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Posted at 02:54 PM ET, 05/24/2010

Nonprofits try to save grants for Latino groups in D.C.

Nonprofits that help the District's Latino community are urging D.C. Council members to restore $1.7 million that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has proposed to slash from the Office on Latino Affairs.

Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7), who heads the committee that oversees the Latino office, said she was moved by the pleas of the nonprofits but said she could only find another $300,000. The council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the fiscal 2011 budget.

Fenty's plan would significantly reduce the grants activities of the Latino office, decreasing the overall budget 45 percent from $3.8 million to $2.1 million.

Alexander's amendments move $86,000 in the Office of Community Affairs to the Latino office keep a grants officer in place. She said Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), whose ward is home to a majority of the city's Hispanic population, identified other funds for the office.

She said representatives of the Latino office explained that all groups will continue to be funded though the grants will be smaller. "I'm going to encourage them to get federal grants," Alexander said.

Last year, Fenty drew criticism when he proposed saving money by eliminating the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs and folding positions into the Community Affairs office.

The office stayed in place. His fiscal 2011 proposal reduces the Asian office budget from $965,000 to $815,000.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  02:54 PM ET, 05/24/2010

Categories:  Nikita Stewart

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