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Equipping Latinos And Other DC And Baltimore Metro Area Residents With Skills And Financial Tools To Create A Better Future For Their Families And Communities


Press Releases

Press Releases (13)

Lunes, 28 Agosto 2017 12:16

LEDC & EWI: A Strategic Alliance

Written by

LEDC & EWI: A Strategic Alliance 

We're excited to announce that long-time partners Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and Empowered Women International (EWI) are merging. With complementary target populations, programs, and services, LEDC and EWI have identified an opportunity to build upon respective successes by joining forces to serve more clients with a broader range of programs and support.Following the merger, EWI will become a program under the LEDC umbrella, maintaining its name and high caliber of client service.

Since 1991, LEDC has offered small business development, microlending, homeownership, and affordable housing preservation programs for low to moderate income Latinos and other underserved communities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Since 2002, EWI has provided entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and ongoing coaching in the Washington DC area, helping immigrant, refugee and socially and economically challenged women turn their creative or cultural assets, artistic abilities, and skills into successful businesses.

What are the benefits of the merger?

The primary beneficiaries of the merger are the clients that EWI and LEDC serve. They will gain a wider array of services and resources as they work to launch or grow small businesses in the communities we support.

When announcing the merger at EWI's 15th Anniversary celebration last month, LEDC Executive Director Marla Bilonick shared how LEDC's mission of helping individuals build and preserve assets is key to building family wealth and economic stability. EWI's Executive Director, Sarah Bodley added that by combining EWI's entrepreneurial training with LEDC's program pillars, we will have a powerhouse of services to offer residents across the DMV area.

LEDC will gain EWI's unique program that is a woman-focused suite of rooted in entrepreneurial training called Entrepreneur Pathways for Women.  The development of business skills amongst a cohort of women also builds support networks that strengthen the community.  Existing EWI workshops and classes will augment LEDC's current entrepreneurial coaching, training, and lending offerings.

EWI's present clients will be able to seamlessly access LEDC's bilingual one-on-one business coaching and micro-loan financing of up to $50,000 for their business ventures.  As well, EWI will be able to provide their intensive and multi-session training services to LEDC's present customers.

Through this merger, entrepreneurs in the DC Metro region will have access to LEDC and EWI services via physical locations in Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Baltimore City, Fairfax County, and Arlington County. By combining forces our physical footprint and community reach expands significantly.

When will the merger happen? 

We are proceeding with the legal and organizational restructuring necessary to effectuate the merger by September 30th, 2017.  During the time leading up to the merger, LEDC and EWI will continue normal programs and services without interruption. We look forward to continuing to deliver even more value to our clients following the merger.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, or for more information, please contact:

Marla Bilonick

Executive Director of LEDC
641 S St. NW, Washington DC 20001

202.588.5102, mbilonick@ledcmetro.org

Sarah Bodley

Executive Director of EWI

320 S. Henry St, Alexandria VA 22314

571.312.4781, sarah@ewint.org

LEDC is proud to be working closely with the businesses within the Wheaton Triangle, in partnership with Montgomery County. By providing them with professional consulting services, up-to-date information from the County, and assistance in preparing their applications for County support; we are helping to position Wheaton businesses to succeed through the construction period and beyond! Wheaton businesses have so much to offer Montgomery County residents. We encourage you to patronize Wheaton's business district and uncover a world of opportunity in your own backyard. 

Please see a press release from Montgomery County discussing the Wheaton Redevelopment. 

Downtown Wheaton businesses will be helped by innovative Montgomery County program during construction of new County office building and town plaza
More than 90 businesses in area continue to operate during three-year construction project

More than 90 businesses in Wheaton that may be impacted by the construction of a new 14-story Montgomery County office building and an adjacent town plaza will have an opportunity to receive an innovative form of help from the County to stabilize their businesses during the three-year construction period.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and the Montgomery County Council have joined together to create a Small Business Assistance Program to provide technical and financial assistance to qualified Downtown Wheaton businesses who can demonstrate an adverse financial impact since construction began in June on the “Wheaton Town Plaza” project. The unique aspect of the County program will be that businesses owners will be eligible for financial assistance—up to a maximum of $75,000 over the construction period—for documented declines attributable to the project.

Businesses can apply for assistance to the County’s Department of Finance, which will oversee the program, starting Sept. 5. Applications will soon be available through the department’s web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/finance.

The first of quarterly reimbursements could be made to business owners within weeks of applications being filed and reviewed.

The new 308,000 square-foot, LEED gold certified Wheaton Town Plaza office building will be the relocated home of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which has long been located in Downtown Silver Spring. It also will house several County departments and will have retail operations on its ground floor.  The building is being constructed on the former Parking Lot 13 site that is located between Grandview Avenue, Reedie Drive and Triangle Lane—an area between Veirs Mill Road and Georgia Avenue.

The project is being led by the County’s Department of Transportation, which owns the site. It will include approximately 397 parking spaces in a four-level underground garage—more spaces than were available in surface lot being replaced by the new office building. Adjacent from the office building, a new 20,000 square-foot entertainment plaza will be constructed on the current site of the Mid-County Regional Services Center. The regional services center offices will be among those eventually relocated to the new office building.

“The purpose of this project is to be the starting point of refurbishing Downtown Wheaton and creating a new downtown that is vibrant day and night,” said County Executive Leggett. “Big plans sometimes have growing pains, and to ease the pain of the existing small businesses that we want to be part of the revitalized Wheaton, we have created this innovative program. Before this project began, we promised these businesses that have been the fabric of Downtown Wheaton that we would provide help to them, and through this program, we are doing just that in a way rarely found in any development project in the nation.”

The County Council previously enacted Bill 6-12 that created the Small Business Assistance Program. During its Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget discussions, the Council provided $200,000 in seed money for the program to assist the Wheaton businesses surrounding the construction site, many of which are single-proprietor operations and have Latino ownership.

“Small businesses are vital to our community and protecting them is a top priority,” said County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who represents Council District 4 that includes Downtown Wheaton. “This is why I felt it was necessary to sponsor Bill 6-12 to create the Small Business Assistance Program that will provide technical and financial assistance to eligible small businesses—with the goal of offsetting any adverse impacts to them during the redevelopment of Lot 13.

“These are businesses that have served this community in so many ways for a very long time, so now they need our support to ensure that they get through the construction phase of this revitalization project.”

To qualify for assistance, businesses must complete the application that is available from the County Department of Finance. Businesses also must provide three years of tax returns to establish an average financial baseline that can be evaluated against claims for lost revenue since the project’s formal start.

In addition to financial assistance, the Small Business Assistance Program will offer technical assistance to the impacted businesses. That assistance, which could provide long-term plans to help businesses well-beyond the construction period, will include updated marketing and business plans consistent with the changes brought during construction. The Latino Economic Development Center, the Maryland Small Business Development Center, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County and the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are working to provide the technical and marketing assistance to the businesses.

More information about the plan to revitalize Downtown Wheaton can be found at wheatonproject.com.

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Media contact:  Patrick Lacefield, 240-777-6528 

Neil H. Greenberger, 240-777-6512 or 301-455-2348 

BBVA Compass, Opportunity Finance Network Welcome

First Class of Opportunity Fellows to Birmingham

  • 25 professionals from diverse finance organizations participate in leadership program
  • Fellows to explore ways to give underserved communities better access to capital

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  BBVA Compass and Opportunity Finance Network on Tuesday welcome their inaugural class of 25 Opportunity Fellows to Birmingham for a three-day training session where they'll explore how to lead the change necessary to give underserved communities equal access to capital. The Latino Economic Development Center's Oswaldo Acosta is one of the professionals selected for the program

 

"We are thrilled that Oswaldo was selected to participate in the 2017 Opportunity Fellows Program. It is a great opportunity for him and for LEDC to learn from the thoughtful curriculum and top-notch peers who will be joining him on the journey," said Marla Bilonick, Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Center. "As a graduate of OFN's prior leadership program, I can personally attest to the value and quality that OFN brings to bear in uniting ideas and people for the benefit of the industry."  

 

BBVA Compass and Opportunity Finance Network joined forces in October to develop the Opportunity Fellows Program. The program is designed to boost the leadership ranks and spur the transformation of Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs, which are critical engines of opportunity in low-income communities. Nationally recognized experts in the field of community development chose the 25 Opportunity Fellows from nearly 100 highly qualified applicants, and together they represent emerging, mid-career and executive-level professionals from CDFIs across the country. Owaldo Acosta was selected to participate in the MID-CAREER level.

 

"This innovative and robust leadership program brings together participants with different levels of experience with a common goal: to increase opportunity for all people and in all communities across the country," said Pam Porter, Executive Vice President, Strategic Consulting at OFN. "We congratulate the 25 Opportunity Fellows, and we thank BBVA Compass for recognizing the impact this program will have and for its generous support."

 

The Opportunity Fellows Program provides nine months of training with world-class experts in leadership and racial equity from the University of Alabama Collat School of Business and Race Matters Institute. The program kicks off this week at the BBVA Compass headquarters in Birmingham, where participants will engage in interactive activities and experiences, and will learn from other leaders in microfinance. They will also spend time with experts to better understand the patterns and causes behind the growing inequity in racial and ethnic minorities, as well as tour the Innovation Depot business incubator.

 

"We could not be more proud of this leadership program, and of these participants," said BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas. "We know that by investing in their future, we're investing in the future of all of our communities. These are the leaders of organizations who put capital to work directly in low- to moderate-income communities. The idea is to arm them with the tools and skills they need to flourish in this impactful field of community-oriented finance."

 

A complete list of participants is available at: http://ofn.org/opportunity-fellows 

 

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About the CDFI Fund:

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2.2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the NACA Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, and the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please view the Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund's website at www.cdfifund.gov.  

  

About BBVA Compass:

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 672 branches, including 344 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 75 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 19 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass was recently named Best Digital Bank in North America by global finance magazine Euromoney and the best regional bank in the South & West and best mobile app in Money magazine's 2015-2016 list of the Best Banks in America. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at bbvacompass.com, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting newsroom.bbvacompass.com

 

About OFN:

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the leading national network of private financial institutions, creates growth that is good for communities, investors, individuals, and the economy. Members of OFN are community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that deliver responsible lending to help low-wealth and low-income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2015 OFN's network originated $48 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native American communities. This financing has helped to create or maintain more than 1,044,000 jobs, start or expand nearly 191,000 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of nearly 1.5 million housing units and 9,800 community facility projects. For more information, visit ofn.org.

Nearly 66% of Baltimore families of Color Lack the Savings to Sustain a Job Loss or Other Emergency  

New report calls for greater investment to address the city's racial wealth divide  

Baltimore, M.D. -  A new report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) reveals a troubling racial wealth gap in Baltimore. The Racial Wealth Divide in Baltimore finds that 66% of households of color are "liquid asset poor," meaning they do not have enough savings to sustain themselves at the poverty level for just three months if faced with a sudden job loss, medical emergency or other income disruption. That compares to 32% of White households, according to the report.

Additionally, the report finds that households of color are three times more likely to be unemployed and three times more likely to live in poverty. The greatest disparities are between White and Black households. The median income among Black households is $33,801, compared to $62,751 for White households, $50,531 for Asian households and $44,116 for Latino households.

With the release of the report, CFED's Racial Wealth Divide Initiative is joining with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy to announce the launch of the second phase of the Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color project, which will help strengthen the capacity of local nonprofits to expand economic opportunity in Baltimore and across the country.

"We will be working in Baltimore to build the capacity of local nonprofits led by people of color serving people of color, as these organizations are on the frontlines of addressing the most pressing needs of underserved Baltimoreans," said Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at CFED. 

JPMorgan Chase provided financial support to CFED to develop the report and conduct trainings to equip more than 20 organizations to launch, expand or improve wealth-building initiatives for communities of color nationwide.

Eleven nonprofits were competitively selected in two cities-Chicago and Baltimore-to participate in the second phase of the project. In Baltimore, the selected nonprofits include Bon Secours Community Works, Center for Urban Families,Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Inc., Latino Economic Development Center, Muse 360 Arts and Urban Alliance. In Chicago, the selected nonprofits include Chinese Mutual Aid Association,Gads Hill Center,Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation,North Lawndale Employment Network and Spanish Coalition for Housing. These organizations join cohorts in Miami and New Orleans, the two cities that were part of the initial phase of the project.

"LEDC is excited to participate in the 2017 cohort of CFED's Racial Wealth Divide initiative," said Marla Bilonick, Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Center. "The program is a great opportunity for us to build our capacity and strengthen our networks as we deepen our service to Latinos and other underserved populations in Baltimore." 

Some of the report's other key findings include:

  • 32% of Black households and 29% of Latino households in Baltimore have zero net worth, compared with 15% of White households.
  • The average value of Black-owned businesses is $40,879, compared to $801,075 for White-owned businesses.
  • Rent is the largest expense for 59.3% of Black households in Baltimore, 58.2% of Latino households, 47.3% of Asian households, and 47.2% of White households.

 For more information on CFED's Racial Wealth Divide Initiative, click here.

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CFED's work makes it possible for millions of people to achieve financial security and contribute to an opportunity economy. We scale innovative practical solutions that empower low- and moderate-income people to build wealth. We drive responsive policy change at all levels of government. We support the efforts of community leaders across the country to advance economic opportunity for all. Established in 1979 as the Corporation for Enterprise Development, CFED works nationally and internationally through its offices in Washington, D.C.; Durham, North Carolina, and San Francisco, California                                      

Washington, D.C.-October 18th, 2016- The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) will be profiled in the upcoming season of Visionaries, the award-winning public television series, hosted by acclaimed actor Sam Waterston of HBO's The Newsroom and formerly of Law & Order. Visionaries will begin airing on PBS stations across the country in the fall of 2016.

Visionaries returns with six-half hour episodes that take the viewer around the world to experience the lives of extraordinary people tackling some of the humanity's toughest challenges. These are timely stories that address issues from today's newspaper headlines: immigration, mental health, income disparity, global sustainability and social innovation. Sam Waterston guides us on social change initiatives that lead to real solutions with proven outcomes, many of which have the potential to change the world.

Selected from hundreds of nonprofits nationwide LEDC is a leading organization driving economic and social advancement of low to moderate income Latinos and other underserved communities in the D.C. and Baltimore Metropolitan Areas.The program featuring LEDC highlights examples of economic survival and sustainability in the communities LEDC serves as well as for the organization itself. "We at LEDC were so excited to partner with the Visionaries team on producing this important depiction of our work. Sustainability is a challenge for our neighborhoods and for our organization and this piece demonstrates that in a poignant way across all of our programs and markets," said LEDC Executive Director, Marla Bilonick.

LEDC will be screening the Visionaries program that features their organization on Wednesday, November 9th at the WeWork Wonderbread Factory/LEDC Offices at 641 S Street NW Washington, DC 20001.The screening is part of LEDC's 3-part celebration of their 25th Anniversary and will include a panel made up of individuals who helped shape the organization.

"I can't remember a season when Visionaries had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people. I think public television viewers are going to be inspired and moved to action," said Bill Mosher, Founder and Director of Visionaries.

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About Visionaries:

Visionaries is a documentary series, hosted by acclaimed actor Sam Waterston, that highlights the rarely told stories of individuals and nonprofit organizations that are working to create positive social change throughout the world. Visionaries is the winner of several Telly Awards and received an Emmy nomination for Best Documentary. Visionaries has produced over 200 documentaries for its nationally broadcast public television series, which is currently airing its 21th season is presented by WGBY in Springfield, MA. For more information, please visit www.visionaries.org.

LEDC Receives Two Federal Awards to Support Entrepreneurs in the Greater DC and Baltimore Regions

 

Washington, D.C. - According to an Aspen Institute report (2015) regarding the racial wealth gap, the lack of wealth in Latino and African-American communities is related to the lack of businesses and financial assets. On September 27th, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced its awardees for its Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI Fund) program. The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) was one of  three organizations in DC and one of two operating in Baltimore who received this award. LEDC will be receiving $500,000 from the Treasury Department to support its small business micro-lending efforts in the DMV region. 

The same week, on September 30th, 2016, LEDC also learned that it had been awarded $400,000 from the Department of Health and Human Service's (HHS) Community Economic Development (CED) program to provide local DC businesses with financing in order to create jobs with living wages for low-income DC residents.   

This is a historic time for LEDC as it is the first time it has secured two federal grants of this size in one year, and the first time it has been awarded Community Economic Development funding through HHS. "We are so excited and honored to have been selected as 2016 CDFI Fund and CED recipients. The new businesses and jobs that will result from LEDC's financing efforts will help low income residents advance economically, strengthen their financial self-sufficiency, and contribute to the revitalization of Washington, D.C and Baltimore City, MD neighborhoods," said LEDC Executive Director, Marla Bilonick.


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About the CDFI Fund:
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2.2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the NACA Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, and the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please view the  Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund's website at  www.cdfifund.gov.  
 
 
About Community Economic Development:
The Community Economic Development (CED) program is a Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services (OCS) initiative designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of sustainable business development and employment opportunities.

Learn more about  CED.
Jueves, 22 Septiembre 2016 16:56

LEDC Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement

Written by
 
LEDC Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement
 
Pledges to Help Low-Income Families Avoid Eviction and Improve their Housing Conditions
 
Washington, D.C. - The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. In 2015, LEDC provided homeownership and foreclosure counseling to 330 DC and MD low- to moderate-income residents. Our Homeownership counseling efforts resulted in over 45 District and Maryland residents purchasing their first home. Our counselors in our DC and MD offices achieved 54 positive outcomes with clients facing foreclosure, which included bringing clients current with their mortgage payments, mortgage modifications, and pre-foreclosure sales. Our Housing Fund will provide grants to low-income families struggling to secure safe and affordable housing and help families at risk of eviction. Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.  
 
"One of the barriers faced by DC renters are high rents and a lack of savings among low-to-moderate income residents to use in securing rental properties," said Walda Yon, LEDC's Director of Housing. "Given the higher rents and associated upfront costs of securing rental housing- security deposits and first month's rent- we strongly believe it will be key to focus on assisting low-to-moderate income DC families seeking to rent in the District."
 
92Y −  a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around its core values of community service and giving back −conceptualized #GivingTuesday as a new way of linking individuals and causes to strengthen communities and encourage giving.In 2015, the fourth year of the movement, #GivingTuesday broughttogether over 45,000 partners in 71 countries and helped raise nearly $117 Million online in the US alone.
 
"We have been incredibly inspired by the generosity in time, efforts and ideas that have brought our concept for a worldwide movement into reality," said Henry Timms, founder of #GivingTuesday and executive director of 92Y. "As we embark on our fifth year of #GivingTuesday, we are encouraged by the early response from partners eager to continue making an impact in this global conversation."  
 
 
For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday) or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media.
 
 
About #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give-the 2016 iteration will be held on November 29, 2016. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners-nonprofits, businesses and corporations as well as families and individuals-to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a global moment dedicated to giving around the world.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              
SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2016    
              
Montgomery County Council to Commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Special Event hosted by Councilmember Nancy Navarro will focus on 'Honoring Our Heritage. Building Our Future.' 

Wheaton, MD - Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Rockville will host a panel discussion with Hispanic and Latino leaders whose work in community development and business expansion has helped to shape the County. Panelists for the special Hispanic Heritage Month event will share their life experiences and achievements and discuss issues of importance for Hispanic and Latino residents.

Those sharing their experiences with County Councilmembers, invited guests and the public as part of the "Honoring Our Heritage. Building Our Future" event will include our Executive Director, Marla Bilonick. She will be featured on a panel as well as in a Hispanic Heritage Month video along with other esteemed Hispanic representatives from around the County. When speaking of her invitation to participate, Marla Bilonick stated: "I am honored to be a part of this event and grateful to Nancy Navarro for including the Latino Economic Development Center-LEDC. LEDC, a 25-year old nonprofit with 33 bilingual staff, has been located in and providing services to Montgomery County residents for over a decade. Our leadership, staff, and clients all contribute to the rich Hispanic heritage of the County through service and direct investment in the County by owning homes and small businesses here. We are happy for the opportunity to celebrate the Hispanic contribution to the County's economic growth."
 
The Hispanic Heritage Month event will take place in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The special ceremonies will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM-Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast will also be streamed.
 
The Hispanic Heritage Month commemoration will recognize the histories, cultures and contributions of residents whose ancestors came from the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America and Spain. The event will include pre-recorded interviews with community stakeholders and a panel discussion focused on entrepreneurship, community development and socio-economic equality.
 
According to the Montgomery County Planning Department, 197,396 County residents self-identify as Hispanic, which represents 19 percent of the population. In this group, 62,791 residents are from El Salvador, 17,597 are from Mexico, 12,871 are from Peru, 12,456 are from Guatemala and 10,370 are from Honduras. The median household income for these residents is $68,389 and 57 percent of the population is younger than age 34. More information can be found here.
 
"The Hispanic/Latino community in our County mirrors the nation," said Councilmember Navarro, who is the first Latina elected to the Council and serves as chair of the Council's Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. She also serves on the Education Committee and is a member of President Obama's Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
 
"It is a young, hard-working and forward thinking community," said Councilmember Navarro. "Contrary to the negative rhetoric espoused by some, this community continues to make valuable contributions to the fabric of our County and our nation. This month we celebrate our shared heritage and we salute those who make a difference each and every day."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: Marla Bilonick
mbilonick@ledcmetro.org
(202) 540-7412   
                                                                               

LEDC Chosen To Spearhead the Greater Washington, DC area outreach for National Campaign Against Housing Discrimination

Washington, D.C.­ - LEDC has been selected to conduct Washington D.C. outreach as part of a National Fair Housing Media Campaign, in partnership with the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), designed to engage and educate people about their rights as homeowners and tenants. Using social media, public service announcements and community outreach, partner organizations in 10 different cities including the District will inform residents on how to identify various forms of housing discrimination and what they can do to stop it.

"Racial and ethnic discrimination against homebuyers and renters continues to be a problem across many communities in the United States," said Walda Yon. "We thank NALCAB and HUD for making these vital resources available so that we can educate the Greater Washington area residents about their fair housing rights."

The National Fair Housing Media Campaign, launched officially on August 17th, will engage and inform African­ American, Latino, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other communities about discriminatory housing practices, their rights under the federal Fair Housing Act, and HUD resources. According to the National Fair Housing Alliance, minority homebuyers and tenants are not always aware when they have been subjected to discrimination or even of their rights and protections afforded by the Fair Housing Act.


The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting 202-588-5102 or by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669­9777 (voice) or (800) 927­9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at http://www.hud.gov/fairhousing.


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Leda Hernandez Appointed Chief Operating Officer-COO of LEDC
~Ms. Hernandez charged with oversight of key initiatives at the organization~
 
August 1 – Washington, D.C. Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)

Leda Hernandez joined LEDC in 1998 and has worked in LEDC’s Finance & Administration Department for the past 18 years. Most recently, as Controller, Leda spent a decade leading all bookkeeping and procurement activities at LEDC as well as managing and reconciling bank accounts for the organization. She will now take on the role of Chief Operating Officer-COO, overseeing strategic and long-term initiatives for LEDC. Specifically, she will be charged with duties including implementation of LEDC’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan objectives; oversight of annual program planning and budgeting; legacy partner relationship management; and execution of LEDC’s external events. This promotion is effective on August 1st, 2016.

Ms. Hernandez stated; “I am very excited and grateful to take this opportunity to continue my professional growth at this great and amazing organization. I am very committed to LEDC--- I believe in our mission, our clients, and our communities."  
Marla Bilonick, Executive Director of the Latino Economic Development Center, speaks about Leda’s appointment; "I met Leda Hernandez in 1999, when I first worked at LEDC. I was immediately struck by her energy and passion for the work we do in the community. When I returned to LEDC in 2012, that spark in Leda had only grown stronger. She is committed and capable and will definitely succeed in this role---a role that is key to taking LEDC to the next level. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Leda in her new capacity. Hearty ‘felicitaciones’ are in order!” 
                                                                                                                                          
About the Latino Economic Development Center
The Latino Economic Development Center is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization. LEDC’s mission is to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos and other D.C. area residents by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence and become leaders in their communities.

Media Contact

Jorge Rodriguez-Larrain
Communications & Development Associate 
202-540-7440
jrodriguez_larrain@ledcmetro.org

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