Senate Democrats Host Hispanic Leaders and Job Creators

Senate Democrats Host Hispanic Leaders and Job Creators

Latino leaders discuss efforts to create jobs and strengthen local economies with Senate Democrats

Washington - Today, business leaders and small business owners in the Latino community met with Senate Democrats at the invitation of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force (HTF). The group focused on identifying policy solutions to strengthen economic recovery and accelerate job creation in minority communities.

Additionally, the meeting highlighted the results of a recent Univision/ABC poll conducted by Latino Decisions which analyzed Hispanic attitudes towards Congressional action on job creation. The poll found that a majority of Latinos favor investments in federal projects over tax cuts for solving economic problems. Currently, the Senate is considering the transportation jobs bill that will modernize the country's highways, bridges and airports, while creating or saving 3 million jobs. The poll also noted that a majority of Latinos favor government investments in education, public safety and aid to the poor and support tax increases for the wealthy.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Chairman of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Vice-Chairman of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, hosted the meeting.

"Today's Hispanic Task Force Meeting was about job creation in our communities. According to a poll by Latino Decisions, Hispanic voters trust Democrats more to create jobs and get our economy back on track. The fact is, Latinos are disproportionately impacted by high unemployment, and more than half are worried that someone in their household will lose their job," said Senator Menendez. "Hispanic voters have a great deal at stake and the Democrats' messaging and proposals for turning the economy around are obviously resonating better with them. While we have focused on proposals to help create jobs that would help unemployed Hispanic workers, Republicans have focused only on obstructing our efforts -- and Latinos have taken notice. This will have negative impact for them not only in the upcoming elections, but also on their efforts as a whole to reach out to and attract this growing constituency."

"It was an enlightening opportunity to hear from leaders within Latino community about the needs for growing our economy and continuing to aid its progress," said Senator Begich. "As we're in the midst of developing and passing a transportation bill, we were reminded today that about a quarter of the employment within the construction trades comes from the Latino community. This bill is not only important for the economy overall, but it is a key opportunity to create jobs for Hispanics around the country."

"Today my colleagues in the Hispanic Task Force and I met with Latino business leaders to identify policies that will strengthen economic recovery and accelerate job creation in minority communities. The transportation jobs bill on the floor would do exactly that, creating nearly 3 million American jobs while rebuilding our roads and bridges," said Senator Reid. "While Democrats have been working to move this bill forward, Republicans have been trying to obstruct it with unrelated amendments like the Blunt-Rubio bill, which could have left 6.1 million Latinos without access to preventive healthcare. It's small wonder more Hispanics trust Democrats on the economy than Republicans."

Today's meeting participants included:

  • Ms. Julie Castro Abrams, Chief Executive Officer, Women's Initiative for Self Employment
  • Dr. Matt A. Barreto, Principal, Latino Decisions
  • Ms. Doris Blanchard, CEO, DB Consulting
  • Ms. Adriana Dawson, Interim State Director, RI Small Business Development Center
  • Dr. Lynda de la ViƱa, Dean, Peter Flawn Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Global Entrepreneurship, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Mr. Jonathan D. Encarnacion, Board Member, Community First Fund
  • Ms. Eva Garza Dewaelsche, President, SER Metro - Detroit
  • Ms. Beatrice G. Garza, President & CEO, Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans
  • Ms. Sandy Gutierrez, President and CEO, The Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo
  • Mr. Rene Infante, President, Bargain Town Inc. in Homestead
  • Mr. Ray Lamboy, President & CEO, Latin American Economic Development Association
  • Ms. Monika Mantilla, President & CEO, Altura Capital
  • Mr. Ron Montoya, Chairman, Solera National Bank
  • Mr. Ignacio Salazar, President, SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc.
  • Dr. Gary Segura, Principal, Latino Decisions
  • Mr. Mario Zacharjasz, PZS Architects, LLC

About the Senate Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee facilitates an ongoing conversation between Senate Democrats and the American public. At the direction of the Chairman, the Committee seeks to inform, engage, and mobilize advocacy groups and constituencies to advance the policies and priorities of the Senate Democratic Caucus. The Committee is dedicated to ensuring that diverse communities have a voice within the Democratic Caucus on key issues facing our nation. The Committee is one of two Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate. Senator Mark Begich (Alaska) serves as Chairman and Senator Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii) serves as Vice Chairman of the Committee.

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Press Contact

Paola Amador, Menendez (202) 224-4744