This morning CA Forward is excited to announce the launch of “CA Fwd en Español.” Given our state’s demographics – one out of three Californians is Latino – this doesn’t require much of an explanation. We have worked hard to get Latinos involved in our effort and we know it will take more than a website in Spanish to genuinely accomplish that, but the effort gains much momentum today.
Our new Spanish website pages are part of an effort that started more than two years ago. We now count on support and participation from groups like the CA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the American GI Forum of CA, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Greenlining, and the Tri-County Association of Latino Elected Officials, to name a few.
These organizations share our concerns about where our state is headed and the need for reform. Additionally, they acknowledge Latinos are disproportionately impacted by our state government’s dysfunction. One quick data point highlights that: California spends more on prisons than schools. For Latinos, that’s a painful reminder about our disproportionate numbers in prisons and on probation.
Our way out is an education – and when the state starts cutting there we suffer immediately – more than half of all students in this state enrolled in K-12 schools are Latino.
We also know from our research that Latinos are very receptive to our reform message. More than 90% support the idea of requiring the state to measure performance of public programs.
We are also very pleased to also announce a partnership with Latino California, the excellent Spanish-language news site. Maria Luisa Arredondo, a former La Opinion editor, and her team of journalists will be providing us with access to many of their blogs for our Spanish-language website pages.
Fixing our state won’t be easy. But let’s be honest, what choice do we have? We rely on government for too much of what we use every day in our lives: An education for our children, safe roads and communities, clean air and safe water. All of these simple things we take for granted are made possible by our government.
California was probably once only a dream for many Latinos, a dream that represented hope for a better life. Isn’t that dream still worth fighting for?