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Join the CHCI 2016-17 Graduate Fellows for the CHCI 2017 Capitol Hill Policy Briefing Series during the month of May. Each fellow will organize and moderate a public policy roundtable discussion comprised of members of Congress, congressional staffers, public policy experts, and national leaders, tackling some of the most pertinent issues affecting the Latino community.

The 2017 CHCI Capitol Hill Policy Briefing Series is the culmination of CHCI’s premier, nine-month Graduate Fellowship Program.


May 18, 2017 (Health Briefings)

The Affordable Care Act’s Individual Health Insurance Market: What’s in it for Latinos?

Dirksen Senate Office Building – Ground Room 11, 10:00 am – 11:15 am
Moderated by CHCI-DaVita Health Graduate Fellow Luis Arzaluz

2016_Fellow_-_Luis-Arzaluz

Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, providing coverage for over 20 million people. Since the passing of this landmark law the exchanges have been affected by fewer health insurance choices and rising premiums. This briefing explores the policy conditions related to the exchanges’ individual health insurance market, with focus on the Latino population. A distinguished panel of Health policy experts will address past performance and the upcoming landscape for the ACA health insurance marketplaces. Emphasis will be given on how these topics interconnect with Latinos’ challenges in health insurance enrollment as well as the coverage progress done under the ACA for this population. Finally, the discussion will also be geared toward what the role of insurance enrollment could look like in the foreseeable future and on how to preserve and increase insurance coverage for Latinos.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization and Latino Childhood Obesity

Dirksen Senate Office Building – Ground Room 11, 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Moderated by CHCI-PepsiCo Foundation Nutritional Health Graduate Fellow Lanette Garcia

2016_Fellow_-_Lanette-Garcia

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign focused around health initiatives that will help create healthier future generations. This public health campaign brought attention to childhood obesity and, as a result, helped to set higher standards for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (2010). The Act authorized funding and set nutritional standards for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s core child nutrition programs, which include the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. Together, these programs serve more than 7 million Latino children nationwide.

Join a panel of experts and analysts to find out how provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which expired in 2015, can be improved, and in doing so, help to decrease childhood obesity among Latinos.

Mi Mente Mi Salud: The Rising Need of Mental Health Services and Awareness in Schools

Dirksen Senate Office Building – Ground Room 11, 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Moderated by CHCI-PepsiCo Foundation Preventative Health Graduate Fellow Stephanie Pozuelos

2016_Fellow_-_Stephanie-Pozuelos

One in every four to five youth in the general population meet the criteria for a lifetime mental health diagnosis that is associated with severe role impairment and/or distress. Exposure to traumatic experiences has shown to disrupt the teaching and learning process for students in classrooms. The well-being and success of future generations is crucial and needs attention.

This briefing will discuss the current challenges and opportunities to provide additional mental health services and awareness in schools.


May 22, 2017 (Education Briefings)

The Importance of College-Going Culture for Latinos Prior to High School

Rayburn House Office Building – Room 2043, 10:00 am – 11:15 am
Moderated by CHCI Secondary Education Graduate Fellow Griselda Guevara-Cruz

2016_Fellow_-_Griselda-Cruz

The earlier students are exposed to the idea of college and nurtured to believe that they are capable of achieving success, the more likely it is that they will live up to those expectations, and feel prepared to achieve their goals. A big component to students’ success is access to resources and support systems in school. To be college and career ready means leaving the K-12 system with adequate education, without the need of remedial courses in postsecondary institutions. This briefing will bring together experts to discuss the importance of college and career awareness for students prior to high school.

Clearing the Path: Ensuring a Successful Transfer from a Two- to Four-Year Institution for Latino Students

Rayburn House Office Building – Room 2043, 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Moderated by CHCI-McDonald’s Higher Education Graduate Fellow Mario Enriquez

2016_Fellow_-_Mario-Enriquez

According to the Lumina Foundation, in order to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials to 60% by the year 2025, we must invest in higher education. Latinos are the largest minority group in America, yet they fall short in attaining a college degree. America must invest in higher education to prepare the future workforce that is needed to sustain a strong and vibrant economy. ​Latinos who begin in the community college system are the least likely ethnic group to successfully transfer to a four-year college and complete a bachelor’s degree. With half of Latino college students enrolling in the community college system, more measures must be taken to ensure they transfer to a four-year institution and obtain a bachelor’s degree.

This briefing will discuss the need to fund policies, such as the Higher Education Act, along with best practices between two- and four-year institutions to best serve transfer students. Subject-matter experts will provide a timely discussion on how to adequately serve transfer students to earn a bachelor’s degree.

The STEM Pipeline: Teacher Diversity and Preparation

Rayburn House Office Building– Room 2043, 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Moderated by CHCI-Motorola Foundation STEM Education Graduate Fellow Jessenia Guerra

2016_Fellow_-_Jessenia-Guerra

States routinely cite a lack of mathematics and science teachers as one of their most pressing labor shortages. While the demand for more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers is well documented, the preparation of highly effective STEM teachers of color has proven to be challenging. With students of color quickly becoming the majority of the K-12 population, the need for a more diverse teaching workforce persists, specifically in the STEM subjects. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act provides an opportunity for Congress to increase the number of exceptional STEM teachers of color by investing in teacher preparation programs at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). This briefing will discuss the teacher pipeline and the role of teacher preparation programs in increasing the participation of Latinos in the STEM education workforce.


May 23, 2017 (Law, Housing, & Environment Briefings)

Unqualified Upon Reentry: Legal Protections against Discriminatory Hiring Practices & Criminal Convictions

Rayburn House Office Building – Room 2045, 10:00 am – 11:15 am
Moderated by CHCI-PepsiCo Foundation Law Graduate Fellow Brenda Ayon-Verduzco

2016_Fellow_-_Brenda-Ayon-Verduzco

States routinely cite a lack of mathematics and science teachers as one of their most pressing labor shortages. While the demand for more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers is well documented, the preparation of highly effective STEM teachers of color has proven to be challenging. With students of color quickly becoming the majority of the K-12 population, the need for a more diverse teaching workforce persists, specifically in the STEM subjects. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act provides an opportunity for Congress to increase the number of exceptional STEM teachers of color by investing in teacher preparation programs at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). This briefing will discuss the teacher pipeline and the role of teacher preparation programs in increasing the participation of Latinos in the STEM education workforce.

Promoting Latino Homeownership: A ‘Shared Equity’ Approach

Rayburn House Office Building– Room 2045, 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Moderated by CHCI-Wells Fargo Housing Graduate Fellow Alia Fierro

2016_Fellow_-_Alia-Fierro

Homebuilding and home buying are major contributors to the U.S. economy, and are assets that account for the vast majority of wealth held by minority and lower income families. However, national homeownership rates have bottomed out to levels not seen since the 1960s, causing concern about how minority families will continue to build wealth and what impacts these barriers might have on the greater economy. While U.S. policymakers continue to grapple with ways to increase homeownership opportunities for creditworthy borrowers, minority households experience disproportionately low rates that substantially contribute to the growth of racial wealth divides.

This briefing will highlight Shared Equity Homeownership as a policy tool that has proven to expand homeownership and address the racial wealth gap, while considering U.S. demographic shifts and prioritizing the diverse needs of low-income and minority communities.

Lifting the Burden: Leveraging Programs to Reduce Energy Costs in Low-Income Communities

Rayburn House Office Building, – Room 2045, 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Moderated by CHCI-Shell Energy Graduate Fellow Patricio Portillo

2016_Fellow_-_Patricio-Portillo

Nationwide, rising retail electricity rates have disproportionately affected Latino communities. Over the past decade Latino household income declined slightly, while average residential electricity rates rose. Consequently, a larger proportion of household income is being allocated to electricity consumption. By examining existing national programs that reduce energy costs in low-income communities, this paper identifies opportunities for improvement and provides pragmatic policy solutions.

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