Congresswoman Jackie Speier shares the following message with the Latino community in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month:

I’m proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with you and to recognize the rich and diverse contributions Latinos have made to our communities in the Bay area and across the country. 

The Latino community is woven into the fabric of our American tapestry and I am proud of the Hispanic influence in San Mateo County – from business owners and politicians to entertainers and artists, we have a lot to celebrate together this month.

In the district, Latinos are integral to the success of our local economy. Business owner Pedro Caceres who runs Phoenix Digital Printing on 9th Avenue in San Mateo was named the Northern California Hispanic Business Man of the Year for his outstanding customer service, quick turnaround, and professionalism.

Daniel Gonzalez, whose company Execushield Inc. brings in over a $1 million in annual revenue, is gaining recognition in the security field for winning high level government contracts and providing top notch services.

Our region is also home to actress Rita Moreno who broke ground for Latinas in Hollywood and on Broadway. In addition to winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy, Rita was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work as an activist for the arts. I have enjoyed Rita’s work over the years and consider her to be a dear friend of mine. 

My Latino Advisory Committee helps me better understand the concerns and priorities of the community.  I am proud that Mayor Alicia Aguirre serves on my committee and is the first Latina mayor of Redwood City.

My office continues to help immigrants begin the naturalization process and I have co-hosted sessions with Citizenship and Immigration Services field representatives. There are important advantages to becoming a US citizen including gaining the right to vote, run for an elective office, work for the federal government, serve on a jury, apply for citizenship for your parents or siblings, and the right to carry a US passport.

This has been a momentous year for the young immigrants, or DREAMers, who are now protected from deportation because of President Obama’s bold administrative action. These hard working young people now have an opportunity to showcase their talents and contribute to keeping us competitive by being allowed to lawfully work in our country.

For those who qualify for the program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, I will co-host an informational event on Thursday, September 27th at Sequoia High School in Redwood City. More information will soon be available on my website at www.speier.house.gov. 

I’m encouraged by the progress that we’ve made for DREAMers and hope that meaningful immigration reforms will be made in the next session of Congress.

It is a pleasure to celebrate the rich heritage of our Latino community during this month of recognition.