Jerry Gonzalez Remarks, GHCC Hall of Fame

September 26, 2022

“Buenos dias!

What a humbling honor to be here with you all today.

I want to begin with gratitude. Gratitude for our community first and foremost. It is for the Latinx community, US citizens and immigrant alike, that I accept this honor. It is not a recognition of what I or GALEO have done, but it is a recognition of the history that our Latino community has written together. Thank you.

Thank you to the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the GHCC Board of Directors, and previous Hall of Fame Recipients for selecting me as an inductee to the GHCC Hall of Fame. Many of the previous inductees to the GHCC Hall of Fame are former GALEO board members, funders and supporters of our efforts in our state. Our work at GALEO would not have been possible without that support throughout the years. Thank you.

It is an honor to be recognized alongside such influential individuals as
Sam Zamarripa and Mimi Woodson, both of which are GALEO founding board members,
Brenda Lopez Romero, who also served on both GALEO and now on the GALEO Impact Fund board.
Ozzie, Bob, Adelina, Guiomar, Anthony and Rafael have been constant in our decades of work for our community together. Thank you for all you all have also done for our state.
Congratulations also to all of the 50 Most Influential Latinos joining us today. Together, we build our communities and represent our Latinx community in many ways. With that representation also comes great responsibility to do all we can at times like these to ensure our community rises to meet the challenges facing us. And we work collaboratively to bring us all along as our community continues to grow in power and influence.

I also want to thank the GALEO & GALEO Impact Fund staff and board members for being here today and for our work to build power for our Latinx community in Georgia. Thank you for your continued support!

Even though he is not here with me today, I also must take the time to thank my husband, Ray Deeb, for his continued support, love, friendship and encouragement in the work I have dedicated my life to do. He has been a constant supporter of my work and my engagement with our community. It would not be possible without him. Gracias mi amor de mi vida.

Being recognized amongst the people who make it possible to do what I do is incredible. I look around and am constantly reminded of why I am here. For over two decades of persistent work in Georgia, I have been committed to uplifting our Hispanic community to ensure we are recognized and respected for all that we contribute to our state and nation. GALEO and the GALEO Impact Fund reflect that commitment in the work that we do daily and we work to make it a reality for our COMUNIDAD.

Since the start of GALEO & GALEO Impact Fund, we have seen the number of registered voters and Latino voter turnout increase in this state. There are currently over 385,000 Latino voters ready to make our voices heard for the upcoming elections. In addition, the Latino electorate has been overperforming the national Latino voter participation rate for several election cycles now and will continue this year. For the first time, Latino voters are also thinking about abortion access and gun control as major issues in these elections.

Think about those numbers. 385,000 Latino voters ready to flex our muscles. For context, here is a rundown of the last set of elections.
Romney: 300,000
Trump: 200,000
Kemp: under 50,000
Biden: 11,000
That is a lot of POWER that we have as a community. Politicians should provide first and foremost respect for our community while they court our votes.

I am so proud of where we are now as a community and even more proud of our GALEO team, which has made this journey possible. Our work is vital and rewarding. Our commitment is to continue to fight this fight as we build power for our community in Georgia. And as always, we welcome you to join us in the movement to build PODER for our community.

Thank you/Mil Gracias. “

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