think many of those investments
are kinds of the things that make something like a Promised
Neighborhoods possible, because they support some of the
wraparound kind of work that those, that those programs need.
But, you know, we see all of these as strategies to bringing
dollars into communities from the federal government in new
ways, where you're leveraging in some cases a public-private
partnership where you're focused intently on results and you're
giving communities a way to address social problems that
we're there leading the way in terms of their solution,
their ideas for their solutions.
Alexia Kelley: I want to just add to the question the first gentleman had
I think was really important, and I just want to add one point
to my answer, which is that I think what the Faith-Based and
Neighborhood Partnership Initiative achieves is we only
advocate supporting or we don't have grants ourselves,
so there's a myth that we have faith-based money,
and there's no grants that explicitly go to
faith-based organizations.
But federal dollars are supporting a common,
a secular purpose that these organizations provide,
and there are regulations at the agencies that the funds,
the federal funds cannot support religious explicitly or
inherently religious activity.
That would be violating the Constitution in
establishing religion.
But nor do we want to violate people's freedom of religious
practice as well.
So there's that balance, but all the agencies have regulations in
place to make sure that they're following that important
Constitutional parameter, but they're supporting the work of
community-based organizations, whether they're secular or
faith-based, to serve the common good and produce a secular
purpose for their communities.
So I just wanted to add a point to that answer.
José Rico: Back there.
Rosie Hidalgo: Yes, good afternoon, Rosie Hidalgo with Casa de Esperanza.
Earlier when we had the folks here from SBA,
we were talking about (inaudible) minority-owned
businesses and getting the data of how the federal money is
reaching those minority-owned businesses and how we've built
access to capital.
And I just want to put forward at least we're doing the same
thing with (inaudible) community-based organizations,
either minority-owned community-based organization
initiative, we see how federal money is reaching these
organizations, sort of piggybacking on what Lillian
said, will there be data on that?
And I think we need to recognize that there's a real key value in
building capacity and leadership within our Latino
community organizations.
A lot of people, especially (inaudible) to access mainstream
services, that there isn't trust, there isn't (inaudible)
access in organizations that maybe have the evidence based,
you know, research that's harder for our communities to do.
And we need to really realize the value of building this
capacity in our community to see how we can channel more of the
federal resources in that direction.
I'd like to know what else can be done (inaudible) to
make that happen.
Marta Urquilla: Well, I think one is, you know, the approach to open government,
for example, and asking for more transparency and more sharing of
data, and that's something that this Administration has
been promoting.
Certainly these new funds all come with that approach to open
grant making.
And, you know, the idea that data can also define new markets
and define new opportunities, and so it's important for us all
to be thinking about that.
But I also think it would point to, you know,
the need to build the pipeline to come in to federal programs.
Because part of what is so needed is the capacity building
to be able to not only know how to apply for a federal grant but
to be at a place where organizationally you are at the
capacity to not only apply but to receive and implement a
federal grant.
These are very complex grants that require a lot of
administrative capacity, you know,
and so it's as much as having a guide to do it,
but to have the organization equipped with the appropriate
systems to be able to do it and to be accountable for the
federal dollars, I mean, it's very,
very complicated in terms of the regulations.
But then the more that funding opportunities become based on
evidence of success and become focused on social impact and the
kinds of results organizations are achieving,
organizations also need to build that capacity to get beyond
telling the story of their success anecdotally,
but to also be able to talk and make decisions based on data.
And so that's something that is not exclusive to the Latino
community, this is across the board for the nonprofit sector,
so this is something that needs to happen everywhere.
And --
José Rico: Over -- I'm sorry.
Alexia Kelley: No, just that there is a initiative at HHS,
the Strengthening Communities Fund,
which has provided funding for capacity building.
So there have been some programs,
funding programs as well as nonfinancial tool kits and other
resources to support capacity building of
nonprofit organizations.
José Rico: Over here and then over there.
Representative Rubén Gallego: Thank you.
Rubén Gallego, Representative from Arizona.
Prior to that I was in the military in the Marine Corps,
and one of the problems that we're having with young
returning veterans from the war is that we have high cases
of PTSD.
A lot of us want to enter some kind of workforce that is going
to require us to go through mental screenings.
So there's a lot of veterans that are avoiding the VA but
still need mental treatment, so I'd like to encourage, you know,
the faith-based initiative to work to somehow create a loop
system outside of the VA where young veterans can go,
feel comfortable, feel that they're going to be able to get
some kind of help and still have it in a confidential manner
because right now there's just a lot of people that are,
a lot of young veterans are skipping the VA because they
just don't feel comfortable in talking to them,
they feel it's going to be a mark on their permanent record.
So if there's any kind of synergy you guys can create in
that, I think that would be really helpful,
especially the Latino community has -- 20% of veterans now are
Latinos and we tend to be on the front lines, which really,
really impacts us.
Alexia Kelley: And actually in this very room last February we did a listening
session with about 30 to 40 faith-based and community-based
organizations and leaders on this question as the Joining
Forces, the First Lady's initiative to support military
families and veterans was taking shape,
we wanted to seek their input to look at how we can make sure to
involve faith and community leaders in Joining Forces.
We did a call with the First Lady in May and are looking at
now resources to support clergy and community leaders in
supporting military families and veterans on the kinds of issues
that you discussed.
José Rico: Time for one quick last question.
Carmen: I'm Carmen (inaudible) National Conference of Puerto
Rican Women.
How does your organizations deal with the Corporation for
National Service?
What's happened to Americorps, and are you involved at all with
the White House Council on Women?
Are they involved in these kinds of initiatives that you
are (inaudible)?
Marta Urquilla: So on the Council on Women, I'm not involved,
I don't know if Alexia is, and our office is not.
But with the Corporation for National and Community Service,
that's one that our office, the Office for Social Innovation and
Civic Participation works very closely with.
We did just see a very difficult budget period,
not just for that agency but for all agencies,
and the corporation was able to come away with 94% of its
budget, which was -- everyone deemed as a success,
having started at the potential scenario of being zeroed out
from the budget.
And what was remarkable about that was the way in which the
sector, the field, the grantee network and the partners that
rely on Americorps and Vista members and Senior Corps members
in their communities mobilized in defense of that budget.
And it's, we see it as being very critical to the mission of
engaging Americans in civil society and having active
citizen engagement.
National service is a priority of the President and the First
Lady, so it's something that we hope to see continue to be
protected in the budget.
These are important programs that are in many communities
around the country and sometimes people don't realize that the
services that they and their families or their neighbors are
receiving are in fact supported by these investments in national
service, especially in the case of natural disasters and
disaster response, what we've seen with tornados and flooding,
all those storms, those volunteers are volunteers that
either are national service volunteers or they are being
coordinated by national service volunteers.
So it's a very important investment.
José Rico: Great.
Well, thank you again.
Thanks again.
Let's give them a round of applause for
their participation.
And we're getting ready to do our final round
before we head down to the South Court.
Thank you all.
José Rico: And the last panel that we are going to do today is going to
talk about the Health Care Act and early childhood and
childhood obesity health care.
So two areas that are actually very important to our community.
José Rico: If we could let the presenters go to the next workshop, please.
We need to let the presenters go to the next workshop.
José Rico: And just a reminder, if you're tweeting,
to tweet @TheWhiteHouse, @TheWH or #HispanicEd.
José Rico: If we could get started.
We're gonna get started.
Yeah, we're gonna get started.
José Rico: All right, we're getting ready to start our next --
our last session.
And again, our last session is something again that's very true
and dear to our hearts around health care.
And I'm gonna have again the two presenters introduce themselves.
This is our last session, so again,
this will be a good opportunity for the next 20 minutes,
and we've got to be downstairs before 4:00 for our closing.
So this is an opportunity, again, to ask your questions,
make them succinct, and then we'll be able to do the round of
what we're calling Obama 101.
And tomorrow is where we're going to then give,
at the 4:00 session downstairs is we're going to give the
instructions for tomorrow's open space session,
an all-day open space session.
So again I'm going to turn it over to our esteemed panelists
to introduce themselves, and then we're gonna get right into
the questions.
Yvette Sanchez-Fuentes: Okay.
Hello everyone, good afternoon.
Is this on?
Oh, thank you.
I am Yvette Sanchez-Fuentes, I'm the Director for the Office of
Head Start in the Administration for Children and Families at the
Department of Health and Human Services.
I'm going to share with you a little bit about what ACF does
and then we are absolutely happy to take questions.
ACF is a $60 billion organization,
it's the other side of the health piece.
We are the human services side.
It includes Head Start, child care, foster, and adoptive care.
It includes services for families needing child support,
includes some of the programs that folks are more familiar
with, TANF, LIHEAP, provides services for refugees,
as well as houses the administration for Native
Americans and for people with disabilities.
You could say that ACF in the 21st Century is the safety net
of the 1960s War on Poverty.
With regards to Hispanics, ACF has instituted what they are
calling the ACF Accessibility Initiative,
which really began with the Hispanic community reaching out
to the previous Assistant Secretary Carmen Nazario in
order to create more access and communication with the Hispanic
community around grants and other funding opportunities to
increase access to community-based organizations,
as well as to the Hispanic community at large.
In Head Start specifically we are an $8 billion
funded program.
We serve a million children across the country,
33% of which are Latinos.
And I'm going to stop there, I'm going to turn it over to my
colleague, who's the health care guy.
Dr. Garth Graham: I'm the health care guy.
Thank you.
So I'm going to talk to you a little bit about where we are
with health reform implementation and its
importance and the Affordable Care Act.
So my name is Garth Graham, I'm the Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Minority Health at Department of Health and Human
Services, and I'm also a board certified internist.
So I'm going to talk to you a little bit about health care and
what we're doing.
Not just from the concept of the policy person,
but certainly a little bit from the clinical aspect as well and
why it's so important.
So in a nutshell and trying to do this in four minutes --
José Rico: Can you do it in one minute?
Because we want to get in our questions.
Dr. Garth Graham: Can I do it in one minute.
Why is health reform important to the Latino community?
One in three, 33%, 34% of Latinos are uninsured.
If you look at even that other 67%,
many of those folks are underinsured,
meaning though they have insurance if they got sick their
health insurance would not be able to protect them through
their illness to help keep them safe.
So certainly one of the things that we are very proud of is
that the Affordable Care Act deals with health insurance
expansion as well as patient protections and other activities
to help not only expand health insurance to those Latinos and
other folks who are uninsured, but also patient protections
that put in place abilities for health insurance to be there
when you get sick.
One statistic many of you know.
About 70% of the folks who declare bankruptcy because of
medical expense actually they have health insurance,
so what does that mean?
It means that we, the things that we're doing right now to
protect folks who have insurance,
removing lifetime limits, removing annual caps,
all of those things help protect people,
many folks from our communities, to help protect them with the
insurance they already have.
So I'm gonna stop there and hopefully talk to you about all
the other things I wanted to talk to you about
on health care.
José Rico: Great.
We have questions.
Name and organization.
Ernesto Loperena: Ernesto Loperena, New York Council on Adoptable Children.
One of the most vulnerable populations in the United States
are kids who are, have been removed from their homes and are
in foster care as a result of abuse and neglect,
and although the total number of children in foster care has gone
down from about 500,000 to a little over 400,000,
there is a disturbing trend.
And the disturbing trend is that the percentage of Latino kids in
that system has been going up.
Are there any plans or policies to take a look at that
particular issue and deal with it?
Yvette Sanchez-Fuentes: So let me just say right off the bat,
I don't know all the specifics with regards to those pieces,
but I can assure you that my colleague Bryan Samuels,
who is the Commissioner for the Administration for Children and
Families, has taken a focus on keeping children with
their families.
So taking more of that stand of figuring out how do we keep our
families together and provide other supports so that
children's lives don't get disrupted on a regular basis.
I was also told that we can also take those questions and that
someone would be getting back to you to provide more
specific information.
So we will definitely jot that down and have the
Commissioner respond.
José Rico: Great, thank you.
Any other questions?
Speaker: (inaudible)
José Rico: Can you speak up, please?
Speaker: Yes, I'm (inaudible) delegate in (inaudible) reach
out (inaudible).
Dr. Garth Graham: Thank you.
And I'm gonna take your comment to add another thing,
which is through Teresa's work as well as other folks working
with folks in communities, we're trying to elevate the issue of
Latina behavioral and mental health issues.
Within many minority communities the stigma associated with
mental health and behavioral health has --
we have to deal with that stigma and we have to deal with
those challenges.
So there's a focus in the Department to look more at
integrative care and issues along those lines,
and hopefully trying to make that a priority.
So if you go to our website MinorityHealth.HHS.gov you will
see some information on what we're trying to do there.
José Rico: Great.
Next question.
Right there.
Speaker: In following up with what you said and in looking at the
stigmatization within the Latino community,
we also have to look at another aspect,
and we are finding that we don't have enough trained social
workers within the Latino community.
We need to begin to work with organizations of
higher learning.
We have to be able to provide opportunities to Latino male and
female Latino who will go to the mental health system.
I'm a product of that.
I received a grant from AOA and I was able to get my Masters.
But we don't have enough of that.
Those grants are gone.
Dr. Garth Graham: Yeah.
Speaker: And we need them.
We need particular funds that are gonna be earmarked to
develop a cadre of individuals that are gonna take care of our
Latino community.
Dr. Garth Graham: You're exactly right.
In fact I didn't plant that question.
We have never met before, but I'll tell you that a couple of
months ago we entered into a partnership with the National
Association of Social Workers to deal with the disparities in the
social work workforce as well as making sure that there's
cultural competency on the other end with folks who do come out
in the workforce, whether they're minority or nonminority
or Latino or non-Latino, and being able to treat folks with
behavioral and mental health problems appropriately.
So that is one challenge.
And the other work with integrative care work is
actually also focused on the workforce as well,
and it's a big portion of it.
In fact the report that we just put online is on the Latino
workforce in behavioral health and how do we work together
to do this.
This is a big focus for our office,
through the work of Teresa Chapman as well as other
individuals there.
But I'll tell you that the challenges with the workforce go
back to making sure that we also have folks within the K through
12 system, and it goes through, this is through the challenge of
the medical workforce writ at large,
both behavioral health and nonbehavioral health,
and a lot of it goes to where the President is trying to push
us to make sure that we emphasize math, science,
technology, and all these other things that help people be able
to get into health and behavioral health fields.
Speaker: Because I'm telling you that you will see a direct correlation
that when the workforce of Latino workforce increases in
that area, you will see that the stigmatization is
gonna decrease.
José Rico: Tony?
Dr. Tony Baez: Yeah, I have a question.
My name is Tony Baez, I'm the Executive Director of the
Council for the Spanish Speaking of Milwaukee.
And this question is more on the lines of Head Start.
And this, this initiative here basically is a
policy discussion.
We're trying to make sure that you take back some of the policy
concerns that we have.
In the previous discussion we talked about accountability,
the previous groups that was here,
and it seems to me and many others in the field of early
education that the issue of accountability has taken sort of
like the twist of catch.
You know, the catch you all kind of thing where you may have
some, some things have happened in certain parts of the country
and everybody's paying for it, you know,
unannounced visits and things like that,
and even though there is obviously we want to be
accountable, we want to make sure that we do things right,
the issue of unannounced visits of this extreme form of
accountability because I can't say it to you in any other way
and testing and assessment sometimes goes overboard,
and the local, insistence by local governments and state
governments to cut, cut, cut in the area of early education,
sort of like a combining to put the kind of pressure on people
that want to do the right things at the community level,
and there is a concern.
What can we do to make sure that we are accountable,
but to use continuous progress to make sure that qualitatively
organizations that have been around for a very long time
continue to do what they do well with the help of
the Administration --
Yvette Sanchez-Fuentes: Right.
Dr. Tony Baez: But not to feel the unnecessary pressure of an extreme
accountability that puts us in a defensive mode.
Yvette Sanchez-Fuentes: Well, I think just to build on a little bit about what you're
saying, in terms of what we're doing at the office of Head
Start, within Head Start specifically but in the early
childhood community at large, we have an office at ACF that
focuses specifically on early childhood,
not just on the education and the health pieces,
but all the pieces that go into making a child and a
family successful.
You know, we are looking, yes, to hold our programs
accountable, but at the same time we're also including the
supports that our programs may need.
We definitely recognize that there have been many
organizations across the country who have been providing these
services for a very long time.
But now what we really want to do is infuse the science of what
we know is best practices with what we know fits at the
local community.
And so as programs are coming to us,
we definitely are working with programs on a one-to-one basis
if necessary to make sure that programs have the supports that
they need, as they may have an unannounced visit or as other
pieces come up.
You know, the thing that we're also looking at is really
looking more at monitoring as an ongoing process.
So that it is a continuous improvement process that builds
into what are we at the federal level doing to hold ourselves
accountable if we're holding our programs accountable.
So we're building in these models that include not just
holding our programs accountable,
but holding our federal staff and our contractors accountable
for the kinds of support that they're providing to programs on
a regular basis.
Let me just say one last thing about these unannounced visits.
I have to tell you that across the country,
programs have really felt like these are actually a positive
aspect of what we've changed.
Because we really have moved towards that monitoring should
not be a one-time piece, it really should be a continuous
improvement process that happens throughout the year.
And so we're working in that direction.
Dr. Tony Baez: I hope that they don't contradict each other.
José Rico: Right here.
Iris Zuniga: Hello.
Iris Zuniga, Chief Operating Officer for Youth
Policy Institute.
And my question is with regards to the education,
the health care reform that's going on and the deadline for
implementation is obviously, you know,
upcoming within the next couple of months, next year or two.
What is the plan in terms of lining up messaging both from
the federal government to the state to some point to city to
county to making sure that all this information about all these
great things that are gonna happen under this new
opportunity are actually getting out to the Latino community.
We know that there's obviously a huge percentage are uninsured,
and those that are insured, like you mentioned, are not fully,
fully insured in terms of the access and resources.
So how are we making sure that the actual information is
getting out there in a timely matter,
considering a lot of these things are going to be happening
really soon.
Dr. Garth Graham: Yeah.
Well, true, a lot of things are happening right now and
have happened.
So it is not a train that's off in the future, the train is,
it's actually moving now.
So we're certainly trying our best to work with organizations
across the country as a broader department to educate folks on
what's happening now and what will be occurring in the future.
Things that are happening now are certainly a lot of patient
protections, you know, the fact that insurance companies can no
longer deny children coverage based on a pre-existing
condition, the fact that we have a pre-existing condition
insurance plan is put in place to help provide options for
people who have pre-existing conditions,
and as well some of the other things that are wrong,
lifetime limits and annual caps that I mentioned before.
So all of these things are things that we're moving on now.
The things that you're talking about in the future are
certainly 2014 when we have the health insurance exchanges put
in place, but all the investments in community health
centers, $11 billion in community health centers,
67% of them which provide care to minority communities are
things that are on or already ongoing.
So I guess my answer to you is we're trying to work with
everyone, the people in this room,
people across the country to help start to educate folks.
We always point folks to www.HealthCare.gov,
and the Spanish version is there as well to help educate people,
but certainly we want to make sure that everybody knows that
the train is moving with the reform.
Speaker: Doctor, whatever you can do to get that out,
because the accomplishment is so major.
And like we did it and then we've moved on to other things.
And of course the Republicans are going to find, you know,
the one thing that didn't work, right?
And there -- you know, millions of Americans have been benefited
by one of the most important legislative accomplishments in
the history of any administration.
And so we tend to get worried about getting it all right as
opposed to making sure --
José Rico: Yeah.
Speaker: This is Washington.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one covers it,
it didn't actually fall.
José Rico: And with that, I would love to give our two panelists a round
of applause and thank them for their participation.
Lillian, I would like, do you want to say something before we
go downstairs?
Lillian López: If I would like to?
José Rico: Yeah.
Let me just, let me just, before you do,
let me give you a little bit of time to prep.
One, I want to give them a round of applause,
but I also want to recognize all of you in the room that have
been here for seven hours of this round-robin conversation.
Our, you know, our hope in doing this is you were able to make
those connections.
We have bios here of all the speakers,
we're going to be sending you their e-mails, and we want to,
we also have taken notes from all of the questions that
everybody here asked during each session.
And so each panelist is going to receive the question and the
name of who asked the question, and we're going to obviously cc
the Hispanic Federation to make sure,
the National Hispanic Federation to make sure that they've also
been cc'd on it, so there could be some follow-ups.
I just want to make sure that you all know that that's what
we're doing on our end, and we're going to head downstairs.
My suggestion is to take the stairs,
but anything else to be able to head out.
Speaker: Are we going to be able to get a roster of everybody --
Lillian López: I just want to thank all of you for being here today,
and also more for being here tomorrow.
José Rico: Right.
Lillian López: Because that's when we have an opportunity to take an even
deeper dive.
I know that this was a tough environment,
we wanted to get a lot of groups in and out of the room,
make connections.
As important as the people in the Administration,
it's us meeting each other and thinking about how we further --
Speaker: You're going to get us a list, right?
Lillian López: -- across the country and the Latino dialogue and continuing
the dialogue with the Administration.
So I think this has the potential to be very powerful.
Not perfect, but very powerful.
And I thank you for that, and I want to thank you for keeping
us on task.
José Rico: Sure.
Lillian López: That's why you were so tough, and thank you.