Governor voices support for Washington Latinos

Murrow News ServiceFebruary 10, 2014 

Wenatchee High School musicians and dancers got the Latino Legislative Day noon event off on the right foot Monday, filling the Capitol Rotunda with festive sounds and dances. Following the performances, a series of speakers took to the podium, one being Gov. Jay Inslee. He and others spoke to legislative issues that concern the Latin community across the state.


OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee voiced his commitment to legislation helping Washington Latinos during Monday's "Latino Legislative Day" in Olympia.

Inslee gave the keynote address at the event, held annually by the Latino Civic Alliance. "Change does not happen by accident," he said.

Inslee mentioned the Washington Voting Rights Act, which promotes equal voting opportunities, and the state's implementation of Obamacare, which he said has provided at least 300,000 new people with health care, including thousands of Latinos.

More than a dozen state legislators -- including Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima -- also spoke to a crowd of more than 200 people filling the capitol building rotunda.

Many of them shouted "S se puede," a Spanish phrase loosely translating to "yes we can." It was the motto of the United Farm Workers and is a common rallying cry at immigration reform protests.

Other legislators spoke of the fight against human trafficking, closing the educational opportunity gap, and immigration reform.

Diego Enriquez, a freshman student at Everett Community College, said hearing legislators voice their support of Latino students and their goals is appreciated.

Sen. King spoke of the Real Hope Act -- the state Senate's version of the federal Dream Act -- which provides an additional $5 million in funding for college financial aid, including to students who aren't currently eligible because they aren't legal U.S. residents.

The legislation only provides the chance for dreams to take place, King said. The decision to achieve them rests upon the individual.

"It's up to you," King told the crowd. "Do you really want an education, and are you willing to work for it?"

Reforms like the Real Hope Act, he said, are part of the goal of removing roadblocks to success.

-- Tri-City Herald intern Matt Benoit is a Washington State University student: 509-947-9277,; Twitter: @Matt_Benoit_

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service