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What's New A message from AAJ Please note that the National Council of La Raza is the latest in a string of Latino organizations asking that the boycott of Arizona be called off. Chicanos por la Causa and Somos America, the two leading Latino groups in Arizona, have asked that people no longer boycott Arizona. Leaders of these groups have offered to speak at our convention regarding the situation in Arizona. Rep. Grijalva, a leading Latino voice in Arizona, has posted a plea on his congressional website asking that people return to Arizona and no longer honor the boycott. The state law has been eviscerated in court decisions. Rather than continue to punish Arizona citizens, including the many Latino low-wage workers who depend upon tourist business for their livelihoods, Latino leaders in Arizona are uniformly asking for meetings to resume and people to visit Arizona. We at AAJ are locked into a hotel contract that requires a major penalty for canceling the convention. While we considered doing so, the penalty we face and subsequent actions by Latino leaders asking that we not boycott Arizona resulted in AAJs decision to go forward with the convention in Arizona and to have a major focus on immigration as a part of the convention. SPECIAL HOUSING NOTE The Arizona Biltmore has varying room types and styles. Rooms will be reserved on a first-come, first served basis. So if you would like to secure your room type, make sure to do your hotel reservation today! Click here for reservations Arizona Biltmore History The only existing hotel in the world with a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design, The Arizona Biltmore has been an Arizona landmark since its opening on Feb. 23, 1929 when it was crowned "The Jewel of the Desert." The resort was designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a Harvard graduate, who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright from 1907 - 1909 in Chicago. Perhaps the most obvious and dramatic design link to Wright is the use of indigenous materials that led to the creation of the "Biltmore Block." The pre-cast concrete blocks were molded on-site and used in the total construction of the resort. Designed by McArthur and sculpted by Emry Kopta, a prominent southwestern sculptor, the "Biltmore Block" features a geometric pattern that is said to represent a freshly cut palm tree. Hispanic Group Calls Off Arizona Boycott by Lisa A. Grimaldi September 13, 2011 from Meetings and Conventions Magazine The National Council of La Raza, one of the country's largest Hispanic advocacy groups, has called off its 16-month boycott of Arizona, which was initiated to protest the state's controversal SB1070 immigration law. La Raza announced the decision last Friday in a letter to the Real Arizona Coalition, a diverse collection of businesses, interfaith groups and community leadership organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau; Real Arizona had asked for the boycott to be lifted. In the letter, La Raza stated: "We understand and appreciate the reasons why you believe the boycott should end. In that vein, we are also aware of the hardship it has imposed on many of the workers, businesses and organizations whose interests we seek to advance. We are hopeful that the more respectful and civil tone that you and many others have worked so hard to establish in recent months will continue. In that spirit, effective immediately, our three organizations will suspend the boycott and cease all efforts to discourage conventions or meetings in Arizona, or to discourage our partners from participating in such meetings. In addition, we will communicate our decision to our allies and partners who supported the boycott in the hope that they will join us." In response to La Raza's decision, the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau issued a statement that said, "The lifting of the boycott is clearly a step in the right direction. It acknowledges that illegal immigration is not just an Arizona issue but a national one, and it makes it easier for our community to get back to the business of booking conventions."

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2/14/2012