A little over a month ago, I was in New Orleans for a conference. I took an Uber to the airport when I was leaving and the driver was a Latino guy. I had not been in New Orleans for many years, and did not recall seeing many Latinos the last time I was there. I asked the driver if there were a lot of Latinos living in New Orleans, and he said “there is now”. When I asked him to explain, he said that Latinos came to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina to help rebuild the city and many of them stayed. Today, Latinos in New Orleans are part of the fabric of the city’s local economy and are provide a foundation to its workforce and consumer base. This is a story that can be told for many of America’s great cities. The book Barrio America by A. K. Sandoval-Strausz chronicles how Latinos created the foundation that ultimately led to the revitalization of the now thriving downtown neighborhoods of Chicago and Dallas.
As experts ponder how America will pull itself out of the COVID-19 recession, one thing I know for certain is that Latino workers, homebuyers, and entrepreneurs will be at the epicenter of America’s renaissance. As this scenario comes to pass, I will use this blog and my upcoming podcast to share stories and help document this phenomenon. In fact, we all need to use our respective platforms to make sure that the contributions Latinos make in bringing America back don’t go unnoticed.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak at the T3 Conference in Florida…I surprised the audience when I explained how the issue of diversity has been framed incorrectly, and has for the most part alienated the business community.
Elon Musk dropped by the Real Time with Bill Maher show recently for an interview with the host. Maher, who considers himself a liberal is an obvious fan of the CEO of Tesla and Space X. The centerpiece of their conversation was their discussion regarding what Musk called the “woke mind virus” or what I prefer to call “cancel culture”.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.