Administration Officials Participate in Largest Gathering Of Latino Leaders At The 80th Annual LULAC National Convention this week


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Washington – Several senior Administration officials are participating this week in the 80th Annual LULAC National Convention, being held July 13-18, 2009 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The League of United Latin American Citizens is an advocacy organization focused on the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

The Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration at the Department of Veterans Affairs, John Sepúlveda, and the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development John Trasviña addressed the convention’s Diversity Luncheon on Tuesday. Assistant Secretary Sepúlveda also participated in a wreath laying ceremony to honor fallen soldiers at the Veterans Monument at El Capitolio Tuesday evening. Also on Tuesday, OPM Chief of Staff Elizabeth Montoya participated on a panel discussion on Human Resource Investment and Accountability and later addressed the convention’s 80th anniversary celebration together with Georgia Coffey, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diversity and Inclusion at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

On Wednesday, White House Director of the Office of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carrión, Jr., and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will address the convention’s Partnership Luncheon. Earlier in the day, White House Director of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois will speak at a panel discussion on Faith, Community, and Recovery. White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley will participate in a panel discussion on Climate Change on Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz will deliver a keynote speech during the convention’s Unity Luncheon, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis will participate in the Women’s Hall of Fame Pinning Ceremony later in the day.

And on Friday, Secretary Solis will keynote the convention’s Women’s Luncheon. Earlier in the day, Jose Rico, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education will participate in a Youth-Collegiate Federal Career and Recruitment Forum.

LULAC’s national convention this year is being held in Puerto Rico, which has been particularly hard hit by the current economic crisis. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is creating or saving nearly 6000 jobs on the island, investing $175 million for transportation improvement projects, and $8 million for improvements to VA facilities for the 45,000 Puerto Rican veterans of the U.S. armed forces. Yesterday, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson joined Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño to announce that the agency has awarded nearly $72 million to Puerto Rico through the Recovery Act for overdue improvements to wastewater and drinking water systems and to conduct water quality planning essential to protecting human health and the environment across the island. Also yesterday, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that Puerto Rico will receive up to $3,794,000 in funding from the Recovery Act for its state-run rebate program for consumer purchases of new ENERGY STAR qualified home appliances. The new program underscores the Obama Administration’s commitment to making American homes more energy efficient, while helping to support the nation’s economic recovery.