Senate Democrats

Reid Commemorates National Council of La Raza’s 40th Anniversary

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued the following statement today in honor of the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) 40 years of service, leadership, and advocacy. Included below are also his remarkssubmitted for the Congressional Record.   “I am honored to join millions of Americans, of all backgrounds, to commemorate the 40-year legacy of one our nation’s most prominent civil rights organizations, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).    “Currently, NCLR is hosting its 40th National Convention, an event that brings together approximately 300 of its affiliate organizations, and thousands of its grass roots activists from all across the country. NCLR is able to influence federal policy because it has always counted on effective national leaders, coupled with the voices of its local community based organizations, that are committed to bringing change to the people they serve.   “NCLR has been and continues to be at the frontlines of our country’s most important struggles for civil rights, comprehensive immigration reform, voting rights, housing reform, and equal access to education. I am proud that NCLR affiliates in Nevada like, the East Las Vegas Community Development Corporation, Housing for Nevada, The Nevada Association of Latin Americans, Inc. (NALA), and Nevada Hispanic Services, Inc. are fighting for the same issues back in my home state. I especially commend NCLR’s Nevada affiliates for their work in addressing our national foreclosure crisis, which has hit Nevada the hardest out of any of the 50 states.   “The leadership demonstrated by NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía, and immediate past President Raúl Yzaguirre, and the rest of the leadership of the organization, is exemplary of what can be achieved when Americans organize and struggle to make this country live up to its ideals. I am honored to work with an organization that has become a hallmark of our nation’s civil rights movement and that works every day to make the American Dream available to all.”   ###   Following is the text of the Congressional Record:   On the 40th Anniversary of the National Council of La Raza Mr. Reid:  Mr. President, I rise to call the attention of the Senate to the 40th Anniversary of the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.  The National Council of La Raza and its nearly 300 community-based affiliates across the country have worked for more than forty years to expand the opportunities of Hispanics in the United States.   The National Council of La Raza is strongly rooted in America’s civil rights movement of the 1960s and has been a critical force in the advancement of the Hispanic community’s fight to obtain a voice in the public sphere. Thanks to the fine leadership at NCLR by individuals such as current President and CEOJanet Murguía and past President and CEO Raul Yzaguirre, NCLR has much to celebrate.  In its 40 years of service in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Colombia, the National Council of La Raza has worked ardently to provide a much needed Latino perspective in the policy areas of civil rights, immigration, education, employment, health and asset building.  In addition, I recognize NCLR’s dedication to encouraging civic participation among Hispanics through its voter registration initiatives.   In the Silver State, NCLR has been a valuable partner in meeting national challenges at the local level through its four Nevada affiliates: the East Las Vegas Community Development Corporation, Housing for Nevada, The Nevada Association of Latin Americans, Inc. (NALA), and Nevada Hispanic Services, Inc.    In recent months, Nevadans have endured the highest foreclosure rate in the country and struggled to overcome the challenges of an ailing economy.  Unfortunately, the Hispanic community has been especially vulnerable to foreclosure and more susceptible to falling victim to economic decline.  I have been comforted to know that local partners in the NCLR affiliate network have been tackling this problem head on by providing homebuyer education programs, assistance for loss of a home due to foreclosure, and counseling for individuals facing mortgage default, among many other services and valuable affordable housing projects.   In addition to these valuable housing services, NCLR’s Nevada affiliates also offer programs that focus on job placement, education services, nutrition services, immigration assistance, and important health issues, such as HIV/AIDS prevention and substance abuse prevention.  These efforts have been especially important during an economic recession, and I share the gratitude of the many Nevadans who have benefited from the services and programs in Las Vegas, Reno, and throughout the Silver State.    I commend the National Council of La Raza for their 40 years of support to the Hispanic community and to these affiliates in Nevada and around the United States.  It is through the hard work of these organizations that we will be able to overcome the challenges of our current economy and of the longer term battles against racial and ethnic disparities in the United States.