On Nov. 22 I attended the inaugural Inland Empire Latino Economic and Policy Summit, put on by the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.
Here are some takeaways from the many dynamic speakers:
- The US Latino economy is the eighth largest economy in the world.
- Less than 5% of the people who work in the digital economy in California are brown or black.
- Latinos are the largest ethnic group in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The math is simple -- if Latinos are not successful, the region will not be successful.
- Inland high school-graduation rates are high for Latinos, but college achievement rates are low. (In Riverside County, almost 86% graduate high school, but 9% get a 4-year college degree; In San Bernardino County 80% graduate and 10% get a 4-year degree.)
- Homeownership is the way this country has created generational wealth. Home-owning families have 44 times more wealth than families who rent. (And children who grew up in family-owned homes are more than 40% more likely to graduate college.)
Homeownership is integral to getting families out of generational poverty. Education is the key for individuals to get out of poverty. And children whose parents own their home do better in school. It’s all connected.
California comes in among the worst in the nation for reading and math proficiency, and too many students are not reading at grade level.
Education needs our attention. We must invest in our students and in our educational system so everyone involved has the resources they need to succeed.
This doesn’t just mean supporting teachers and schools; it means supporting families in partnering with educators, business and community groups to support their students. This is one of my top priorites. I advocate for investing in education and its role in strengthening the economy in the Inland Empire. I support the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act, which will restore over $11 billion per year to California’s schools, community colleges and other vital local services simply by having corporations be good neighbors.
Help send me to Sacramento, where I will be your voice for getting the resources students and their families need to be college graduates, homeowners and proud members of the middle class in the Inland Empire.
Together we can fight for smart policies that bring the right changes to District 23.
Thank you for your support,
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