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Austin - State Senator Sylvia Garcia has been elected to succeed Senator José Rodríguez as the Chair of the Senate Hispanic Caucus.  Senator Garcia previously served as Vice Chair of the Caucus. Senator José Menéndez has been elected as the new Vice Chair. Senator Garcia made the following statement:


I want to thank Senator Rodríguez for his tireless work and leadership as the outgoing Chairman of the Senate Hispanic Caucus. As Vice Chair, I enjoyed working with Senator Rodríguez on a series of Latino Summits and on legislation important to the Latino community.  I look forward to continuing these efforts as Chair. 


Our Latino community has helped shape Texas since its inception and our influence should only increase in the future.  In recent years, Texas has led the nation in economic growth and prosperity in large part due to the contributions of our Latino community.  However, despite our positive impact, too often the leaders of this State have used us as political piñatas for their own political agendas.


We have seen a concerted effort to place barriers to Latinos from participating in the political process through measures such as voter ID and restricting voter registration.  We have also seen anti-Latino rhetoric in the name of "border security."  While we were able to defeat most of the anti-Latino proposals last session, I fully expect to see more bills proposed in the upcoming 85th Legislative Session that would hurt our community.


The Senate Hispanic Caucus is dedicated to fighting back against any measure that will damage the progress of the Latino community.  I will be working with the other members of the Caucus to ensure that we do everything we can to guarantee everyone in this state is treated equally and fairly, whether they be Latino, Asian, African-American, immigrant, fifth-generation Texan or newcomer.  Texas should be a place that is welcoming to all, and we in the Senate Hispanic Caucus will continue to fight for this vision in the years to come.