Pelosi Remarks at 2009 Congressional Hispanic Institute Gala
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered brief remarks at the 2009 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala tonight at the Washington Convention Center. Below are the Speaker's remarks as prepared for delivery: "It is an honor to be here with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. They are leading the way to make our nation a better place for all Americans. "Thank you, Chairwoman [Nydia] Velazquez, for your introduction and for your leadership as chair of both the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Small Business Committee. I'm proud of your accomplishments as one of the first women in history to chair a full committee. Your leadership is essential to our efforts to put our country on the road to recovery and ensure all Americans have an opportunity to share in our nation's prosperity. "Tonight, we come together to celebrate 'Latinos Leading in the Arts.' "From the founding of our nation, Latino artists -- actors and musicians, dancers and painters, writers and filmmakers -- have proven to be a strong and abiding force in our creative landscape. "The many contributions of Latinos reflect America's diversity, our rich heritage and a promising future. And Hispanic Americans will continue to add to our national portrait, to our culture, and to our history of progress. "In highlighting Latinos in the arts, CHCI is echoing President Kennedy's words from nearly 50 years ago: 'There is a connection. . .between achievement in public life and progress in the arts.' "Today, the accomplishments of Hispanic Americans in our country's public life are being amplified by their contributions to our legacy of artistic achievement. "In that spirit -- and thanks to Congressman Xavier Becerra, a member of the House leadership who also sits on the Smithsonian's Board -- a commission is now studying the feasibility of a new museum to showcase the contributions of Latinos to our nation's history, art, and popular culture. Thank you, Vice Chairman Becerra, for ensuring our national mall reflects our national heritage. "One of the truly significant figures bringing Latin culture into the American mainstream is this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Marc Anthony. I'm proud to recognize him for his contributions to the arts and our public life. "As we celebrate the contributions of Latinos to the arts, we honor the waves of Hispanic immigrants who have come to our shores and enriched our nation. Many have been here for generations; others may have just arrived. "With their determination to build a better future and their commitment to faith, family, and community, all are making America more American. This is the essence of our history. To honor the character of America, we must pass comprehensive immigration reform. "From his first day in office, President Obama established three pillars for economic growth and job creation: health care reform that provides quality affordable health care for all; energy independence and the creation of new green jobs; and education for all of our children. "On education: tomorrow, the House will keep our promise to millions of college students, passing legislation that marks the greatest investment in higher education since the GI Bill. I am proud that this legislation will also commit $100 million per year to Hispanic-serving institutions nationwide over the next decade. "The President's three pillars are not new. The principles behind them have been fundamental to all of us for many years. Yet what is different are the people leading the charge. "Just a few years ago, we made a promise to the leaders of the Hispanic-American community. We called it 'El Compromiso.' We pledged to extend opportunity; to create jobs; to provide affordable health care to all; to ensure that the blessings of prosperity reach every citizen. This Congress and this President are committed to making this promise a reality. "Standing by our side will be the CHCI's fellows. These young people bring new perspectives to their work. They are committed to the common good. Put simply, the CHCI fellows are the leaders of tomorrow. Our nation's future looks brighter because of these men and women. With their leadership, we will fulfill the promise of equality -- that is both our nation's heritage and our hope." SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House Brendan Daly, Nadeam Elshami, or Drew Hammill, all of the Office of the Speaker of the House, +1-202-226-7616
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