October 19, 2007

In Latino Youth Summit, Senators Highlight Need for Civic Engagement

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democrats highlighted the importance of civic engagement among young Hispanics as part of the First Senate Democratic Latino Youth Summit. The event gave close to 150 young Latinos from across the country the opportunity to interact with senators and discuss issues of importance, such as: immigration, civil rights, and education. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senators Debbie Stabe-now (D-MI), Ken Salazar (D-CO), and Robert Menéndez (D-NJ), addressed the young Hispanic leaders and commended their involvement and impact on public policy and society.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid emphasized the importance of education for the attendees. “What leveled the field for me and allowed me to reach my goals in life was my education. Education is not always accessible to all members of American society. But you are here today because you are the fruit of generations of hard work and sacrifice. It is your duty to continue the fight to give Latinos their rightful place in our nation’s fabric. It is your duty to empower yourselves through education and, in turn, make wiser use of the political and civic process. As Latino student leaders, the future of this country is in your hands. Each one of you can be a catalyst for social change.”

Said Senator Ken Salazar: “It is a privilege to have so many young, aspiring Latino leaders attend the first Senate Democratic Latino Youth Summit. Today, we are recognizing the important contributions of Latino youth to our community and our Nation. The future of the Latino community resides with our young people. Over half of Latinos are under the age of 26 and will continue to be the fastest growing sector in our Nation’s population. We must remember that investing in our young people will pay off in the future as we enable them to reach their potential and become catalysts of change in their communities.”

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