a) CIVIC PARTICIPATION: Latinos For Democracy & 2020 CENSUS
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute 2017 Report on the benefits of citizenship, shows that 195,000 individuals in Georgia could become naturalized citizens yet fewer than 10% complete the process each year. A concerted effort by Georgia lawmakers and community leaders to encourage lawful permanent residents to become citizens and smooth their path could add up to $639 million in annual earnings to the state’s economy and as much as $62 million a year in state and local tax revenue.
Gaining citizenship, provides immigrants with important benefits, including receiving higher earnings, better job prospects and a greater likelihood of homeownership.
Additionally, new and diverse voices engaged in the electoral process are usually more representative of the local communities and therefore able to advocate for more equitable and inclusive policies and laws.
With the support of the Hispanic Federation and the Georgia Alliance for Immigrant Civic Engagement, we launched in 2018 the LATINOS FOR DEMOCRACY voter mobilization campaign. A coordinated effort of five organizations is educating, registering and encouraging our community to vote.
The Urban Institute research suggests the language requirements may be the steepest barrier to naturalize, followed by cost. To afford the test, one survey found that a quarter of immigrants had borrowed money to cover the application fee and more than two-fifths had postponed their application due in part to cost concerns. We currently offer through grants to member organizations, financial assistance for naturalization and DACA renewals.
Latinx in Georgia are approximately 50% of all the eligible green card holders ready to naturalize.
LCF Georgia is seeding their 2018-2019 Civic Participation & Census Fund providing support to Latinx-led organizations offering ESL, Civic classes and legal services for DACA and naturalization with small grants.
b) A Wealth Building Agenda for Latinx in Georgia
Latino Community Fund, in partnership with the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, Goizueta Business School, Invest Atlanta, the Small Business Development Center (Office of Minority Business) and a number of community partners, is undertaking the first Georgia Latino Entrepreneurship Study. The project focused on micro, small and medium-sized businesses 51% owned by Latinx/Hispanics aims to develop a profile and needs assessment of Latino businesses in the state.
Policy briefings, programmatic recommendations and toolkits for cities, economic development offices, nonprofits and financial institutions will be provided once the report and findings are announced. Interested in supporting this project? Email us.
c) Families WellBeing. Health Means Business
Immigration enforcement, access to higher education, lack of health insurance, affordable housing, technology gaps, all contribute as social determinations to the health, and well-being of our communities in Georgia.
Georgia is the #1 state for businesses yet Atlanta, its capital, ranks among the worst cities in the country for economic mobility. 41% of all Latinos in the state under 17 years old live in poverty and in 2016, the real per capita income was lower than it was in 2000.
In 2018, our approach is two-fold:
- Connect providers and community leaders among themselves to explore economies of scale, discuss avenues for collaboration and learn from each other. The 5th Annual Latino Summit will focus on: “Health Means Business” including a resource fair for the community as well as an opportunity for LCF Georgia members to convene. This event is organizations in partnership with Ser Familia.
- Community asset mapping. There are three reasons why our families, students and entrepreneurs do not take advantage of the current services and programs offered:
- Lack of knowledge that the programs exist
- Lack of time and transportation to get to where the programs and services are delivered and
- Lack of cultural or language competencies where the programs/services are delivered.
The deliverable is the creation of a map with all points of service and programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate across the state. This exercise will be updated every year as we discover and gather new information from community organizations.
The intended outcome is threefold:
- For families, to know where to find help
- For nonprofits, to learn about geographic pockets without services and explore expansion and collaboration opportunities
- For funders, to identify possible partners based on geographic location or area of service.