During Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor the Hispanic community and pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions that Hispanics have made throughout our history, and continue to make to America every day. Hispanic values -- faith, family, love of country -- are American values. The Hispanic dream -- the hope of a better, more prosperous future -- is the American Dream.
Economically, culturally, and politically, Latinos are a vital part of our nation. As the fastest growing ethnic group in our country, the 52 million-strong Hispanic community makes America a better and stronger nation. Since the earliest days of the founding of America to today, Latinos have played a key role in shaping the American landscape. From David Farragut, an admiral who bravely fought in the Civil War to Dolores Huerta, a Latina labor leader and civil rights activist who struggled for economic equality.
From United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to serve on the highest court in the land and to the approximately 1 million Latino veterans who have fought for our freedom, the Latino community is woven into the fabric of our American tapestry.
While these achievements are notable, we've still got work to do in order to address issues that affect the Latino community, from health care disparities to improving the high school graduation rate. I support President Barack Obama's bold action to protect certain undocumented young people who are working hard, playing by the rules, and whose parents brought them here through no fault of their own. This decision means that young people here in Florida and throughout this country would have a real opportunity to succeed educationally, professionally and personally.
We must lift up those who strive for a better life for themselves and for their families. We must recognize the contributions many of these young people have already made to our society, and encourage their potential achievements. America is still a country full of possibility. American ingenuity and the American work ethic are second to none. The American dream of freedom, love of country, prosperity, job security, and access to a quality education should not be denied to those who are giving back to the country they love and have called home for so many years. Our country was built on our diversity and the future success of the United States is inextricably linked to the future of the Hispanic community.
We are fortunate to have a thriving and diverse Hispanic community right here in South Florida. Many notable Hispanics call South Florida home - from Dr. Pedro Jose "Joe" Greer, who President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to artist Romero Britto to singers Gloria Estefan and Jon Secada to actor Andy García.
I am proud to be an advocate for the people of South Florida, and my office is open to you. You can reach us in Pembroke Pines at 954-437-3936, in Aventura at 305-936-5724 and in Washington, DC at 202-225-7931. I'm also available online at http://wassermanschultz.house.gov, where you can sign up for my electronic newsletter, and on Facebook, at facebook.com/RepDWS where you can stay up-to-date on what I'm doing for South Florida.
I hope you'll join me in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in South Florida!