Raul Yzaguirre, the President of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), issued a political challenge to his fellow 39 million Latinos last week, urging them to "fight when our community is threatened. Let's summon the courage to make sure our families can get a good education, decent health care, and a real opportunity for economic prosperity."
Yzaguirre presented this challenge against the backdrop of his assessment of Bush Administration policies toward the Hispanic community, which he characterized as "two plus years of neglect, disinterest, and disrespect." He delivered his remarks at NCLR's 2003 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas.
Yzaguirre issued a broad indictment against President Bush and his Administration, expressing great disappointment in their tax, education, health care, and immigration policies. He added that this disillusionment was magnified because many in the Latino community had high hopes for the President when he took office, based on his campaign promises and his record as Governor of Texas.
Yzaguirre did not limit his assessment to President Bush or the Republican Party. He emphasized that Democrats must be held to the same standard, saying, "For too long, Democrats have received our votes without delivering much in the way of change. We don't need a battle of photo ops. Democrats should be clear that we won't let them take our votes for granted."