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Survey Finds Optimism and Concerns Among Latinos

PHOTO: A new survey shows the majority of Hispanic Americans have a sense of optimism about their finances, but also believe racism and crime are getting worse. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor.
PHOTO: A new survey shows the majority of Hispanic Americans have a sense of optimism about their finances, but also believe racism and crime are getting worse. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor.
November 13, 2014

PHOENIX – A majority of Hispanic Americans are optimistic about their finances and health care, but concerned about racism and violence, according to a new survey from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Sylvia Monzano, a principal with Latino Decisions, the firm that conducted the survey, says one in two people surveyed say his or her personal finances have improved in the past five years.

"Even though more than half of Hispanics earn less than $40,000 a year, we still see a very bright and forward looking sort-of attitude," she points out.

Monzano says the poll shows three out of four Hispanic Americans are optimistic or very optimistic about the future of their finances.

She adds that a majority feel that access to affordable health care, education and equal opportunity has improved in the past five years.

But a majority also say racism toward Hispanics, crime and violence and affordable housing have gotten worse.

The survey also asked the question, "Where do you think Latinos encounter racism or discrimination most?"

Arizona was the top response, work was number two, followed by other specific states.

James Garcia, communications director at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says Arizona's failed attempt to enforce federal immigration law is among the factors that have damaged the state's reputation.

"The community in Arizona is very, very aware of what can only really be described as a kind of singling out of the community," he says. "It's no surprise, here in the state, that people are going to have a very dim view of where we are on discrimination issues."

Garcia says Hispanic Americans who live in other states routinely ask him why he lives in Arizona, because of their perception of how Hispanics are treated here.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ