Breakthroughs in Cabinet and Senate Selections

LULAC Calls Today Historic For Latinos in U.S. and Puerto Rico

Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Applauds Breakthroughs in Cabinet and Senate Selections

Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement today in affirmation of two key government selections announced by President-elect Joe Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Domingo Garcia – LULAC National President

“Today LULAC congratulates President-elect Biden for keeping his word in breaking the brown glass ceiling in recent times that had a quota of two Latinos in the cabinet ever since Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The selection of Dr. Miguel A. Cardona for Secretary of Education means we now have the possibility, subject to his confirmation, of three Latinos at one time in the cabinet for the first time in our nation’s history. This is long overdue but extremely welcomed. LULAC looks forward to working with Secretary Cardona, an individual with a long and distinguished record as a champion of public schools in America.

His appointment is particularly important because of our community’s need for a leader who has the experience in dealing successfully with difficult challenges. Today, Latino children are facing one of the most serious threats to their learning in modern times with the issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is being made even more acute by the realities of the continuing digital divide.

This has led to a record number of failing students in the current remote learning environment across America and Puerto Rico. We must have a solution that provides for them being able to earn credits to recover and continue their education. As critical is increased funding in light of the pandemic to all our public schools so that our nation’s education system can remain strong, vibrant and competitive globally while affording the greatest number of students the best academic opportunities possible.

LULAC also applauds California Governor Gavin Newsom on his appointment of Secretary of State Alex Padilla as the first U.S. Senator from California. It is an historic selection at an historic time for Latinos in the United States. Governor Newsom deserves credit for realizing that Latinos are the largest voting force in California. Alex Padilla will make an excellent senator representing all Californians in the U.S. Senate and LULAC looks forward to working with him on vital national issues confronting Americans including more than 60-million Latinos. I congratulate Alex on his extraordinary accomplishments and send him our well-wishes.”

Sindy Benavides – LULAC National Chief Executive Officer

“Never before in our lifetimes have we seen two such historic events in one single moment. Today’s announcement involves the selection of two distinguished individuals who have each earned the right to sit at the tables of power in our country and both happen to be Latinos.

Dr. Miguel A. Cardona for Secretary of Education represents a wonderful step forward for the nation’s growing diverse student body striving to advance in the most difficult conditions possible. NCES projects that Hispanic enrollment will continue to grow, reaching 14.0 million and 27.5 percent of public school enrollment by fall 2029. COVID-19 has not only highlighted the technology gaps confronting our communities of color; it has also challenged school districts and our entire national public school framework to think beyond the pandemic and imagine what the world will look like for our children. LULAC throughout its history has viewed education as a fundamental cornerstone in our civil rights guaranteed by the constitution and yet, it has often been an empty promise which we have had to rectify in the courts. We wish Dr. Cardona all the success and are ready to roll up our sleeves to work together once again to make public education in America a source of pride and the first step in every child’s life towards a brighter future.

LULAC also thanks Governor Newsom for the historic appointment of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla as the next U.S. Senator. Mr. Padilla’s dedication to public service, starting as a city council member in Los Angeles, before becoming its youngest council president, then being elected a state senator before becoming California’s secretary of state.

He is the son of Mexican immigrant parents who grew up in a working class neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. Even then, it was evident he was destined for greatness. His academic achievements at MIT enabled him to easily enter into a lucrative career for personal gain and instead he chose to return home and serve as an agent-of-change for his community. That passion and his spirit of collaboration has served him well in addressing some of the most daunting challenges in the nation’s most populous state. He has given rise to greater Latino voter participation and inclusion in the civic affairs impacting our communities at the time when our voice is needed most in the public discourse. LULAC is confident he will bring that same willingness to reach out and across the aisle in the U.S. Senate to make America a better place for all.”