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Midterm Results Show Clear Rejection of Politics of Hate, as Latino Candidates Make History

The most diverse Congress in history shows a path forward for Latinos and all Americans

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November 7, 2018


WASHINGTON, DC—Latino voters came out in force during the 2018 midterm election, contributing to the takeover of the House of Representatives by Democrats. They joined other Americans to reject the politics of division and demonization, and voted for the issues that benefit all of us, including health care, job creation, and immigration. A record turnout of Latino voters in key states contributed to the next Congress being the most diverse in the nation’s history, with a record number of Black, Latino, women, Muslim, and LGBTQ Americans representing us in Washington. And several candidates who have stood with Trump’s hateful policies went down in defeat.


The following is a statement from UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía:


“Last night was a reckoning for the Trump administration’s cruel agenda of targeting Hispanics, immigrants, and other communities of color. The new House will not only provide long-overdue oversight of the Trump administration’s reckless and ill-conceived policies, but will give new life to issues like protecting the ACA, expanding voting rights, and ending inhumane immigration policies.


“And we are especially gratified that other Americans also rejected the politics of division and demonization. The Latino community’s long-time ‘axis of evil’—anti-immigrant candidates Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania, Corey Stewart in Virginia, and Kris Kobach in deep-red Kansas—lost their races by wide margins. Anyone who is considering copying President Trump’s bigoted immigrant-bashing should note that his three most ardent supporters on the issue were so decisively defeated.


“This was an especially meaningful election for Latinos, who didn’t just vote against hate and divisiveness, but voted for something: Latinos and other minority candidates who will represent the growing diversity of the country. Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar are the first two Latinas elected in Texas, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York is the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress.


“The record number of Latino, Black, Muslim, and LGBTQ Americans in Congress clearly signal that America is tired of candidates who want to pit us against each other. Unity and collaboration are at the heart of what we want for America, not fear and division.


“Tonight also was a victory for UnidosUS’s electoral mantra: candidates matter, issues matter, and meaningful outreach is nonnegotiable. Even though Beto O’Rourke lost in the end, he was the first candidate in more than two decades to make Democrats competitive in a statewide race in Texas. He did so by embracing an optimistic message, a progressive agenda in line with Texas’s diverse population, and by energizing voters who had been ignored in previous elections.


“While we were disappointed by the results in some states, particularly Florida, there is no question that the Latino community is fully aware that it has been disrespected and treated in a hostile matter by this administration and responded by participating in the midterm elections at unprecedented levels. Candidates on both sides of the aisle should take note.”

National Urban League: Proposed Menthol Cigarette Ban Would Benefit African Americans' Health

NEW YORK (November 13, 2018)

National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s plan to propose a ban on menthol cigarettes:


“The destructive impact of menthol cigarettes on the African-American community is clear. African Americans smoke menthol cigarettes at higher rates, quit smoking at lower rates and have far higher death rates from smoking-related illnesses, including lung cancer, than the population as a whole.


“Over 80% of African-Americans who smoke cigarettes, smoke menthol cigarettes.  Menthol cigarettes also contribute to youth smoking initiation.  Fifty-four percent of all youth who smoke cigarettes, smoke menthol cigarettes.  The number is even higher among African-American youth who smoke: 70 percent smoke menthol cigarettes. The evidence shows that menthol cigarettes make it easier to start smoking and more difficult to quit than regular cigarettes.


“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has the authority to end this scourge by ending the sale of menthol cigarettes nationwide and should do so expeditiously.  The National Urban League welcomes reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to begin a rulemaking process to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes.  The National Urban League supports this effort and urges the FDA to move forward with urgency to implement this plan.”

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UnidosUS Supports Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 116th Congress

November 19, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS, the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, issued the following statement:


"The new majority in the House represents the only real check on this president. It is, therefore, essential that the next speaker be experienced, knowledgeable, and willing and able to take on this administration and its cruel and counterproductive policies.


Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated all of these qualities and is by far the best person to lead the new Congress as Speaker of the House.


Throughout her tenure in Congress, Leader Pelosi has been a supporter of, and advocate for, the Latino community and our concerns, including the long fight for comprehensive immigration reform. To date, the only time the Congress has been able to pass a DREAM Act was during Nancy Pelosi’s previous tenure as Speaker of the House.


She has also been a champion of expanding health care for all and protecting Medicaid and Medicare. She successfully shepherded the Affordable Care Act through Congress, a program that has helped at least four million Latinos access health coverage.


The incoming Congress is the youngest and most diverse in American history, and there is no question that the leadership of the House of Representatives should reflect that fact. Leader Pelosi has pledged to provide greater opportunities for young and diverse members to serve in the leadership. Knowing how accessible her office has been to diverse voices, including our own Affiliate Network, we are confident that Leader Pelosi will honor her commitment to younger and more diverse representation.


This is a moment that requires a leader who can unify the party to hold the Trump administration accountable. Simply put, our community and our country need a speaker like Nancy Pelosi to protect and defend the hard-fought progress we have made, and I whole-heartedly endorse her for Speaker of the House.”


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