Vice President Joe Biden Joins CHCI Swearing-In Ceremony to Welcome Hispanic Members of the 113th Congress
In a historic night for the Hispanic community, CHCI welcomed the Hispanic members of the 113th Congress at a ceremonial swearing-in on Thursday, January 3, 2013, in the East Hall at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Vice President Joe Biden participated in the program and performed the swearing-in for the Hispanic members of the 113th Congress, and newly-elected CHCI and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Rubén Hinojosa. More than 600 people turned out for the ceremony to hear from Biden, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, and Senator Robert Menendez. Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart served as celebrity emcee and the event was hosted by Time Warner Cable.
"It's no longer about what can be done for the Hispanic community," said Vice President Biden. "The question is what the Hispanic community is going to do to take this country to a totally new place."
“Hispanic Americans have come such a long way, and that progress is evident here tonight,” said Chair Hinojosa. “I am very excited by the enthusiasm of our incoming freshmen members of Congress. They electrified this past election. Their energy is contagious and their stories are inspiring. They bring decades of experience, new ideas, passion and commitment and will be invaluable to the success of the CHC and the CHCI.
CHCI welcomed the largest class of Hispanic members of Congress in our nation’s history with 36 members of Hispanic descent elected or returning to Senate and House seats in January. The Latino community played a pivotal role in the November elections on a national level and in state and local races all around the country.
“On Election Day, a new America, a diverse 21st century America showed us just how the political and demographic landscape has changed, and that change is now reflected throughout the halls of Congress and through a renewed focus on achieving immigration reform that reflects both our interests and values as Americans,” said Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. “Now is the time to work together to find common ground and move forward. I congratulate our newest Hispanic members of Congress and look forward to working with them on the issues of our day.”
“Because of CHCI, the 113th Congress will see a record number of Latinos,” said Hon. Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor. “This is an exciting time for our community. We know that on everything from population growth, to consumer power and political muscle, we continue to be a force to be reckoned with. And we know that our American family will only be as strong as our growing Latino community.”
"Congratulations to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute for having the largest representation of Latinos serving in Congress in our history," said Hon. Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior. "I commend outgoing Chairman Charlie Gonzalez for his leadership and look forward to working closely together with incoming Chair Rubén Hinojosa and all the members of the CHC during the 113th Congress on the critical issues that affect the Latino community."
CHCI is the only national Latino organization that offers a wide range of programs and activities to support the educational and professional aspirations of Latino youth from high school through graduate school and into their chosen careers. CHCI programs serve nearly 1,700 young Latinos annually. Many are first in their family to go to college, and the majority comes from families with annual incomes below $30,000. CHCI's unique model of educational services and leadership development – promoting college readiness, supporting college attainment and providing direct access to the most powerful network of Latino leadership – helps ensure career success and has put thousands of young people on a pathway to achieving the American Dream.