Rep. García’s Statement on Hispanic Heritage Month

September 16, 2019
Press Release

Chicago, IL - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) issued the following statement marking Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated in the United States from September 15 through October 15:

“During Hispanic Heritage Month we honor the generations of Latinx individuals who continue to enrich the cultural fabric of America and the world. Visit any corner of America, from Los Angeles, to San Antonio, from Chicago to Miami, from Puerto Rico to Boston, and you’ll find our community has contributed to the social, political and economic achievements of our country.

“From the day I left Durango at 10 years old to move to Chicago in 1965, I have always been so proud of the community we have built and the culture we continue to celebrate. The influence of Hispanic heritage in Chicago is visible in many neighborhoods, including the vibrant 26th street corridor in La Villita, the murals of El Paseo Boricua in Humboldt Park, and the neighborhoods we built in South Chicago. Our diverse history is woven into the very streets of our city and suburbs.

“Chicago’s history of labor activism and grassroots organizing were shaped, in part, by the collective power of community harnessed by my friends Rudy Lozano, Raquel Guerrero, and Pastor Vic Rodriguez. Their leadership laid the groundwork for expanding political representation, including the election of Congressman Luis Gutierrez as the first Hispanic member of Congress from the Midwest. The story of Chicago is incomplete without recognizing the central role of Hispanic heritage and leadership.

“This month’s celebration allows us to reflect on the strides we have made and to focus on our ongoing struggle for equality and justice. At a time when our very humanity is attacked daily by the President, now more than ever we must join with our brothers and sisters of every faith, color and creed to raise our collective voices to condemn hate and division. In the words of the living legend, Dolores Huerta, ‘We can’t let people drive wedges between us…because there’s only one human race.’ An attack on one community is an attack on us all.

“On this Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s celebrate the rich diversity and culture of the Latinx community and move forward to reject the hateful rhetoric of those who seek to marginalize and divide us. The heritage we celebrate today is long, it is storied, and it will continue to be a thread of hope, optimism, and perseverance in the narrative of America.”