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WHEREAS, Virginia is proud to be home to nearly 800,000 Virginians of Hispanic or Latino descent, and the 15th largest Hispanic and Latino population in the country; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians enrich our communities by sharing their vibrant culture and heritage; and
WHEREAS, diversity is one of the Commonwealth greatest strengths, and it is important to recognize and appreciate the many achievements of Hispanic and Latino Virginians; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino business leaders drive significant job growth and economic development, and thousands of businesses in Virginia are owned and operated by Hispanic and Latino Virginians, representing businesses that employ many citizens throughout the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians make significant contributions to our communities through their leadership in government, military service, education, healthcare, business, science and technology, arts and entertainment, and many other areas that are critical to building a stronger and more sustainable Commonwealth for future generations; and
WHEREAS, in November 2017, Virginia made history by electing its two first Latinas to the Virginia House of Delegates with the election of Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala, where they joined Delegate Alfonso Lopez and Delegate Jason Miyares, to have a record number of Latino representatives in the Virginia General Assembly; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia will join with the rest of the country in celebrating the 50th National Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month by commemorating essential contributions, sacrifices, and accomplishments that Hispanic and Latino people have made to the United States throughout our nation’s history; and
WHEREAS, as we build an inclusive Commonwealth that works for all Virginians, I encourage our citizens to participate in the celebrations of Hispanic and Latino heritage in communities across Virginia this month;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 15 – October 15, 2018, as HISPANIC AND LATINO HERITAGE MONTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all citizens.