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Rep. Capps: Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrates Rich History

Rep. Lois Capps on Monday released the following statement celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct.15):

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to pause and reflect on the incredible contributions of Latinos to the United States and the world, and to remark on diversity and richness of the Hispanic culture. 

“From César Chavez and Dolores Huerta, who changed the face of agriculture in this country, to Celia Cruz’s dulcet voice and vibrant music, Latinos have made our country what it is today: a melting pot of ideas, culture and heritage that distinguishes us from any other country in the world.

“I am proud to represent a district in California that is over 40 percent Latino. It was in Oxnard where César Chavez led one of the first successful United Farm Workers organizing campaigns. And today across our district, Latino-owned businesses form the backbone of our communities and are the engine of our economy.

“These milestones and contributions are at the forefront of my mind as I support legislation such as the DREAM Act, which would pave the way for immigrant children to attend college.

“Unfortunately, many Latino families have not fared well in the past several years, with a struggling economy. Indeed, since 2000, the median household income of Latinos has fallen $1,256, the number of uninsured Latinos has grown by 3 million and the number of Latinos living below the poverty level has grown by 2.1 million. Furthermore, unemployment among Latinos has skyrocketed in recent months, jumping from 5.4 percent in August 2007 to 8 percent in August 2008.

“The Democratic-led 110th Congress has been fighting for a new direction in economic policy aimed at restoring broad-based growth, reducing the cost of energy, college and health care, improving retirement security and increasing prosperity for all Americans.

“As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the rich history that it represents, let us also celebrate the millions of Latinos who wake up every day to call America home.”

Randolph Harrison is chief of staff for Rep. Lois Capps.

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