Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Barack Obama addresses League Of United Latin American Citizens

Sen. Barack Obama spoke before the League Of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Conference today in Washington DC.

Latinos will be one of the more important voting blocs to win over in the presidential election.

...I’m told that today’s theme is “diversity in government.” So I’ve been thinking about why that’s important and about what it means to have a government that represents all Americans. It’s not just about making sure that men and women of every race, religion, and background are represented at every level of government – though that’s a critical part of it. It’s not just about sending a message to our children that everyone can lead and everyone can serve – although that too is important. It’s about making sure that we have a government that knows that a problem facing any American is a problem facing all Americans.

It’s about making sure our government knows that when there’s a Hispanic girl stuck in a crumbling school who graduates without learning to read or doesn’t graduate at all, that isn’t just a Hispanic-American problem, that’s an American problem.

When Hispanics lose their jobs faster than almost anybody else, or work jobs that pay less, and come with fewer benefits than almost anybody else, that isn’t a Hispanic-American problem, that’s an American problem.

When 12 million people live in hiding in this country and hundreds of thousands of people cross our borders illegally each year; when companies hire undocumented workers instead of legal citizens to avoid paying overtime or to avoid a union; and a nursing mother is torn away from her baby by an immigration raid, that is a problem that all of us – black, white, and brown – must solve as one nation.

A government that works for all Americans – that’s the kind of government I’m talking about. And that’s the kind of government I’ve been fighting to build throughout my over 20 years in public service.

Read the entire speech as prepared for delivery.

You can read the Latino Blueprint for Change and join Latinos for Obama here.

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