Leading Hispanic Business Advocacy Group’s 2018 USHCC Legislative Summit featured Labor Sec. Acosta, Sens. Cornyn, Booker, Cortez Masto, Reps. Ros-Lehtinen, O’Rourke, introduced new Co-Chairs and governing structure
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) successfully hosted hundreds of the nation’s top Hispanic business leaders at its 2018 USHCC Legislative Summit, connecting them with all levels of the U.S. government – from Senators and U.S. Representatives to Cabinet Secretaries and chiefs of staff. Hispanic business and Chamber leaders had the opportunity to talk to national leaders directly on issues that affect the day to day operations of their businesses, tax policy, banking regulations, immigration, and more.
Among the many speakers, Texas Senate challenger Beto O’Rourke spoke directly to those gathered about his vision for the fate of Dreamers, the importance of the Hispanic business community, and the future of the U.S.-Mexico relationship. He noted that no state has more to lose economically than Texas if the relationship between the countries becomes fraught. Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke of the need to ensure ample access to capital for entrepreneurs and asserted his commitment to DACA recipients. Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Rep. Jenniffer González Colón highlighted the continuing plight of Puerto Ricans following Hurricane Maria and pressed her colleagues in Congress to recommit the federal government’s resources to relief efforts.
“The choices we make at this pivotal moment in our history will have lasting, reverberating effects for years to come. I am thankful for the opportunity to address some of these important issues such as the DACA program, border security and bipartisanship at the 2018 USHCC Legislative Summit alongside my colleague, Rep. Hurd,” said Rep. O’Rourke (TX-16). “The input of the Hispanic business community is essential both to Texas’ success and the success of our nation –I am grateful to the USHCC for giving me the chance to hear directly from their members.”
Featuring a historic moment in our nation’s history, at the summit’s closing gala the first Latina Member of Congress and first Latina U.S. Senator joined forces on stage for the first time, as Sen. Cortez Masto (D-NV) presented Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) with the 2018 USHCC Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I was honored to present Ileana with the 2018 USHCC Lifetime Achievement Award. While we sit on different sides of the aisle, we both strive for the same goal – to amplify the powerful voice of Hispanic-Americans. She is a trailblazer for all who seek to be role models in their communities,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).
“I am extremely grateful to the USHCC and Catherine for presenting me with this award,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27). “Across my almost three decades in Congress, it has been all of my South Florida constituents, and people like those in this organization, who have inspired me to pursue and continue a life in public service. It is my hope that Latinas around the country continue to step up and be leaders on every level from local city councils, to the halls of Congress, and hopefully one day, the White House.”
The Summit highlighted the role women play in the daily functions of the U.S. government, inviting both Republican and Democrat female Chiefs of Staff to address participants about their vital role in the legislative process. The USHCC also held a townhall meeting with all Chamber Presidents to outline the vision and governance for the organization. The meeting attended by Chambers from across the country, highlighted the need for broader engagement and announced the addition of a new Co-Chair to the Board of Directors, Carmen Castillo. The Board will also expand its size by six members.
“We are proud of the important reforms we’ve made to USHCC over the last few months, including the important decision to restructure the make-up of our Board of Directors to include up to six local chamber representatives that will represent various regions of the country,” said Co-Chairs Peter Villegas & Carmen Castillo. “This action will prioritize our efforts to support and engage local Hispanic business owners and local chambers and setting this organization up for a very bright and purpose-driven future.”
“Given the current challenges facing our country, the Hispanic business community needs a strong and active voice in Washington. I am particularly energized by the new leadership team and particularly with the inclusion of more seats at the table. I am truly confident and certain that the USHCC is the core voice our community needs to represent its interests,” said Cindy Ramos-Davidson, President & CEO of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“This new structure will allow for more voices to be heard and ensure there is ample input from across the USHCC network,” said Nicole Quiroga, President & CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We are greatly encouraged by this new step forward from the USHCC.”
Looking forward to this year’s USHCC National Convention in Philadelphia, the organization will continue to elevate the voice of the United States’ Hispanic business community, that is helping drive the nation’s economic growth.
About the USHCC
The USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development and interests of more than 4.37 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that combined, contribute over $700 billion to the American economy every year. It also advocates on behalf of 260 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local chambers and business associations nationwide. For more information, visit ushcc.com. Follow us on Twitter @USHCC.