At the stroke of midnight, January 1, 2007, we will greet each other with a Happy New Year or a Feliz Año Nuevo. We will be welcoming a new beginning, new opportunities, and refreshed hope for a prosperous and happy year.
Leading up to the stroke of midnight we will recall old friends and review the year past. 2006 was a year of change and of growth. As the Hispanic community continues to grow in size along with it comes political, economical, and social power and we finds ourselves having to learn to deal with this emerging growth. At the same time this growth creates a sense of apprehension and fear from the non-Hispanic communities.
Growth is an action and for every action there is a reaction. The reaction has been manifested in the minutemen, the recent rental ordinances in Hazelton, PA and in Escondido, and with the passage of the bill to build a 500 mile fence along the border.
Growth can also be seen within the community itself as we see our political acumen develop, as new Hispanic politicians come forth who are working to create a Hispanic political base and are moving away from the good ole boy system that was dependent upon to get Hispanics elected, those days are fast fading away.
The Hispanic community is growing in economic terms. Hispanic purchasing power will reach the $1 trillion mark by the year 2010, and the number of Hispanic households earning over $100,000 per year has increased nearly 140 percent over the past decade, compared to just a 77 percent increase for U.S. households overall. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew 31 percent between 1997 and 2002 three times the national average for all businesses. And, the nearly 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses generated nearly $222 billion in revenue, up 19 percent from 1997, according to a U.S. Census report released in March 2006.
In terms of education we still have a long way to go to get off the bottom rung of the education ladder, but we are moving forward on this front. Educational parity is our biggest challenge and will take a concerted effort by our community and for all concerned.
New Year’s Day is also a time to make resolutions for the New Year. This year as a newspaper we will resolve to continue on this path of change. We will resolve to work on an atmosphere of cooperation and not one of divisiveness. We will resolve to continue making the education of our children our number one priority. We will resolve to represent our community in the only way we know how, through hard work.
We wish all of our readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year! Feliz Año Nuevo!