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LULAC: More Than 2 Million Hispanic Households In U.S. Depend On The Wireless Lifeline Program For Work, Health And Safety

PR Newswire

Loss or Cutback of So-Called "Obamaphone" Would Hit Hispanics Particularly Hard in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cities Across Texas and Florida, Phoenix, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Albuquerque.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A voice that has so far not been part of the national discussion about the federal wireless Lifeline program spoke up loud and clear today: the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States, warned that killing or further restricting the so-called "Obamaphone" program would hurt some seven million Hispanics living in more than two million households.

Brent A. Wilkes, executive director, League of United Latin American Citizens, said: "Whether the focus is jobs, health or public safety, wireless Lifeline is critical to millions of low income Hispanics. LULAC strongly believes that the program must be preserved with all the necessary regulations, particularly in light of the fact that eligible low income Hispanics are under-enrolled in the federal program. Allowing a greater number of Hispanics access to wireless Lifeline services could bolster employment rates among those communities. LULAC strongly supports maintaining a sustainable wireless Lifeline program so that low-income Hispanics and others can better their lives."

Based on estimates of current Hispanic enrollment in the wireless Lifeline program, cuts or the outright elimination of the program would have a huge impact on the thousands of Hispanics now benefiting from wireless Lifeline in each of the following cities:

City Est. Hispanic Lifeline Subscribers ---- ---------------------------------- New York, NY 140,742 ------------ ------- Houston, TX 96,070 ----------- ------ Miami Ft. Lauderdale 85,487 -------------------- ------ Chicago, IL 46,208 ----------- ------ Philadelphia, PA 26,219 ---------------- ------ Phoenix, AZ 25,076 ----------- ------ San Antonio, TX 23,215 --------------- ------ Dallas Ft. Worth, TX 20,877 -------------------- ------ El Paso, TX 11,335 ----------- ------ Washington, D.C. 10,794 ---------------- ------ Denver, CO 10,566 ---------- ------ Albuquerque, NM 9,436 --------------- ----- Tampa, FL 5,907 --------- ----- Orlando, FL 4,151 ----------- -----

Nicholas P. Sullivan fellow, Center for Emerging Market Enterprises, The Fletcher School (Tufts University) is the author of the 2011 study: "Subsidized Cell Phones Provide Significant Economic Gains for Poor and Near-Poor Americans" (New Millennium Research Council, 2011,, said:

Sullivan said: "Wireless Lifeline is a real key to jobs and income for low-income Americans. My research showed that subsidized cell phones have been an important economic tool, which generates an average of $259 per Lifeline participant per year. If all adults eligible for Lifeline assistance were able to take advantage of the program and earn at the same rate and level as our sample, it would result in $3.7 billion in fresh income for the poor and near poor. By that measure, the program would effectively pay for itself."

ABOUT LULAC The League of United Latin American Citizens is the largest and oldest Hispanic Organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 900 LULAC councils nationwide. The organization involves and serves all Hispanic nationality groups.League of United Latin American Citizens, Washington, D.C.

Source: PR Newswire

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