December 8, 2009
HISPANIC LAWMAKERS & COMMUNITY LEADERS
OPPOSE MORE PROPOSED CUTS TO LATINO AGENCIES
Latino Legislators led by State Representative Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport) together with a group of leaders from Hispanic agencies hosted a press conference today to oppose a plan by Governor M. Jodi Rell to cut funding to Latino community based organizations by 25% under her newest deficit mitigation package.
The group said the proposed plan would make it impossible for Hispanic agencies to provide services.
"I am well aware of the challenges we face in dealing with the state deficit. However, I can not keep silent when I see that once again the Latino community is pushed aside without a second thought when the governor put her plan together," Ayala said. "We have been saying all along that the less than 1% funding we get from the state budget isn't enough. Imagine now, what we face with a proposed cut of 25% from the extremely lean budget we have to begin with."
The group originally held what was called the first Latino Advocacy Day at the State Capitol in March to create awareness and denounce the lack of funding to Latino based community organizations. The effort was the result of a series of meetings held between state legislators, community service agencies, small business owners and the Hispanic media who were looking for alternatives to the existing lack of resources within the Latino community.
"It seems that every time the economy is in trouble the first cuts that are proposed and made are to those most negatively impacted," Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-Hartford) said. "The proposed plan would tie the hands of Hispanic agencies that provide services to the most vulnerable communities."
Rep. Hector Robles (D-Hartford) stated, "I have witnessed the long lines of people waiting to get assistance such as Food Stamps and other types of relief these last few days in Hartford's social service agencies. This is the season of sharing and caring, but clearly, the governor's latest mitigation plan does not reflect the spirit of the holidays."