September 22, 2006

Commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month

By Congressman Bob Filner
51st Congressional District

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.

There are approximately 43 million Hispanic-Americans, the fastest growing group in our country. Their hard work, deep faith and closely-knit families have made America a better and stronger country. Hispanic purchasing power is more than $600 billion. Hispanic influence on popular culture is immediately evident in music, film, food, and other areas. Economically, culturally, and politically, Latinos are an integral part of our nation.

Recognizing that Latinos are an integral part of our nation means that we must advance initiatives that support empowerment for all. Democrats have introduced an agenda, a New Direction for America, which reflects our commitment that America should work for everyone - not just those at the top - by building opportunity and prosperity for all, and guaranteeing real security at home and around the world. Under our New Direction agenda, we are proposing important initiatives that would benefit millions of Latino families - such as expanding access to college, ending tax giveaways that reward companies for moving American jobs overseas, lowering gas prices, moving towards energy independence, making prescription drugs more affordable, and providing true retirement security.

Democrats have also proposed a minority health bill that would address the fundamental disparities that our Hispanic community faces, and are advocating comprehensive immigration reform that both takes tough steps to secure our borders and overhauls our broken immigration system.

As we honor the achievements of Hispanic Americans, we know that celebrating the Hispanic community for one month a year 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. That’s why I am proud to partner with my Democratic colleagues to promote the New Direction agenda that builds opportunity for all American families.

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