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Dec 4, 2023

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Held Its 21st Annual Convening with A.I. as Marquee Topic of Discussion

Check out the photos of the event here.

Washington, D.C. – The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) held its 21st Annual Summit in Philadelphia, where Hispanic state legislators from all over the country convened to attend policy sessions, discuss the Caucus’ resolutions, elect its new leadership, and honor the 2023 Legislator of the Year, Del. Elizabeth Guzmán (VA), and the 2023 Partner of the Year, Everytown for Gun Safety.

The policy sessions addressed topics that will mark the 2024 state legislative sessions. Broadband was one of the main issues discussed, with a fireside chat featuring Comcast’s Juan Otero, and a keynote speech by FCC Commissioner Anna M. Gómez.

In her remarks, she stated: “having access to broadband internet services opens doors to opportunities. In contrast, not having it, is like a locked door to the future.Commissioner Gómez also discussed what she considers necessary to empower consumers: Broadband access, public safety, protection from robocall and robotext spams, and media literacy.

The sessions continued with a focus on health, featuring a presentation and policy discussion on Obesity’s Impact on Pennsylvania’s Economy and Labor Force, led by Tim Dall, Executive Director of Life Sciences Consulting; and a presentation on Rare Diseases Impacting Communities of Color by Bert Bruce from Pfizer.

Artificial Intelligence was the main topic of the Summit, featuring two conversations on the issue. “If you’ve consumed any kind of media this year, you’re already aware of the rise of artificial intelligence in our societies. From its use in private sector, to its public benefits, and its potential threats to our democratic institutions, artificial intelligence seems to be everywhere we turn our heads to. But already more than half of the states already introduced A.I.-related legislation in 2022 without really understanding the technology itself and, even worse, the impact these bills might have. That’s why we’re holding two sessions on A.I. at this Summit,” said Rep. Arturo Alonso-Sandoval (OK) in his introduction remarks.

The first session centered on the basics of A.I. with Google’s Karim Mohammadali, Intuit’s Michele Lease, the White House Special Advisor for Artificial Intelligence, Ben Buchanan, and Create Labs Ventures’ Abram Maldonado, who did a demonstration of C.L.AI.R.A., the pioneering Afro-Latina A.I. virtual influencer.

The second session, featuring presentations from the Zinc Collective’s Ben Resnik and Walmart’s Sri Atluri, as well as video remarks from AFT’s CEO Randi Weingarten and Susan Gonzáles from the National A.I. Advisory Committee, focused on Case Studies on Artificial Intelligence in Industries and Elections Fairness.

To continue the multi-year focus on affordable housing policy, NHCSL also hosted a policy session on Debt Collection and Evictions with Pew Charitable Trusts’ Katie Martin and Octavia Howell, Judge Matt Wolf, Civil Division Supervising Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court, and Rep. Javier Mabrey (CO) as moderator. In addition to being a legislator, Representative Mabrey works as an evictions law expert at the Community Economic Defense Project in Colorado.

Additionally, NHCSL’s Director of Legislation, Policy and Advocacy, Guillermo Mena, hosted a legislative exchange forum with UnidosUS Action Fund/Action PAC.

During the Summit’s Gala, NHCSL swore in its new leadership, who will serve with the Caucus’ President Rep. Angela Romero (UT) and awarded the 2023 Legislator of the Year to Del. Elizabeth Guzmán (VA). In her acceptance remarks, Delegate Guzmán recounted what she learned and experiences during her time as part of NHCSL, highlighting the work done by the Caucus in immigration and to combat family separation policies.

Everytown for Gun Safety was recognized with the 2023 Partner of the Year award. “I accept this award on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety and thank NHCSL for their continued partnership in the fight against gun violence,” said José Dávila, Senior Director of State Government Affairs of Everytown for Gun Safety. “As gun violence continues to disproportionately affect Hispanic communities, we stand united in our shared mission to fight this crisis and renew our commitment to effecting change. Alongside partners like NHCSL, we are stronger positioned to continue fighting for policies that protect our communities and create a safer future for all.”

NHCSL also voted resolutions to be adopted as the Caucus’ policies on several issues around healthcare, affordable housing, education, immigration, and other topics relevant to Hispanic communities nationwide. Please learn more about these resolutions here.

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 450 Hispanic legislators. For more information visit www.nhcsl.org.