For Immediate Release
September 2, 2004
Leading Latino Organizations & Leaders Endorse Proposition 71
Health Care, Community, Business, Legal Advocates Join Push to Fund Life-Saving Research
(Los Angeles, CA) — Supporters of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, today announced the endorsements of California’s leading Latino organizations in the health care advocacy, community affairs and business and legal fields, adding to an already broad and diverse coalition.
The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latin Business Association, National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and La Raza Lawyers Association have pledged their enthusiastic support to the November statewide ballot measure.
Prop 71 will support stem cell research at California hospitals, medical schools and universities, to develop life-saving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults, reduce state health care costs and provide a boost to regional economies and the state at large.
“The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California recognizes the incredible promise of embryonic stem cell research to cure and treat serious diseases,” noted Lupe Alonzo Diaz, MPA, Executive Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. “That promise should start today, and that’s why we enthusiastically support Prop 71.”
Scientists believe that stem cell research holds the promise of new therapies and cures for conditions that include diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, and spinal chord injuries. Stem cell research could greatly benefit the California’s Latino community, as research shows that diabetes impacts Latinos with particular force and frequency. Diabetes afflicts approximately one in four Mexican Americans between the ages of 45-74. Of Latino-Americans aged 20 and older, 2 million, or 8.2% have diabetes. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Latinos are 1.5 times more likely than to develop the disease.
“Proposition 71 is a compassionate and wise use of our resources,” said Melinda Guzman Moore, Chair of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Not only will it help lead to cures for diseases, but it will also give California taxpayers an opportunity to share in royalties from the research. That will generate thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in new state revenues.”
These groups join many of California’s preeminent Latino and Latina elected and community leaders in recognizing Proposition 71’s promise to the state’s Latino community, as well as all Californians, including:
- Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante
- Congressman Xavier Becerra
- Congresswoman Grace Napolitano
- Congressman Dennis Cardoza
- State Senator Martha Escutia
- State Senator Liz Figueroa
- State Senator Gloria Romero
- State Senator Nell Soto
- Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez
- Assemblymember Ed Chavez
- Assemblymember Marco Firebaugh
- Assemblymember Cindy Montanez
- Assemblymember Sarah Reyes
- Assemblymember Simon Salinas
- Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla
- Fontana City Councilmember Josie Gonzales
- Congresswoman Linda Sanchez
- State Senator Deborah Ortiz
- State Senator Richard Alarcon
- State Senator Gil Cedillo
- State Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny
- La Puente City Councilmember John M. Solis
- Artesia City Councilmember Tony Mendoza
- Orange Cove Mayor Victor P. Lopez
- Mario Obledo, President, National Coalition of Hispanic Organization
- Keda Alcala Obledo, Executive Director, National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations
- Paul Vega, Executive Director, Young Latino Leaders
- Jose A. Garcia, Executive Director, Inquilinos Unidos United Tenants
- Alyse Rome, President, Amazing Kids!
Prop 71 won’t increase or create any taxes. It authorizes tax-free state bonds that will provide an average of $295 million per year over ten years to support stem cell research at California universities, medical schools and research facilities. These bonds will be self-financing during the first five years, so there’s no cost to the state’s general fund during this period of economic recovery.
By making California a world leader in stem cell research, Prop 71 will create thousands of new, good paying jobs and generate an estimated $185 million in the first 10 years in new state tax revenues. The state will also have the opportunity to share in royalties resulting from the research – generating additional new state revenues for decades to come.
Prop 71 is also expected to help reduce California’s skyrocketing health care spending costs, which now total over $110 billion per year. By leading to new cures that reduce our health care costs by only one percent, Prop 71 will pay for itself. And, the potential savings could be far greater – possibly reducing our health care costs by tens of billions of dollars in the decades ahead.
The Latino organizations are members of a broad and diverse coalition of grassroots supporters that also include Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, state and local elected officials, faith-based organizations, families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases, and organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association California Council, California Medical Association, American Nurses Association of California, American Diabetes Association, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California, ALS Therapy Development Foundation, Parkinson’s Action Network, California Congress of Seniors, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and the National Coalition for Cancer Research. A complete list of endorsing organizations can be found on the campaign’s website, www.YesOn71.com.
Proposition 71 was developed by a coalition of California families and medical experts determined to close the stem cell research funding gap. Currently, our state has no effective mechanism to fund stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for some of the most promising types of stem cell research.
More information on Proposition 71 can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com.