WASHINGTON, D.C – The National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) gathered at the nation’s capital last April 1st for three consecutive days as part of its Annual Legislative Summit, where issues of great impact for Hispanic communications and media took the center of the stage.
The Summit’s highlight was a visit by special guest Julian Castro, Presidential Candidate for the 2020 elections. He spoke about his priorities for the country and, in particular, about the key role Spanish media plays to inform the most vulnerable communities.
The conference took place at the historic National Press Club where the Association’s President, Fanny Miller, welcomed the Board of Directors, members and the main sponsors of this event – Macy’s, JUUL and American Petroleum Institute (API).
The ambitious agenda included open forums where the emphasis was placed on the collaboration between Spanish media and their role in the various economic sectors. Macy’s National Director of Multicultural Marketing, Tamara Weston, shared the vision and commitment that the prestigious chain of department stores has with the Latino communities. At the same time she reaffirmed the positive economic contribution that Spanish publications make towards their company throughout the country. Meanwhile the executives of JUUL, one of the largest makers of e-cigarettes, shared the importance of their products in helping to reduce the number of smokers addicted to regular cigarettes as nicotine addiction affects Hispanic communities at a higher rate than other ethnicities. On the other hand API shared the daily challenges they face to acquire Hispanic talent mainly at the leadership level. They mentioned that it was important for Spanish media to assist in sharing the career opportunities of companies such as API within the underserved communities.
Raul Cisneros, National Partnerships Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, along with Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) were the main focus of the first day’s session. Earlier that morning The U.S. Census Bureau held a press conference as they launched their 2020 Census campaign. During their presentation at the NAHP Legislative Summit Raul Cisneros shared their implementation strategy that will take place in the next 18 months with the ultimate goal of achieving a precise count that reflects the accurate demographic of the nation. Their strategy includes a 16 billion dollar budget that will provide significant allowances for media coverage for communities that are not well represented, this with the goal of generating trust among citizens and to be able to accurately represent the nation’s population. The results of the census are vital at the legislative level since policies are made based on these numbers, and this can mean great benefits for such municipalities, or alternatively not enough resources. Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO, also highlighted the critical need for Hispanic communities to be represented and their responsibility to make themselves count, and he emphasized his commitment through NALEO towards this goal.
After an intermission the NAHP Board of Directors met privately with Presidential Candidate Julian Castro, and members of the association took this unique opportunity to address the candidate with regard to the issues that affect most their own communities and the Hispanic businesses in the country. Castro reiterated that his priorities are education, healthcare access as well as the immigration challenges our country faces under the current administration. He said that leadership with compassion and not cruelty or fear were paramount to achieve such advancements like Medicare for all, universal pre-school and an immigration program that is focused on dignity. He shared that from the start of his political career it has been very important for him to speak to the Latino community and, being Latino himself, he said it was of particular significance to have a Latino presidential candidate. He shared that his executive experience as Secretary of Housing, appointed by former President Barack Obama, makes him stand out from other candidates given that under this role he managed a budget of over 40 million dollars, had the opportunity to implement important policies, and was able to collaborate and establish relationships with other executive departments of the Federal Government. The NAHP board of directors confronted him with the question of how will he support small businesses since they constitute a great part of the country’s economy, to which he responded that his presidential plan includes proposals to intelligently reduce business regulations that maintain the integrity of their obligations, he plans to increase available capital and will support the creation of business incubators.
The Legislative Summit continued with two more days of collaboration with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of commerce (USHCC) with workshops focused on small and big businesses and with visits to the Hill to advocate with our country’s legislators.