UnidosUS, the country’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, joined Arizona leaders to launch “Count on Us,” a campaign that celebrates Latinos’ contributions to Arizona while recognizing the challenges facing Latinos.
As Hispanic Heritage Month approaches (September 15 to October 15), UnidosUS president and CEO Janet Murguía said in a press release that she hopes the campaign will “open more people’s eyes to the real story about what the Hispanic community means to our nation and our future.”
"Latinos are taxpayers, job creators and major contributors to the economic and social well-being of Arizona and this country,” she said. “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.”
Latinos are currently the largest demographic group in Phoenix, according to the Census Bureau, contributing to Arizona’s communities, economy and culture.
The campaign acknowledges the contributions made and the challenges faced by Latinos in the state. Nearly 1 million Arizonans are employed by Latino-owned businesses, according to the Small Business Administration, yet many Latinos experience barriers to their own financial security, such as lack of affordable housing. Latinos make up more than 70% of essential workers nationally in health care, emergency services and other fields, but many do not have health insurance. Finally, despite the fact that Latino immigrants pay $2.4 billion annually in Arizona state taxes, many schools do not address the needs of Latino students.
“The ‘Count On Us’ campaign is a rallying cry to strengthen our economy by working together,” Monica Villalobos, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said in the press release. “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.”