At NAHREP, we divide our time in terms of conferences. Familia gatherings at the National Convention & Housing Policy Summit and NAHREP at L’ATTITUDE are two annual milestones for the policy department because they each mark the release of our reports, the State of Hispanic Homeownership Report and the State of Hispanic Wealth Report. But, I also think of them as phases. The time right after each conference before we start writing our next report is when most of the major changes and initiatives for the advocacy wing of our organization get developed.
It’s State of Hispanic Wealth Report time!!! Every year, the Hispanic Wealth Project releases the State of Hispanic Wealth Report at NAHREP at L’ATTITUDE. This is the time of year when I try to clear my calendar and hunker down to write this thing. While I’m in the thick of analyzing the new data, I wanted to give you all a preview of what will be released next month. But first, let’s do a recap of the Hispanic Wealth Project.
Hi. My name is Noerena, some call me Noe. Mi familia es Mexicana and my parents immigrated to this country in the 70s and 80s. They, like the majority of people who came to the U.S., came to this country in search of opportunity. The immigrant story and the plight for immigration reform has been a driving force in my life. However, as a Latina-American, I care just as much about justice and freedom for my Cuban brothers and sisters marching on the streets of Havana right now as I care about my Texan DACA recipients (many who are part of our NAHREP familia) who have been told by the state government that DACA is illegal. El pueblo Latino is one.
Who saw In the Heights? If you haven’t, que carajos esperan? Listen up, if we want representation in Hollywood, and we want to change the narrative about Latinos, showing up at the box office when we’re on the main screen is the least we can do. Lin Manuel Miranda shared our stories, one of familia, comunidad, and powerful sueñitos that keep us alive and hungry (in a good way). “Start small, dream big.” Isn’t that how we all got started? Seeing those choreographed scenes of beautiful Latino faces dancing to the vibrant beat of our music, filled my heart in a way few things have during this past year.
Last year, our CEO Gary Acosta and the NAHREP National Board of Directors set a number of audacious goals for our organization that pertain to the broader Latino community: Guide the Latino community to be among the wealthiest and most philanthropic in the nation; Build NAHREP to be the largest and most effective economic mobility organization in America; Incubate 1,000 new Hispanic millionaires and five new Hispanic billionaires; Help Latinos dominate the Fortune 500 boardrooms and C-Suites; Help elect the first Latino President of the United States of America. At the National Advocacy Committee, our work is directly tied to helping build NAHREP into the largest and most effective economic mobility organization in America. For that, we have to build strong relationships with elected officials.
As the daughter of immigrants, I tend to look at “Democracy” through the lens of my parents and my grandparents. I grew up hearing stories of how the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), the party that dominated Mexico for 71 years, would go into the “ranchos,” or rural Mexico where my family comes from, and buy people off prior to elections by giving them free washing machines or refrigerators in exchange of votes.
The Holidays are here! But what in the world does that mean for this wacky year that has felt like a decade? Look familia, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. We usually gather at my parent’s house in Chino, CA, my mom cooks the turkey, I cook all of the side dishes, and my sister bakes desserts. Then, all of the tias and tios come over (my mom is the oldest of 10 and they all live in in the Inland Empire of California, imagínate!) and we end the night playing games and dancing to burn off the calories. With coronavirus cases skyrocketing and my husband and I moving into a new home next week, it’s going to be a tiny two-person Thanksgiving for us this year and I might just be inconsolable. So check in on me.
I hope everyone had some time to relax after NAHREP at L’ATTITUDE! I’m still reeling off of Deepak Chopra’s meditation and Pitbull, two of my favorite sessions of the conference. And of course, I also hope you all had a chance to see our release of the 2020 State of Hispanic Wealth Report! If you missed it, you can still watch it on demand by visiting the conference hub for the next 30 days.
Brace yourselves: this election is going to be intense. So far this year we’ve had a global pandemic, a record-setting economic crisis, and a racial reckoning after the killing of George Floyd, creating one of the longest periods of unrest in our nation’s history. Everything is being politicized: from reopening schools to wearing a mask in public. Add to all of this a presidential campaign that is now in full swing and everything is about to get un poco loco. Now more than ever we have to be analytical of the information we consume, be reflective and be united around a common agenda.
In the midst of having a case of cabin fever this week, I decided to take a drive through the agricultural fields of Chino, California. The fields were lined with farm workers hard at work picking fruits and vegetables for our consumption, individuals who are undoubtedly essential through this pandemic. It’s easy to take the food we eat for granted. It’s also easy to forget that the people who do the back-breaking work of producing our food supply are often undocumented.