2021 ILI Legislative Agenda

Page 1

21 2021

INDIANA LATINO LEGISLATIVE & ADVOCACY AGENDA


Our mission is to improve health and advance education for the Indiana Latino community through statewide advocacy, research, and culturally responsive programs.


2021 LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE The

Indiana

Legislative Indiana

Latino

Advisory

Institute Committee

Congressional

Districts.

has

launched

with The

a

statewide

representatives

purpose

of

the

from

Latino all

committee

nine is

to

develop a Latino Legislative Agenda that addresses issues that affect all Latino communities across the state.

MEMBERS DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 4

DISTRICT 7

Alfredo Estrada

Cassandra Salazar

Edwin Arellano

Myrna Maldonado

Carina Olaru

Rick Proctor Matzine Sanchez

DISTRICT 2

DISTRICT 5

Sam Centellas

Henry Fernandez

Richard Aguirre

Amber Garcia

DISTRICT 8 Daniela Vidal Jonas Cueche

DISTRICT 3

DISTRICT 6

JoAnne Alvarez

Luz Elena Michel

Steve Corona

Whitney Amuchastegui

DISTRICT 9 Miguel Hampton Yolanda Trevino


UNITED STATES DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWN

Latino 18%

African American 13%

Asian 6% White 60%

Native American/Indigenous 1% Pacific Islander .5% Multiracial 2%

[1] US Census, 2019 American Community Survey [2] Annie E. Casey Foundation [3] Pew Research Center


INDIANA DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWN White 77.5%

Latino 7.3% African American 9.9%

Asian 2.6%

Native American/ Indigenous .4%

Pacific Islander <.1%

Multiracial 2.2%

The growing number of Latino Hoosiers comprises 7.3% of the state's population, which more than doubled in the past 20 years. The thriving Indiana Latino community contributes more than $400 million in taxes annually. [5]

[4] [5] US Census, 2019 ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates [5] Latin Post, 2015


Marlene Dotson President & CEO

Indiana Latino Institute

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT Latino

Hoosiers

culturally

rich

are

woven

fabric.

Yet,

require

additional

services

leading

statewide

Latino

through

all

sectors

they

face

complex

and

new

policies.

advocacy

of

Indiana’s

challenges As

one

organizations,

the

that

of

the

Indiana

Latino Institute (ILI) presents a list of policy priorities to address critical

issues

Legislative from

the

affecting

Advisory

state’s

nine

Latinos

Committee,

in

Indiana.

comprised

congressional

districts,

We

thank

ILI’s

of

representatives

for

your

support

in

crafting this agenda.

These

recommendations

Assembly,

the

Executive

are

addressed

Branch,

and

not

just

other

to

the

specific

General

government

segments, but to all concerned Hoosiers who want to accelerate Indiana’s

progress.

impacted

at

community

both

The a

advocacy

issues

Latinos

legislative and

policy

education

in

Indiana

level

efforts.

and You

face

can

through will

be

local

notice

our

agenda is broken down into those two areas.

Diligently

identifying

critical

developing

recommendations,

ILI

issues will

and

continue

convenor of Latino networks and organizations.

collaboratively to

serve

as

a


2 0

THE ISSUES EDUCATION - Increase “Complexity Index” and ELL Funding

- Expand Early-Childhood Education

- Diversify Teaching and Increase Teacher Pay

- Incentives Plan for Postsecondary Institutions

- Offer In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

- Increase 21st Century Scholars Participation

- Free Community College Education

- Access to Broadband,

Wi-Fi, and Technology

HEALTH - Increase Cigarette Tax by $2.00 Per Pack

- Availability of COVID-19 Vaccines and Testing

- Fully Fund Health Education Programs

- Access to Technology for Virtual Health Exams - Access to Bilingual Mental Health Resources

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

2

- Employee Protections from COVID-19

- Access to Resources for Latino-Owned Businesses

- Extension of Unemployment Benefits

- Improving Public Transit and Infrastructure

- Increase the Minimum Wage $10/Hour

PUBLIC SAFETY - Driver's Cards for Undocumented Immigrants

- Improve Language Services in the Courts

- Bias Crime Bill and Law Enforcement Reforms

- Improve Community Policing

CIVIC PARTICIPATION - Involve Latinos in Redistricting Process - Facilitate Voter Engagement

- Diversify Executive Branch Staffing


LEGISLATIVE POLICY

EDUCATION [6] The Rockefeller Institute [7] WSBT 22

While 16”

Latino

gains,

students

were

preliminary

making

reports

“pre-K

point

to

to the

coronavirus pandemic reversing many of those advances.

Access

equipment

inhibited

example,

and

rates

Latino

of

to

adversely

the

Wi-Fi virtual

already

high

low-income

affordable

quality

by

schooling,

low

school

affected

Propelling

broadband

and for

college-going

graduates the

students

was

pandemic. to

early-childhood

success, education

INCREASE FUNDING FOR THE “COMPLEXITY INDEX” AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER (ELL) SERVICES Throughout Indiana, school districts are enrolling more indigent and immigrant Latino

students

requiring

additional

academic

support

from

cash-strapped

schools and underprepared staff. Latino students comprise at least 10% of the student body in 77 school corporations, and four are Latino-majority districts (located

in

academic

rural

and

outcomes

suburban by

areas).

implementing

Increasing

funding

proven-effective

will

and

improve culturally

appropriate strategies for Latino learners.

remains out of reach for far too many Latino families. Investments in education at all levels will

help

restore

educational

gains,

attainment

and close equity gaps.

further of

increase

Latino

the

Hoosiers,

DIVERSIFY THE TEACHING PROFESSION AND INCREASE TEACHER PAY With Latino students comprising almost 13% of Indiana’s K-12 students, Latino teachers make up only 1.8% of the teaching force [8]. The research shows that students of color do better when taught by educators who look like them [9]. According

to

the

Education

Trust

and

TeachPlus

[10],

Indiana

must

more

effectively and intentionally recruit and retain teachers of color by improving compensation packages and implementing other strategies.


OFFER IN-STATE TUITION FOR ALL UNDOCUMENTED POSTSECONDARY STUDENTS In Indiana, thousands of Latino high-school graduates, who emigrated to the United States as children, cannot afford to enroll in college because they are being charged the tuition rate for foreign students and they do not qualify for state aid. As Indiana is one of only three states with laws specifically prohibiting offering in-state tuition rates and state financial aid to “illegal alien” students [11], this policy must be reversed to make college affordable for many students.

FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE EDUCATION FOR FAMILIES WITH INCOME UNDER $75,000 Maintaining a vibrant Hoosier economy requires improvements in the workforce’s educational attainment. And, a quality postsecondary credential is a ticket out of poverty. Yet, only 19% of Latinos in Indiana hold a postsecondary degree. With

higher

academic

expectations

of

the

workforce,

community

college

education and training should be at no cost to families with incomes under $75,000.

College Enrollment

51%

65%

Latino Enrollment

Statewide Average

[12] Indiana Commission for Higher Education


EDUCATION ADVOCACY EFFORTS

EXPAND QUALITY AND ACCESS TO EARLY-CHILDHOOD EDUCATION According

to

the

Federal

Reserve

Bank

DEVELOP INCENTIVE PLANS FOR POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTIONS [13],

Quality certificates and degrees improve employment

investments in quality early-learning programs have a

and other opportunities for the Latino community. As

“high public return.” ILI urges state officials to collect

Indiana colleges are expected to enroll more Latino

data and develop plans to place more young Latinos

students, ILI calls on the General Assembly to develop

on paths to higher educational achievement which

financial

begin with universal enrollment in exceptional early

effective programming with higher completion rates

learning programs.

for Latino students.

incentives

for

institutions

that

implement


INCREASE 21ST CENTURY SCHOLARS PARTICIPATION The

21st

Century

Scholars

program

financially

IMPROVE ACCESS TO BROADBAND, WI-FI, AND TECHNOLOGY All students now utilize online educational resources

supports students through their four years in college.

and,

However, parents or guardians of qualified Scholars

connected to the internet. The COVID-19 pandemic

must register their children while in 7th or 8th grade.

exasperated the digital divide. ILI urges policymakers

ILI recommends that state officials collect and publish data

on

Latino

enrollment

and

hold

accountable

schools for ensuring all eligible students register.

to

at

times,

ensure

virtual

Latino

instruction

students

are

through

fully

devices

engaged

in

learning by having the appropriate technology and access to broadband.


INCREASE CIGARETTE AND E-LIQUID TAX BY $2.00 PER PACK By

raising

the

cigarette

tax,

policymakers

will

immediately

see

reduced smoking rates, especially among low-income populations, youth, and communities of color. And, long term, Latinos and other Hoosiers will see lower rates of heart disease, lung cancer, and other

LEGISLATIVE POLICY

illnesses causing untold personal and economic hardships.

HEALTH COVID-19 claiming number Now public Indiana policy

a of

is

and

tobacco

time

health

Hoosier to

lives.

fully

fund

initiatives,

the

Latino makers

are

disproportionate

Latino

this

use

Institute to

support

[14] Raise it for Health

urges these

FULLY FUND HEALTH EDUCATION AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS

efforts.

The

research

is

clear—the

returns

on

investments

in

state-funded

prevention programs means lower health-care costs, higher workforce productivity, and more. Closing the health disparities between Latinos and other Hoosiers starts with fully funded education campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles.


WIDER AVAILABILITY OF COVID-19 VACCINES AND TESTING As

Latinos

are

disproportionally

poor

and

work

in

service

industries, ILI recommends policymakers expand access to free COVID-19 testing and vaccines for essential employees and to employees in professions with high rates of transmission, such as poultry processing enterprises, irrespective of immigration status.

ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY FOR VIRTUAL HEALTH EXAMS Like other fields, the medical profession is increasing its use of

HEALTH

virtual sessions, IT applications, and other web-based services. ILI recommends that the General Assembly create a summer study commission on impact of virtual health on Latino and other lowincome populations. Latinos need appropriate policies ensuring access to virtual health services.

ACCESS TO BILINGUAL MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES The

impact

of

COVID-19

on

mental

health

has

added

an

additional stressor on our Latino youth and families highlighting the need for more bilingual counselors, therapists and culturally appropriate educational campaigns. a

list

of

bilingual

mental

health

ILI recommends compiling

professionals

and

creating

bilingual educational materials destigmatizing mental health and offering support services in Spanish.

ADVOCACY EFFORTS


EMPLOYEE PROTECTIONS FROM COVID-19 TRANSMISSION As

LEGISLATIVE POLICY

detected

COVID-19

“hot

spots”

are

in

locations

employing

large

numbers of Latinos, such as food processing plants, ILI recommends that the

WORKFORCE Latino

Hoosier

disproportionally low

wages

In

and

addition

educational assist

families poor

as

a

business to

hard-working

acquiring

the

poverty

result

their

Latinos

Latino-owned wages.

With

earnings, contribute prosperity families.

by

businesses increased

Latino

can

climb

toward while

building

and

to

employees

are

held

the

accountable

personal

for

protective

With the economy not expecting a full recovery until late 2021 at the earliest, and as the hospitality and other service industries employ many

can

the

supporting

disproportionally

affected

by

COVID-19,

ILI

recommends

that

unemployment benefits period be extend by six months.

raising

capacity

Hoosiers

distributing

employers

EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

of

challenges.

Indiana

rate

and

ensure

equipment (PPE) and that workplace safety regulations are strengthened.

Latinos

above

Assembly

are

raising

attainment,

General

and fully

INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE $10/HOUR

state’s their

Indiana’s minimum wage is lower than the neighboring states of Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan. ILI recommends a minimum wage increase to $10.00 per hour, which would boost many Latino families out of the depths of poverty.


ACCESS TO RESOURCES FOR LATINO-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES

WORKFORCE ADVOCACY EFFORTS

Latino communities are incubators of small businesses and cottage

industries,

building

wealth.

promoting

employing

ILI

thousands

recommends

economic

that

development

of

Hoosiers

Indiana

focus

on

and

agencies fostering

business opportunities and strengthening existing businesses in Latino communities.

40%

35%

30%

IMPROVING PUBLIC TRANSIT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

20%

A reliable and efficient transportation system [17] is a key ingredient in economic development, business productivity, better

health,

and

self-sufficiency,

including

in

Latino

10%

15.3% 10%

communities. Distressed areas often suffer from poor mass transit and decaying road and bridge infrastructure. Lowincome Latinos cannot afford reliable personal vehicles. ILI

ensure

Latino

neighborhoods

e t i h W

o n i t a L

benefit from future investments.

that

h tu o Y

to

o n i t a L

plans

s re is o o H

infrastructure

s re is o o H

recommends that the state examine its public-transit and

0%

[15] Kaiser Family Foundation [16] Indiana Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs


LEGISLATIVE POLICY

PUBLIC SAFETY Last

year

was

The

state’s

again

marked

diversity,

implementation

of

by

equity,

civil and

best-practices

in

unrest

over

inclusion law

racial journey

enforcement

issues must and

affecting include

training,

racial,

ethnic,

protections

and

access

and

for

to

immigrant

hate-crime

civil

and

groups. victims,

criminal

court

processes by limited-English-speaking Latinos.

DRIVER'S CARDS FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

BIAS CRIME BILL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT REFORMS

As safe roads include licenses all motorists and insurance policies for

Racial and ethnic tensions create fear in communities of color. In a

all motor vehicles, fifteen states and the District of Columbia [18] issue

report from October 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

driving

ILI

Secretary expressed his concern about “...violent extremists who have

recommends creating a different licensing category—drivers cards—to

been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks....” [19] ILI

allow immigrants with other forms of official identification to apply for

recommends for Indiana to respond by strengthening the penalties for

driving privileges and purchase car insurance.

crimes

privileges

to

qualified

undocumented

immigrants.

targeting

Latinos

and

other

minority

groups.

To

build

trust

between communities of color and law enforcement, biases need to be surfaced and training and processes improved— including the handling of mentally ill offenders.


IMPROVE LANGUAGE SERVICES IN COURTS AND PROCEEDINGS Language

barriers

in

state

criminal

and

civil

courts

for

Spanish-

speaking Latinos impede on the opportunity for fair proceedings.

ILI

urges (1) the Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush to assess

the

language

capacity

of

Indiana

courts,

PUBLIC

examine

best

SAFETY

practices, and implement strategies that protect the fundamental rights of all individuals and (2) Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to assess the language capacity of administrative panels, examine best practices,

and

implement

strategies

to

ensure

ADVOCACY EFFORTS

participants

understand proceedings and present their cases.

IMPROVE COMMUNITY POLICING Indigent Latino families often reside in distressed neighborhoods with higher

crime

rates.

ILI

urges

state,

county,

and

municipal

law

enforcement agencies to examine and implement proven-effective community

policing

strategies

[20]

that

build

relationships

with

residents and lower crime rates. A key component of that strategy is increased patrols to build trust. ILI recommends that law enforcement agencies recruit, train, and hire additional officers who come from Latino and other minority communities.

[21] Indy Star, IMPD


INVOLVE LATINOS IN REDISTRICTING PROCESS Latinos

must

be

at

the

proverbial

table

where

new

political

district lines are drawn, and decisions must include consideration of the Latino community’s voice in policymaking. ILI recommends

LEGISLATIVE POLICY

that

the

redistricting

opportunities creating

CIVIC

for

state

process

Latinos

and

to

local

include

represent

districts

with

a

goal

to

increase

Latino

communities

by

large

percentages

of

voting,

as

Latino residents.

PARTICIPATION Indiana civically

thrives

engaged,

development support

when

for

of

Hoosiers

participating public

practices

of public concern.

all

that

in

polices address

are

[22] Pew Research Center analysis of 2018 ACS

the and

issues

FACILITATE VOTER ENGAGEMENT Low-income working

two

Latino jobs,

voters

face

childcare,

obstacles unreliable

to

such

transportation,

and

others. ILI recommends that the General Assembly, the Secretary of

State,

and

County

election

officials

facilitating

voting

processes by ensuring more information is available in Spanish, adding a no-excuse absentee voting option, establishing early voting locations in Latino neighborhoods, and increasing the days and times of early voting.


CIVIC PARTICIPATION DIVERSIFY EXECUTIVE BRANCH STAFFING

ADVOCACY EFFORTS

Civic participation is not limited to elected positions. The Latino voice should be present in state and

local

ensuring

executive the

appropriately

positions,

public

sector

engages

and

supports the Latino community. Indiana

Latino

Institute

encourages Governor Holcomb, county

leaders,

other

elected

appoint

Latinos

mayors,

and

officials to

administrative positions.

to

senior

Only

a

dozen

members decisions Latino

in

Latino Indiana

affecting

students,

school-board are

almost

comprising

the K-12 population. [23]

making

150,000 13.2% o f


SOURCES [1] US Census: American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2019, https://data.census.gov/cedsci/profile?q=United%20States&g=0100000US

[2] Annie E. Casey Foundation, “What the Data Say About Race, Ethnicity and American Youth” 6/17/18, https://www.aecf.org/blog/what-the-data-sayabout-race-ethnicity-and-american-youth/

[3] Pew Research Center, “U.S. Hispanic population surpassed 60 million in 2019, but growth has slowed” 7/7/20, https://www.pewresearch.org/facttank/2020/07/07/u-s-hispanic-population-surpassed-60-million-in-2019-but-growth-has-slowed/

[4] US Census: ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates, 2019, https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table? q=ACSDP1Y2019.DP05%20Indiana&g=0400000US18&tid=ACSDP1Y2019.DP05&hidePreview=true

[5] Latin Post, "'The Crossroads of America:' How Indianapolis Has Benefited From Booming Latino Business Community" 4/28/15, https://www.latinpost.com/articles/43251/20150428/crossroads-america-indianapolis-earned-new-nickname-due-booming-local-latino.htm

[6] The Rockefeller Institute: Teacher Salary Trends, 2002-17, https://rockinst.org/issue-areas/education/teacher-salary-trends-2002-17/

[7] WSBT 22, “Operation Education: Indiana teachers last in the country for salary growth since 2002” 8/12/19, https://wsbt.com/news/local/indianasteachers-are-last-in-the-country-for-salary-growth-since-2002

[8] The Education Trust, 2021 report, https://edtrust.org/educator-diversity/#IN

[9] I Z A Institute of Labor Economics, http://ftp.iza.org/dp10630.pdf

[10] Teach Plus and the Education Trust report, 2020, https://teachplus.org/DisruptTeacherTurnover

[11] NCSL “Undocumented Student Tuition: Overview” 09/19/2019 https://www.ncsl.org/research/education/undocumented-student-tuition-overview.aspx

[12] Indiana Commission for Higher Education, 2020 Equity Report. https://www.in.gov/che/files/2020_College_Equity_Report_09_24_2020a_Full.pdf


SOURCES [13] Federal Reserve Bank, https://www.minneapolisfed.org/topic/early-childhood-development

[14] Raise it for Health, 2020, raiseitforhealthin.com

[15] Kaiser Family Foundation, Poverty Rate by Race/Ethnicity https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/poverty-rate-by-raceethnicity/? currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

[16] Indiana Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs, 2019 report https://www.in.gov/ichla/files/2019%20ICHLA%20Annual%20Report.pdf

[17] U.S. Department of Transportation, https://www.transportation.gov/mission/health/Expand-Public-Transportation-Systems-and-Offer-Incentives

[18] National Conference of State Legislatures, https://www.ncsl.org/research/immigration/states-offering-driver-s-licenses-to-immigrants.aspx

[19] US Department of Homeland Security, “Homeland Threat Assessment” October 2020, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/2020_10_06_homeland-threat-assessment.pdf

[20] U.S. Department of Justice, https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=81

[21] Indy Star, “IMPD captain: 'Everyone agrees diversity is important. So why hasn't it happened yet?'” 9/27/18 https://www.indystar.com/story/opinion/columnists/suzette-hackney/2018/09/27/impd-leads-charge-toward-diversity-columnist-suzette-hackneywrites/1433649002/

[22] Pew Research Center, Mapping the 2020 Latino electorate, 2020, https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/interactives/mapping-the-latinoelectorate/iframe/

[23] Indiana Department of Education, 2020 data, https://inview.doe.in.gov/state/1088000000/population


Our mission is to improve health and advance education for the Indiana Latino community through statewide advocacy, research, and culturally responsive programs.

www.indianalatinoinstitute.org

Indiana Latino Institute

Indiana Latino Institute

2126 N Meridian St. #100

@IndianaLatinoInstitute

Indianapolis, IN 46202

@IndianaLatino Indiana Latino Institute

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