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Friday, May 26, 2023

Latinos are now the majority in the Inland Empire, and a new fund aims to increase investment in these communities

Riverside, Calif. (KABC) – Jesse Melgar, who grew up in Riverside, points out that the Inland Empire is often overlooked.

“It’s about public {dollars} and personal {dollars}, about charitable {dollars},” he said.

After leaving the California governor’s office, the Melgar-based Inland Empire Latino Alternative Fund (CIELO) launched this weekend as part of the Inland Empire Neighborhood Foundation.

“The fund will assist and invest in Latino-led and Latino-serving organizations,” Melgar said.

The first is a demographic snapshot of the Latino or Latino community, which now makes up more than half of the region.

In partnership with the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside, the CIELO Foundation released a report titled “Aquí Estamos” or “We Are Here”.

“We want to make sure that once we get out the door, we all know where Latinos are good at, but also where it’s necessary,” Melgar said.

The report highlighted areas of improvement, but still differences, including homeownership costs, health insurance protection, income and education.

“There’s hardly any increase in high school and teacher start-up fees,” Melgar said. “Only 11 percent of the community in our region has a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the state and national averages of about 33 percent and 35 percent, respectively. So we all know there’s a lot going on there,” he added.

The report also found that residents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties had the highest expansion costs in Southern California.

The fund is designed to expand analysis of the needs of Latinos and Latino communities, alternatives to fellowships and internships.

“Actually, there’s a lot of emotion in the fund because of the struggles of these communities, it’s very impactful, we’ve seen it through COVID, right? We’re going to continue to see it,” said TODEC’s government director of Empowering Intermediaries said Luz Gallegos, who is also a member of the Government Committee of the CIELO Fund.

Gallegos said nonprofits will continue to supply companies even when funding is running low.

Through the pandemic, TODEC has provided financial assistance, authorized referrals, and more.

“There is a need to value and respect nonprofits as our experience at work, because we actually do it from the center. However, at the same time, we want to make sure we care about our community, we serve the Inland Empire’s Residents provide high-quality companies,” she said.

The initiative aims to be part of the answer to the many communities that thrive in IE along with the Latin American community.

“Our community is always up to date,” Gallegos said. “The information now shows that we are a force to be reckoned with.”

“There is no vamos a parar,” she said. “We won’t stop.”

“We will continue to organize, mobilize and ensure that technology truly meets our needs in the Giants community.”

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Latinos are effectively the bulk of the Inland Empire, and a brand new fund aims to expand funding for these communities

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