The USHCA Honors Fighters Against COVID-19
The United States Hispanic Contractors Association (USHCA) hosted a celebration to honor the many individuals who dedicated their time and resources to assist our members and the larger Hispanic community in the fight against COVID-19. The event took place on December 5, 2022, at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas. It featured live entertainment from one of America’s greatest comedians, Mr. Paul Rodriguez and from Grammy award winning musical artist Mr. Bobby Pulido. Mr. Rodriguez’s comedy put the crowd in a festive mood and Mr. Pulido’s performance inspired many to get up and dance. Together we celebrated our achievements through good company, laughter and music.
A major focus of the evening was recognizing and awarding those who helped in the USHCA’s initiative against COVID-19, which helped to prevent innumerable deaths. The efforts included distributing messaging about best preventative practices, testing, and vaccination, which was provided by such recognizable individuals as Paul Rodriguez and Bobby Pulido, and other public service announcements. The messages were instrumental to our successes in the fight against COVID-19 and were allowed to air on Univision thanks to help from President of Univision Austin Kristina Escobar. Consulado General de Mexico Ventania De Sulud Roxanna Pineda shared her expertise in health information distribution with us, which helped us formulate our plans. She also provided invaluable connections to people we continue to work with to help us further these and other health equity efforts. Director of Health for Austin Independent School District (AISD) Alana Bejarano was also a key figure whose commitment and partnership allowed our COVID-19 mitigation sites at schools within AISD to flourish.
Representatives from the State of Texas and Austin also attended the ceremony. Senator Eddie Lucio presented a State of Texas Proclamation that recognized Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Pulido for their work to help mitigate the virus. Each also received a Texas state flag and a gavel from the senator, as did Mrs. Escobar, and Mrs. Bejarano in recognition of their unwavering efforts. Austin Mayor Steve Adler presented Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Pulido, and Mrs. Pineda with his own proclamations on behalf of the city to recognize each of them for their determination to keep the public safe from the virus. Mayor Adler also surprised and deeply moved us by honoring the USHCA with a proclamation citing December 5 as USHCA day within the city of Austin.
Additionally, during this event Senator Lucio presented a special award and recognition to Investigator and Federal Defender Adrian De La Rosa from The Innocence Project, which the USHCA supported. Mr. De La Rosa tirelessly worked on the case of Melissa Lucio, a Texas inmate who received a questionable conviction and was sentenced to death for the murder of her young daughter. Through his work and outreach he brought national attention to this case, including attention from the USHCA. USHCA representatives met with Governor Greg Abbott and contacted numerous other key officials and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Ms. Lucio’s behalf. She ultimately received a stay of execution while The Innocence Project continues to work to have her case reevaluated.
We concluded our celebration by presenting a high-achieving student and refugee from Afghanistan, Maryam Mirzahel, a $1,000 scholarship award to assist her to further her education.
We came together during this event to celebrate and show appreciation for all who helped us. Our most important supporters are the USHCA members, without whom none of the celebrated achievements would have been possible. Thank you to all of our members for enabling us as an organization to continue to positively impact our community.