Governor Deval L. Patrick
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
State House, Boston
Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mr. Speaker and Members of the Legislature; Secretary Gonzalez and Members of the Legislature; Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning.  I welcome all of you to the State House, the people’s house, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

We mark the occasion by honoring 19 extraordinary educators from across the Commonwealth.  These men and women have the simple most important job of all as they work to prepare and inspire the next generation.  I visit schools nearly every week, all across the Commonwealth.  Just in the last few weeks I've been in classrooms in Lowell, Revere, Holyoke, Boston and Springfield.  I’ve seen the passion, dedication and creativity of these teachers, and teachers like them, and I’m here to tell you they are beacons of light toward a very bright future.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month to everyone and thank you for being here to celebrate Hispanic culture.  Your culture is our culture.  In countless ways, Hispanic culture enriches our economy and our communities here in Massachusetts.  You grow businesses, teach our children, treat our sick, work in our labs and lecture halls, spice up our food, bring spirit to our music and dance, make your presence felt and your voices heard in our politics and civic life.  You are of us and we of you.

You also staff state government.  I have appointed a total of 119 Latino Board & Commission Members in the past few years, some of whom are here today.  Hispanics serve at every level of government in Massachusetts – from aides to policy directors to chiefs of staff to cabinet secretaries.  You play a vital role in the success of this Administration.  So, I thank all of you, not only for working so hard to organize today’s and tomorrow’s events – I thank you for bringing so much to the people’s service every day.      

Our students are first in the Nation in student achievement, but we still have an achievement gap to close, and poor children or those who speak English as a second language to reach.  98% of our residents have health insurance, but it still costs too much, especially for small businesses and working families.  We are growing jobs faster than 44 other states, but we still have too many people out of work. 

We have more work to do.  The sense of community and common cause is being restored, such as in the aftermath of the June tornadoes, but there is still too much youth violence.  We have more work to do.  And we must do it together.  We must keep our focus on the long-term and keep taking strides in the direction of a more hopeful and just future.  I look forward to making those strides with you.

Congratulations to you all on today’s recognition, and thank you for your service.