Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation
September 17, 2019

Good morning, everyone. Thank you for being here.

I especially want to thank Linda Castillo and the members of the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs for all of their hard work this year. A big hand for the OACO for putting on this event! 

I also want to recognize:
Beatriz Navarro Parada and Claudia Cabrera of the Mexican Consulate 
Senators Frederick, Riley, and Golden
Representatives Alonso Leon, Hernandez, Neron, and Sollman 

We come together today to honor Oregon Hispanic Heritage Month but I think we can all acknowledge that Latinx Oregonians make this state a wonderful place to call home--not just 30 days--but 365 days a year. 

Latinx folks make up 13% of the Oregon population, and the population is increasing: 1 in 4 students enrolled in Oregon public schools is Latinx.

The very fabric of Oregon is made richer by the contributions of Latinx folks across our great state.

I stood at this podium two years ago shaking with anger at the Trump Administration’s attacks on the Latinx community. Not much has changed, and I am still angry. But I am also hopeful. 

We need to build bridges, not walls. And that’s what we’re doing here in Oregon. 

I see communities built upon respect, admiration, and affirmation.

I see webs of positive connections forged between mentors and young people, leaders and community members, friends and neighbors.

And most importantly I see a love that even the most hateful rhetoric cannot fracture.

That enduring love inspired us to pass and implement Cover All Kids. To date, we have approximately 6,000 kids enrolled! And this enrollment is facilitated by an incredible network of OHP community partners statewide.

Forty percent of these kids are Latinx; most are English Language Learners, and most are undocumented. That is over 2,000 children who are finally getting the care they need. 

From Ontario to Coos Bay, from Roseburg to Astoria, from Bend to Medford, we honor our Latinx Oregonians. 

You all build this state each and every day so it was my honor earlier this summer to sign the HB 2015, the Driver’s Licenses For All bill. 

That means everyone who lives in this state and wants to drive (and passes their test) can safely commute to the jobs and services that provide for themselves and their families.

In this room full of community leaders, I thank each one of you for continuing the fight to make our state a safe and welcoming place for everyone. These are critical steps forward and we have much more work ahead.

In times of crisis, we turn to our communities for support. We must move toward more culturally-specific and linguistically-appropriate forms of health services in the future.

As leaders and fierce advocates in communities throughout our state, I thank you for being here today as we honor our Latinx community and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. 

It is now my honor to read the proclamation.