“Knowing and understanding the diversity of our communities, it’s hard to say what the final impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will have on South Asians across the country. Personally, I think there are enough stipulations in the bill that provide hope for our communities.
For example, $1 billion will go towards the 2010 Census. Why does this matter? Well, the census provides the backbone of information that determines how a lot of public money and even private sector money is spent. Part of this $1 billion will be used to increase in-language partnerships and outreach efforts to minority communities and other “hard-to-reach” populations. If more South Asians are counted in the 2010 Census, then there will likely be more resources for our communities.
We do know that there are some provisions that will help low-to-moderate income individuals, and this will definitely help many South Asian families. For example, there is the Make Work Pay refundable tax credit which could give $400 to single filers and $800 to joint filers in 2009 and 2010. The bill has also expanded Pell grants to a maximum of $5,350 in 2009 and $5,500 in 2010, hopefully increasing access to a college education to more young adults. And for those of you who are looking to buy their first home, do it in 2009, because you’ll receive up to an $8000 tax credit from the federal government.
The bill is large and multi-faceted, including tax cuts for individuals and small businesses, funding for education and job training, more money for transportation and health coverage, food assistance, funding for states and local governments, and so much more. The final impact on our communities is yet to be seen. We can truly hope for the best during this economic crisis, and pray that this massive injection of capital into the country’s economy will prove worthwhile.”
So what do you think? How will this stimulus bill impact the South Asian community? What do you like about the bill and what do you wish it did/did not include?
Nina Baliga joined the National CAPACD staff as the Development and Communications Manager in 2007. Nina develops our communications strategies, and oversees our outreach to members, funders and other stakeholders. Prior to National CAPACD, Nina worked as a Research Analyst for SEIU Local 11, organizing condominium workers in South Florida. In 2004, she worked as the Canvas Director of the Miami office of America Coming Together, where she mobilized tens of thousands of voters in the largest voter contact program in history. She began her political career heading up Florida PIRG’s Clean Water Campaigns. Nina has served on the Board of Directors of SAAVY (South Asian American Voting Youth) as the Fundraising Chair, and mentored SAAVY fellows at the University of Florida as part of a larger South Asian Youth Voter mobilization movement.Nina graduated from New York University with degrees in Sociology and Environmental Studies and recently received her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Florida.