FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 12, 2023

CONTACT | Brendan Gleason

Biden Campaign Manager, Phoenix Mayor and other Prominent Leaders Discuss Hispanic/Latino Impact on U.S. Economic Competitiveness at AECP Event

Arizona’s strategic investments and implications for Hispanic & Latino communities take center stage

PHOENIX – The American Economic Competitiveness Project (AECP) hosted a roundtable discussion yesterday, shedding light on the Hispanic/Latino impact on U.S. economic competitiveness and innovation. The event, hosted by Steven Schwarz and ViaWest Group and moderated by Raul Alvillar of AECP, featured insights from Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, Campaign Manager for Biden-Harris 2024 and Carlos Contreras, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity for the State of Arizona.

Julie Chavez-Rodriguez emphasized, “Access is a big part of the conversation, whether it’s access to capital, access to educational opportunities and programs…We’re starting to see that people are starting to feel that more and more.”

Carlos Contreras highlighted the growth opportunities, stating, “Numbers are optimistic. So you see the economic optimism that’s coming from the community. These investments are coming in, and it’s going to be transformational.”

Mayor Kate Gallego touched upon the significant legislative impacts, noting, “It’s a really unique moment. And so if we take advantage of it, it’ll be generations of opportunities.”

Recent polling data, conducted between September 5-8, 2023 by Insights with Analytics, reveals that 49% of Arizonans believe their personal financial situation has worsened since the pandemic’s end, with 57% feeling the U.S. economy has declined, primarily due to inflation and cost-of-living concerns.

However, Hispanic voters are notably more optimistic about the U.S. economy and their personal finances. Despite current economic concerns, Arizonans remain hopeful for the future. A promising 47% anticipate their financial situation will improve within the next year, and 57% believe it will improve in the next five years. Investments like the CHIPS and Science Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are viewed positively, with many Arizonans believing they will benefit the state and Phoenix.

The event concluded with a Q&A session, allowing attendees to engage directly with the panelists, followed by closing remarks from Raul Alvillar, thanking the panelists, host ViaWest and attendees.


About AECP The American Economic Competitiveness Project (AECP) is a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing U.S. economic competitiveness by hosting events and conferences connecting government officials, private sector leaders, students and academic experts. For more information, visit