Billionaire businessperson and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer attended a Latino Leaders Lunch Monday hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 307 in Des Moines.
More than 20 Latino community leaders attended the event. Steyer was introduced by LULAC member and real estate figure Joe Henry, and Lauren Perez, the Steyer campaign’s Latino outreach director, described the candidate’s commitment to empowering and partnering with Latino communities across the U.S.
Steyer was joined by his wife, Kat Taylor, and the couple talked about their work with NextGen America, a nonprofit organization they started to support progressive positions on climate change, immigration, health care and education.
Steyer worked as a hedge fund manager and private equity investor until founding Farallon Capital in 1986, a Bay Area hedge fund. The Steyers described their work alongside the Latino community in California to pursue economic and environmental justice, including founding the Beneficial State Bank, which invests in under-invested communities and supports women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
Following the brief speeches, Steyer fielded questions from the union members for about an hour, including recounting his own history with unions.
“Unions were my first political partner,” he said. “Unions are my best partner.”
Steyer said his justice-centered climate plan would create millions of well-paying union jobs, and his recently released immigration plan would end cruelty at the border and ensure a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, their parents and all undocumented people living and working in the U.S.
He promised to continue to partner, protect and uplift the Latino community.
Steyer said his presidential campaign is gaining momentum in Iowa and across the early-voting states. He will join the other leading Democratic candidates Tuesday in Des Moines for the final debate before the Iowa Caucuses.