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WHEREAS, Virginia is proud to be home to the 15th largest Hispanic and Latino population in the country comprised of over 800,000 Virginians of Hispanic or Latino descent; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians make up the nation’s largest ethnic minority— enriching every community through their vibrant and diverse culture and heritage; and
WHEREAS, thousands of Hispanic and Latino owned businesses contribute to Virginia’s economic growth and job creation throughout the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians have overcome challenges and obstacles to persevere and prosper in the Commonwealth through their hard work and commitment; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians are included in 18.5% of the nation’s total population and must be properly counted in the 2020 Census; and
WHEREAS, Hispanic and Latino Virginians make significant contributions through their leadership in government, protecting freedoms as part of our military, helping feed our community through agriculture, inspiring children as educators, helping fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as healthcare professionals, and advancing society through science and technology; and
WHEREAS, the stories of Hispanic and Latino men and women are woven into the fabric of our communities and Hispanic and Latino history is Virginia history; and
WHEREAS, in 2020, Hispanic and Latino Virginians continue to make great strides in public office and civil rights issues supporting the fight for justice and equality for all and successfully advocated for the historic passage of in-state tuition and drivers’ privilege cards for all immigrants regardless of citizenship status; and
WHEREAS, I encourage Virginians to participate in virtual and other safe celebrations; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia will join with the rest of the country in celebrating the 52nd National Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month by commemorating essential contributions, sacrifices, and accomplishments that Hispanic and Latino people have made throughout the United States and throughout our nation’s history;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 15 – October 15, 2020, as HISPANIC AND LATINO HERITAGE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.