CONGRESSWOMAN EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON CELEBRATES CINCO DE MAYO, HISPANIC CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR NATION
Washington, DC (Wednesday, May 5, 2010) Today, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson joined millions of Americans in celebrating Cinco de Mayo. This day marks the historic triumph of the Mexican people over the French Army in the battle of Puebla in 1862.
“Today, we celebrate the importance of Hispanics in this country, specifically the contributions Mexican Americans have made and continue to make and how their achievements strengthen our nation,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “This date is of special significance because it reminds us that all peoples -- regardless of their race or color -- need freedom, liberty and self-determination and that all cultures are worthy of respect. For Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has become a symbol of unity and patriotism in its history. In the United States, it is also a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Mexican Americans."
Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States with 47 million Hispanics in the United States -- 63 percent of which are of Mexican descent. Hispanics have the largest minority-owned business community, and Latino workers will continue to drive the growth of the labor force. Democrats recognize this entrepreneurial energy as vital to the Latino community and the American economy.
Today, there are 29 Hispanic Members in the United States Congress, including 25 Democrats. Many of them are Mexican-Americans, representing constituencies from all around the country.
After the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a great number of Hispanic families, like other American families, are struggling to make ends meet. So creating jobs has been the top priority of this Congress. Working with President Obama, the 111th Congress enacted a sweeping, historic Recovery Act to jumpstart the economy, responsible for up to 2.8 million jobs, cutting the taxes of 98 percent of working families – including millions of Hispanic families, and makes key investments in health care, energy and education in order to transform our economy for the 21st century.
The Recovery Act and other job-creating efforts have focused on strengthening small businesses -- with billions of dollars in tax relief for small businesses to hire and expand and greater access to SBA-backed loans -- provisions that will help 1.6 million Hispanic-owned small businesses across the country.
To make college affordable for Latino students, the Democratic-led Congress has enacted the Student and Fiscal Responsibility Act to increase the maximum Pell Grant to $5,550 this year and make student loan repayments more affordable. This will strengthen Hispanic-serving Institutions so that students can stay in school, graduate and succeed in our global economy, while ending wasteful subsidies to banks through the federal guaranteed student loan programs.
Change in Washington has also come with new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Congress has reached out to ensure a Census that counts all of us, and is working toward moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform.
“The 111th Congress is committed to advancing a New Direction that ensures Latinos realize the American dream,” Congresswoman Johnson added. “Hispanics share with other Americans the common goals of freedom, opportunity, and a chance to build a better life. Today, we say thank you to the Hispanic community for making our economy stronger and our culture more vibrant.”
U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is the highest-ranking Texan on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and a senior member of the Science Committee. She represents the 30th Congressional District of Texas, which, includes Downtown Dallas, Fair Park, Oak Lawn, Turtle Creek, Old East Dallas, Pleasant Grove, & South Oak Cliff; all of Balch Springs, DeSoto, Hutchins, Lancaster & Wilmer and parts of Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Ferris, Glenn Heights and Ovilla.