NPRC Conference Addresses Wealth Preservation, Health, Education, Climate Change & Child Poverty

Washington, DC (CapitalWirePR) October 17, 2008 – With its Latina Breakfast this morning, the National Puerto Rican Coalition [NPRC] opened its 31st Annual Policy Conference at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia. The three day policy conclave is shaped around sessions on education, voting rights, health, environment, housing and social investment.
The educational session addresses No Child Left Behind and a new era of accountability. Moderated by Edwin Vargas (Chair of the NPRC Policy Committee) of Hartford, Connecticut, the panel addressed making improvements to the law under the upcoming reauthorization process. Raul Gonzalez of the National Council of La Raza, Dr. Heidi Ramirez of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission and the Honorable Maria Quinones-Sanchez have been invited to present.
At the concurrent morning session on Voting Rights, a panel of experts are discussing major initiatives to promote higher electoral participation and protect voters against racial profiling, voter intimidation, and deceptive practices that often target and exploit vulnerable populations such as minorities, the disabled and the poor. The Justice Department lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia on violations of the Voting Rights Act adversely affecting Hispanic and Spanish speaking voters will be a focus point.  The panel will be moderated by Juan Ramos, NPRC Conference Chair; with Romy Diaz, the Associate General Counsel, Exelon Business Services Corporation; Wilfredo Rojas, President of the Dover Valley Voter Registration project; and Yvetter Rivera, Acting Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice as panelists.
The morning final wrap up session addresses Improving Access to Health Care. With a torrid Presidential debate on health care issues as backdrop, Dr. Eric Munoz of the New Jersey Medical School-University Hospital is moderating presentations by Dr. Jaime Torres of Latinos for National Health Insurance and Ms. Sinsi Hernandez-Cancio of SEIU Healthcare.
Markets worldwide are reverberating to the scope and scale of the mortgage meltdown. Keeping families in their homes and in possession of their assets is being addressed by Paul Roldan of Chicago's Hispanic Housing and Development Corporation as moderator; Hiram Carmona of Philadelphia's Office of Housing and Communtiy Development; Nilda Ruiz of Philadelphia's Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha; and Patricia DeCarlo of the Norris Square Civic Association also of Philadelphia.
Latino Leadership on Climate Change will be moderated by Manuel Mirabal. Mr. Mirabal brings a national reputation as an effective policy advocate on behalf of Puerto Rico and all Hispanics to this session. He will be joined by Dr. Gabirela Lemus of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. Dr. Lemus also Co-Chairs the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change. Dr. Nicky Sheats of the Center for Urban Environment at Thomas Edison State College and Ms. Isabel Long of the Sierra Club are rounding out the panelists. Assessing disproportionate impacts on minority communities and developing solutions with Latino participation are key themes being addressed.
Wrapping up today's breakout sessions, will be a discussion on poverty entitled "Social Investment". Today over one third of all Puerto Rican children in the states live in poverty. With extensive experience working in the Puerto Rican community moderator Robert Carmona of STRIVE National; Professor Maria Kefalas of Saint John's University; Lizette Agosto Cintron of Congreso de Latinos Unidos; and Jennifer Weidenbaum of Girls Inc. of New York City will focus on overcoming challenges for breaking the cycle of poverty.


  1. It’s great to know that these issues are being addressed. There really is a lot being done for this community in terms of awareness.
    There are a lot of health concerns facing the Latino community. With health care like it is…this is quite an issue.
    Right now, there is one influential woman doing her part to use her voice as a tool to raise awareness in the community about what options they have to better their quality of life.
    It’s scary that there’s such a huge number of Latinos being effected by this. The current issues with health care don’t really help out much, either. It’s good that there are a lot of things being done about it though. For example, the Celebra la Vida con Salud health education tour.
    However, they’re really only temporary solutions to what seems to be a long term problem. Latinos need to be aware of what options they have.
    One woman right now is using her voice to spread awareness about one option that provides both information and services that can be beneficial to the community.
    Talk show host, Cristina Saralegui has paired up with AARP to to help spread the word about their great benefits!
    Check out to learn more and make a customizable video! You can have fun with your friends and
    make them on online TV star with Cristina’s video, “Amigos Live!” It’s a blast!
    Also, you can enter to win an all inclusive trip for 2 to Miami to to see the Cristina Saralegui show!
    Definitely check out AARP for yourself or for a relative or client. They’ve got some great benefits, including (but not limited to): Exclusive travel discounts, prescription discounts, retirement planning and free companion membership!
    I hope it’s alright that I commented on your blog — wanted to let them know about the fun video with Cristina and AARP’s great benefits. If you have any further questions,
    please don’t hesitate to email me.
    Isabella Coldivar
    AARP Ambassador

  2. Isabella,
    No problem! We need to get the information of healthcare out to Latina/os. Thank you for sharing some resources.
    Grace and Peace,
    David Ramos
    Founder & Facilitator
    Latino Leadership Circle

  3. David,
    I luv the site!
    p.s. Uncle Peter says HI!

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