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Hispanics Having a Greater Influence on the National Dialogue

Thursday, September 11, 2008   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Yisel Cabrera
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For Immediate Release                                                                         Contact: Octavio Hinojosa

September 10, 2008                                                                            202-347-8280

Hispanics Having a Greater Influence on the National Dialogue

The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute and the Aspen Institute hold joint forum with top political, economic, and academic leaders during Hispanic Heritage Month

Washington, DC -- Today, thought leaders from academia and leading Hispanic organizations concluded that the growing U.S. Hispanic demographic has strengthened the fabric of the country and will play an increasingly important role in the growth of our economy and the outcome of the 2008 Presidential Election.

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) and the Aspen Institute, both based in Washington, DC, partnered to host a forum today addressing the many ways that Americans of Hispanic descent are influencing the national dialogue.

"Hispanic-Americans are still realizing the potential of their impact on corporate success and development, the richness of the American culture and dream, economic growth, as well as its growing role in local and national politics – especially in an important election year,” said Octavio A. Hinojosa Mier, CHLI Executive Director. "This forum highlights the magnitude of our community nationwide and what it means for the future of the country.”

The forum featured four distinguished panelists:

  • Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)
  • Manuel Hidalgo, Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Cooperation
  • Dina Siegel Vann, Director of Latino and Latin American Institute, American Jewish Committee
  • Leslie Sanchez, CNN Commentator and Co-Chair of the Hispanic Alliance for Prosperity

Speakers addressed the topic by highlighting the following statistics:

  • There are 45.5 million Hispanics in the US, or 15.5% of the total US population
  • Hispanics purchasing power is estimated to be $870 billion for 2008
  • US Hispanic consumer market is big or bigger than the GDP of Brazil, Canada or Mexico
  • The number of elected Hispanic officials has grown 30% in the past 8 years
  • The number of Hispanic voters has doubled (from 5 million to approximately 9.2 million) in the past 10 years).

"We are delighted to partner with the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and in initiating a meaningful dialogue on issues important to the Hispanic American Community that will have an increasing impact on the national dialogue in the US,” said Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Deputy Director Leadership Initiatives, The Aspen Institute.

For more information on related research and statistics or upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month activities hosted by CHLI, please visit

The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to creating a broader awareness of the diversity of thought, heritage, interests and views of Americans of Hispanic and Portuguese descent. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC and Aspen, Colorado and has an international network of partners.


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