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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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