PHOENIX, Arizona. Aug 19, 2022 (Biz Republic) — Janet Murguía, president and CEO UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza)—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—joined with Arizona leaders to launch a national campaign aimed at raising awareness of contributions made by Latinos to Arizona’s communities, economy, and culture. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos now make up the largest demographic group in Phoenix, placing Arizona at the leading edge of a national trend.
“Latinos are taxpayers, job creators, and major contributors to the economic and social well-being of Arizona and this country. This campaign will open more people’s eyes to the real story about what the Hispanic community means to our nation and our future. We hope to inspire people from all backgrounds to join us in recognizing our community’s contributions and also work with us to address challenges that can hold Latinos and Arizona back,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS.
Launching ahead of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), the Arizona launch of UnidosUS’s Count On Us campaign begins a national effort to raise awareness of both contributions by the Latino community and challenges facing Latinos in education, health care, housing, and other areas.
The campaign cites contributions and challenges like these:
— Latino-owned businesses employ nearly 1 million Arizonans, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. But many Latinos face barriers affecting their financial security, such as lack of affordable housing in their neighborhoods.
— More than 70% of essential workers nationally in health care, emergency services, and other fields are Latino, but many still do not have access to health insurance, according to data from UnidosUS.
— Latino immigrants pay $2.4 billion in Arizona state taxes annually, according to data from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. But many schools do not address the needs of Latino students, such as multilingual learning options.
“The Latino community is a pillar of this state’s economy. Latino businesses create over 1 million jobs in Arizona, and Latino immigrants pay $2.4 billion in state taxes annually. Updating policies, programs, and practices to expand access to real opportunity for Latinos will benefit everyone in Arizona,” said Liz Salazar, Arizona Senior Policy Strategist for UnidosUS.
Several Arizona leaders spoke in support of the effort and their organizations’ commitment to educate the public about Latinos’ contributions.
“The Count On Us campaign is a rallying cry to strengthen our economy by working together,” said Monica Villalobos, the president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “The hard work and creativity of Latinos help to create jobs and business opportunities for everyone. This campaign brings well-deserved attention to Latinos’ contributions to our economy and quality of life.”
“The Latino arts and culture community in Phoenix is vibrant and growing,” said Kathy Cano-Murillo, owner of the Crafty Chica brand and one of the local Arizona residents featured in the campaign. “Latino designers and creators, musicians and muralists contribute to the vitality of the Phoenix community in so many ways. We are very passionate. We are brave. We start businesses. We share the things that we make. We embrace our heritage. Together, we make our communities strong and beautiful, and we keep our economy running.”
Other Arizona residents featured in the campaign include:
— Ardell Deliz, Captain, Phoenix Fire Department
— Lupita Ley Hightower, Superintendent, Tolleson Elementary School District
— Rob Ortega, Owner, B&E Appraisal Service
— Stephanie Vazquez, Owner & President, Fair Trade Cafe
UnidosUS works with 11 Affiliate community-based organizations in Arizona to expand access to quality jobs, education, health care, housing, and other essentials:
— Amistades, Inc.
— Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
— Campesinos Sin Fronteras
— Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
— Comité De Bien Estar, Inc.
— Friendly House, Inc.
— Hispanic Women’s Corporation
— Mexicayotl Academy
— Mountain Park Health Center
— Promise Arizona
— Valle del Sol
For more information about the campaign, visit www.CountOnUsAZ.org.
UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger.