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February 25, 2009

Rep. Velázquez Receives Excellence in Government Service Award from National, Latino Civil Rights Organization

Washington, DC –On Tuesday evening, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) presented Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) with their Excellence in Government Service Award.  The Congresswoman, who is the Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), was honored for decades of leadership on issues related to the advancement of Latinos. 

“With the growing political and economic influence of Latinos, our community is no longer defined by one issue alone.  Working together we can ensure the Hispanic voice is heard on issues from improving healthcare to supporting entrepreneurs,” Congresswoman Velázquez said.  “Strengthening the nation’s 47 million Hispanics will change the direction of our country and help get the economy back on track.”

As the leader of the CHC, Congresswoman Velázquez is committed to working in a bipartisan manner to increase opportunities for Hispanics across the United States.  Since being elected to Congress in 1992, she has been an active member of the Caucus, chairing the Economic Development Task Force and holding the position of Vice Chair.  As Chairwoman for the 111th Congress, she is focused on working to expand access to quality healthcare, increase job training resources, open the door to those who want to pursue a higher education, and reform immigration policies so that families are no longer torn apart.

“It is with great pride that we honor Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez for her passion and dedication to improving the lives of Latino families, not only in her state, but across the nation. MALDEF looks forward to working with her as the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in furthering the national public policy goals of the Latino community throughout the 111th Congress,” stated John Trasviña, MALDEF President and General Counsel.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino civil rights organization.  The group promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through litigation, advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships.  MALDEF’s mission is to foster sound public policies, laws and programs to safeguard the civil rights of Latinos living in the United States and to empower the Latino community to fully participate in our society.