Twenty-six journalists from six continents convened in Fairfax to learn about the Hispanic Voter in Virginia
FAIRFAX, VA. – On Thursday, September 27, 2012, twenty-six journalists from around the world met with Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce officials and several members of Virginia’s Hispanic community to discuss the issues important to them in this election cycle, and why they identify as either Republican or Democrat. The journalists are covering the election and, particularly, Virginia’s role as a swing state, and the role that Hispanic voters will play in the election. Rather than interviewing party leaders, candidates, or campaign personnel, these journalists wanted everyday Hispanic Virginians who could speak to the issues that were important to them, and how those issues effect their party affiliation, and ultimately, vote.
“As the Hispanic population in Virginia, like that of our nation’s, continues to rise, it is important for the world to take note of the changing nature of our population, and the effects that these changes will have on political outcomes,” said Michel Zajur, VAHCC president. “It is important for elected officials, corporations, and leaders in Virginia and beyond to recognize and incorporate this demographic in their decision making, and we feel that is happening more and more.”
One attendee, Rebecca Jaramillo from Fauquier County, remarked, “After hearing about “the Latino voter” on television, the journalists seemed extremely pleased to get information from Hispanic voters first-hand about their experiences, from both Democrats and Republicans,” as evidenced by the lingering and honest dialogue among all participants.
Hispanics now make up nearly 10 percent of Virginians and their presence, buying power, and increasing political participation are changing the way companies do business, and, the way candidates tailor their messaging. The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has been in the business of bridging mainstream businesses and groups to Hispanic businesses and groups for 12 years.
The journalists were brought to the United States through the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of Press Relations. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA, www.fairfaxcountyeda.org) sponsored the lunch and Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the FCEDA, spoke to the group about the diverse population and business community of Fairfax County.
The journalists will remain in the United States and continue their travels for several more weeks, watching the October 3 presidential debate in Colorado, another key state where Hispanic voters are an influential demographic.
Click here to get tickets and join us on Thurs. Oct. 4th at Keagan’s Irish Pub in Short Pump for cigars, beverages, and after hours networking for making business connections to and from Virginia’s Hispanic Community. Bring your business cards!
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the Pan American Festival in Springfield on Sunday, September 30th (free entry). Enjoy Latin food, music and dancing from 10AM until 6pm at the Shirley Industrial Park. Visit the festival’s site at panamericanfestival.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/PanAmericanFestival for details.
Want to do business with the government, but could use some advice from DC contractors with experience?
Join the VAHCC along with the Fairfax Co. Economic Development Authority and many other biz groups this Wednesday in NOVA for the “Procurement Academy”.
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15th – Oct. 15th) Celebration Includes Governor McDonnell, US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, former Governors Allen & Kaine, and dozens more
High-profile Gala began official kick-off to Hispanic Heritage Month
Richmond, VA — The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (VAHCC) officially kicked-off Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th – October 15th) at the “The Hispanic Gala” on September 12th at the Science Museum of Virginia, to celebrate the successes of the VAHCC and to recognize the 2012 VAHCC Bridge Builder Award recipients. Award winners included US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, NASA Langley Research Center Director Lesa Roe, Sheriff Ken Stolle, CEO of CSI Consulting, Lynette Spano; and Alejandro Cedeño, Vice-President of Global Innovation for MeadWestvaco. Governor McDonnell provided opening remarks at the Gala, congratulating the VAHCC for its contributions to the Commonwealth and congratulating the 2012 Bridge Builder Award recipients. Also in attendance were former governors and senate candidates George Allen and Tim Kaine, as well as dozens of General Assembly and State Cabinet members.
Governor McDonnell issued a formal proclamation during his remarks to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month in Virginia and its importance in highlighting the accomplishments of Virginia’s Hispanic population, which is nearly 10% of all Virginians. “The Gala is a special time for us to recognize the significant contributions of Virginia’s Hispanic citizens to both its economy and cultural fabric,” says Michel Zajur, VAHCC President. “We are honored to have hosted so many leaders and dignataries this year as we began the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.”
By surprise, VAHCC President Michel Zajur was honored during the 2012 Hispanic Gala with the Ohtli Award from the Mexican government. The Ohtli award is the official recognition of Mexico’s Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (translated as “Program for Mexican Communities Abroad”), and is the highest award bestowed by the Mexican government to a non-Mexican citizen. It is awarded to individuals who have contributed to the empowerment of Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the U.S.