“Protecting free enterprise, protecting free markets, and having government allow businesses to prosper by getting out of the way with excessive regulation” are priorities defined by Elisa Martinez during our conversation at the grand opening of the ”Operation Freedom” headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M., last month.
Martinez is the New Mexico field coordinator for the Libre Initiative, an organization dedicated to economic freedom, focused on Hispanics and Latinos.
Operation Freedom is a project of the LIBRE Initiative, Americans for Prosperity-New Mexico, and American Commitment – all three are non-profit, non-partisan, issue-advocacy, groups working to promote the principles that earned America the title – the ”Land of Opportunity” — personal responsibility, free enterprise, free-markets and a limited constitutional government.
Operation Freedom is a grassroots effort by the three groups to promote the foundational principles of economic freedom. The Albuquerque center operates a phone bank, brings in speakers, and conducts other grassroots activities to focus attention on freedom and responsibility in the upcoming election and in federal, state and local public policy.
Here’s what Martinez said about the significance of these issues to New Mexico’s Hispanic population, which now represents 47% of the population.
“…We have a higher unemployment rate, which is nationally around 11 percent for Hispanics alone. The nationwide average is around 8 percent. So there’s a problem there. Additionally, we also have the highest childhood poverty rate in the country. Again this is a problem…Our mission is to speak to the Hispanic community.
Martinez is on the mark. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Hispanic unemployment remains well above the current national average at 10.2 percent, while the 18-29 year old Hispanic unemployment was even higher – at 13.7 percent. The Congressional Research Service reports that Hispanic households have the highest incidence of childhood poverty in both married and single mother-led families.