SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ravaged by COVID-19 with over 28,000 Latino lives lost in the past year, the Latino Community Foundation (LCF) in partnership with California Health Care Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, and several other philanthropic leaders launched the Latino Power Fund. The five-year $50 million initiative will focus on moving the Latino community from crisis to the much needed civic and economic power building that is needed for an equitable recovery in California.
As the Biden Administration undertakes historic public health and economic efforts with the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, and with the California Legislature finalizing the latest $267 billion budget, there is a timely and urgent opportunity for Latino communities to organize towards equitable distribution of these resources, strategic policy implementation, and fair representation in the decision-making processes in the rebuilding efforts.
“Latinos comprise 40% of the population and make-up 8 million of eligible voters in California. Their voice matters as we move to implement and execute these bold and desperately needed public investments into our communities,” said Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO of the Latino Community Foundation. “Latinos have been the backbone of our economy and they held up our communities and businesses as the pandemic raged across our families and neighborhoods. Now it’s time to invest in them to achieve the civic, policy and political wins our state needs for equitable recovery, representative democracy, and inclusive economy.”
“We cannot return to normal,” said Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation. “We need aspirational recovery, not a retrospective recovery going back to a situation that was not good for our people.”
The Latino Power Fund will begin to reverse the meager 1.1% of investments Latino-led grassroot nonprofits have received historically from the philanthropic sector, and in doing so, strengthen the lifeline and power-building engines of Latino communities throughout California.
Specifically, the Latino Power Fund aims to:
- Secure equitable public investments proportional to the size and contributions of the Latino community in California;
- Increase civic leadership and political participation by 40% of Latinos in key regions of the state;
- Increase the pipeline of Latino political leaders with a progressive agenda for equity and justice;
- Strengthen Latino-led grassroot nonprofits with steady revenue for core operations;
- Advance a clear agenda for social, systemic, and policy solutions shaped by and for communities of color.
Joining LCF are several philanthropic leaders who understand that the path towards a more just California must be led through Latino communities. "Reopening California must go hand-in-hand with reinvesting in Californians," said Sandra Hernández, MD, President and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation. "California's Latinos play an essential role in the state's economy, its communities, and its culture. During this past year, LCF and its local partners helped to deliver vital information and support to Latino families across the state. With LCF's continued leadership and investment, we can secure a healthier future for them as well."
Anthony Thigpenn, Founder and President of California Calls stated that “If we want to build strong multi-racial movements in California to achieve transformative change, then we have got to be able to come together as equal partners. I am so proud of this Latino Power Fund. I’m looking forward to working together with Latino leaders in partnership with the Black Freedom Fund to achieve the transformative change we need in California.”
The Latino Community Foundation invites leaders committed to social justice to join this effort and ensure that Latinos, who have borne the brunt of this pandemic and represent the largest proportion of essential workers, are at the center of our recovery as a state and nation. To learn more about the Latino Power Fund, visit latinocf.org/power.
About Latino Community Foundation:
The Latino Community Foundation is on a mission to unleash the civic and economic power of Latinos in California. LCF has the largest network of Latino philanthropists in the country and has invested $17 million to build Latino civic and political power and leadership in the state. It is the only statewide foundation solely focused on investing in Latino youth and families in California. For more info, please visit: www.latinocf.org.