Education strengthens our state by providing a competitive workforce, which benefits all by attracting job opportunities and fostering economic growth. Everyone who works hard and contributes to society deserves the opportunity to pursue an education.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created to provide this opportunity. DACA students are youth who were brought to the United States as children. They must be enrolled in school, high school graduates, or US military veterans and have no significant criminal record. For many in our state, Arizona is the only home they’ve known.
And yet, yesterday the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that these lifelong Arizona residents must pay out-of-state tuition in the state they call home. Students who work hard, pay taxes, and contribute to our economy now face the nearly-impossible barrier of tripled tuition costs.
At a time when our state needs a well-educated workforce to adapt to the changing economy, this shortsighted decision fails to maximize Arizona’s human capital.
Governor Ducey was correct when he announced we must “invest in Arizona.” We urge Arizona to do just that by demanding decisions that promote economic vibrancy through people vested in the state.
CPLC acknowledges with profound sadness the passing of our former president & CEO, Pete Garcia.
“Pete’s selfless commitment to the community, amplified by his love for all people, will profoundly impact the lives of countless individuals for generations to come,” said David Adame current President & CEO of CPLC.
Garcia received his bachelor’s degree in education from ASU in 1971 and worked as a reading teacher. Later, he returned to school to receive a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and joined Chicanos Por La Causa as an economic development specialist. Following this, Garcia moved to Valle del Sol, a nonprofit agency providing drug prevention and rehabilitation. In 1984 Garcia returned to CPLC as served as their fifth president and CEO till 2008. After a long successful career, Garcia left CPLC to create The Victoria Foundation, the first community foundation that focused on the Latino/Latina community.
Under Garcia’s leadership, CPLC became one of the nation’s largest community development corporations, providing programs and services in education, economic development, affordable housing, and social services. During his tenure, Garcia brought the organization’s asset base from $15 million to more than $155 million and established CPLC Esperanza Latino Teacher Awards, the only Latino teachers award in the Southwest.
Garcia grew up in the Marcos de Niza Projects in Phoenix, raised by a single mother who taught him the value of hard work and modeled empathy for others. Those early days in the projects inspired him to a life work of public service, for which he has received numerous awards. In 2005, Garcia was one of 25 leaders throughout the nation recognized by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Washington, D.C for his contribution to community development and commitment to disadvantaged populations. In 2007, he received the National Hispanic Heritage Hall of Fame Award for Leadership from the National Hispanic American Educational Fund and the Raul Yzaguirre Community Leadership Award from Valle del Sol. In 2008, Garcia was selected as one of 10 recipients of the AARP “Inspire Award.” In 2009, he received the Arizona State University Medal of Excellence. He was honored for his history of civic engagement and leadership within the many diverse communities of Arizona, particularly underserved populations. His efforts have resulted in many cost effective improvements in the quality of life and quality of place within Arizona.
As the emotions of Tuesday’s presidential election sink in, many of us feel at a loss for how we will come together after such divisive and uncivil conduct. And while we either celebrate or come to terms with the results, we must remember that campaign rhetoric is one thing, but governing is something else altogether.
Governing requires real-world decisions with real-world consequences. While anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric helped President-Elect Trump win the election, it did so by playing to unfounded fears. In reality, immigrants and Latinos are crucial assets to our nation which help raise the standard of living for all.
Our great nation has always been fueled by the hard work of immigrants who have risked everything in pursuit of the American Dream. Immigrants contribute far more economically than they draw from our system, and we need their entrepreneurial spirit now as much as ever. Chicanos Por La Causa will work with the new administration to make this case for America.
Many Latinos feel insulted or threatened by the rhetoric that has come out of this election season. And while Trump has proven that the presidency can still be won by alienating minority groups of all kinds, there is still hope for the future. America’s youth are already a minority-majority, and as the Latino population continues to grow, politicians will increasingly be unable to ignore our voice. Indeed, we are not without reason to celebrate: Tuesday’s election brought us a higher minimum wage in Arizona, a number of new “firsts” in congress, including the first Latina senator, and, finally, a repudiation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio by Arizona voters.
The greatness of any nation can be found, not in its palaces and monuments, but in how well it treats its most vulnerable. CPLC stands by our mission to represent and serve marginalized communities regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, or religion. We promote political and economic empowerment leading to self-sufficiency and will support the President-Elect insofar as his policies align with these goals. However, we will always strongly oppose any leader who supports a racist, sexist, or anti-immigrant agenda.
Chicanos Por La Causa is a voice for the voiceless. If this is a cause you believe in, we invite you to join La Causa by supporting our programs and services. Join us in helping those in need help themselves. Join us in fighting for a nation which truly provides liberty and justice for all.