November 04, 2001

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) announced a major new partnership with Allstate Insurance Company. As part of the partnership agreement, Allstate will invest $2.5 million in the Raza Development Fund (RDF), the nation's largest Hispanic Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which provides loans to Hispanic community-based organizations that serve over 3.5 million Hispanics annually.

"I am delighted to announce this important new initiative between NCLR and Allstate, which is continuing its long tradition of interest in, and responsiveness to, the nation's largest ethnic minority," stated Raul Yzaguirre, President of NCLR.

RDF, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NCLR, is also one of the nation's largest Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs are certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide loans to support eligible community and economic development projects. Established less than five years ago, RDF already has approved 44 loans totaling more than $12 million to NCLR affiliates to build affordable housing, purchase community facilities like charter schools and Head Start centers, and maintain operating lines of credit.

"Under the terms of its ten-year investment, Allstate's funding is being made available to RDF at an effective interest rate of less than 3%, which will enable us to both provide attractive, below-market interest rates to our affiliates and help sustain the bank's operations," stated Tom Espinoza, RDF President and Senior Business Adviser to Yzaguirre. "This is a classic example of good corporate citizenship."

"That Allstate has stepped up to the plate on this issue is not at all surprising," Yzaguirre continued. "For many years, former Allstate Property and Casualty president Bob Gary distinguished himself as a superb Chair of NCLR's Corporate Board of Advisers (CBA), and we recently welcomed Bob onto the NCLR Board of Directors. Moreover, I have come to rely on the advice and counsel of current Allstate Property and Casualty president Rick Cohen, an active and productive CBA member.

"I believe that this investment will further ensure a significant and enduring partnership between Allstate and the Latino community. We also hope that this is an initial investment in a long-term partnership that will enable NCLR affiliates to build more affordable housing, child care centers, health clinics, charter schools, and other essential community facilities. On behalf of the Raza Development Fund, the National Council of La Raza, NCLR's 277 community-based affiliates, and 3.5 million Latinos they serve each year, I express my sincere gratitude for Allstate's generous investment," concluded Yzaguirre.

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