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Friday, June 1, 2012

Latino Contributions to Oregon Revealed in New Report

June 1, 2012

Portland, Ore. -- On Tuesday, Causa released a new comprehensive report on Latinos and their contributions to Oregon to a crowd in Portland. 

The report, “Latino Contributions to Oregon: Strengthening Our State Economy”, examines the role Latinos play in advancing the economy of Oregon and the well being of our communities through their contributions as workers, entrepreneurs, consumers, and taxpayers. Information in the report draws primarily on data from the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey and provides Oregon-specific demographic, labor, and socio-economic data regarding the Latino and immigrant communities.

"While there are many strong reports about the Latino and immigrant community on a national level, we have often
struggled to find and use Oregon-specific data," said Robin Wright, Policy Analyst for Causa. "This report is significant because it is the first step in correcting this lack of information."

Among the findings, the report revealed that:

• 1 in 5 native-born children in Oregon have at least one immigrant parent, and that Oregon had one of the top rates of growth for Latino-owned business creation in the country.
• Latinos now make up 12 percent of the state’s total population, make up more than 10 percent of Oregon’s workforce and have a combined purchasing power of around $7 billion.
• Oregon is # 6 in the nation for growth of Latino-owned small businesses and are part of Oregon’s “Mainstreet”.
• Growth in the Latino population leads directly to growth in the Oregon economy.

During the 2011 legislative session, many legislators were misinformed about immigrants in Oregon and their impact on the state. This led them to oppose good legislation like restoring drivers’ license access and promote bad legislation like mandating the fatally flawed E-verify program.

“In the last few years here in Oregon there has been rhetoric charged from both sides about who Latinos are and what they do,” said Francisco Lopez, Causa’s Executive Director.  “But we wanted to present the accurate picture and this report does that in a big way.”

Lopez added, “This report provides community organizations, elected officials, and policy-makers with a comprehensive overview of Latinos in Oregon, which will allow them to make better policy decisions that are in the best interest of all Oregon residents.”

After the report presentation, Causa was awarded with a $10,000 grant by The Oregon Community Foundation.  The grant is to go towards funding Causa’s Citizenship Program.

Those attending the yesterday’s presentation included State Representatives Lew Frederick, Alissa Keny Guyer and Jefferson Smith and members of Oregon School Employees Association, Oregon Students Association, The Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Lara Media Services, Basic Rights Oregon, Working America and others. 

There were also representatives present from several elected officials including Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogan, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley.

Causa would like to thank all those who attended and supported this release.  We would especially like to thank the Chair Jeff Cogan’s office for making the room available for the presentation and our allies at the Oregon School Employees Association for printing hard copies of this report for distribution.


Download the Executive Summary:

Download the Full Report

The following links include news coverage and resources regarding the report release event in Portland

Oregon's Latino Workforce Growing (KEZI Channel 9 ABC)

Photo Slideshow:

Video: May 29th Report Release in Portland


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