January 16, 2004

Release Of “First-Ever” Report on The State of Latinas in California as Collected by Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, January 27, 2004

LOS ANGELES — Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring political and economic parity for Latinas, will unveil a report on January 27, 2004, containing the most recent data collected specifically on Latinas in California and five critical regions: Fresno, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. The purpose for the report, entitled The State of Latinas in California, is twofold: 1) It serves as a first-ever reference guide on the Latina population in California for elected officials; 2) It represents a call to Sacramento that HOPE is poised to take an active role in ensuring that public policy at the state level addresses the highest priorities and needs of our Latina communities in the areas of economic empowerment, education and health.

KEY FINDINGS:

Economic Empowerment: Small Business Development - Latinas represent the fastest growing segment of small businesses

Education: College Preparation and Higher Education - Latinas are a youthful population translating into more educational needs and youth activities; A Latinas ability to graduate from a 2-year college, on average, doubles her annual income

Health: Access and Teen Pregnancy - Latina teen pregnancy is the highest of all ethnic groups; Latinas are uninsured at higher rates than their counterparts yet, participate at high rates in the labor force

“HOPE has traversed this great State conducting leadership roundtables and unbundling Census 2000 data and statistics to produce an authentic report on Latinas by Latinas. The report not only captures statistical information on Latinas but the policy priorities of over 1000 Latina leaders. HOPE’s charge is to ensure that this document makes its way into the hands of every elected official in Sacramento as they embark upon the enormous work of balancing California’s budget,” stated Elmy Bermejo, HOPE President.

The State of Latinas in California report is a compilation of data and findings on Latinas in California HOPE has collected throughout 2003 in the areas of economic empowerment, education and health. HOPE will be closely monitoring the Legislature’s response to Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget in two program areas specifically: 1) Healthy Families proposed premium increase and caps, and 2) Effects of the UC/CSU dual admission proposal on the CA Community College System.

For more information on HOPE, visit their website at www.latinas.org

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