By the mid-1970s the protest fires had cooled, replaced by a more pragmatic approach to Hispanic advancement - in essence, transforming into a social restructuring for economic empowerment. A microcosm of the trend appears in John R. Chavez's A History of The East Los Angeles Community Union, 1968-1993 (Stanford University Press). Originally, TELACU attempted to incorporate East Los Angeles as a city that would function as a sort of homeland for Mexican-Americans. When it became clear that wouldn't happen, organizers instead focused on developing the area's real estate and human resources. In 1976, CEO David Lizarraga converted a decaying Goodrich tire plant into a successful industrial park.
Today, TELACU Industries ranks 38 on the Hispanic Business 500 with revenues of $120 million, and the park's tenants employ more than 2,000 people.
Most of the economic development projects covered by Hispanic Business in 1979 involved federal government programs. In 1971, President Richard Nixon signed an executive order directing all federal agencies to develop plans and goals for minority procurement. This followed the Nixon administration's establishment in 1969 of the forerunner to the Minority Business Development Agency and the 8(a) program for minority federal procurement.
The increased political attention on Hispanic economics developed in tandem with a greater Hispanic presence in government. According to Mr. Castro, the Nixon administration spent $47 million in one year alone on Hispanic-focused projects, and appointed more than 50 Spanish-speaking officials to high positions, including Fernando Oaxaca, a White House aide who later served as associate director of management and budget under President Gerald Ford. At the same time, the number of Hispanics in Congress grew from five in 1970 to eight in 1980.
And a number of those people who first appeared in the 1979 issues of Hispanic Business still wield influence in the Hispanic economy today, including: Tere Zubizarreta, CEO of Zubi Advertising; Esteban Torres, former congressman and board member of Entravision Communications; Mr. Lizarraga of TELACU; George Pla, CEO of Cordoba Corp.; Daniel Ramos, founder of New York-based National Hispanic Corporate Achievers; Arturo Velasquez, founder of Illinois-based Azteca Foods; Lionel Sosa, founder of Texas-based Bromley Communications and author of The Americano Dream; and Mr. Chavarría of Hispanic Business.
In addition to political expansion, another trend played into the development of Hispanic Business: Growth in Hispanic media. In 1972, the Mexican corporation Televisa was officially created, bringing together a vast array of media holdings including stakes in Spanish International Network (SIN), predecessor of the Univision TV network. During the next 10 years, a series of legal battles would lead the Federal Communications Commission to declare SIN in violation of non-foreign ownership rules in broadcast. However, "In the same decade through which the court actions dragged on, [SIN] built itself into a truly national network," writes John Sinclair in his Latin American Television (Oxford University Press).
SIN's rise spurred the creation of media infrastructure such as Hispanic advertising agencies, market research firms, and Hispanic marketing positions in corporate America. Caballero Spanish Media, a "rep" firm, turned Spanish-language radio into a national industry. The flow of advertising dollars to the Hispanic market supported new daily and weekly newspapers and magazines, including Hispanic Business.
By the end of the 1970s, Hispanics had emerged as an organized constituency eager to claim their place in the U.S. economy. Business-oriented groups such as the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (1974) and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (1979) took their place beside older civil rights organizations such as the National Council of La Raza (1968) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (1929). And the convergence of demographics, untapped entrepreneurial potential, and marketing infrastructure set the stage for the 1980s and what would be a period of tremendous growth for both Hispanic Business and the audience it served.
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