IHCC President & CEO, Jaime di Paulo highlighted the value of working with African Americans in the economic development of Illinois. This is the complete transcript of his speech:
2020 presents itself as a year of changes.
Our Hispanic community has the challenge of seeking new spaces in the policy-making and the design of the Illinois economic development.
We Hispanics and African Americans have had some historical differences. However, I increasingly have the conviction that sees us separated is in the interest of some in power positions.
We need to turn the page and return to the spirit of unity that the great Mayor Harold Washington once drove.
Chicago cannot move forward as a city unless all communities receive a fair share of the generated wealth. You cannot have economic development if only some people prosper.
We do not want the leftover crumbs from the federal or state budget. We want sitting at the table, helping create new businesses and that those resources serve to continue creating new jobs in our communities.
Or quoting the great Harold Washington: “Our concern is to heal. Our concern is to bring together”.
On January 21st, the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) and the Black Chamber of Commerce of Illinois (BCCI), together with Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-2nd) and Congressman Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia (IL-4th), convened a discussion about the importance of supporting the small business community. Discussion topics included the Community Reinvestment Act, the CDFIs, and the Opportunity Zones.
That was just the first step, but I am proud we have laid the foundations of the dialogue. The IHCC is committed to continuing working with the BCCI.
Dialogue is essential because we Hispanics and African Americans have a common issue: helping our people to have a better standard of living. That goal only will be achieved by opening more small businesses and reviving the activity in the neighborhoods.
I want to reach out my hand and work together with African American leaders to develop more business opportunities so that we can raise the employment level and quality for our people.
Only together will we be stronger
Only together can we go for more.