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Rafael Collazo, Political Director of the National Council of La Raza lays out agenda for NCLR.

Protect and Defend: NCLR Creates Latino Political Agenda

Today National Council of La Raza gathered local community leaders and non-profit directors to discuss what they can do to "protect and defend the advances the Latinos have made in this country thus far," according to Rafael Collazo, Director of Political Campaigns.

Focusing on ensuring that they remain inclusive of all political leanings, the group came together to decide what the high-line items were and how they can enact change on a real level in the community. 

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Today National Council of La Raza gathered local community leaders and non-profit directors to discuss what they can do to "protect and defend the advances the Latinos have made in this country thus far," according to Rafael Collazo, Director of Political Campaigns.

Focusing on ensuring that they remain inclusive of all political leanings, the group came together to decide what the high-line items were and how they can enact change on a real level in the community. 

The main items on the agenda were: "protect the Affordable Care Act, protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and protect the economic advances that Latinos have made thus far," according to Collazo.

Citing data that tracked Latino progress in a number of verticals from 2011 to 2015, the group said Latinos had shown a great deal of advancement in the workforce and median income but due to predatory home loans and other factors, asset or wealth creation had taken a significant hit. 

One member of the group said that while the data for Pennsylvania shows advancement, Philadelphia's numbers will be drastically different due to the high poverty rates in the city. 

"These numbers are great for Pennsylvania as a whole but we know that Philadelphia has a particular set of needs," said Yvette Nuñez, Vice President of Civic Affairs for The Chamber of Commerce for Philadelphia.

And though the numbers might be bleak in Philadelphia, community leaders are convinced state legislation is the only way to enact change.

"But the first item on the agenda is legislation. Call your legislator, engage the community," Collazo stated. 

Though some in the audience were very outspoken about President Donald Trump and his policies, others defended the republican party and stated that the rhetoric used to describe Latinos is not reflective of all conservatives ideals. 

The real change they shared will happen at the ground level, with the leaders leaving with a new resolve to engage their communities directly.

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