Richmond, VA - Today, as part of his ongoing efforts to engage Virginia’s Latino voters in his race for U.S. Senate, former governor Tim Kaine held a day of outreach with the Virginia Latino community. He began the day with interviews on Spanish-language radio stations in Richmond and Northern Virginia, sharing his strategies to strengthen the economy and create jobs, and discussing his priorities if elected to serve Virginia in the U.S. Senate.
Kaine also hosted an economic roundtable with Latino business leaders at SBG Technology Solutions, a defense contractor in Alexandria owned by a service-disabled Latino veteran. During the seventy-five minute discussion with more than 15 Latino business leaders, Kaine shared his strategies for leveling the playing field for small businesses, reforming the nation’s broken immigration system, and ensuring the United States has the most talented workforce in the world.
“I believe that if we do more to support our small businesses, including many that are pillars in our Latino communities, we can create jobs immediately and strengthen our economy,” said Kaine. “The long-term key to our economic success will be ensuring the United States has the most talented workforce in the world. That will mean a series of investments and reforms in education, workforce training, and immigration laws.”
Following the economic roundtable discussion, Kaine joined Nelson Zavaleta, President of Arlandria-Chirilagua Business Association, Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille and State Senator Adam Ebbin for a tour of local small businesses in the Chirilagua neighborhood. During stops at Marcela’s Bakery, El Pulgarcito restaurant, and Beatriz International Hair Salon and Academy, Kaine heard from business owners, employees, and community members about the challenges they face and ways he can help them succeed as Virginia’s senator.
The day concluded with a community meet and greet at Huascarán Restaurant in Chirilagua where community members gathered to meet Kaine and hear more about his life and his plans if elected to the U.S. Senate. He shared the ways that his time as a missionary in Latin America in the 1980s helped him better appreciate the culture and values of Latino-Americans as well as the freedoms we enjoy in the United States. It is also where he learned the fluent Spanish that has allowed him to work with the Latino communities in Richmond and across Virginia as mayor, lieutenant governor and governor.
“My time as a young man in Honduras was a formative time in my life,” said Kaine. “It was the beginning of my career in public service and in many ways my career has been informed by that time spent in Latin America. As an elected official, I celebrate the diversity of our state and our nation. I understand that it is a source of strength culturally and economically. It doesn’t matter if your family has been here for four hundred years or four months, we are all Americans and we all have a stake in our nation’s success.”
Today’s day of outreach is just the latest effort by Tim Kaine to earn the support of Virginia’s Hispanic and Latino voters. He recently launched an unprecedented Spanish-language ad buy featuring a thirty second television ad and sixty second radio ad called “Valores.” This advertising effort will continue through Election Day in major media markets across Virginia. Kaine has also engaged Virginia Latinos through a comprehensive Spanish language website (www.kaineforva.com/es), a consistent presence in Spanish-language media, and numerous events with Latino business and community leaders. In January 2012, more than 100 Virginians launched Latinos for Kaine to share Kaine’s record and values with their friends and neighbors.