Inclusive Outreach

Posted on November 06, 2006 | Type: In the News
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Mainstream America is learning that Latinos hold a wide spectrum of political beliefs

Mainstream America is slowly absorbing the concept that Latinos hold dear a wide spectrum of political beliefs, from far left to rock-solid conservative.

This diversity is not lost on the leaders of the Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank based in Phoenix, which is planning an outreach to Hispanics next year.

In January, Goldwater debuts a Web site in Spanish. Currently offers ballot initiatives translated into Spanish. Next year the organization plans to co-publish its 12 annual policy studies in Spanish.

Barry Goldwater was Arizona's first presidential candidate in 1964, a five-term senator in Congress, and a staunch conservative. The Goldwater Institute was founded in 1988 by a small group of Arizonans with Goldwater's blessing. Like its namesake, the Goldwater Institute's philosophy is guided by strong beliefs in limited government, individual liberty, and a free market.

It has a staff of 12 supplemented by 20 senior fellows who conduct the research for policy papers in the areas of education, economics, and constitutional policy. The institute is funded by foundation grants and individual private donations. The nonprofit institute is bipartisan and stays away from politics, says Starlee Rhoades, director of communications.

She adds that Hispanics can use the Institute and its electronic newsletter as a resource for research and policy papers in the areas of education, economics, and constitutional policy.

Goldwater's policy reports on education are "especially good for Latinos" to analyze, she notes, because most Hispanics recognize that the state's education system needs reform. One past report pointed out that Arizona school systems label Latino students disabled or as needing special education at unusually high rates.

In addition, the Goldwater Institute regularly brings international visionaries to Phoenix. Past Latino speakers have included Jose Pinera, a Chilean architect of that country's privatized pension system, and Hernando de Soto, a free-thinking economist from Peru.

Rhoades adds that next year the Institute may bring Mario Vargas Llosa, the respected Peruvian writer.

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