This year the Latino Community Foundation achieved a major milestone when it brought a delegation of its nonprofit partners to the nation’s capital. Over the course of a few days, our community leaders shared in dialogue with decisionmakers about their successes in leveraging federal dollars to accelerate the pandemic recovery across California, while highlighting the ongoing needs of our diverse communities statewide.
To date, LCF and its nonprofit partners have leveraged $300 million in federal pandemic recovery funds via the American Rescue Plan. This means funding for things like affordable housing construction; workforce development programs that will help young people enter high paying, in demand jobs; and bonus pay for workers that were excluded from federal relief payments due to their immigration status; etc.
A Call to Action for Philanthropy
On Tuesday, March 21, LCF took the national stage when it partnered with the Brookings Institution to host a one-of-a-kind event to assess the impact of the American Rescue Plan on the Latino community.
The event covered a lot of ground, but the panelists made one thing clear: Despite being severely under-resourced, Latino-led nonprofit organizations have played a critical role in directing the deployment of federal pandemic recovery funds in ways that centered community voices in decision-making.
Now more than ever, it’s important to close the gap in funding that these community-based organizations face. “Investing in Latino-led organizations is something that philanthropy hasn’t done for decades” said LCF CEO Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, “it’s important to invest in growing the infrastructure of Latino nonprofits, so when the government wants to work with trusted leaders [to help deploy investments that can reach the most marginalized communities], these organizations to ready to meet the moment.”
In a period of significant infusion of funding from the federal government, ensuring these resources reach communities in an equitable manner is also key to the building of a stronger economy. “In a moment of global competitiveness, we cannot be at our fullest strength if we’re leaving talent and potential on the sidelines,” said U.S. Department of the Treasury Counselor Janis Bowdler.
You can watch the full recording of the event here.
Speaking Truth to Power
As a part of our DC trip, LCF and our delegation of nonprofit leaders also headed to the White House and Capitol Hill to engage with federal decisionmakers. Specifically, we met with U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, White House Senior Advisor Gene Sperling, and U.S. Department of the Treasury Counselor Janis Bowdler.
During these meetings, our message was clear: Not only are Latino-led nonprofits willing and ready to act as partners in the deployment of federal government funds to accelerate the pandemic recovery—we are essential to ensuring that federal investments reach the most marginalized, underserved communities, which is required to build a more just and inclusive economy that works for everyone.
By Eduardo Garcia, Senior Policy Manager