As a tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month, U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (NM-01) and Chuy García (Ill.-04) and the Albuquerque Hispanic Heritage Committee hosted a roundtable with Hispanic leaders last week in Albuquerque. At the roundtable, they discussed education, health care, transportation, arts and culture. The members of the roundtable also used the platform to discuss leadership development for Hispanic youth and entrepreneurs.
Local issues that were at the forefront include the naming of a Dolores Huerta street, support for families who care for their elders, and the need for early childhood education. Congresswoman Deb Haaland mentioned her Universal Childcare and Early Learning bill that would provide millions of families with free, high-quality childcare and early learning options and ensure that New México families can affordably access these services.
“New México is home to a vibrant Hispanic community,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland. “This roundtable was an opportunity to learn from the experience of seasoned business owners, community leaders, and activists. As part of Hispanic Heritage month, we not only honor those that have come before, we look to those who are making a difference today and push for bold solutions that will benefit future generations. Rep. Chuy García is a champion, and are so honored to have him join the conversation today.”
“There are more than 56 million Americans of Hispanic descent in our country. We’re one out of five: entrepreneurs, teachers, engineers, neighbors and more. The diversity of the Hispanic community is what makes our contributions to the United States even richer. Conversations like the one we had today help us, as elected officials, generate solutions to the challenges our community faces. They remind us of the common bonds we share from Chicago to Albuquerque, such as our devotion to family and strong work ethic. The strength of our country is deeply tied to the strength of América’s Hispanics. I’m grateful to my friend Congressman Deb Haaland for bringing us together today,” said Congressman García, the only Mexican immigrant elected to Congress from the Midwest.
“Our hope is to inspire our community, young and old, by providing the untold stories and historical facts so they understand how we as a community have made a significant impact…We are a community of struggles, persistence, and triumphs. We are an asset to this country.”
Irma Ruiz, Hispanic Heritage Committee
During the roundtable, there was a clear concern for immigrant families and the recent challenges to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the United States Supreme Court. Representatives Deb Haaland and Chuy García signed an amicus brief in support of the DACA program. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on DACA on November 12, 2019. President Trump terminated the DACA program on September 5, 2017, throwing the lives of nearly 800,000 Dreamers into chaos.
The Hispanic Heritage Committee brought their representatives to the table and played an integral role in the conversation.
“We were honored to host this important round table with congressional leaders that play a critical role to advocate on our behalf. The goal of the Hispanic Heritage Committee is to promote, preserve, and celebrate Hispanic Heritage, Culture, and History. National Hispanic Heritage Month is about highlighting the contributions our community has made to the U.S. Our hope is to inspire our community, young and old, by providing the untold stories and historical facts so they understand how we as a community have made a significant impact in the areas of business, education, science, military, health, arts, music, government, etc. We are a community of struggles, persistence, and triumphs. We are an asset to this country,” said Irma Ruiz, Co-Chair of the Hispanic Heritage Committee.
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