Posts

Aflac Launches ‘Soccer’ – Its 8th New Television Ad for 2009

National Campaign Focuses on Family and Financial Security

Aflac launches TV commercial for Hispanics

Aflac launches TV commercial for Hispanics

Aflac today unveiled its eighth new television commercial of 2009, titled “Soccer.” This commercial showcases the Aflac Duck as the web-footed star of the team, who helps provide a solid defense against unexpected medical bills. “Soccer” will debut on August 24, running nationally on CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, CNN, CNBC, Discover Channel, USA, Headline News and the History Channel.

Aflac Launches ‘Soccer’ – Its Eighth New Television Ad for 2009

“Soccer” presents two mothers, one of whom is using crutches, chatting about insurance while watching their kids play soccer. Soaring acrobatically in and out of frame, the Aflac Duck protects the mothers from harm while letting them know that it is Aflac that pays cash when someone is sick or hurt.

After bending one like Beckham to score a gravity-defying goal, the Aflac Duck celebrates with a victory dance while singing “Aflac, Aflac, Aflaaaac,” much to the surprise of one familiar fan.

“Aflac protects families during uncertain times and ‘Soccer’ drives that point home in a way that will resonate with consumers,” Jeff Charney, Aflac senior vice president and chief marketing officer (CMO) said. “We combined the classic family activity — the Saturday morning soccer game — with the Aflac Duck’s unmatched brand of humor, to effectively remind people that Aflac has you under our wing.”

This is the 46th commercial starring the Aflac Duck and marks the first time Aflac has introduced eight television ads in a single year. The corporate spokesduck is a well-known fundraiser for pediatric cancer-related causes and was named to the Advertising Walk of Fame in 2004. On January 1, 2010, the Aflac Duck will mark its 10th birthday as the company celebrates its 55th year serving American consumers.

Source: Aflac

Effort to Improve Diabetes Self Management and Care

Community-based Approach Aims to Improve Diabetes Self Management and Care

AADE, Emory University and Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute Partner to Educate and Improve Access to Care for Atlanta-area Minorities with Diabetes

The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) today announced the launch of an Atlanta-based program aimed at improving self-management of diabetes among minority populations. In partnership with Emory University’s Latino Diabetes Education Program and the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute, the program aims to advance diabetes education in Hispanic and African American populations and to improve clinical and behavioral outcomes. The announcement was made at the Association’s annual meeting.

The program will be offered in the Chamblee neighborhood, which is served by the North DeKalb Health Clinic. The clinic is part of the satellite neighborhood network of clinics of Grady Health System in the Metro Atlanta area. Emory’s Latino Diabetes Education Program is already serving the Latino community in this area, and will partner with Grady and AADE to implement this minority-specific model.

The “Increasing Access to Diabetes Self-Management Education as a Means of Decreasing Health Disparities in Minority Populations” project aims to:

  • Ensure high quality and culturally appropriate services for people with diabetes by involving different members of the disease management team including: physicians, educators, health promoters/community health workers and other health care professionals.
  • Teach the basics of diabetes self management to populations often lacking in education and community-focused support.
  • Build upon local program capacity to achieve desired clinical and behavioral outcomes.

Individuals from minority communities that participate in this program will receive support and tools that will empower them to:

  • Improve their health and clinical outcomes.
  • Change behaviors, set goals and gain problem solving and healthy coping skills.
  • Learn how to navigate the health care system to increase adherence to evidence-based guidelines and reduce high-cost emergency department utilization.

“This program is unique in that it promotes a team approach to diabetes care. Each member of the team — physician, diabetes educator and community health worker — supports and builds upon one another’s work,” said AADE President Marcia Draheim, RN, CDE. “Success will be measured by many factors including clinical improvements, behavioral outcomes, participation and patient satisfaction with the program.”

Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Health System have been serving Latinos with diabetes through the Emory Latino Diabetes Education Program. “The program started over three years ago and has reached more than 750 Latinos with diabetes and their families,” said Amparo Gonzalez, RN, CDE, director of the program. “This grant offers the opportunity to apply the successes and experiences that the Emory Latino Diabetes Education has had had with Latino community to the African American community.”

The program is sponsored through a grant from the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute.

Facts about Diabetes in Minority Populations

Diabetes disproportionately affects minority individuals, who comprise a significant segment of the U.S. population. For example, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos represent the United States’ largest minority group making up 14.8% of the population or 43 million people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Non-Hispanic whites: 14.9 million, or 9.8% of all non-Hispanic whites aged 20 years or older, have diabetes.
  • Non-Hispanic blacks: 3.7 million, or 14.7% of all non-Hispanic blacks aged 20 years or older, have diabetes.

Moreover, health disparities are increasing in the U.S. Individuals in African American and Hispanic neighborhoods, in particular, face many barriers to achieving successful self-management of their diabetes. These barriers are attributable to structural factors (e.g., lack of sidewalks or access to food stores with affordable produce) as well as the cultural, socio-economic, and literacy characteristics of the people living there.

About the AADE

Founded in 1973, AADE was created by and for diabetes educators. We are dedicated to providing our members with the tools, training and support necessary to help patients change their behavior and accomplish their diabetes self-management goals.

As a multidisciplinary professional association, AADE represents and supports the diabetes educator by providing members the resources to stay abreast of the current research, methods and trends in the field and by offering opportunities to network and collaborate with other healthcare professionals. AADE is continuously working towards our vision of successful self-management for all people with diabetes and related conditions.

About the Emory Latino Diabetes Education Program

The Emory Latino Diabetes Education Program is a non-profit program aimed to provide diabetes education and lifestyle intervention to Latinos in Georgia. The program began in December 2005 and was accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators in 2008. It is the first nationally accredited all-Spanish diabetes education program.

About the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute

The Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute is a global initiative that provides health care professionals with access to the latest information and skills training to deliver quality care at the community level, and do so in a care model that facilitates early glucose control and appropriate follow-up. Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute aims to be a catalyst for diabetes innovation, improved care and better outcomes worldwide through educational programs.

Source: The American Association of Diabetes Educators

Hispanic Heritage Month: Sept. 15 – Oct. 15

Origin of the Hispanic Heritage Month

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a month long celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15). America celebrates the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Population

46.9 million

The estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2008, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 15 percent of the nation’s total population. In addition, there are approximately 4 million residents of Puerto Rico.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013733.html and http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013049.html

More than 1

…of every two people added to the nation’s population between July 1, 2007, and July 1, 2008, was Hispanic. There were 1.5 million Hispanics added to the population during the period.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013733.html

3.2%

Percentage increase in the Hispanic population between July 1, 2007, and July 1, 2008, making Hispanics the fastest-growing minority group.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013733.html

132.8 million

The projected Hispanic population of the United States on July 1, 2050. According to this projection, Hispanics will constitute 30 percent of the nation’s population by that date.

Source: Population projections http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/012496.html

22.4 million

The nation’s Hispanic population during the 1990 Census — less than half the current total.

Source: The Hispanic Population: 2000 http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-3.pdf

2nd

Ranking of the size of the U.S. Hispanic population worldwide, as of 2008. Only Mexico (110 million) had a larger Hispanic population than the United States (46.9 million).

Source: International Data Base http://www.census.gov/ipc/nas/content/live/hispanic/idbsum.html and population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013733.html

64%

The percentage of Hispanic-origin people in the United States who were of Mexican background in 2007. Another 9 percent were of Puerto Rican background, with 3.5 percent Cuban, 3.1 percent Salvadoran and 2.7 percent Dominican. The remainder were of some other Central American, South American or other Hispanic or Latino origin.

Source: 2007 American Community Surveyhttp://www.census.gov/acs/nas/content/live/hispanic/Products/users_guide/index.htm

About 45 percent of the nation’s Dominicans lived in New York City in 2007 and about half of the nation’s Cubans in Miami-Dade County, Fla.

Source: 2007 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/nas/content/live/hispanic/Products/users_guide/index.htm

25%

Percentage of children younger than 5 who were Hispanic in 2008. All in all, Hispanics comprised 22 percent of children younger than 18.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013733.html

27.7 years

Median age of the Hispanic population in 2008. This compared with 36.8 years for the population as a whole.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013733.html

107

Number of Hispanic males in 2008 per every 100 Hispanic females. This was in sharp contrast to the overall population, which had 97 males per every 100 females.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013733.html

States and Counties

48%

The percentage of the Hispanic-origin population that lived in California or Texas in 2008. California was home to 13.5 million Hispanics, and Texas was home to 8.9 million.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

16

The number of states with at least a half-million Hispanic residents — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

45%

The percentage of New Mexico’s population that was Hispanic in 2008, the highest of any state. Hispanics also made up at least one fifth of the population in California and Texas, at 37 percent each, Arizona (30 percent), Nevada (26 percent), Florida (21 percent) and Colorado (20 percent). New Mexico had 891,000 Hispanics.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

The Carolinas

The states with the highest percentage increases in Hispanic population between July 1, 2007, and July 1, 2008. South Carolina’s increase was 7.7 percent and North Carolina’s was 7.4 percent.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

4.7 million

The Hispanic population of Los Angeles County, Calif., in 2008 — the largest of any county in the nation. Los Angeles County also had the biggest numerical increase in the Hispanic population (67,000) since July 2007.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

97%

Proportion of the population of Starr County, Texas, that was Hispanic as of 2008, which led the nation. All of the top 10 counties in this category were in Texas.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

48

Number of the nation’s 3,142 counties that are majority-Hispanic.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

15%

Percent increase in the Hispanic population in Luzerne County, Pa., from July 1, 2007, to July 1, 2008. Among all counties with 2007 Hispanic populations of at least 10,000, Luzerne topped the nation in this category. Luzerne’s county seat is Wilkes-Barre.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

313,000

The increase in California’s Hispanic population between July 1, 2007, and July 1, 2008, which led all states. Texas (305,000) and Florida (111,000) also recorded large increases.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

20

Number of states in which Hispanics are the largest minority group. These states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/population/013734.html

Businesses

Source for statements in this section: Hispanic-owned Firms: 2002http://www.census.gov/csd/sbo/hispanic2002.htm

1.6 million

The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in 2002.

Nearly 43 percent of Hispanic-owned firms operated in construction; administrative and support, and waste management and remediation services; and other services, such as personal services, and repair and maintenance. Retail and wholesale trade accounted for nearly 36 percent of Hispanic-owned business revenue.

Counties with the highest number of Hispanic-owned firms were Los Angeles County (188,422); Miami-Dade County (163,187); and Harris County, Texas (61,934).

Triple

The rate of growth of Hispanic-owned businesses between 1997 and 2002 (31 percent) compared with the national average (10 percent) for all businesses.

$222 billion

Revenue generated by Hispanic-owned businesses in 2002, up 19 percent from 1997.

44.6%

…of all Hispanic-owned firms were owned by people of Mexican origin (Mexican, Mexican-American or Chicano).

29,168

Number of Hispanic-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more.

Families and Children

10.4 million

The number of Hispanic family households in the United States in 2008. Of these households, 62 percent included children younger than 18.

Source: Families and Living Arrangements http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/families_households/013378.html

66%

The percentage of Hispanic family households consisting of a married couple.

Source: Families and Living Arrangements http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/families_households/013378.html

43%

The percentage of Hispanic family households consisting of a married couple with children younger than 18.

Source: Families and Living Arrangements http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/families_households/013378.html

70%

Percentage of Hispanic children living with two parents.

Source: Families and Living Arrangements http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/families_households/013378.html

Spanish Language

35 million

The number of U.S. residents 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2007. Those who hablan espanol constituted 12 percent of U.S. residents. More than half of these Spanish speakers spoke English “very well.”

Source: 2007 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/nas/content/live/hispanic/Products/users_guide/index.htm

4

Number of states where at least one-in-five residents spoke Spanish at home in 2007 — Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.

Source: 2007 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/012634.html

78%

Percentage of Hispanics 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2007.

Source: 2007 American Community Surveyhttp://www.census.gov/acs/nas/content/live/hispanic/Products/users_guide/index.htm

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$38,679

The median income of Hispanic households in 2007, statistically unchanged from the previous year after adjusting for inflation.

Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/income_wealth/012528.html

21.5%

The poverty rate among Hispanics in 2007, up from 20.6 percent in 2006.

Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/income_wealth/012528.html

32.1%

The percentage of Hispanics who lacked health insurance in 2007, down from 34.1 percent in 2006.

Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/income_wealth/012528.html

Education

53%

The percentage of Hispanic 4-year-olds enrolled in nursery school in 2007, up from 43 percent in 1997 and 21 percent in 1987.

Source: School Enrollment – Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/education/013391.html

62%

The percentage of Hispanics 25 and older who had at least a high school education in 2008.

Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/education/013618.html

13%

The percentage of the Hispanic population 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2008.

Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/education/013618.html

3.6 million

The number of Hispanics 18 and older who had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2008.

Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/education/013618.html

1 million

Number of Hispanics 25 and older with advanced degrees in 2008 (e.g., master’s, professional, doctorate).

Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/education/013618.html

12%

Percentage of full-time college students (both undergraduate and graduate students) in October 2007 who were Hispanic, up from 10 percent in 2006.

Source: School Enrollment – Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/education/013391.html

20%

Percentage of elementary and high school students combined who were Hispanic.

Source: School Enrollment – Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/education/013391.html

Names

4

The number of Hispanic surnames ranked among the 15 most common in 2000. It was the first time that a Hispanic surname reached the top 15 during a census. Garcia was the most frequent Hispanic surname, occurring 858,289 times and placing eighth on the list — up from 18th in 1990. Rodriguez (ninth), Martinez (11th) and Hernandez (15th) were the next most common Hispanic surnames.

Source: Census 2000 Genealogy http://www.census.gov/genealogy/nas/content/live/hispanic/freqnames2k.html

Jobs

67%

Percentage of Hispanics 16 and older who were in the civilian labor force in 2007.

Source: 2007 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/nas/content/live/hispanic/Products/users_guide/index.htm

18%

The percentage of Hispanics 16 or older who worked in management, professional and related occupations in 2007. The same percentage worked in production, transportation and material moving occupations. Another 16 percent worked in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations. Approximately 24 percent of Hispanics 16 or older worked in service occupations; 21 percent in sales and office occupations; and 2 percent in farming, fishing and forestry occupations.

Source: 2007 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/nas/content/live/hispanic/Products/users_guide/index.htm

79,400

Number of Hispanic chief executives. In addition, 50,866 physicians and surgeons; 48,720 postsecondary teachers; 38,532 lawyers; and 2,726 news analysts, reporters and correspondents are Hispanic.

Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 603 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/

Voting

5.6 million

The number of Hispanic citizens who reported voting in the 2006 congressional elections. The percentage of Hispanic citizens voting — about 32 percent — did not change statistically from four years earlier.

Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2006 http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/nas/content/live/hispanic/releases/archives/voting/012234.html

Serving our Country

1.1 million

The number of Hispanic veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

Source: 2007 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/nas/content/live/hispanic/Products/users_guide/index.htm

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

    African-American History Month (February)    Labor Day
    Super Bowl                                   Grandparents Day
    Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)                    Hispanic Heritage Month
    Women's History Month (March)                 (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
    Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/       Unmarried and Single
     St. Patrick's Day (March 17)                 Americans Week
    Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)  Halloween (Oct. 31)
    Older Americans Month (May)                  American Indian/Alaska
    Cinco de Mayo (May 5)                         Native Heritage Month
    Mother's Day                                  (November)
    Father's Day                                 Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
    The Fourth of July (July 4)                  Thanksgiving Day
    Anniversary of Americans with                The Holiday Season
     Disabilities Act (July 26)                   (December)
    Back to School (August)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: pio@census.gov.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Publix tries to appeal to Hispanic market in Georgia

Hispanic buying power in Georgia has grown by 1037% since 1990, No wonder Publix tries to appeal to Hispanic market in Georgia!

Norcross store gets makeover with focus on items from Mexico

“Do you have the sombrero? Has it arrived yet?”

It’s not the kind of question a grocery store manager overseeing the final details of a renovation would normally expect from a contractor. But for Marco Guillen, it’s just all in a day’s work.

Guillen is the point man on Publix Super Markets newest experiment — the first store outside of the company’s home turf in Florida designed to appeal to Hispanic shoppers.

The store, located in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood that Census records show is predominantly Mexican in origin, features bilingual signs and shelves stocked with more than 1,500 new Mexican and Central American items brought into the store in recent months.

Where Hispanic foods were once isolated in a single aisle, they’re now spread throughout the store. Dried guajillo chiles are piled up in a box in the produce section. Jarritos soft drinks take up shelf space near Coke and Pepsi products. Foca powder detergent is near the Tide. Colorful pinatas are scattered throughout.

“We really had to go out and challenge our suppliers to go out and get us items that are traditionally Mexican. Not Mexican-American, but Mexican,” said the company’s Atlanta spokeswoman, Brenda Reid.

The store also features a salsa bar, deli items meant to appeal to the Hispanic palate and an expanded number of Western Union terminals, popular with Hispanic immigrants sending money home. About half of its employees are bilingual, recruited from Publix stores all over metro Atlanta, Reid said.

The store has been slowly rolling out the changes for months. It formally debuts Thursday with a grand opening featuring a mariachi band and other festivities.

The effort is rooted in rising Hispanic buying power and increasing competition from ethnic groceries that cater to the fast-growing Hispanic and Asian communities, Reid said.

Hispanic buying power in Georgia has grown by 1037 percent since 1990, outstripping the 194 percent growth for the overall market by more than five times, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.

Hispanics now account for 5.1 percent of Georgia’s buying power and are projected to outpace the growth by all other ethnic groups, according to the center.

A spokesman for Kroger, metro Atlanta’s leading grocer, said his company hasn’t explicity labeled any one store to appeal to a specific demographic. But Glynn Jenkins said the company adjusts each store’s product mix to appeal to local tastes.

Publix tries to appeal to Hispanic market in Georgia

Guillen said the changes at his store have gone over well with both Hispanic and non-Hispanic customers. The store’s bright new color palette and the fact that the store only eliminated a handful of unpopular items to make way for its new Hispanic product mix continues to bring in customers of all stripes, he said.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Michael Pearson

State’s Hispanic electorate on the rise

Georgia's Hispanic electorate on the rise

Georgia’s Hispanic electorate on the rise

During the last six years the number of Hispanic registered voters in Georgia has risen by more than 1,300 percent and Hispanics now comprise 3 percent of the state’s voters, a recent study found.

“Where we started with about 10,000 Latino registered voters back in January 2003, now we have 146,000 approximately,” said Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and author of a report on Hispanic voter participation.

“I think voter turnout is a true indicator that there has been great success in encouraging the Latino community to vote,” he said. “In the majority of the jurisdictions across the state, Latino voter participation outpaced national rates in the general election.”

In Whitfield County, the number of registered Hispanic voters rose 331 percent between 2003 and 2009, the study showed. Whitfield now ranks sixth among Georgia’s 159 counties in the number of Hispanic registered voters in Georgia, with 3,015. The highest concentration of self-identified Hispanic registered voters is in Gwinnett County, with 15,593, according to the report.

But the growth of the Hispanic electorate will be gradual, said Dr. David Boyle, dean of the School of Social work at Dalton State College. He is a co-author of “Voices of the Nueva Frontera,” a book about Hispanic immigration to the Dalton area.

“Many of the community-based groups are working very hard with citizenship education, to encourage people to follow through and get their citizenship so they can vote, but it’s very slow,” he said. “There’s not going to be any huge leap or change, I don’t think any type of balance in terms of the electoral mix.”

America Gruner, founder of the Coalition of Latino Leaders in Dalton, said the study’s findings are a result of a long process.

“In 2006 CLILA found that, despite the hostile rhetoric (anti-immigration sentiment in some campaigns), many Latinos in the area were apathetic or felt discouraged because in their countries of origin the political decisions are not made democratically or corruption reigns,” she said.

The coalition started a voter education campaign alongside its registration efforts, she said.

Whitfield County Registrar Kay Staten said she has noticed more Hispanics registering to vote, but nothing too dramatic.

“We have a pretty large Hispanic community in Dalton, and the children who are growing up are getting closer to voting age, so it will probably rise some as they get older,” she said.

About 40 percent of the population in Dalton is Hispanic, according to Census 2000 figures.

Mr. Gonzalez said that despite their overall small numbers, Hispanic voters can make a difference in close elections. He said it’s important for candidates to start courting that vote.

“I think that particularly for the governor’s race in Georgia, it looks like it’s going to be a competitive race, both in the primary as well in the general election,” he said.

“It would make prudent sense for candidates to look at the Latino electorate as a viable force to be considered and courted, not as a campaign tactic to be used to bash immigrants,” he said.

BY THE NUMBERS

Self-identified Hispanic registered voters in Whitfield County:

* 699 — January, 2003

* 1,317 — December, 2004

* 1,907 — November, 2007

* 2,603 — October, 2008

* 3,015 — June, 2009

*331 percent — growth rate from January, 2003 to June, 2009

Source: Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials

CITIZENSHIP RECOGNITION

In a ceremony during the Fourth of July celebration in Dalton, Ga., 31 new citizens were recognized by Mayor David Pennington, Whitfield County Commission Chairman Mike Babb and other community leaders.

Source: Perla Trevizo

Georgia Law Enforcement Restrictions on Vehicle Searches

The public is rightfully grateful for strict enforcement of traffic and safety laws, but sometimes cops in Georgia go too far in searching the vehicles they stop.

June 21, 2009 /Hispanic PR News/ — Georgia Law Enforcement: Constitutional Restrictions on Vehicle Searches

Georgia is a beautiful place for a road trip. From piney forests to coastal islands and from rural farms to urban Atlanta, millions of vehicles traverse the state clocking billions of trip miles every year. In this time of a depressed economy and the resulting pressure on public funding, the Georgia State Patrol (GSP), sheriffs and local police departments have their hands full keeping everyone safe. The public is rightfully grateful for strict enforcement of traffic and safety laws, but sometimes cops in Georgia go too far in searching the vehicles they stop.

Vehicle Privacy Rights

The United States Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures unless the authorities obtain valid judicial warrants based on probable cause. Federal and Georgia courts recognize that the constitutional right to privacy extends to your vehicle, although the privacy protection in your car is weaker than the right to privacy in your home.

Because cars are mobile and could drive away with important criminal evidence, and because they are highly regulated by the government, courts have held that in certain carefully defined circumstances police are not required to obtain warrants before searching motor vehicles. However, in Georgia police officers have abused these limited exceptions in order to conduct illegal searches of vehicles.

Search Incident to Arrest

The Supreme Court recognizes an exception to the warrant requirement in a search incident to a proper arrest. Basically the search-incident-to-arrest exception as articulated in Chimel v. California allows an officer to search the space within reach of the arrestee — the area within his or her immediate control — for either of two important reasons:

• To prevent the suspect from obtaining a weapon that could harm the arresting officer
• To prevent the arrestee from destroying or concealing evidence

In the 1981 case of New York v. Belton, the Supreme Court analyzed the search-incident-to-arrest exception to the warrant requirement when the person arrested is a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle. The Court looked at whether the lawful search in this circumstance extends to the passenger compartment of the car. The Court reasoned that because things –weapons or evidence — in the passenger compartment could be grabbed by an arrestee and removed from the car, an officer making such an arrest could legally search the inside of the car, including the interior of a container found in the vehicle, without a warrant.

Arizona v. Gant

In April 2009, the US Supreme Court in Arizona v. Gant looked squarely at the Belton rule again, narrowing its reach and giving specific guidance to police about warrantless passenger compartment searches incident to arrest. Gant revisited the Chimel reasoning that an arresting officer could search the area within the immediate control of the arrestee to ensure that he or she could not reach a weapon or interfere with important evidence.

In Gant, the arrested person had been detained for driving with a suspended license, and was safely handcuffed and locked in the back of the squad car while the police searched his automobile without a warrant, finding an illegal drug in a coat in the backseat. Because an arrestee cuffed and locked in another car could not possibly reach into his own passenger compartment, the original reason for the exception to the warrant requirement – the safety of the officer and the preservation of evidence – had evaporated. The court also held that the only legitimate warrantless search in these circumstances is when there is reasonable suspicion of the existence of evidence of the crime for which the person is being arrested.

New Guidance for Police

Gant sends a clear message to Georgia cops and law enforcement across the US: no more “unbridled discretion to rummage at will among a person’s private effects.” If you arrest someone for a traffic offense, you cannot search the car hoping to find drugs or other illegal contraband (unless another exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement exists). You may only reasonably look for evidence related to the traffic offense for which you are arresting the car’s occupant.

The decision also gives pointed guidance to Georgia judges. When a defendant has been arrested on a traffic stop, did the cops search the car even after the defendant was removed from physical proximity to the car and could no longer have reached inside the passenger compartment? Was it reasonable for the police to believe the inside of the car could have contained evidence of that traffic offense?

Protect Your Rights

If you were stopped by Georgia law enforcement for a traffic violation and the officer either searched your car after cuffing and removing you from reach of the passenger compartment, or searched the inside of the automobile when there was no reasonable chance of evidence relevant to the traffic violation, that search may have been an unconstitutional violation of your Fourth Amendment rights as interpreted in Gant. Any evidence seized illegally should not be used against you at trial for a drug charge or any other criminal charge.

Be sure to consult with a knowledgeable Georgia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you believe you were the victim of an illegal vehicle search. To protect your rights and your liberty, time may be of the essence.

Source: Ross & Pines, LLC.

State needs more Hispanic judges

DEKALB COUNTY

According to the census, Hispanics and Latinos now account for 10 percent of DeKalb County’s population, which by 2008 had grown to 739,956. I went looking for this information after President Barack Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sotomayor has been roundly criticized for one sentence of a speech she delivered in 2001, expressing the hope that her gender and Hispanic background would provide her as a judge with the wisdom “to reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

If all you know about her speech is that Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich think it proves Sotomayor is a “reverse racist,” then you don’t know much. I’ve read the speech in its entirety, and I learned at least two things about Sotomayor. She is proud of her Hispanic heritage, and she believed in 2001 that Hispanics were underrepresented on the federal bench.

I used to write speeches for a member of Georgia’s judiciary and still follow what goes on in our state courts. So I began to wonder how many Hispanics serve as judges in Georgia. Not many, as it turns out.

There are no Hispanics now, nor have there ever been any, on the Supreme Court of Georgia or on the Georgia Court of Appeals. But this may be the year for that to change. Gov. Sonny Perdue must appoint someone to fill the Supreme Court seat soon to be vacated by Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears. Perhaps a Hispanic will make the governor’s “short list.”

Here in DeKalb there are no Hispanics serving as judges on our superior court bench. There is one —- Judge DelCampo —- on the state court. In neighboring Fulton County, where the estimated population has just topped 1 million, 8.2 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino. As with DeKalb, there are no Hispanic Judges on the Fulton Superior Court. But even worse, there are none on the state court bench either.

Is there something about Georgia’s judiciary that makes it particularly difficult for Hispanics to get a foot in the door? I don’t think so. Even though Hispanics account for 7.8 percent of Georgia’s population, only two of the 236 members of the General Assembly are Hispanic. Also, Georgia has never had a Hispanic governor, lieutenant governor, or secretary of state.

Even though her confirmation hearings may prove to be grueling, I suspect Sotomayor will become the first Hispanic justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Souce: AJC By Rick Diguette

Rick Diguette has lived in DeKalb County for over 20 years. He teaches at Georgia Perimeter College.

Does Hispanic opinion matter?

Does Hispanic opinion matter?