The Next America collects stories about economic growth and challenges to diverse communities. These are from Oct. 15 to 31.
Gentrification Threatens Chinatowns. An analysis of the Chinatowns in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia show the Asian populations there are in decline, partly because of rising rental costs and median housing value. A joint report by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund also found pressures because of institutional expansion, rezoning, and commercial development. The report recommended greater support for low-income and senior housing and subsidies to small businesses to help preserve the neighborhood communities. China Daily
Hispanic-Owned Businesses Worth $1 Billion to Golden State’s Economy. California, representative of the future demographics of the U.S., now gets an economic boost each year to the tune of $100 billion from its approximately 700,000 Hispanic-owned businesses, which chip in more than 650,000 jobs. Thirty-nine percent of California’s 38 million residents are of Hispanic heritage. “Hispanics buy from Hispanic businesses like stores and restaurants because what they consume is not provided by other companies,” said Hugo Merida, president of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. Hispanically Speaking News
Report: Entry to Middle Class a Steeper Climb for Minorities. Good-paying jobs of the 20th century served to lift people of color into the middle class, but today the route is harder. A report by the Altarum Institute (pdf) notes that, adjusting for age and gender, mid-career white males earn about 30 percent more than people of color. “The full set of causes for these earnings differentials is unknown, but it clearly includes inequities in health, education, incarceration rates, and employment opportunities — all areas that can be influenced by targeted policies and programs,” the study reported. “Minorities make up 37 percent of the working-age population now, but they are projected to grow to 46 percent by 2030, and 55 percent by 2050.” If racial equity allows a broader middle class, the nation would benefit, thanks to a higher gross domestic product, more taxes generated through wage taxes, and bolstered corporate profits, the study contends. Bridge
Third-World Modeled Microcredit Working in New York Burrough. An approach to loans by the Grameen Bank that has worked in Bangladesh has come to Queens, where needy immigrants offered microloans of $1,500 to $8,00 loans and avoiding payday lenders. In accepting a loan, borrowers with an entrepreneurial bent agree to “exercise responsible financial behavior” with the intent to “use money to make money.” In the program’s U.S. adaptation, Grameen America dispenses funds to groups of five that self-monitor and make weekly payments of 15 percent annual interest. The New York Times
Tech Field Key to Empowering More Black Businesswomen. Three African-American women appear on Fortune’s annual “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” list, which is increasingly infused with technology leaders. Ten women on the 2013 list are executives at technology firms, but only one is a black woman. “Girls from African-American and Latino communities do not have a lot of role models,” said Kimberly Bryant, founder of BlackGirlsCode. “The cross section of gender and race is the biggest issue in tech today. The whole tech ecosystem must be disrupted.” The Grio
Struggling NYC Latino Nonprofits Blame Mayor’s Policies. Of New York’s 40,000 nonprofits, which employ about 15 percent of the city’s nongovernmental workforce, only 2,500 do business with the city. According to requirements, an organization must have capital available to secure city funds, and that’s a large obstacle for Latino groups because of their common dependence on public funds. “For our community, philanthropy is foreign to us,” says José Calderón, executive director of the Hispanic Federation, who maintains that the economic downturn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policies have hurt the 60 community organizations in his alliance. Latino institutions garner less than 2 percent from charitable foundations, creating obstacles for raising private capital and leading Calderón to claim that the current rules result in Latino organizations getting few city contracts. City Limits (English) | El Diario (Spanish)
‘Flama’ to Launch on YouTube. Univision Communications plans to feature short videos and series from comedy and sports to lifestyle and documentaries on its forthcoming Flama online network. In partnership with Bedrocket Media, a digital-media producer, Univision will target people ages 15 to 34 who are interested in Latin culture. The Huffington Post
- Fusion Launches in Univision’s Bid to Attract Young English-Speaking Latinos. Los Angeles Times
- The Next America, Fusion Announce Partnership. National Journal
Pa. Nonprofit Amish Country Aiding Latinos. Change has been significant in Lancaster, Pa., long known for its settlements of Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish residents. An influx of agricultural immigrants who arrived 30 years ago has changed demographics, so that now 40 percent of Lancaster’s 60,000 residents are Hispanic, and about 60 percent of Latino families are at or below the poverty level, said Carlos Graupera, founder and CEO of the Spanish American Civic Association. For its ongoing efforts, the SACA has received the Justice Grant from the Opportunity Finance Network. NBC Latino
Equal Access at Core of Silicon Valley Trailer Park Fight. Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, one of the remaining affordable housing options in Palo Alto, Calif., may close as the owners consider selling the land to a developer. The mostly-Latino residents are fighting to remain so their children can remain enrolled in one of California’s premier school districts. NPR
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"Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a 'lack of candor,'" McCabe launched a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions withheld information from Congress regarding his contact with Russian operatives. "Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them" during his testimony, "and called on federal authorities to investigate." When Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, "several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe."
The Senate passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, or SESTA, by a vote of 97-2. The bill now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it into law. SESTA lifts federal immunity for internet platforms involved in sex trafficking, "a move that prosecutors, victims and anti-trafficking activists are heralding as an essential step in cracking down on the crime." Opponents of SESTA argue had argued that lifting the immunity could open websites up to lawsuits based on user-generated content, which could lead to a crackdown on free speech.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg responded to reports that Cambridge Analytica had accessed the personal data of 50 million users, and kept the data after being told by the social media company to delete it. "I started Facebook," wrote Zuckerberg, "and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform ... While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn't change what happened in the past." On Monday, Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for “Mr. Zuckerberg and other CEOs” to testify "about social media manipulation in the 2016 election."
"The White House is backing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill despite opposition from some House conservatives ... 'The President and the leaders discussed their support for the bill, which includes more funds to rebuild the military, such as the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, more than 100 miles of new construction for the border wall and other key domestic priorities, like combatting the opioid crisis and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure,' White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement." The details of the bill are expected to be released later today.