Hispanic Chamber Predicts Great Things for Latinos in Houston

New demographic numbers show there are more Hispanics than Anglos in Houston. The unprecedented growth leads to the development of a ten year plan to address the growing economic needs of Houston's new majority. Pat Hernandez has the story.
The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says next decade will be a time of tremendous growth and opportunity for Latinos in the region. Dr. Laura Murillo is the Chamber's president and chief executive officer. She says their 10-year strategic plan contains three visions: to be the leader of Houston's new majority, to be the architect of economic growth, and the catalyst for growth of Hispanic entrepreneurs.

"Our focus is business. We will be the voice for Hispanic businesses; we will be the advocate for Hispanic businesses in this city, as well as for the Hispanic community."

George Gonzalez chairs the board of directors for the Chamber. He says critical issues that could impede the growth and contribution of Hispanics include education and immigration reform.

"You don't have to go very far to see the importance politically of the Hispanic population in the United States.  If you look at the two presidential campaigns and their efforts to reach out to the Hispanic population. We passed resolutions in support of comprehensive immigration reform that's clearly a topic of interest to our business community and to our business leaders.  And something that needs to be addressed quickly by our political leadership."

Noted Rice University sociologist Dr Steven Klineberg has tracked Houston's demographic changes for nearly 30-years. He says now more than ever, Hispanics are a force to be reckoned with.

"The future of Houston is the future of the Hispanic community in Houston. There are now more Hispanics than Anglos in Harris County, Texas. You look at the age distribution, we are at this hinge in history where, of all the people living in Harris County who are 60 years old or older, 70-percent are Anglos, and of all the people under the age of 30, 75-percent are non-Anglos. 60-percent of all the children in H.I.S.D. classrooms are Latino kids. The Houston future is there."

Klineberg says no city has benefited more from immigration than Houston in the last 25 years.

Pat Hernandez...KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

Above image starting from the right: George Gonzalez, Chairman of the board for Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Laura Murillo, President and CEO, Houston Hispanic CofC; Dr. Stephen Klineberg, Rice Sociology Professor and Noted Demographer 
Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...