Arizona Healthy Working Families Initiative

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The Arizona Healthy Working Families initiative proposes to raise the state minimum wage from the current $8.05 hourly minimum to $10.00 an hour by January and then gradually increase it to $12.00 by 2020 as well as offer earned sick days to all workers in Arizona. Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo and Stephanie Vasquez, owner of Fair Trade Cafe explain the initiative.

Jose Cardenas: Good evening and welcome to "Horizonte." I'm Jose Cárdenas. Learn about minimum wage. And you'll get to new executive director at the diocese of Phoenix. One woman is being recognized as an entrepreneur.

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Jose Cardenas: the Arizona healthy working families initiative wants to raise the minimum wage to $10.00. Joining me is Steve Gallard and Stephanie Vasquez, owner of Fair Trade Café. This is an old issue for you? You were involved the last time we did this. Give us a little bit of history.

Steve Gallardo: Sure, in 2006, the voters decided they wanted to create their own minimum wage statute. We wanted a state minimum wage and they passed it. The voters had decided, 271,000, decided they want to vote on a new minimum wage and address the issue of paid leave, something that has not been addressed in the state of Arizona. I'm a supervisor, all of our employees have paid leave. We say we're going to provide paid leave to those who are not government employees. We're going to allow them to have a number of days paid off so when they get ill, they will be able to take time of work and be paid for it.

Jose Cardenas: area of focus is restaurant workers. Most people who have businesses like yours would be opposed to this. Why are you in favor?

Stephanie Vasquez: I recognize the importance of a thriving economy and the real importance is taking care of our employees and that's how businesses sustain themselves.

t Jose Cardenas: he argument that is made is this will shut out young workers and a lot of restaurant owners won't hire as many people.

Stephanie Vasquez: I have to disagree. My establishment, I have quite a bit students and young employees and they have a vested interest in staying there throughout their education.

Jose Cardenas: You're not concerned that this might [Indiscernible]

Stephanie Vasquez: oh, no. I've never paid minimum wage, so this is not an issue.

Jose Cardenas: you're involved in the campaign. You're talking to the people.

Stephanie Vasquez: Most local small businesses are really in support of this.

Jose Cardenas: Are you surprised by that?

Steve Gallardo: yes. You look at some of the arguments that have been made so far in opposition to minimum wage or a level of paid leave are the same arguments from 2006, that we were going to shut down the employment of young jobs for people and businesses will have to lay off and the price of services would skyrocket. The voters passed a minimum wage statute in 2006. Once again, when we address minimum wage in the state of Arizona, I don't believe you're going to see anyone get laid off. What you're going to see is people be able to provide for their families. People being able to boost up our economy. They're earning more, they're able to take care of their families. This is how we grow the economy. You allow families to provide for themselves. The money of people being employed are at a minimum wage level are students. We're talking families, men and women who are trying to support a family. This is a segment of people in the state of Arizona we are trying to help by making sure they have a decent wage.

Jose Cardenas: Isn't one thing different? In 2006, the economy was fairly strong. Right now, we're coming off of the great recession. A lot of businesses are getting back on their feet.

Steve Gallardo: what we're seeing right now, what I see throughout not only my district but throughout the state is, yes, the economy is bouncing back, but the families are not. The minimum wage law has been passed in many states last year and the year before. This is something that Arizona's diving in for the first time. It is highly approved here in the state of Arizona, republicans, republicans, democrats have shown they support minimum wage increase and provide a number of days for paid leave. I don't think the economy is going to suffer. I think the economy will continue to grow and as the families are able to thrive and grow, it helps Arizona.

Jose Cardenas: It was something new. How's that going to impact your businesses?

Stephanie Vasquez: It's going to streamline policies across the board. A majority of us have in-house policies.

Jose Cardenas: you have one?

Stephanie Vasquez: Most definitely.

Jose Cardenas: You would be in compliance?

Stephanie Vasquez: I'm in compliance for our 2020 goal.

Jose Cardenas: Do you hear any particular concern about that?

Stephanie Vasquez: I think change, there is a little bit of fear in any sort of change. Because there are so many -- small businesses are already practicing this, the hesitation isn't huge. It really is not.

Jose Cardenas: There have been studies that show you increasing minimum wage but it hasn't suppressed the economy. But this is different with the sick leave, isn't it? Any analysis to see what impact that would have?

Steve Gallardo: You look at what is the most important thing in terms of boosting any economy, it's having a strong workforce, a healthy workforce. When you have an employee who is sick, you don't want them on the job site. You want them to get healthy and get back to work. You have it in the public sector, the county, the state, the city.

Jose Cardenas: it's not just the individual employee, if they have a sick family member, they get to take paid sick leave.

Steve Gallardo: Five days for the large employers that if an employee is ill, you don't want them on the job. You want them being at home and getting better. Allows the employees to take care of themselves and a family. It is about creating a strong, healthy workforce and a strong, health economy. This is how you create new job and you create a strong business is by offering these kinds of basic services to your employees.

Jose Cardenas: We're almost out of time. It's the predentinal election, you have the republican candidate for president being opposed to an increase in minimum wage, suppose they take Arizona, what does that do?

Steve Gallardo: You look at any poll, republicans, democrats --

Steve Gallardo: there is support. Even within the republicans. Republicans could support Donald Trump so this is something that's not a partisan issue. It's a bipartisan issue.

Jose Cardenas: I guess we'll know for sure in a few months. Thanks so much for joining us on "Horizonte" to talk about this.

Video: Watch sneak previews, go to azpbs/previews today.

Jose Cardenas: The Roman Catholic Diocese has a new director. It was established to broaden the stewardship. We get to know Cande De Leon. Welcome to "Horizonte" and welcome to Arizona.

Cande de Leon: I was the director of stewardship at the diocese of Corpus Christi. It was a great opportunity for me to serve and to be out here in Arizona is exciting.

Jose Cardenas: this is new position in the diocese of Phoenix?

Cande de Leon: It is. They used to have the office of stewardship and they ran the charity and development appeal and assisted the pastors and I think what they were looking at doing is to broaden the scope of how we were serving the community, the parishes and I think that's where the name, office mission advancement.

Jose Cardenas: Which would be what here in Arizona?

Cande de Leon: Through engagement. Letting them know that they have gifts, their time, their talent and treasure and they can share those gifts not only within the community and parish, but in the broader community, where they work, how they serve, in their families. Across the board.

Jose Cardenas: You've been here a few months. Your comparison with the diocese of Phoenix with the diocese of Corpus Christi.

Cande de Leon: There are similarities. The biggest difference is the scope of how large it is here in Phoenix. The diocese I came from -- it's the diocese of Corpus Christi and the surrounding counties around there. It was 500,000 to 600,000 people population with 85% catholic. Whereas here, we're over one million catholic.

Jose Cardenas: What about the mix of Hispanic and non-Hispanic?

Cande de Leon: I think in Corpus Christi, it was about a 50/50 split. Here, it's much more diverse. I'm still learning it. I see a very similar kind of split. But I see more diverse. I mean, it's people from all over the country, all over the world are coming to Phoenix. As I meeting people, I've realized that most of the people I meet, it's -- they're not from Phoenix. I've met people who have come into Phoenix. I have to ask the question, like, why? I am one of those persons who has come into Phoenix. I feel like there's something special here. The holy spirit is growing this community and it's exciting and vibrant and alive.

Jose Cardenas: Give us a sense of the kinds of initiatives your office will be undertaking.

Cande de Leon: I think it's two-fold. Engagement in the parishes. We have 90 parishes across the diocese and we have to work with our pastors because they're the leaders of the parishes. Supporting them and teaching stewardship. The diocese initiative is serving bishop homestead and helping him see the vision. Or, however you see fit to where we can see a connection there.

Jose Cardenas: Do you have a sense of [Indiscernible] sending seems to be broader inclusion is impacting the work you were doing in Corpus Christi?

Cande de Leon: I see pope Francis, he has been able to create a dialogue. He has a unique way of sharing the gospel. It's the same gospel that's been shared for 2,000 years. But he is an effective communicator in the sense that he relates to people, not just catholics, non-catholics. I would [Indiscernible] internationally, he's been able to create a dialogue with the world, with the non-believer. I think that's our job is it says, go there for and make disciples of all nations in the name of the father, son and holy spirit [Indiscernible]

Jose Cardenas: I know this is not within the scope of your duties. But the number of locations, the way the industry has been going down. You talk about the work of the pastors.

Cande de Leon: We do need future priests because that's the future of our catholic church. We're baptized priest, prophet and king. I think there's a special calling to the vocation of the priesthood. I see that it is relevant now. It will be relevant 1,000 years from now and I think that god will provide the candidates that we need.

Jose Cardenas: Are the numbers go up?

Cande de Leon: I think that they are getting better. I think that the more that we can dialog with the world that we live in, I think within the catholic church and around it, I think that we're going to receive more and more vocation.

Jose Cardenas: Well, Cande De Leon, welcome to Arizona.

Cande de Leon: I'm happy to be here. I got to tell you, that the people of Arizona have been wonderful.

Jose Cardenas: that's good to hear.

Cande de Leon: Thank you.

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cox communications, in a partnership with Prensa Hispana Newspaper and the Azteca América Phoenix are recognizing women-owned businesses. Tania Torres, president and ceo of Torres Multicultural Communications and Mary Rabago. We talking about recognition. Both of you are on the screen right now. You've been in the broadcast business for, what, 23 years?

thank you for having here me. What an honor to share this with Tania Torres, her entrepreneurship. I didn't start when I was 5 in that area.

I thought you had. [LAUGHTER]

it's a truly honor. So many years of a journalist. I celebrated my third anniversary as a business owner.

Jose Cardenas: Your career has been so successful as a journalist. We have to say something about that. I think we have some video that relates to that and the kinds of things you're still doing. Showing you, broadcasting. This is in your -- with your new business correct?

Mary Rabago: Yes. Through Mary Rabago productions, we don't only do productions, we have on our radio shows Monday through Friday at 1190am. Also, on the weekends, through [Indiscernible]. We are trying to combine all the platforms to take the message to our community, not only in Arizona, but wherever we can reach them. We need education as a Latino community, whether it's education, health, community, politics. I think that is where my passion is. As a journalist, it's not only being on tv and being recognized and being famous, it is to educate the community.

Jose Cardenas: you're quite comfortable being in front of a microphone and being in front of a television camera. You have won Emmy's?

Mary Rabago: I've been very blessed. The support and the love of the community, through 23 years in the media now, I feel I can say they have put up with me in all the platforms and still listen to me. Wherever I go, there's somebody getting close to me and saying, I grew up watching you or I've been watching you for many years.

Jose Cardenas: For most of those years, you served as an anchor and you were a correspondent. Give us the highlights.

Mary Rabago: I'm a small-time dreamer in [Indiscernible]. There's only about 5,000 population and for me to be in [Indiscernible] to be covering --

Jose Cardenas: the Mexican White House.

Mary Rabago: exactly. Or covering the pope and so many other issues, that is a dream come true. I never expected to be at the same table or talk to those personalities. But through my work, have a lot of community members live those special moments in our history.

Jose Cardenas: Why did you decide to leave?

Mary Rabago: It was a tough decision. At the same time [Indiscernible] my career. I wasn't doing enough for my community. I wanted to really empower my community in their daily life. I wanted to give them education. I'm a mother of two, single mom now. And my oldest was going to start high school so I only had four more years with him. It was non-negotiable to not be home at night. Getting at home, seeing my kids asleep and rushing them to school. Now, I realize there's not such a thing of balance. Most of the women now-a-days, we really need a strong support in our families or friends to raise our kids. I live in east L.A. [Indiscernible] is the area I reside and my parents are in that area.

Jose Cardenas: We should talk about lessons learned as an entrepreneur that may have particular relevance to Latinas.

Mary Rabago: To Latinas, I think a lot of businesses make it more than 11 million businesses are owned by Latinos in this country. We revenue trillions of dollars and we employ millions of people. We can't do things like we used to do in the past. I think one of the biggest lessons for me, if you have the opportunities on how to take accounting and marketing, going through that process before you embark in the business would be the smart thing to do because I did the opposite. I learned as I was going and it's been three years and I've done everything you should not have done in business.

Jose Cardenas: You feel that you've learned what you needed to know and you're off on a different level now?

Mary Rabago: I don't think we stop learning, whatever aspects of our life. In entrepreneurship, I'm taking seminars and surrounding myself with people that have a lot of experience in business in different areas so I can learn from that and I don't think there's ever a moment that you can say, I know it all or I have learned it all.

Jose Cardenas: We're almost out of time. No regrets about leaving your career?

Mary Rabago: No regrets. I thought I would be having withdrawals, but I think I was so passionate and so enthusiastic about this new phase of my career and personal life where I can tell you from my heart, every day whether it's on social media, there's somebody thanking me what I'm doing today. My logo is journalism with a purpose.

Jose Cardenas: congratulations on your business and your success.

Jose Cardenas: thanks for watching. From everyone here at "Horizonte," I'm Jose Cárdenas. Have a good night. CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY LNS CAPTIONING

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