Sep 18, 2020
Mike Pence Libre Initiative Roundtable Event Transcript September 18
VP Mike Pence participated in the Libre Initiative roundtable event in Phoenix, Arizona on September 18. Read the transcript of the full event here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Ladies and gentlemen, the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence.
Daniel Garza: (00:57)
Buenos dias. I am Daniel Garza. I am the President of the LIBRE Initiative, a group committed to breaking down barriers to opportunity and empowering the Latino community in Arizona and nationwide. I’m excited to welcome you to LIBRE’s Policy Forum as part of our recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. I want to start by thanking Vice President Mike Pence for joining us. It is a high honor to be able to hold such important conversations directly with you, Mr. Vice President. Latinos from across the country must be a part of the policy solutions that impact all Americans. We’re grateful you can be with us today.
Daniel Garza: (01:22)
Under this administration, important reforms were enacted to reduce regulation and reduce the tax burden that arguably lowered the unemployment rate, generated record labor participation, record wage growth, and record home ownership for the Latino community. We are committed to continue working with the administration to further advance reforms that will allow all Americans to rise, like building on the first step back and continuing our discussions on reforming our country’s broken immigration system.
Daniel Garza: (01:48)
I want to thank Governor Doug Ducey for being here. You have-
Doug Ducey: (01:48)
[inaudible 00:01: 59].
Daniel Garza: (02:06)
Governor, you have been a valued of the LIBRE Initiative since its founding. Your work on occupational licensing and expanding educational opportunities have increased opportunity for so many. Gracias, Senor Gobernador.
Doug Ducey: (02:24)
Daniel Garza: (02:28)
Jovita Carranza, our country’s 26th Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, is also with us this morning.
Jovita Carranza: (02:32)
Daniel Garza: (02:35)
Thank you for what you are doing for our country’s small businesses, the backbone of our local economies. [foreign language 00:02:47].
Jovita Carranza: (02:46)
Daniel Garza: (02:50)
I also want to thank Brian Mueller. He is President of the Grand Canyon University, thank him for his hospitality.
Brian Mueller: (03:07)
Daniel Garza: (03:07)
His staff has been absolutely accommodating to us, and we truly look forward to future collaboration. A special thank you to our local staff for all of their hard work in putting this important event together. Last and certainly not least, I want to thank our panel for being here, Janet Mendez, business owner.
Janet Mendez: (03:23)
Daniel Garza: (03:28)
Dr. Miriam Enriquez, Pastor Emilio De La Cruz, and Mr. [inaudible 00:00:03:35], thank you for being willing to share your stories with us all. This conversation is incredibly timely. COVID-19’s impact has spared no one. Latinos, many who are essential workers, fell ill at high rates and experienced job loss, and economic insecurity as a result of the imposition of government restrictions. Still, our community remains resilient and optimistic. It’s the American spirit. During these past few months, everyday Americans have used their God-given talents to innovate and find ways to sustain their businesses and provide for their families, and in doing so they have inspired our community and our country, but of course, there is a lot of work to be done. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome and give the floor to you, Mr. Vice President.
Mike Pence: (04:27)
Well, thank you very much, Daniel. We are grateful for the leadership of LIBRE Initiative. Thank you for all that you’re doing to advance the interest of Hispanic Americans across the country. It is an honor to be with you today. I also want to express my appreciation and invite another round of applause. The Grand Canyon University is an incredible success story. He has led to this university, grounded in Christian values, to incredible growth. It’s serving a broad and diverse student body here in Phoenix. Join me in thanking Brian Mueller for his great leadership here at Grand Canyon University. Thank you so much for your hospitality today, Brian.
Mike Pence: (05:26)
Also, I’m pleased to be joined by a member of our Cabinet, the Small Business Administrator, Jovita Carranza, who will speak in just a moment, but I must tell you, to be seated once again with Governor Doug Ducey is a particular privilege for me. I can honestly say I was for Governor Ducey before it was cool. I met him when he was just a candidate for office. I was Governor of the state of Indiana. I saw his leadership then. I saw a businessman who was stepping forward to make a difference. To see the growth in this state, to see the growth in your economy, to see his steady leadership over the last eight months in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic, seeing Arizona through a challenging summer, all across the Sun Belt, Governor Doug Ducey, I’m grateful for your leadership. I’m particularly honored to be with you today.
Doug Ducey: (06:22)
Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. Thank you.
Mike Pence: (06:27)
Thank you so much.
Doug Ducey: (06:27)
Mike Pence: (06:28)
Let me bring greetings to all of you. This is National Hispanic Heritage Month. To all, as we celebrate the incredible contributions throughout the life of our nation of Hispanic Americans, I want to bring greetings from a great champion of Hispanic Americans, who when I spoke to him this morning on Air Force Two and told him I was headed to Phoenix, he was reflecting fondly on the fact that he was just here a few days ago, so let me bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.
Mike Pence: (06:56)
As the President said on Monday, Hispanic Americans literally embody the American dream. To be a Hispanic American, in so many ways, is to be a part of a community that is synonymous with faith and family and hard work. The contributions that the Hispanic Americans have made, not only to Arizona, but to the life of this nation, are really countless. I’m proud to say that in our first three years in office, we made extraordinary progress in the economy of this nation. Under President Trump’s leadership, with the strong support of our allies in the Congress, we cut taxes, we rolled back regulations, we unleashed American energy, we fought for free and fair trade, secured even a new trade agreement with our neighbors to the South and neighbors to the North in the USMCA.
Mike Pence: (07:57)
The results were truly dramatic. It was seven million new jobs created in those first three years, including nearly a quarter million good paying jobs right here in Arizona, but nationwide during this Hispanic Heritage Month, I know you all would be glad to celebrate with me. Among those seven million new jobs, three million went to Hispanic Americans, and more than one million Hispanic women entered the workforce all across this country. Hispanic unemployment was the lowest level ever recorded in those first three years. Median income for Hispanic households reached a record high, 1.5 million Hispanic Americans were lifted out of poverty, and I know as Jovita will reflect in a few moments, there was record high amount of home ownership for Hispanic Americans. In fact, we just got data earlier this week, Governor, that in 2019 alone, we saw the largest increase in household income in 52 years.
Doug Ducey: (09:04)
Mike Pence: (09:11)
Then as we all know, the coronavirus pandemic struck our nation from China. President Trump took decisive action early on to put the health of America first. We suspended all travel from China. We declared a public health emergency. We stood up a White House coronavirus taskforce that I can say has been working with your Governor virtually every week, as we’ve greatly expanded testing. Arizona played a critical role in innovating testing for the people of this state. We also saw to the delivery of literally hundreds of millions of supplies to doctors and nurses and hospitals across the country. In the midst of all of that, we’ve been in the process of developing new medicines like remdesivir convalescent plasma. I’m proud to report at this gathering here in Phoenix, we are well on our way to have the first safe and effective coronavirus vaccine before the end of this year.
Mike Pence: (10:14)
In the midst of that, I know that here in Arizona, this was a challenging summer through which we just passed. Thanks to the extraordinary cooperation of the people of this state, putting the health of your neighbors and your families first, and frankly, the strong leadership that Governor Ducey and his administration provided, we’ve seen incredible progress here. We want to commend the people of Arizona. We were proud to partner with your Governor to surge testing, particularly to underserved communities. Community-based testing sites here in Phoenix and all across the state gave us the visibility into the spread of the virus, didn’t they, Governor?
Mike Pence: (10:53)
I’m also proud to say that as we were dealing with the health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, under the President’s leadership we also created a paycheck protection program that we believe saved more than 50 million jobs and it provided loans to keep people on the payroll for some 80,000 businesses all across Arizona, and 60,000 paycheck protection loans across the United States of America specifically went to Hispanic-owned banks nationwide.
Mike Pence: (11:26)
The good news is, through all of which we’ve passed, we’re opening up America again. We’re opening up Arizona again. In the last four months alone …
Doug Ducey: (11:38)
Yes, we are.
Mike Pence: (11:39)
The last four months alone demonstrating the incredible character and resilience of the American people and the American economy, 10.6 million Americans have gone back to work, including 140,000 people that have gone back to work in the last four months right here in Arizona. Of the more than 10 million Americans who have gone back to work in the last four months, as Jovita knows well, 3.3 million of those jobs were filled by Hispanic Americans, and Hispanic unemployment has already dropped to 8.4%. We’re on our way back, Arizona. Hispanic Americans are leading the way. Through the challenging days of the pandemic, it was the families in this community who did your part to look after those who in many cases we found were among the most vulnerable. We want to commend you for that, but also the ingenuity, the hard work, the creativity, the faith of the people of this community is also leading us back to even greater heights.
Mike Pence: (12:51)
As we go forward, I want to promise you on behalf of your President, that we’re going to continue to support this community. In fact, we just broke the news today that two of the largest infrastructure grants in American history have been awarded to Puerto Rico to help that territory recover. We’ll continue to support law enforcement. One of the things the President is most proud of is the fact that half of our Border Patrol agents across this country are Hispanic Americans, who secure our borders and protect our families every single day. Under this President, we’ve supported customs and border protection, and we’ve also made record investments in border security and built more than 300 miles of a border wall on the Southern border.
Mike Pence: (13:43)
In addition to that, it is remarkable to see the way Mexico has stepped up to the partner with us to secure their Southern border and ours. Mexico is literally doing more today to secure our Southern border than ever before in history. It’s a partnership that’s seen a record decline in the number of people coming across the border illegally. It’s a tribute, frankly, to those incredible law enforcement personnel and also to our cross border cooperation.
Mike Pence: (14:16)
It certainly is in stark contrast with the voices of others in the public domain. Where Joe Biden and the Democratic party today call for open borders, sanctuary cities, we’ve made record investments. I want to pledge to you, to your Governor and to Hispanic Americans everywhere that we are going to stand with law enforcement. We’re going to stand for the rule of law. We’re going to secure our borders and uphold the rights of American citizens.
Mike Pence: (14:51)
Also, while Joe Biden and the Democratic party are talking about ending school choice, in fact, ending charter schools in America, I want people in the Hispanic American community here in Arizona to know that in President Donald Trump you have a champion of school-
Mike Pence: (15:03)
… in President Donald Trump you have a champion of school choice and a champion of charter school. It’s remarkable to think that one third of the students in public charter schools are Hispanic across this country. While some would like to shutter those schools, they’re making an incredible contribution. In fact, here in Arizona, the governor informs us that 40% of charter school students are Hispanic, and 11% of students in American private schools are Hispanic. So expanding parental choice, expanding public charter school innovation, I promise you will continue to be a priority for our administration. So with that, thank you for that.
Mike Pence: (15:54)
With that, I’m here to listen. I’m looking forward to the comments of our guests today, as well as your governor, but let me also just simply close by saying thank you. And during this national Hispanic heritage month, just thank you for everything that this community contributes to the life of this nation. It really is… It is humbling to be able to spend time as I travel across the country with Hispanic Americans, to hear the incredible stories, testimonies of faith, testimonies of entrepreneurship, testimonies of the American dream, and to see the values and the faith that are so synonymous with this community.
Mike Pence: (16:38)
I truly do believe as we make our way through this challenging time as we work to bring America all the way back, we do well to recognize a national Hispanic heritage month that Hispanic Americans have always made this nation strong and great, and we will lead together and to even a greater future for the American people for many years to come. So thank you for who you are. Thank you for being with us today and God bless our Hispanic American community.
Doug Ducey: (17:07)
Let me begin by saying once again, welcome back to Arizona, Vice President Pence. We’re thrilled to have you here and grateful for your partnership and leadership for our nation and for our state. I want to welcome Administrator Carranza.
Jovita Carranza: (17:30)
Doug Ducey: (17:31)
We’re thrilled with the small business results that we’re having in Arizona and I’m going to take a couple of minutes and brag on those as well. And I want to say thank you to Daniel Garza and The LIBRE Initiative. I love the passion with which you talk about this initiative. I actually think I knew you before this launched and I just want you to know that myself and the state of Arizona are all in on The LIBRE Initiative and I wish you godspeed in everything that you’re trying to do. I also want to congratulate Brian Mueller. He is an incredible leader. He’s an incredible academic. He is also a business person who has got an unbelievable model here at Grand Canyon University. They take the Christian mission and actually improve the area around them in terms of grade schools and high schools. And I don’t think, and I’m here quite often, I don’t think I can come to this campus without some new gleaming structure having been built and none of it at tax payer dollars. Congratulations Brian.
Doug Ducey: (18:39)
It’s just an incredible success. It’s been an unbelievable week in Arizona. On Monday, we had the President of the United States, on Wednesday we had Ivanka Trump. Yesterday we had the second lady, Karen Pence. Today we have the vice president. What a way to kick off Hispanic heritage month. I mean, it’s an incredible celebration and it’s something that is reflective of the culture of the state of Arizona. We are home to 2.2 million plus people of Hispanic descent. They lead in areas like government, the military, business, elected office, and beyond.
Doug Ducey: (19:26)
Many are in our audience today. So again, I want to say to the vice president, thanks for being part of this conversation. I also want to say, thanks beyond today to the Trump administration and to your personal care and concern during the peak of COVID-19 in our state. Your personal outreach, whether we needed additional PPE or ventilators for Navajo nation or that search testing, it was focused to Maryvale and South Phoenix, it was Vice President Pence and President Trump not delegating these duties, but calling personally for that. I’m grateful for that because I want to get it back to where we were and above in Arizona.
Doug Ducey: (20:07)
You know the Tax Cut and Jobs Act had Arizona’s economy booming with more momentum than any other state in the nation. Administrator, our unemployment dropped yesterday from 10.6 to 5.7. That’s the largest drop in unemployment in Arizona in modern history. The USMCA is strengthening our partnership with Arizona’s number one trading partner times four, Mexico. And Canada has surpassed China to become our number two trading partner. So a strong North America is a safe United States.
Doug Ducey: (20:52)
And lastly I want to say Arizona’s incredibly proud of its reputation around school choice. We lead the nation with over 500 institutions, over 200,000 children in schools of choice. And I think Grand Canyon University reflects also a school of choice and the success and excellence that it can have for Arizona children and families. We’re thrilled that you’re here today, Mr. Vice President, and looking forward to the round table. Thank you.
Jovita Carranza: (21:29)
Thank you very much. It’s a tremendous privilege to be here with you in Phoenix, especially surrounded by advocates of the Hispanic community. The Hispanic community is my community. My parents were born in Mexico, excuse me, born in Chicago and raised in Mexico. My grandparents were born in Mexico. And I think [foreign language 00:06:56] is the location. I think someone here on the panel has that origin. And so being here next to a vice president, flying with the vice president, being next to a governor, and then Dan Garza, which I’ve known for years, it’s really a dream come true, Vice President, because the American dream is not just home ownership, it’s not small business entrepreneurship, it’s really having an opportunity to be a leader in America. And that’s what I’ve been given the opportunity to do under the Trump administration.
Jovita Carranza: (22:29)
So not only under the President’s Trump’s administration and your leadership, Vice President, that I started out as a treasurer and now am the administrator of SBA. And I have never publicly stated this, Vice President, but this is the president that is the first one to have taken a treasurer and advanced the person, or elevated the person to a cabinet position. So I hold that honor and so does he. So again, this administration definitely has our best-
Mike Pence: (22:57)
It’s because it was Jovita Carranza.
Jovita Carranza: (23:00)
No… Has our community in their best interests. So thank you so much for the opportunity. I also want to thank you. This is true empowerment and recognition based on merit. I’d like to also mention from a national perspective, the numbers that Vice President Pence mentioned concerning house ownership, I’m going to first mention the PPP. I was given the task of implementing the paycheck protection program at SBA. And as a result of that, we have processed about 5.2 million PPP loan transactions. And we’ve also transacted close to 190 billion in the economic injury disaster loan portfolio.
Jovita Carranza: (23:48)
That represents about 3.2 million small businesses. So collectively we probably managed about nine million small businesses. There are 31 million small businesses in the United States and they represent 60 million employees in the United States. That’s very, very significant. And in every state, small businesses represent about 93% to 94% of all businesses in the state. And they represent about 45% of the workforce. So the GDP of the small business sector represents $10 to $11 trillion dollars. So the importance of sustaining this particular sector was a very strategic focus of the president and the vice president to keep the livelihood and the sustainability of that market. And he’s been very, very successful. And I’m just [foreign language 00:09:46].
Jovita Carranza: (24:57)
Yes. And so the millions that I just talked about small businesses that represents close to $700 billion dollars that have been provided through partnerships with the lending community, over 5,500 of them, and with their support coordination and coordination of treasury, we’ve been able to distribute over $700 billion dollars to the small business sector. I have visited those small businesses and in the back room is our community. That PPP program also enabled the Hispanic community to be retained as the employees. So I’ve met welders, I’ve met chefs, I’ve met manufacturers, tool dye, and it’s just phenomenal what the paycheck protection program has done for the Hispanic community, Vice President.
Jovita Carranza: (25:50)
It’s that hidden power that the PPP has provided for our Hispanic community. We talked about home ownership, between 2017 and 2018, there were over 365,000 new Latino homeowners. And when I read that number, I thought about when my mother bought her home for $18,000 in 1964. Now it’s worth 50 times that. We still have her home. She’s gone up to heaven, but she left generational wealth. That’s what entrepreneurship does as well. Generational help. When a small business succeeds, and they gain the support of the administration, your children will model what you do as adults and as parents, and in some cases I’ve visited businesses where the son or the daughter was standing right next to them, learning the business to take it over when the adult retires. So I’ve just been just so ecstatic. It’s all these stories that you have to go out in the field, boots on the ground, to realize the value of the PPP, as well as the [inaudible 00:27:04]. In addition to that… Various educational venues, as well as, we will also realize the tax cuts, which really help significantly, and the jobs act.
Jovita Carranza: (27:17)
So this administration has not only looked at the entrepreneurship, but the educational piece, the tax structure, as well as trade. And we won’t get into that today, but let me just mention the Hispanic CDFIs. There are community deposit financial institutions that are led by Hispanics. I’m not going to give you the number because it’s a double digit number, it’s about 36 nationally, but they provided a close to $4 billion dollars under the PPP program. What’s really unique is that they applied to become a delegated lender with SBA to be able to provide the funding.
Jovita Carranza: (27:53)
What we also did was partner with the private sector like Goldman Sachs and others FinTech companies to provide liquidity to those CDFIs so that they could provide loans to the small businesses. So it’s been a holistic approach to making sure that we stepped up and sustain the GDP, help the GDP with small business. And in closing, I want to say that the medium Hispanic small business employed represents about, has about one to four employees as an average, and 70% of the $700 billion dollars that I mentioned earlier went to small businesses, businesses that had anywhere from one to 10 employees. So Vice President, we touched the smallest of smallest business and really tapped into the underserved market and for that I’m very appreciative of giving us that opportunity to provide liquidity to our small businesses. And in closing, thank you very much for the invitation, and for being such a great host.
Mike Pence: (28:53)
Thank you Jovita, great words. Great words.
Daniel Garza: (29:06)
[foreign language 00:29:04]. My senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, likes to say, “America has to be in that country where anybody with nothing can achieve anything.”
Jovita Carranza: (29:10)
Daniel Garza: (29:12)
To do that we need a strong and vibrant free market system. Latinos need the free market. And the free market needs Latinos. I like to think of us as a vanguard for the free market system, and that’s our work is to create that. And our small business owners are champions in that effort. I want to introduce [Jeanette Mendez 00:15:03]. She is a business owner and she’ll introduce herself real quick here, but Mr. Vice President, COVID, as you know, had imposed restrictions from governors across the country in trying to mitigate the contagion of the spread of the infection, but that of course brought a lot of small businesses to their knees in prayer trying to overcome what these challenges brought onto them.
Daniel Garza: (30:02)
What these challenges brought on to them. Janet, I know that in your business, you had a good situation where your admin staff, you’re a contractor, a designer as well, an architect, your admin staff was decimated because of, initially the infections. And so you had to resort to digital work from home kind of thing, but then something happened to bring it back. And I want you to sort of talk about that story as to how you innovated and how you overcame the challenges that were imposed by COVID?
Jeanette M.: (30:33)
Thank you. First of all, thank you for having me here, it’s an honor, vice-president, governor. Thank you. My name is Jeanette Mendez. I was born and raised in Mexico. I was sent here when I was 20 years old to a university. My father believed that United States was the number one country, and he was a dreamer. In that dream came along the family, my sister, so am I, have degrees in here, and we’re very, very grateful for Arizona, because our degrees came from this state. We love this state. And in return, as I was going through my schooling and my experience in working, I always wanted to give something back. I was younger. I didn’t know how, but I knew eventually God would put me in the position where I was going to be able to do it. I’m a Christian. I love God. And I think everything that happened is because of him.
Jeanette M.: (31:18)
So being that said, I started working in consulting. I’m an architectural designer. Within that I went out to market and started consulting for investors, contractors, and I partnered up with this crew, Patterson Homes. We do amazing work here in the valley. We employed 60% of Hispanics. I feel very, very encouraged and proud to say that, because that being said, we educate or people in the company. These people do hard labor for us, electricians, painters, all these people come from the Hispanic community. We educate them, open up LLCs, do taxes. Why? So that you guys eventually can be homeowners, and just giving those privileges to our employees. In the pandemic, we were forced to shut down, because we’re such big company there with all these employees going in and out. And they said we can’t have this. We got some of the employees infected in the company.
Jeanette M.: (32:10)
As business owners, we said, no, no. If God is with us, nobody’s against us. We’re going to pray that the power of prayer, we’re going to make this happen. We cannot have people unemployed, because what’s going to happen to their families? They’re providers. And that’s what we are, Latinos. We do everything with passion. We want to provide to families. We want to help each other. And I said, “Okay, so what are we going to do? Homeowners don’t want us in their homes.” Nobody can do any kind of construction investment right now. The economy, it’s so insecure. It’s so unknown, what’s going to happen? So we as Latinos, and who we are, we innovate. And that’s who we are. I mean, Arizona is one of the growest States in the economy, it’s just blooming right now. So we decided if we can do this, what are we going to do so we can fulfill and succeed and we’re not going to shut down. So we reinvented ourselves. We used our gifts and our talents, and we said, “Okay, I’m an architect, I can’t do anything right now. But we’re not going to shut down.”
Jeanette M.: (33:04)
You’re a contractor, and then we have our families. What are we going to do? We started fogging. We came up with this fogging system. Somebody was like, “We’re just going to provide these services for now. Who wants to be part of this?” Let’s just innovate. Let’s reinvent ourselves. Let’s open up everything virtual. I mean, thank God for internet, everything through video, through everything we can just to keep it going and running for the employees. We had none unemployed, everybody working, everybody on staff, with precautions, with guidelines, but we made it through.
Daniel Garza: (33:40)
Dr. Manriquez, you serve a unique customer base as a doctor. And governor, hear in your state, a lot of folks live in the rural areas, isolated from cities, and they are very far away from healthcare, access to healthcare. And so that was made worse by of course, the imposition of the restrictions of COVID. So how are we to reach these folks who are already sort of cut off because of distance and their unique situation? So Dr. Manriquez, if you can talk about what you were able to do through innovation to expand access and the quality of healthcare to those folks in these rural areas that were isolated.
Dr. Manriquez: (34:32)
Thank you. Thank you. So first, thank you, Mr. Vice President, Governor Ducey, administrator. And of course, Mr. [inaudible 00:34:37] and first, Mr. Garza, for the invitation to share my experiences as an obstetrician gynecologist caring for pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorder. And as the director of a pipeline program in addressing the need for underrepresented and disadvantaged students into medicine, I was raised in an Arizona copper mining town, Kearney, and I was born there, 56 years ago. And there I hadn’t been tonsils removed as I needed to. And I also had great dental care. Today, the people in the most rural communities need to travel one to four hours to access advanced healthcare. And in my specialty, that means having your baby’s delivered. During the normal course of a prenatal care, women have 12 to 14 visits in nine months.
Dr. Manriquez: (35:27)
If they have a high risk circumstances, that can be up to 20. Many of these visits are brief, an assessment of vital signs, listening to the babies, making sure the baby’s growing, a woman who lives remotely could spend an entire day being away from home and her work to ensure adequate healthcare. And that’s 20 days in nine months. Followed by maternity care leave. Telemedicine appropriately offered with two way communication, technologies such as Dopplers to listen to babies, portable blood pressure machines, units that relieve the huge burden and reduced missed appointments that really burden their health as well as you can imagine, busy visits in the office. Conversely, regulations such as the Ryan Haight Act add the burden to the unintentional outcome of making it difficult for providers to feel comfortable to give care to the most vulnerable patients. COVID-19 rapidly requires solutions to care for patients in a virtual format. Fortuitously, We were able to, at least anecdotally demonstrate that their care wasn’t compromised. On the contrary. I’m able to see my patients in their home environments, and ask questions that are related to social health determinants that I may see.
Dr. Manriquez: (36:51)
A very important need for humans is to relate. The most likely physician to recognize negative social determinants of health is one who has personally experienced them themselves. Recruiting students from rural native and urban areas without resources is so important in providing unbiased and competent care, compassionate care. At the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, we intentionally recruit those individuals, put them through curriculum that give them a leg up and level playing field. Many of them become leaders as they matriculate into medical school, and are contributing to the advancement in health for their populations. Physicians like myself support immediate legislative steps to make permanent many of the regulatory reforms instituted by the federal agents used to fight COVID-19. In fact, in a recent poll, the majority of Hispanics are in favor of relaxing healthcare regulations to give more flexibility to doctors, nurses, and researchers who are fighting COVID. We ask you, vice president, and the Congress to ensure the healthcare deregulatory efforts are made permanent. Thank you.
Daniel Garza: (38:15)
Education for our children is vital.
Mike Pence: (38:18)
Daniel, if I may. I’m just so impressed with the first two. I can’t imagine what I’m going to hear next.
Daniel Garza: (38:24)
Tough acts to follow.
Mike Pence: (38:26)
I want to really commend Jeanette for talking about reinventing your business, for your obvious testimony of faith. It’s very inspiring. Reminds us of what we’re celebrating in National Hispanic Heritage Month. I just want to commend you for that, for being there for your employees and seeing it through. And Dr. Manriquez, thank you for being there, being a caregiver, as well as an academic during this challenging time. And I just want to tell you, and all those gathered here that the innovations that President Trump, and our team at the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Service advanced in telehealth, we’re going to make every effort to make those permanent. Thank you.
Mike Pence: (39:19)
It’s a wonderful affirmation. I just want to encourage you, it’s because necessity is the mother of invention, it was for you, Jeanette. It was in our healthcare services, but we really learned how to break down barriers and be more innovative and more creative in the delivery of healthcare services in this pandemic. And I want to assure you that we’ll take your counsel, we’ll work closely with Arizona, with states around the country to keep that innovation as a part of our 21st century healthcare system in this country. God bless you. Back to you Daniel.
Daniel Garza: (39:56)
There’s no question that we are individuals, but yet, our public school education sometimes it seems like it’s a one size fits all. Each family faces unique challenges, their children have unique talents and skills, or challenges. And I know that through some of the ESA accounts, you’ve been able actually to take advantage of the situation, and improve the quality of education to your children. Can you talk to us a little bit about this, and the challenges that you face?
Speaker 2: (40:24)
Hi, my name is [inaudible 00:10:26], and I’m here as a advocate for school choice, and I’d like to thank vice president and Governor Ducey for being champions for the kids here in the state of Arizona, and nationally as well. And I know that President Trump is a huge school choice advocate, so I would like to thank you all right off the bat. I’m sitting here today because I have three children that are special needs kids. My son Jet, which is sitting right here in the front with the Batman mask. He is why I am here today. In first grade, Jet was diagnosed with dyslexia, and in first grade, he just was having a horrible time at school, and he was even crying in the mornings, and he was telling me that they wanted to drop out of school in the first grade. And that’s usually not what happens, that’s kind of like the thing that you hear from a teenager in high school, but not in the first grade. So through testing, we were able to pull him from school, and get him caught up with the rest of the kids because of Empowerment Scholarship. We were able to take that money, and put him in full-time dyslexia tutoring, also in speech therapy, occupational therapy, and believe it or not, dyslexia is not just about flipping letters. It also effects your core, you have a weak core, there’s things going on there with your left and right brain hemisphere. So even learning how to tie your shoelaces is a challenge for these kids. So it takes them longer to do these sorts of things. So his self esteem really dropped, and he was only in first grade. So we had to do something. And we just did everything. We got him into physical therapy. He was exercising and doing everything that the physical therapist instructed him to do. He’s an avid ice hockey player, since he was three years old. Governor Ducey, I think the first time I saw you was at the Ice Den in Chandler when he was like three or four years old.
Speaker 2: (42:46)
So he’s been playing hockey since then. And of course, because we were able to provide these services for him, he’s caught up, and he’s not only a phenomenal ice hockey player, but he’s a phenomenal reader. He’s very passionate about US history. He can tell you everything from Genghis Khan, all the way to the decline of the Roman Empire. And that is the thing with the public school system for him, it wasn’t a good fit. Because he also has dyscalculia, which is also a challenge mathematical-wise. He just doesn’t quite understand the logic with the numbers, so he needs help with third grade math, but he needs college courses for US history. How do you provide that at fourth grade in a regular public school system? So we have a private tutor for him that she sees a retired school teacher, and he sees her one-on-one for 12 hours a week. Then he sees his dyslexia tutor, because he still needs to learn how to write a paragraphs and learn how to write I would say college papers, but yes, that’s what we’re really heading towards here.
Speaker 2: (44:03)
Getting that federal funding, and investing it in my child, and being able to use that, I’m looking out for my child’s best interests, and I am here now because I think that special needs children need that continued support through school choice and Empower Scholarships as well. And I think it’s just such a wonderful program here in Arizona, and when COVID hit, we were lucky that we were already tied into that program, because we were able to get people on Zoom, or telehealth and continue those therapies and continue all that. And everyone else wasn’t tied into that type of program, they kind of got shuttered out, and everyone was like, what am I going to do? I’m just going to sit here with my kids. I can’t go to work now. So we were blessed that we were tied into the Empowerment Scholarship, and…
Speaker 3: (45:03)
We’re tied into the Empowerment Scholarship. And because of that, I mean, I could be raising the first Hispanic President and I don’t even know it. So I would just like to thank both of you and President Trump once again for being champions of school choice, and I hope that the Empowerment Scholarship would open up to outside of just kids with special needs. Amen. We all know somebody that is challenged and we all want to be able to make sure that everyone is successful.
Daniel Garza: (45:36)
Thank you, [inaudible 00:00:44]. A huge dimension of the Latino community is faith, Mr. Vice president. And I’m proud to have Pastor Emilio De La Cruz with us. He supervises over 50 churches here in the Phoenix area. And so can you keeps busy. He has an RV that he has to actually run around in. But, obviously, the current situation that has made life difficult for folks who like to congregate in churches. And so I’d like to, Pastor, if you could talk a little bit about those challenges and what you did to overcome them. And I want you to focus specifically on how it’s impacted our youth in their character development and in their spiritual connectivity.
Daniel Garza: (46:35)
Thank you, Brother Carson. Thank you. Such an honor to be here with Governor Ducey and our Vice President of the United States of America. What a great honor to be here with you. I’m representing, of course, our churches and our pastors. I’ve been a pastor for 34 years and I’ve loved it, wouldn’t want to do anything but be a pastor. But these times that we’re going through, our pastors have not been exempt from the struggles and the battles and the challenges of this time. And many of our churches and our pastors are going through some very, very hard times. I have been challenging our pastors to cast their net on the other side of the boat and do things differently. And so we’ve had to go online with our church services and I oversee Hispanic churches, and a lot of our churches were not really high on technology and all of that, online giving, none of that.
Daniel Garza: (47:51)
So we’ve been trying to train our pastors and help them, coach them and help them to meet the challenges that we’re going through. But our churches, our pastors, we’re ready to regather. We’re ready to regather. We’re a community, we’re a family. I’m thankful. I thank God for the internet and online services and to be able to reach all those people that you want to reach before. But there’s nothing like coming together with God’s people and worshiping together. And we want to sound a trumpet but we’re holding back because we don’t want to overstep. We want to walk alongside of our civil leaders and do it right. But if you’d let us, we’d probably stand up and sound the trumpet and gather the people and pray. And I think it’s very important because today people need more than anything they need hope. More than anything, people need hope today.
Daniel Garza: (49:04)
And they need a major dose of hope and I believe only the church can give that. So any direction that you can get, I would love to see some fast track, of course, to reopen fully and confidently by Christmas, or by the New Years, or soon. Tomorrow, this Sunday. It’s not easy. We, as pastors, feel responsible for our church and we want to do things right. Our young people, I believe that for a lot of our young people in our Hispanic churches are at risk. I believe that many times the church makes a difference between which path that young person takes. I came to Christ at 18 years of age out of a life that I won’t even talk about, a terrible life. And God turned my life around and sent me on a whole new path and brought me to where I am today to sit here with the Vice President of the United States.
Daniel Garza: (50:17)
Who would have thought that when I walked into that little church in Rupert, Idaho at 18 years old, having come out of, I’ll say it, having come out of the jail, and crime and drugs, and just a broken home, all of it, all of it?And so I really believe that our young people need the church. They need the mentorship and they need to be able to develop the biblical world vision and to grow in Christ. Thank you.
Speaker 4: (51:04)
So before we close, Mr. Vice President, I don’t know if you have any last words that you would like to say.
Mike Pence: (51:08)
Well, it’s just very humbling to be among so many great Americans. Thank you all for coming today. Thank you for helping us celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. I want to thank you for your witness. Cesar, you can tell Jet that Batman was my favorite too when I was his age. Probably still is, and I can tell that’s remarkable young man, but you’re remarkable dad. Thank you for being such a great witness. The President and I, like your Governor, really believe that parents ought to be the ones who choose where their kids go to school. I promise you I’m going to remember for a long time the way that you and your family stepped up for your little one in such unique circumstance is truly inspiring. So I want to thank you for sharing your story. And to Pastor De La Cruz, the honor is mine.
Mike Pence: (52:17)
I made the same decision when I was 18 years old, put my faith in Christ. [inaudible 00:52:27]. To hear about your witness of faith and to see the sincerity of your purpose it really is inspiring to me. And you’ve given us hope. And I know your Governor and his team are going to take to heart your words. There’s that verse in the Bible that says, “Don’t absence yourself from the assembly as some are in the habit of doing.” And I want you to know her work closely with your Governor and the states around the country to do everything we can to get our churches, all of our places of worship, open back up again so the people of God can come again. We’ll work toward that day. And I want to thank you.
Mike Pence: (53:14)
Daniel, this has really been an inspiring time. I’m going to leave here reflecting on your words that Latinos need the free market and the free market needs Latinos. And that much is true. Thank you for the Libre Initiative. Thank you for your great advocacy of a great Hispanic community all across the United States, and that 2.2 million strong, Governor, here in the state of Arizona.
Governor Ducey: (53:43)
Mike Pence: (53:44)
And growing, just like the great state of Arizona. But I have to tell you maybe Jeanette’s words were the most inspiring to me and they explain an awful lot. We’ve heard about faith. We’ve heard about family. We’ve heard about caring for those in need. We’ve heard about entrepreneurship. But I really do believe that what Jeanette said was something that I’ve observed in the Hispanic community all of my life and it’s something I most admire. She said, “Latinos do everything with a passion.” So I want to thank you for your passion. I want to thank you for passion for faith, for freedom, for free markets. And I truly do believe that with this great Hispanic community and the passion and faith of this community, the best days for Arizona and for this community and for America are yet to come. So thank you all very much. God bless you. [inaudible 00:54:42]. Thank you all. (music)