Richmond, VA - Today, Kaine for Virginia launched “Latinos for Kaine” with more than 100 representatives of the Virginia Latino community who support Tim Kaine’s Senate campaign. This dynamic group of business and community leaders will be an integral part of the diverse coalition that helps elect Kaine in November.
“I have enjoyed a long and productive partnership with the Latino community during my time in public life and I’m thrilled to have the support of so many great Virginia Latino leaders," said Kaine. "The Spanish I learned as a missionary in Honduras has opened many doors during my time as a civil rights attorney, mayor, and governor, and if elected to the Senate I pledge to continue to work closely with the Latino community to secure improved economic opportunities for all Americans."
“I support Tim for U.S. Senate because Tim has been an ally and friend to the Latino community and to all communities in Virginia,” said Walter Tejada, member of the Arlington County Board. “Tim supports small businesses because he knows they are the backbone of our economy.”
“I support Tim because he stands with our community,” said Leni Gonzalez, a prominent member of the Northern Virginia Latino community. “Tim left a legacy as governor of choosing strong Latino talent for key positions in his Administration and increasing and improving educational opportunities. He represents our family values and sets himself apart as a leader who works hard to bring about solutions.”
As we look for ways to encourage our economic recovery, Governor Kaine knows that small businesses and their owners, including thousands of immigrant business owners across the country, remain the innovators and backbone of our economy. Yesterday, he met with members of the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to discuss his approach to job creation and economic development, as well as hear their ideas, challenges, and concerns. As Governor, he launched a “Business One Stop” portal to make it easier to start a small business in Virginia. Under his leadership, Virginia dramatically increased the percentage of state goods and services purchased from small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses. Because of his efforts to foster the right climate for all businesses, large and small, Virginia was named “Best State for Business” by Forbes all four years of his term.
Governor Kaine believes investments in education are the key to creating the talented and highly skilled workforce that America needs. As Governor, he worked with the legislature to increase and improve educational opportunities from pre-K through higher education. He expanded enrollment in Virginia’s high quality pre-K program by 40%, fought to protect K-12 education from budget cuts, and signed into law Virginia’s largest ever investment in higher education facilities. Because of these efforts, Education Week named Virginia the best state in which to raise a child and Virginia’s Latino elementary students were best in the nation on annual achievement tests.
Governor Kaine is also committed to ensuring America has the most talented workforce in the world. He knows that Virginia’s economic strength and international competitiveness has been bolstered by the skills and talents of people coming to this nation from around the world, and he worked hard to foster an environment that welcomes those individuals. That’s why he supports forward-looking immigration reforms that would allow the most talented immigrants to stay and work, secure our borders, and ask those who came here illegally to admit their violation and pay a penalty. As Senator, he will fight to reverse counter-productive immigration policies that make it harder for U.S.-educated, foreign students to achieve in this country. He also supports the DREAM Act, which would ensure students brought to the U.S. by their parents are not penalized, but are instead given meaningful opportunities to educate themselves and/or serve in our nation’s military.
As Governor, he took steps to help struggling homeowners hurt by the housing crisis, including a disproportionate number of minorities, and fought discriminatory measures that attempted to prevent Virginians from accessing services or information, including ballots and health care, in Spanish.
As part of his commitment to engaging the Latino community during his Senate campaign, Kaine’s campaign website includes a fully functional Spanish version, available at http://www.kaineforva.com/es. Please visit http://www.kaineforva.com/latinos to view a video from Governor Kaine and Virginia Latino leaders launching Latinos for Kaine, a letter from Sindy Benavides, Northern Virginia Political Director of Kaine for Virginia, on Kaine’s commitment to the Latino community, the Latinos for Kaine mission statement, and a list of leaders who’ve already joined the growing coalition.