From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today and joined millions of Americans in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts today and lasts until October 15:

“Hispanic values – faith, family, love of country – are American values. The Hispanic dream – the hope of a better future – is the American Dream. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor the Hispanic community and pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions that Hispanics make to America year-round.

“Economically, culturally, and politically, Latinos are an integral part of our nation. Hispanic purchasing power is more than $600 billion. Hispanic influence on popular culture is immediately evident in music, film, food, and other areas. Meanwhile, 10 million Hispanics will be registered to vote this year, and the Hispanic community will have an enormous influence on this election. Hispanics know that civil rights pioneer Willie Velázquez was right: 'Su voto es su voz.' Your vote is your voice.

“As we honor these achievements, we know that celebrating the Hispanic community for one month a year or learning to speak Spanish is not enough. All Latinos deserve a real opportunity to achieve the American Dream, whether they have been here for generations or just arrived to our shores.

“Recognizing that Latinos are an integral part of our nation means that we must advance initiatives that support Hispanic empowerment and opportunity for all. House Democrats have introduced an agenda, Compromiso Demócrata con el Pueblo Latino, that reflects our commitment to prosperity for all Latino families. We have also proposed a minority health bill that would address the fundamental disparities that our community faces. And Democrats introduced the SOLVE Act to provide for earned legalization of immigrants who have proven that they want to contribute to this nation, and to strengthen our homeland security.

“As we celebrate the enormous accomplishments of the Hispanic community this month, we rededicate ourselves to the fight for prosperity and security for Hispanic Americans and for all Americans.”

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