Latinos are the force that helps move America forward

To continue celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, this Tuesday, October 4, there will be a presentation in the city of South Gate with guests of honor considered a worthy example to represent Latinos in the United States.

The panel, which will be led by the president of the California Assembly, Anthony Rendón, will include astronaut José Hernández, Dodgers sportscaster Jaime Jarrín and Ana Valdez, executive director of the Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), an organization dedicated to reshaping the perception of Latinos as part of American society.

The panel will discuss the recently published report, "2022 LDC US Latino GDP Report" that demonstrates the economic contributions of Latinos in the United States.

Valdez, who was recently named one of the most powerful Latinas in the United States by the Association of Latino Professionals of America (ALPFA), said that the most recent data from 2020, to which the report refers, showed that Latinos contribute with 2.8 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“If we Latinos in the United States were a single economy, we would be the fifth largest country in the world above England, India, Canada, France, Russia and a good number of other countries,” Valdez explained.

He added that the information is not only important for the economy and business, but also for what Latinos represent in the country.

"Knowing these data makes me feel that I have a strong identity, it makes me feel exactly now with numbers what our community is worth," said the director of Mexican origin. “Before I knew that we were worth a lot, but now with these data we know that the country would not have come out of this pandemic crisis without us. Even though we don't have the representation we deserve, we are still indispensable."

The economy of Latinos is reflected not only in the first generations that come to work to support their families, but it is also demonstrated with future generations by showing that they are working in better jobs with better wages.

For this reason, Valdez said it is important for Latinos to assert their voice and change the perspective of myths.

“Those who say that Latinos are lazy. No. We are in fact the most productive. Instead of saying that Latinos are criminals. No. We actually have one of the lowest crime levels,” Valdez said.

Ana Valdez (c) with Senator Alex Padilla and lawyer and politician Al Cardenas. (Supplied)

According to the report, in the last eight years, Latinos have founded 52% of all businesses when in reality they only represent 19% of the population in the United States.

This includes not only small businesses but also the largest ones related to technology, medicine, distribution and real estate among others.

“The problem is that no one talks about it. The media only talk about drug trafficking, but they give these successful Latinos enough publicity,” Valdez said.

'Let's Get Loud' campaign

Valdez explained that the “Let's Get Loud” campaign encourages Latinos not to be intimidated or remain silent and assert their voice in the upcoming midterm elections, this November 8.

He explained that voters should not be comfortable, but they should learn to ask and demand what they deserve from their political representatives.

“Our vote is our political voice. You can't complain if you can vote and you didn't,” Valdez said.

He stressed that another power that Latinos have, even if they are not voters, is the power in their pockets. He emphasized that those companies that do not adequately represent Latinos should not receive their money for their products.

“If we see brands that make us invisible, we do not buy them, if we see shows where we do not exist or represent us in a bad way, we do not pay a ticket or a subscription either. Using the power of our bag is the most important thing,” Valdez said.

reaching out to the community

Assemblyman Rendón said in a statement that Latino pride comes with creativity, pioneering spirit and resilience.

“I think those qualities are exemplified by the panelists we are bringing together,” Rendón said, asserting that this is a way for the community to meet role models in person.

He added that when he sees the cities he represents, he can see the pride of Latinos that goes beyond culture, language and national origin.

“Up and down each boulevard, I can see the entrepreneurial creativity and entrepreneurial strength that resides here. There is economic power in our Latino community,” Rendón said. “The same is true for Latinos throughout California. The numbers back it up and it's time for it to get more recognition."

The event on the contribution of Latinos in the economic and cultural sphere will take place this Tuesday, October 4, at the South Gate Municipal Auditorium located at 4900 Southern Ave in South Gate beginning at 5:30 in the afternoon. The event will open with a performance by the Legacy VAPA High School student mariachi band and a dance performance by a local folk group.

Students and community residents are invited to the event which will be free.

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