At the midway point since issuing its quadrennial Hispanic Public Policy Agenda in 2008, the NHLA assessed the progress made thus far in addressing the major public policy issues facing the Hispanic community nationally across six broad issue areas. Below is the Executive Summary regarding government accountability. Click here to download the full report.
Hispanics in the Federal Work Force
The Obama Administration has made appointments to his Administration and the Judiciary that are historic in nature and number, including the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and the hiring of more Latinos into top positions than any other previous administration. However, the challenge of increasing Hispanic representation and retaining that talent in the civil service persists.
Click here to learn more about NHLA's Presidential Appointments Program to help support candidates interested in pursuing political appointments in the Obama Administration.
Hispanic Business Promotion, Contracting and Grants
SBA loans to small and minority businesses are up sharply thanks to provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Under the Small Business Jobs Bill, Congress created a $20 billion fund for small business loans which is intended to inject much needed capital into businesses in underserved areas to help stabilize local economies.
Despite the Obama Administration’s otherwise strong record of hiring Hispanics, only one Hispanic OSDBU Director was hired in the top 35 Federal agencies. Meanwhile, the SBA has failed to address the inadequacy of small business size standards in certain sectors, resulting in many Hispanic-owned small businesses being forced into competition for government contracts with very large businesses.
One of the continuing opportunities for small businesses is to secure contracts and sub-contracts from the federal government. The White House created a Small Business Federal Contracting Task Force which has submitted over 20 recommendations to the President for improving small business programs, and many of these directly impact the Hispanic business community. Contracting with Hispanic owned and bilingual newspapers and magazines for outreach, education, and awareness campaigns provides the mutual benefits of directly reaching the growing Hispanic population and also supporting the small business community.