Congresswoman Waters Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) issued the following statement in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15 every year:
"I join with Latinos and Latinas in California's 35th Congressional District and all across the United States in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts today. This month is a great opportunity to learn about and to recognize the history of Latinos in our state and our country, their significant accomplishments and their important ongoing contributions.
"The Latino community in America, which now numbers almost 50 million, is diverse. The largest group is Mexican-Americans, many of whom tomorrow will be celebrating 200 years of Mexico's independence from Spain and later this year will commemorate the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, when the people of Mexico rose up against an oppressive dictatorship to establish a democratic government that promoted equality and human rights. I join the Mexican-American community in Los Angeles who will proudly begin celebrating the bicentennial tonight with "El Grito" events throughout the area.
"Despite the diversity among Latinos, members of the community share common values with one another and with all other Americans: faith, family, and love of country. The Latino dream – the hope of a better, more prosperous future – is the American Dream.
"Economically, culturally, and politically, Latinos are a vital part of our district, our state and our nation. American life has been enriched by Latino contributions in business, education, government, and the arts for more than 200 years.
"As we celebrate the progress, success and achievements of the Latino community, we must also recognize the considerable challenges the community faces. Many Latino families and businesses have not fared well economically over the last several years as the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration led to the worst recession since the Great Depression.
"Latinos, like African Americans and other minorities, have been particularly impacted by the economic downturn, with higher rates of unemployment and predatory subprime mortgages.
"Over the last year and a half, the Democratic-led Congress has been working hard to improve the lives and meet the needs of America's Latino families – from the economy, to small businesses, to making college more affordable, to health care, to veterans. We must do all we can to better ensure that all Latinos, like all Americans, have a meaningful opportunity to improve their lives and pursue the American Dream. I will continue to be a strong advocate for Latinos and all of my constituents."