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tv   Tiempo  ABC  August 9, 2015 11:30am-12:00pm EDT

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have a wonderful weekend. >> buenos d^as y bienvenidos. good morning. welcome once again to "tiempo." i'm joe torres. new york city leaders just announced half-million dollars for day laborer centers in our area. how good is that? council member carlos menchaca will be here to tell us all about this great news and some other noteworthy initiatives designed to help latinos. we'll talk to him in just a few minutes. right now, however, puerto rico officially in default of its massive debt payment. the financial crisis just got worse. governor alejandro garc^a padilla said several weeks ago that puerto rico cannot pay its $72 billion in accumulated public debt, and just last week the island missed nearly all of the $58-million bond payment.
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new york city elected officials, labor leaders, and community activists recently came out in public support of federal assistance for puerto rico. here is what mayor bill de blasio had to say. >> we know that 3 1/2 million of our fellow citizens are right now threatened by a crisis, a crisis largely created by mistakes of federal policy that now has to be corrected by federal action. if the federal government doesn't step in, it will be abandoning 3 1/2 million americans. >> now, to discuss this further, we're joined this morning by frankie miranda from the hispanic federation, and professor ed morales from brooklyn college -- professor of latino studies. welcome to you both. you heard the mayor say that it was federal policies that partly got us into this hole -- and maybe he didn't say "partly." do you agree that it's entirely
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federal policies or does puerto rico have at least some of the blame for the hole that it's in right now? >> of course. puerto rico -- different administrations -- have had responsibility, bear responsibility on this. however, right now, puerto rico is not able, on its own, to get out of this crisis. >> yeah. same question. i mean, does puerto rico bear some of the responsibility here? and i'll get to more specifics in a moment because the hedge-fund people are saying, "yes." >> well, the government bears some responsibility by just continuing to borrow and not foresee the consequences down the line in some ways. however, the unique colonial status of puerto rico is largely to blame for the situation because puerto rico has not been allowed to develop a self-sustaining economy. it's been completely attached to the u.s. economy. >> let me get more specific. could the administrations have done more on their own -- cut spending, better financial
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prevented this, but minimized it? >> i think so. but at the same time, there have been attempts of past administrations to do something, and this administration is trying to do something right now, but it's completely unavoidable that puerto rico had defaulted, and it will continue not to meet their responsibility. so we need to help the island. >> last week's missed payment is no surprise. we knew it was coming, and the governor weeks ago said, "we can't pay," and this is the first of what could be several nonpayments. correct? >> and i think that there is the best intention from the current administration to try to resolve and find a solution for this, but, however, we need to have the federal government to intervene, and the president obama administration can actually intervene and facilitate these processes. otherwise, there's no solution. >> let's get more specific on that. professor, do you see any way out of this financial horror show for puerto rico other than a chapter 9 bankruptcy
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moment the island cannot seek. >> well, filing for chapter 9 is something that all sides of the political spectrum agree on from conservative to progressive, and it is really the most immediate way to provide the government with liquidity, and then with that liquidity, that's a big question. what do they do? if they can restructure the debt, how do they invest that money that would be available to them? that's a good question. >> but i also think that having the ability to file for chapter -- for bankruptcy is also gonna facilitate the process of negotiating this debt. i don't think that the administration is looking to file for bankruptcy. they want to have bankruptcy as an option if people don't sit on the table and provide puerto rico with viable options. >> but the only option that i see and that i've read on is to negotiate with the creditors. >> you can negotiate and not file for bankruptcy. >> correct. >> there has been right now
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to force puerto rico to pay because bankruptcy's not an option. so they're not sitting on the table right now. >> yes. >> but if chapter 9 is available, then they say, "okay. hold on. let me just sit down and try to find a solution." >> what has to happen to make to puerto rico? it has to be congress. >> yeah, a congressional action. bills have been introduced in both the house and the senate to that effect, but they haven't really been heard seriously up till now. >> and chapter 9 is not available to puerto rico because its status? >> in 1984, there was a congressional action that eliminated puerto rico from the federal bankruptcy laws, and that's the reason right now. >> so it's not like detroit, right? >> no, definitely not. no, and it applies to non-incorporated territories. >> okay. sit tight. a few more questions -- a bunch of more questions for you because this is a big topic. more on the financial crisis in puerto rico when we come back in just a moment. still ahead on "tiempo" -- how about this? day laborer centers in our area get some much needed funding. council member carlos menchaca from brooklyn here to tell us
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about this and other initiatives that you need to know about when we come back on "tiempo." "ride away" (by roy orbison begins to play) i ride the highway... i'm going my way... i leave a story untold... he just keeps sending more pictures... if you're a free-range chicken, you roam free. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent
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>> welcome back to "tiempo." we've been talking about puerto rico. it is now officially in default of its massive debt payment. missed a payment last week of $58 million. we've been talking to frankie miranda from the hispanic federation ed morales, from brooklyn college. let me ask you this, because the 34 approximately hedge funds that own most of puerto rico's debt, their argument is that the island can repay its payments through things like education cuts, social services, et cetera. yes? no? >> well, of course they are interested in getting paid at the expense of suffering of a lot of puerto ricans and people that are the most vulnerable ones. but we don't believe that this is the only solution. puerto rico is willing to do not -- >> it's not enough. >> it's not enough. >> it's not enough. would the austerity measures, professor, just mean the shrinking of
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the economy and yet a greater exodus of people leaving the island to come to either central florida or to new york? >> yeah, absolutely. i mean, even the i.m.f. came out with a report in june that said austerity measures depress economies and people can't buy things, and so the economy slows down, and because of that, yeah. there'll be more of an exodus. >> i mentioned -- i don't know if i mentioned it. you were just on the island, right? >> yes. >> you were just there. are the -- is this visible on the streets -- unemployment, businesses shuttered? >> yeah. >> were there any examples that you were able to look at while you were there to say, "you know what? that could be the result of the economic situation here on the island?" >> yeah. well, i go two or three times a year, and, really, over the last 5 to 10 years, which is the period -- it's been a recession since 2006 -- puerto rico. there are a lot of visible signs of abandoned property and homeless people in the street begging and things like that. another big problem that's
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is a healthcare crisis because medicare funds are being threatened to be cut, and i actually went to see an orthopedist with my mom, who broke her wrist recently, and i had to spend four hours before seeing the doctor. >> and what was the explanation for that? >> well, i mean, they didn't give an explanation, but doctors are fleeing the island quite regularly, and part of it is pay is higher in the united states. and then they're not being paid by the government. the payments are being slowed down from the government. i interviewed someone from the pharmacological association who said that both doctors and drugstores are not -- the payments are being slowed down to them -- yeah. >> the young and the professional... >> yes. >> ...they are leaving. they're leaving, and it's leaving a population in the island completely underserved. so it affects people in puerto rico, but it also affects people here. a lot of people coming here also are putting a lot of stress on services or not-for-profit organizations asking for help.
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so it's a problem. it's an issue for all of us. >> yeah, i mean, i heard three or four problems that he highlighted there -- brain drain, young people leaving the island. if you own a mom-and-pop shop, you're not gonna be able to survive, and forget about even starting one. it's gonna become -- lowe's and walgreens of the world are the only people who are gonna be able to do business in puerto rico. >> absolutely. it is troubling because the more people leave the island, the more the economy is gonna slow down, and at the same time, services are going to be affected. >> and that's the cycle we're talking about is it not? >> yeah. >> the hispanic federation -- clear up its position here because i know you've been accused of taking sides, and as often with puerto rico, things often get political, and the motivations are brought up to substantiate positions. help us understand the position that you are coming from. >> the hispanic federation is organizing and coordinating press conferences in new york,
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orlando, hartford, soon in chicago to raise our voices and make people aware of the situation in puerto rico. we're talking about american citizens that are suffering. >> awareness. >> but this is not about endorsing an administration or political status for the island. this is about raising awareness and finding a solution for the problem that we currently have. >> solution -- and very quickly, and this maybe not fair to raise it now -- 936. explain it very, very quickly and then how it impacts where we are today. go. >> well, 936 was a section of the internal revenue code that was enacted in the 1970s after a recession and the u.s. slowed down the puerto rican economy, which allowed multinational and u.s. corporations to operate businesses in puerto rico without having their profits taxed. >> and they did big time. >> right. >> correct? >> right. and then pick up the rest of this story. it expired. >> it expired. >> in 2012. >> and then there was no other solution to create jobs or to
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in puerto rico, and for so many years, we were so over-reliant on these companies coming to the island, and now there's a void in the economy and the creation of jobs. >> so the goose that laid the golden egg is gone. now there's a big hole. who is to blame for that, if anyone -- the fact that 936 expired, and there was no plan in place to pick up the void? >> well, there's a theory that it was the statehood party that wanted to phase it out because they saw it as a crutch for the commonwealth party to force the contradiction of the commonwealth status, and, therefore, a lead to a quicker path to statehood. >> all right. gentlemen, thank you. it's a big issue. we'll be talking about it as time goes on to see how puerto rico manages to come out on their own. >> absolutely >> thank you for the education. appreciate it. coming up next on "tiempo," day laborer centers in our area get some pretty useful funding. carlos menchaca, city council
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to tell us about that and some other latino initiatives that you need to know about when we come back on "tiempo." join the millions who have already switched. we switched. and now, we're streaming netflix. who knew time warner cable's internet was so fast! mom switched. and now, we can watch our favorite shows together, on demand. i switched. so i can connect to the internet just about anywhere with my free twc wifi hotspots. join the millions who switched to time warner cable. for $89.99 a month, you'll get 100meg internet, and hundreds
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>> welcome back to "tiempo." day laborers in new york city are about to receive a nice gift -- a half million dollars in funding. it is the largest investment in funding for day laborer centers in the nation, and here to talk about this and various other initiatives benefiting latinos, our good friend, council member carlos menchaca, chair of the immigration committee, and maria caba of atlas d.i.y. community empowerment center, and you'll hear what d.i.y. means in just a second. it's not "do it yourself" like many home-improvement centers. welcome, my friend. good to see you. >> thanks for having us. >> thanks for being here. this is great news. half a million dollars in funding for day laborer centers. how did this happen and come about? and, really, more importantly, what will you do with the money? >> yeah. so, this is, like you said, an historic opportunity for a municipality to fund day laborer centers. there's one currently in brooklyn, in southern brooklyn,
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that has been kind of a model for us. >> your district. >> and when they came to the speaker, when they came to me and all the other council members, they really made a case for improving the lives of our day laborers that are currently getting picked up on the corners in our communities in every single borough with a lot of issues. so what these centers do is actually increase opportunity for recovering wage theft. they also increase osha standards for the day laborers. so now we're creating a skilled workforce in our communities. >> and a safer workforce. >> and a safer workforce. so we're trying to teach the employers to come to the centers for a day laborer workforce. >> as opposed to...? >> picking them up on the corners. >> on the street. >> and so there's a culture right now in new york city where people pick up on corners. >> so, specifically, as best you can, what will the money do? what will you do with it? >> so there's a coalition of organizations that -- it's too long for me to list right now, but each and every one of them have been working to help understand what they
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in queens and staten island, for example. so this is gonna go to create physical space for them to meet. >> so construction in some regard. >> absolutely. and fund organizers to go out and get those day laborers that are currently in the corners into the centers -- teach them, bring them up to osha standards, get their certifications -- scaffolding certification, and get that workforce up and ready. >> have you been able to model this after other neighborhood associations? i can think of one up in westchester county that does a fabulous job in mount kisco. they've been doing it for a long, long time called neighbors link. same thing. gets all the workers in the same place, makes sure that the wages are fair, make sure that the employer goes to the right place. have you looked at other places where this has worked and worked well? >> well, again, nationally this is happening. this is the first time a government is saying, "we support you and we want to support you." the stuff in the models that are coming out of our communities are great. they're creating contracts with employers, and employers like that. they want safe standards. they want to be able to know who
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they're hiring, and it's actually increasing and changing culture in our los patrones on the streets. >> it develops faith and loyalty between the two. >> and they keep coming back. >> maria, tell me about your organization, and clear up d.i.y. go ahead. >> so d.i.y. stands for developing immigrant youth. and so we're a nonprofit multiservice agency that helps immigrant youth ages 14 to 24, providing them different service, legal -- attorneys, yoga programs, e.s.l., college preparation programs -- a lot of programs. >> and how many years you've been doing this? >> this is our third year. >> third year? >> yeah. we're relatively new. >> and this is your good friend and representative. >> yes, a good supporter of atlas d.i.y. >> you guys work together. >> yes. >> and you're ranging in age -- the kids from what age? >> 14 to 24. >> 14 to 24. are kids age 14 doing yoga? >> yeah, exactly. they are. that's one of our most popular programs. >> okay. as well as? >> the male support group. >> yes. >> so we have a social worker on staff, and -- >> is that a mentoring program?
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>> somewhat. yeah. >> what is the biggest need for your group right now? >> i would say more better jobs. so just places where they can go and get better training and find jobs. i would say that's the biggest. >> do you think the initiative and her organization can work together in some way? i'm wondering if people coming out of her place can -- if their status and if it fits their needs can go to the new center. >> yeah, and i think not just the day laborers initiative but, really, the entire last year and a half with this really vanguard of latino power. melissa mark-viverito, our speaker, julissa ferreras-copeland, our finance chair, me as immigration chair, and all the latino power has really kind of thought about how we're changing workforce standards. we just passed car wash accountability act that brings the levels of wages and environmental conditions. >> okay. >> so we're trying to create a way for more people to enter the job workforce.
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>> when we come back, i want to ask you about two initiatives -- idnyc, which is being mimicked by another big city in our neighborhood, and also pbnyc. so sit tight. we'll talk about that. we'll continue our discussion with council member carlos menchaca after the break. and our "tiempo" community calendar -- highlighting upcoming latino events in your area.
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when we come back. >> welcome back to "tiempo." day laborer centers in new york city getting a massive funding. we've been discussing this and other initiatives benefiting latinos here in new york city with council member carlos menchaca, chair of the immigration committee, maria caba of atlas d.i.y. community empowerment center. we talked about the funding. i wanted to quickly run through idnyc. i don't think anyone can argue. it's just been a resounding success to the point where the city of newark unveiled theirs, and it's off and running much the way this one did. >> well, you can't argue with 400,000 people that just signed up for idnyc, and what the
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have the magic sauce. they understand how to do that outreach and really roll out an incredible program. it's transforming lives in the latino community. >> pbnyc is -- >> another thing that's transforming. >> it's not new, right? >> no. no. this is our fifth cycle we're going into now. >> okay, before we move on -- p.b. is? >> participatory budgeting. >> okay, participatory budgeting new york city. >> the people's budget. presupuesto del pueblo. >> qu\ bueno. and how does it work? >> so we assemble people in town-hall settings at the beginning, in the fall, which will soon go up and running. we get ideas from the community. we take those ideas and put committees together so that they can help improve the parks, schools, roads, infrastructure -- things that the city can fund. >> ideas for -- yes, how city money should be spent in their neighborhood. >> yeah. this is all city capital money. then the committees that are all run by the people of that community put a ballot together, and this after they've talked about the city agencies, so they
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get to learn about how the city's agencies spend money in our communities. >> and the budgetary process. >> and all the constraints and -- >> yes. >> so then we put a ballot together and we take it to the community, and anyone can vote at their residence and even if they're undocumented, and so in the 30th district in sunset park, a third of them were non-english speakers, and two-thirds of them cast chinese-written ballots and spanish ballots. >> so the people of the communities are literally deciding where city monies will be spent that benefits their communities. >> absolutely. this is the people's budgets >> okay. >> the people's budget. >> which i would guess gives you a greater accountability. a year or two later if anyone says, "oh, we should have spent money on this," you can literally point to the survey and say, "listen. you guys voted on it. we spent money on it, and it happened." >> we think it's a good idea when we share the responsibility with our community. >> yes. >> and we bring in organizations and churches and infrastructure like atlas d.i.y. to help us make that happen. >> and could you guys be
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>> yeah, of course. a lot of our members actually go out and vote if they live in the sunset park community, so we will definitely benefit. >> okay. and when you fill out the survey, you fill it out and say, "here's what we need," or "here's where we'd like to see the money go." areas such as...? >> education, community centers, parks, which is very important. this is where a lot of our communities just go out to relax, have fun, so it's very important. >> and they're practicing their civic engagement through voting, and when we think about latinos having a powerful vote in the elections, we're really training communities to understand how important their voice is. >> you have 2 million in your district? >> 2 million in my district. >> okay. and how do you dole out, percentage wise, who gets what amount? >> it's all people voting. so the top votes get the money. >> get the money. >> yeah. >> but could there be five organizations? could there be 10 organizations? could it be 15? >> this doesn't go to organizations. this goes to agencies such as improvement in parks,
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new playgrounds, new street redevelopments, education programs like new science labs. >> we're out of time. thank you both. good to see you, maria. continued success there. before we go, let's take a look at the tiempo community calendar for this week. today is the day to merengue. the annual dominican day parade. the grand marshal is baseball hall of famer and former new york mets pitcher pedro martinez. the parade in manhattan, of course. it marches up six avenue from 37th street to 52nd street. it starts at noon. also today, the salvadoran-american day festival on long island between front street and washington avenue in the town of hempstead. the festival starts at 11:00 a.m. and finishes tonight at 7:00 p.m. also today, if you're in connecticut, you can enjoy the hartford latino fest. there will be live entertainment, a wide variety of hispanic cultures on display. that runs from noon to 9:00 tonight at mortensen riverfront plaza. lastly, next saturday,
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in the bronx at the concert hall at lehman college. that show starts at 8:00. all right. that does it. much^simas gracias. we thank you for spending part of your sunday with us. if you missed any part of our show, great news. you can watch it at abc7ny on the web, on your tableta, even on your smartphone. that wraps up another edition of "tiempo." i'm joe torres. thank you so much for watching. enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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