Updated: November 2013

42nd Anniversary Fundraising Event (2013)

Consumer Action's 2013 Consumer Excellence Awards, held at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center in Washington, D.C, raised $215,000, topping last year by $35,000. The event celebrated four decades of innovative multilingual consumer education.

Underwriters for the event were Capital One, Credit.com, eBay Inc., Google, Microsoft and Tracfone. (Scroll down for a full list of sponsors.)

“Early in its history, Consumer Action recognized that we needed to do more to reach the growing populations of underserved limited English proficient individuals,” said Ken McEldowney, executive director of Consumer Action. “Consumer Action translated its free, easy-to-read surveys, guides and fact sheets into a number of languages besides English. By the early 1990s, Consumer Action was distributing—at no charge—more than one million of our multilingual educational materials each year.”

Media Award

Luis Megid, National Correspondent, Noticiero Univision

Award presented by Robin Strongin, Amplify Public Affairs

Luis Megid has been a correspondent with Univision National News in San Francisco since 1989. Through the years, he has covered the most important stories in the recent history of the United States—among them presidential elections, the consequences of the September 11 attacks, the immigration controversy, US-Mexico border violence and Hurricane Katrina. His distinguished career includes three Emmy nominations and a journalism award from the California Chicano News Media Association. This year, he was part of the team recognized with a Walter Cronkite Award for its coverage of the 2012 election.

Before becoming a network correspondent, Megid worked as a reporter for San Francisco’s KDTV Channel 14 and, with the station, won the first Peabody Award given to a Spanish-language TV station, for its coverage of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake. In 1989, Megid received the Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award, given by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, for his interview with a former Argentine general accused of over 5,000 deaths in his country.

Megid was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied communications at the Instituto Superior de Enseñanza Radiofónica and worked at several Argentine radio stations before coming to the United States in 1980. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters.

Community Award

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Award presented by Frank Torres, Microsoft

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is an affiliation of four leading civil rights groups with a combined 114 years of experience and hundreds of community-based partners in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The four agencies collaborate effectively while continuing to focus on their own areas of expertise to build a stronger and more cohesive civil rights infrastructure locally and nationally. Together and individually, the group addresses the civil rights issues faced by AAPI and other vulnerable and underserved communities.

Through Advancing Justice’s range of programs, the organization provides legal services, conducts public policy research, engages in litigation, fosters leadership development, community capacity and coalition building, and more. Of particular note are the group’s achievements in advancing language access for limited-English-speaking consumers:

  • Advancing Justice advocated for the issuance of Executive Order 13166 in 2000, which mandated that federal agencies provide meaningful access to limited-English-proficient (LEP) individuals through their federally-funded programs.
  • Against the wave of English-only ordinances passed in local municipalities in the 1980s, Advancing Justice achieved language-rights victories that ultimately led to public libraries acquiring non-English materials in their collections and pushed many counties to require voting materials in Asian languages. Demographic data compiled by Advancing Justice about AAPI ethnic groups has helped to educate the public, legislators and business about the need for in-language consumer information.
  • Advancing Justice-LA led the filing of a federal civil rights complaint against the Los Angeles County welfare department for its failure to provide adequate language assistance as required under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This led to a landmark agreement with the county that included the establishment of toll-free hotlines in threshold languages, a Community Advisory Board, and improvements in the welfare-to-work program to provide limited-English-speakers with meaningful access to employment and training programs.

Regulatory Award

The U.S. Department of Justice Language Access Team

Award presented by Fernando Laguarda, Time Warner Cable

Within the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is the staff of the small but mighty Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS)—committed civil rights lawyers and professionals who work every day to prevent and address discrimination in federal programs and those that receive federal funds.

One of the FCS’s several goals is to ensure compliance with Executive Order 13166 and with Title VI regulations, which together seek to eliminate limited English proficiency as a barrier to participating in or benefiting from federal and federally-funded programs and activities. As such, the FCS leads committees such as the Federal Interagency Working Group on LEP, a network of federal agencies established by the DOJ in 2002 to help foster government-wide collaboration to better serve LEP communities. From ensuring that all U.S. residents have access to vital emergency preparedness information to guaranteeing that language does not prevent an individual from accessing the U.S. court system, the DOJ’s language access team has led the effort to make sure that language access is a consideration in the planning, budgeting and implementation process for all federally-supported programs and activities.

Through its website (www.lep.gov) supporting agencies’ efforts to remove language barriers, a wide spectrum of access planning tools and materials, participation in and leadership of language access working groups, enforcement actions and policy work, the Department of Justice’s language access team continues to make a crucial difference for the nation’s LEP communities.

About our fundraising event

Sponsorships of Consumer Action’s annual event provide key revenue for many of the organization’s core activities, such as its free consumer advice and referral hotline, its quarterly consumer education newspaper, Consumer Action News, and its three-year old e-newsletter, Consumer Action INSIDER. To learn more about our 2013 supporters, click here to download a PDF of the 2013 event program.

Underwriters

41st fundraiser underwriters logo image

Leadership Circle

Facebook | Philip and Janice Levin Foundation | Time Warner Cable | Visa

Benefactors

Amazon | American Express | AT&T | Bank of America | Chase Blueprint | Citi | DirecTV | Fan Freedom Project | MyWireless.org | VantageScore Solutions LLC

Sponsors

The Hastings Group | IDentity Theft 911 | MasterCard | Walmart | Wells Fargo

Patrons

Certified Automotive Parts Association | Comcast | Future of Privacy Forum | Neil Gendel | IW Group | Consumer Attorneys of California | Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP | Mortgage Bankers Association | Verizon

Special Friends

Amplify | James S. Beck | Norman Bock | Copy Copies Inc | CUNA Mutual Group | DCI Group, LLC | Envelope Manufacturers Association | Pastor Herrera, Jr. | In memory of Helen Nelson | Jim Sturdevant | VOX Global | Western Union

Supporters

Anonymous | Arnie Berghoff & Associates | Debbie Berlyn | Chris Bjorklund | Paul Bland | Marsha Cohen | Rufus Cole | Consumers First, Inc. | Consumers Union | Linda Golodner  | Sue Hestor | John Jensen | Ben Lau | Dr. Irene Leech | Erwang Mao | Michigan Jumpstart Coalition | Nossaman LLP | Patricia Sturdevant | The Pew Charitable Trust | Ticket Software LLC

 

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