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Download Who Speaks for Hispanics?: Hispanic Interest Groups in by Deirdre Martinez PDF

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By Deirdre Martinez

Examines the coverage stances of 2 significant Hispanic curiosity teams.

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Additional info for Who Speaks for Hispanics?: Hispanic Interest Groups in Washington

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Regardless of their immigration status, Hispanics are not succeeding in the American education system. Hispanics represented 16% of all those between sixteen and nineteen in 2000, but were nearly 34% of all high school dropouts of that age (Associated Press, October 11, 2002). As illustrated in figure 3, across the board, Hispanics are much less likely to succeed in education. While each Hispanic subgroup has its own story with dramatically different histories, politics, and connections to the United States, low educational attainment cannot be explained by immigration or by national origin alone.

As a past president explains, They [staff] don’t have the authority to act on behalf of the organization and the membership. And that’s the way it should be; 42 Who Speaks for Hispanics? the organization is very political and you’ve got to separate the politics from the work. I mean you have different people who want to be president—all the positions in LULAC are elected positions, and it’s political from the national down to the council. So you have to be careful, because you have people who have been with the organization for a long time, and staff has to be careful not to take sides and remain independent.

Councils, according to the current president, are a diverse group, including older, well-established organizations that have 501(c)(3) tax status and large budgets and very small councils with little or no funding that may hold one voter registration drive a year. While councils are required to pay dues and provide basic reporting data, they are largely free to manage their own affairs. The volunteer nature of the organization extends from the smallest council to the national president. A past president explains the challenges of the volunteer nature of the presidency: “As a national president you travel four days a week and it’s hard—you spend most Sundays at airports—it’s a long four years—I accumulated a million points in frequent flyer miles.

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