Letter from HF President: A Special Year
It has been quite the year. When I reflect on 2015, I am in awe of all that we were able to achieve. We stretched ourselves beyond what we ever thought would be possible, and reached new heights. I am so excited about what 2016 has in store for us. But first, I want to take some time to share with you some of our accomplishments:
The Federation transcended its Northeast roots by opening offices in Central Florida, setting the stage for work in the Southeast U.S. With more Latinos than ever before calling the Southeast home—many of them former residents of the New York City metro area—HF’s presence in the region is an important and necessary step in our evolution as a truly national Latino membership organization.
Thanks to the hard work of our supporters and donors, HF was able to award an unprecedented $2.4 million dollars in grants to member agencies. HF’s 25th Anniversary Gala raised a record $1.6 million dollars, the most ever. At a time of significant retrenchment by government, HF’s grantmaking program increased its giving by 25% from the previous year – making smart, strategic investments that strengthen our network and enhance our member agencies’ ability to serve Latino families.
HF also increased its direct community services to the Latino community by 50%. In total, we touched the lives of more than 75,000 individuals and families. In a first for HF, our CREAR Futuros Latino College Success initiative was given the green light for national expansion through a $1 million dollar foundation grant. HF also mobilized 100,000 voters to get out to vote, served 2,000 via financial literacy workshops, and enrolled 15,000 in low-cost health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
And from Albany to Hartford, to Trenton to Tallahasee, and Washington, DC and beyond, we fought incessantly for the hopes and aspirations of our community. Wherever Latinos needed an advocate to educate elected officials, support important legislation, or provide detailed, actionable research, HF was there. In 2015, our policy and program efforts were synchronized in 15 states. We convened an impressive 175 community briefings, trainings and events, and published three policy briefs, to inform and develop an agenda on issues of critical importance to Latino Americans.
In a nutshell, we had a transformational year together. And what a privilege it was to stand with each of you – our board, member groups, fellow advocates, staff and partners in the public and private sectors – in accomplishing this work.
As we look toward what faces us in 2016, we’re fully aware that this year will pose a number of challenges. Many members of our community live in fear of deportation because Congress has failed to enact broad and progressive immigration reform. Growing inequality threatens to undermine gains in Latino income and educational achievement. Threats to the Affordable Care Act might disproportionately impact Latino families. Puerto Rico is in a dire economic crisis that demands our attention and help. And then there is the little matter of a Presidential election at a time when Latino voting rights are under siege. But we’re confident that together we’ll meet those challenges. We’re ready to get to work. We know you are as well. Thank you!