Sol Trujillo, Former Leader Of US West, Says Latinos Are Key Economic Force

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Report courtesy of National Institute of Latino Policy
Latinos are the strongest drivers of the U.S. economy, according to a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this summer. While they make up less than 20 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for 51 percent of home buying in 2012, and 86 percent of new small businesses between 2007 and 2012.
Sol Trujillo cites these figures regularly, and says the economic power of Latinos is largely misunderstood by politicians and the American public, as evidenced by how Latinos are demonized by some candidates and voters in this election year. Trujillo used to run US West, now CenturyLink, in Denver and served on the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. He spoke about Latinos in the U.S. economy as part of a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this summer. Today he spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner as part of CPR’s coverage of Latino voters in this election.
On how are Latinos driving the consumption side of our economy:
“Over the last decade, in the United States of America, over 51 percent of all new home mortgages taken out have been taken out by Latino families… It is not a niche, it is not a small number; it is a material number. And when you look at 51 percent of all home mortgages and you think about the multiplier effect of, for ever mortgage there had to be a home or a condo or whatever that had to be built.
“All the jobs created there, whether they be carpenters or mason workers or whatever it might be. When you think about the ecosystem of financing them, when you think about insuring them, when you think about furnishing them, it is a large, large impact in terms of the economy.”
On how corporations are responding to this growing consumer base:
“You look at companies that are the more progressive ones. Take for example Wells Fargo; the CEO and the board there, they have Latinos on their board of directors. So they have a perspective. And one of the key things that I would say, that if you looked at a company that was about to go to India and open up that as a market: Would you just have the same people that have been involved in your governance as part of your governance, or would you try to enhance with people that have a perspective?”
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