BELLEVUE – Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Mike Sotelo honored Attorney General Rob McKenna with the President’s Award for his “dedication and efforts on behalf of the Latino community” at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner on Thursday.
“Attorney General Rob McKenna has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting Latino consumers,” Sotelo said. “Consumer scams against Latino families are particularly devastating.
“Like many victims of consumer scams, they are often too ashamed to admit they’ve been duped,” Sotelo continued. “Couple that with a language barrier, and often they choose to suffer in silence rather than come forward. Through his office’s outreach programs, Attorney General McKenna shows people they are not alone and help is available.”
Working with Consumer Outreach and Education Manager Rebecca Sears and the office’s bilingual Latino outreach coordinator, McKenna conducted two statewide Latino Consumer Education Summits in fall 2006 to identify the biggest problems Latino consumers face and the most effective ways to reach them.
“Working with good friends like Mike Sotelo, we have dramatically increased our office's consumer education and outreach work in the Latino community,” McKenna said. “I am deeply honored that my office and I have been recognized by the Hispanic Chamber for these outreach efforts, and greatly appreciate the Chamber's continuing partnership with us to protect Latino consumers.”
The office has conducted roughly 30 direct outreach presentations reaching more than 4,000 attendees in cities including Longview, Mount Vernon, Yakima, Moses Lake, Lakewood, Seattle and Chelan. Venues have included the Diocese of Yakima, Seattle Public Library, Skagit Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Othello Latin Seniors Group. The office also has a presence at Hispanic community events including Hispanic Seafair and Lakewood Summerfest.
Recognizing radio as a popular medium among the Latino community, McKenna’s office has participated in approximately 30 hour-long, Spanish-language call-in radio programs and produced two 60-second Spanish-language public service announcements on identity theft and computer security that aired 126 times.
The office has also redesigned its consumer protection brochures and added two additional topics in Spanish: identity theft and collections. Spanish-speaking consumers are now also able to request a Spanish-speaking staff member when they call the Attorney General’s Office consumer resource line.
Finally, the office has participated in two nationwide multi-media "surfs" with the Federal Trade Commission and other consumer organizations in an attempt to collect data on the prevalence of deceptive marketing targeted at Hispanics.
Editor’s note: A Spanish-language version of this news release will be available.
Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, AGO Media Relations Manager, (206) 464-6432