The Hispanic Vote


Two out of every three babies born in Texas are Hispanic (according to the Pew Hispanic Center). In the McAllen area, currently over 1,100 babies are born a month---that’s a full elementary school. According to the Texas Education Agency 50.9% of all kids in public school from early childhood classes to twelfth grade are Hispanic. These numbers are simply remarkable and can not be ignored from a public policy stand point (i.e. increased fast growth funding for public schools), or partisan standpoint.

As a Hispanic family man and business owner, I continually hear in the media about the “Hispanic Vote.” This is usually followed by some commentary on immigration reform. America is a nation of immigrants; it is true, immigration reform is important. But I am not a one dimensional person. I belong to a church, I own a business and employ thousands of people across the country, and I contract with hundreds of small businesses. So, when choosing a political candidate to support I consider four main issues which honor my culture and respect me as an American.

First, I believe our leaders should fund public education. We should do so for two reasons: one, because the law says we must fund public schools “equitably;” and two, because it is the right thing to do. This applies to undocumented school children as well, as the United States Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v Doe, 1982. As a businessman, I understand ROI (return on investment), and I believe there is no greater return on our investment than educating our school children---our future employees, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. Money is not the only answer, and money does not solve all the education woes, I understand that. But we need to be mindful that educating our children and letting them innovate has made us a great nation, and competing today against an industrialized world for jobs and economic development will be a key to our continued success.

Private businesses should also help fund education. My company is one of thousands across the country who believe in our children and are willing to support them financially. We contribute to scholarships to help offset the rising costs of both secondary and higher education educations. In 2012 along with some corporate partners, we were proud to announce the creation of the STEM Scores For Hope Scholarship, allowing Hispanic students with top grades in STEM classes to earn money for higher education with a matching amount going to families with special needs children. We do so gladly because I believe the business community has this responsibility to our economic infrastructure---to help train our future workforce.

Second, our leaders must believe in and create a business environment that is conducive for job creation, growth, opportunity, and access to capital financing. As business owners, certainty and predictability in the marketplace allows us to make important decisions regarding future growth and expansion. Many times complex permitting and insurance requirements stand as a barrier of entry for our small businesses. An even larger barrier to entry is access to capital financing. Startup capital and financing receivables is a complex process at best. On one hand you have complex banking regulations and an extremely tight credit market, and on the other hand you have high interest and some times predatory short term lenders. We need leaders to work with us in our attempts to grow our business and workplace employment opportunities.

We must also defend the rights of private business owners by respecting their religious beliefs. The intersection of government mandates on private business sends a concern among business owners in America. Public policy that asks of or requires private business owners to violate and/or ignore the religious beliefs protected under the Constitution is regrettable. It is sure that I evaluate how a candidate respects and supports governance that respects the religious beliefs of those driving the economy.

Third, our leaders must understand the importance of immigration reform and the affect on our economy. This country, and particularly in Texas, has an economy interwoven with a workforce who may not be documented citizens. But they are indeed here, and do have a direct impact on our communities and economy.

What does my idea of comprehensive immigration reform look like? It must first and foremost honor the rule of law; it must work within a realistic system of rules that reward those with needed job skills; there must be an element of English language proficiency; and issues of private health insurance and entitlement programs must be addressed to make certain this population contributes to---not takes from ---our system. As to the children brought to this country at a young age by their parents, we need to educate them. It is in our best economic interest to do so. Business owners and communities need a trained and trainable workforce, and not educating these kids leaves us the potential of having a large population left uneducated and poor.

And finally, it must work to solve these issues with a tone and demeanor of respect. Yes, laws were broken, and as citizens of this great country we believe in the rule of law, and that must not be over looked. But at the same time, we are the most generous and Godly country on the face of this earth. That’s why it is imperative we find a way to immigrate and love those here in our Country trying to make a better life for their family. As my good friend, State Representative Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock, Texas) has said, “The undocumented population should come forward, offer to make things right by paying any necessary fines or penalties within reason, and hope that America has the level of grace---a divine grace---for the people in need, and a level of forgiveness none of us truly deserve. Without this great country, its democracy, its free market principals, the graciousness of its citizens, and God’s holy blessings, we wouldn’t be here.

John Goodman is the executive chairman and owner of Goodman Networks, Inc., a Plano, Texas based company. One of 15 brothers and sisters of migrant farming parents, John Goodman and his siblings overcame their humble beginnings to raise one of the largest Hispanic Owned Businesses in the Country employing thousands of people nationwide, and contract with a wide variety of small businesses. For more information on Goodman Networks please see and for the STEM Scores For Hope Scholarship please see