Downtown Madison businesses, using money from donations to a Gofundme campaign from the civil unrest that happened in early May, presented a check for $10,000 to the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County at a press conference celebrating the kick-off of Hispanic Heritage Month at the top of State Street on Tuesday morning.
“It’s going to take a community. It’s going to take all of us understanding equity and equality. I’m so honored to accept this check on the behalf of the Latino Chamber and our community,” said Jessica Cavazos, president of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County. “Let’s not just celebrate the 31 days that come after this; let’s celebrate 365 days of culture, equity and advancement.”
Members of the Latino Chamber of Commerce, Madison’s Central Business Improvement District Board, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and community members were on hand to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month Downtown, which will run from Sept. 15-Oct. 18.
“Whereas Hispanic Heritage Month is one of enormous pride for Hispanic and Latinx folks living in the United States, and whereas Madison is fortunate to count among its population a dynamic Hispanic and Latinx community that plays a very important role in our city’s economy and society, and whereas we encourage Madisonians to recognize and applaud the many contributions made by our Hispanic and Latinx community to enhance the quality of life in our city,” Rhodes-Conway said.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that the mayor and common council recognize the month -Sept. 15, 2020 through Oct. 15, 2020 – as Hispanic Heritage Month in the City of Madison,” she added.
Verónica Figueroa Velez, executive director of UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence and Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA), said that as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor Hispanics and Latinos for their countless contributions to our city and our nation.
“Our growing presence in this country cannot be denied,” she said. “We are the largest minority group in the U.S. and we hold consumer and voting power and have worked hard to strengthen the United States economy. We are as devoted to our families as we are to our work. We are innovators, leaders, entrepreneurs, nurses, doctors, teachers, waitresses, artists, creators, first responders, and survivors. There are no limits to our resilience.”
Madison’s Central Business Improvement District (BID) has partnered with the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and to call attention to the vital role Latinos play in our community. Founded in 2003, the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County represents the Latino and non-Latino business community in the greater Madison and surrounding cities.
BID businesses will participate in the collaboration by hosting a Latino Chamber of Commerce business, featuring a Latinx artist, holding a small event, featuring goods or products from Latinx owned companies, or holding a pop-up for a Latinx owned catering company or food truck.
“During these last couple of months, there has been a lot of economic catastrophe in our community,” Cavasos says. “It is not without the partnerships that we have forged with the City of Madison, with the Latino Consortium of Action, with Dane County and with the state that we were able to survive as a [Latino] Chamber and help our small businesses that are more than 400 strong in Dane County. “