Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's (CHC) 35th Anniversary Awards Gala yesterday. Below are the Leader's remarks as prepared:
"Thank you, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Gonzalez. For more than a half-century, the Gonzalez family has served in Congress with distinction. While Charlie's service in Congress is ending, the Gonzalez family legacy will live on. Henry B. Gonzalez was one of the finest people to ever serve in Congress. Charlie took up his mantle -- leading on behalf of justice, economic opportunity, and progress for all Americans. Indeed, that is the Congressional Hispanic Caucus tradition. Tonight we continue to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the CHC.
"Thirty-five years ago, five Hispanic Members of Congress united to form the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The vision of the CHC's founding fathers honored the vision of America's founding fathers. These great patriots strengthened our nation by respecting its diversity. They took action to "form a more perfect union. I saw their leadership firsthand. I'm so proud that two of them were my chairmen: Henry B. Gonzalez and Eddie Roybal.
"From its earliest days to today, the CHC has always stood at the forefront of progress. It is because of the CHC that we celebrated a proud and hopeful day last month when the Obama Administration's took action for the DREAMers -- young people, American in every way, except on paper. When Democrats were in the majority, the CHC led the way in the House to pass the DREAM Act. And when it was blocked by Republicans in the Senate we vowed to keep fighting. The DREAM Act reflects the best values of our nation. To honor our values, we must pass comprehensive immigration reform. Working with President Obama, we will!
"When I look to the future, I do so with great hope. I have hope for America's future because of our young people. In the Hispanic community, young people are serving with great patriotism in our Armed Forces; pursuing higher education; and devoting their lives to public service. This year, we have to ensure that young people, indeed all Americans, exercise their right to vote. We believe in the right of every citizen to vote, and for every vote to be counted as cast. That's an American value. And with their commitment to family and faith, education and work, the Hispanic community makes America more American.
"With CHCI's leadership, we will build a more perfect union. Thank you CHC! God bless America!"