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La Raza Honors Lawmakers At Gala

WASHINGTON — NCLR (National Council of La Raza) has announced that Representatives Barney Frank (D–MA) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R–FL) as well as Grammy Award–winning band Ozomatli have been chosen as this year’s awardees at the NCLR Capital Awards. The Capital Awards gala is the only Hispanic event specifically dedicated to honoring members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who have shown a consistent commitment to promoting legislation and public policies that benefit Hispanic Americans in their districts and throughout the country. NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía addressed the audience regarding the growing Latino population and its significant impact on the future of America politically, culturally and economically.

“We are immensely grateful to both Representative Frank and Representative Diaz-Balart for speaking out on Capitol Hill on behalf of the Hispanic community and for taking our concerns seriously,” Murguía said. “As our community continues to shape this great country, it becomes critical that lawmakers recognize our needs and passionately fight for the rights of hardworking Hispanic families across the nation.”

Representative Frank, a Democrat from the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts, has served in Congress for more than 30 years and recently helped pass historic legislation which overhauled the country’s financial regulation system. He has been a fierce advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and, in the past decade, supported eliminating the five-year waiting period for legal immigrants in need of Medicaid funds and opposed a 2007 plan to increase the immigration fee.

Republican Congressman Diaz-Balart recently began his fifth term in Congress as a representative for Florida’s 21st Congressional District. Diaz-Balart serves as chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a caucus for Hispanic Republican congressmen, and is a member of the Congressional Cuba Democracy Caucus, a bipartisan group that promotes policies designed to encourage Cuba’s transition to democracy.

The Capital Awards gala also recognized a familiar face to NCLR, multicultural fusion band Ozomatli, for their public service and advocacy on behalf of the Latino community. The Los Angeles–based music group recently worked in collaboration with NCLR during the 2010 midterm elections to encourage Latinos to vote by releasing an original song, “Respeto.”

“Ozomatli truly stepped up to the plate at a critical point last year during the elections,” Murguía stated. “They set out to show that by voting, Latinos were not only demonstrating their political influence but also exhibiting a sense of self-respect and pride. I believe that message resonated with many Latinos and drove them to the polls.”

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations, NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. To achieve its mission, NCLR conducts applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy, providing a Latino perspective in five key areas— assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health. In addition, it provides capacity-building assistance to its Affiliates who work at the state and local level to advance opportunities for individuals and families.


STORY TAGS: Hispanic News, Latino News, Mexican News, Minority News, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Racism, Diversity, Latina, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality



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