Growing up in Boyle Heights, I witnessed racism firsthand. Driven in part by this formative experience, I have worked hard throughout my career in Congress to defend the civil rights of every American.
Despite the great strides our country has taken—progress that culminated in the historic election of President Obama in 2008—discrimination on the basis of race sadly endures. In addition, women are still paid significantly less than their male counterparts and the GLBT community continues to suffer harassment and acts of violence. For that reason, I strongly support federal efforts aimed at expanding opportunities and breaking down barriers to minority advancement. For example, I am a committed advocate for affirmative action programs aimed at opening doors in higher education and corporate America to women and people of color. I also support efforts to end practices like racial profiling that promote discrimination and undermine America’s longstanding commitment to equal justice under the law.
With the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I will continue working to eradicate the scourge of racism, fighting for policies that will close the achievement gap and make the American dream attainable for all of our citizens.