News

NALEO and NALEO Educational Fund Respond to Act of Violence and Hate in El Paso

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 6, 2019

Hate crime marks one of the deadliest attacks on Latinos in the history of the United States

Washington, D.C.  – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and NALEO Educational Fund today released a statement from their Boards of Directors Executive Committees regarding the recent acts of violence and hate in El Paso, Texas.

“With 22 precious lives taken in yet another heinous act of violence, we have reached a turning point as a nation.  White supremacy and racist violence have reemerged in this country as a widespread epidemic besieging people of color, with the Latino community in El Paso serving as the latest target.

“With our constituents and fellow citizens among the many victims in this most recent act of terror, the NALEO and NALEO Educational Fund family has been particularly stirred by the gravity of this tragedy.  We cannot and will not stay quiet as the kind of racist, hateful rhetoric that has become all too common in our political discourse continues to lead to racist, hateful violent acts.
 
“As elected and appointed officials – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – NALEO members know firsthand that they are role models and that their words have the strength and power to harm and to heal. 
 
“From questioning Federal District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s ability to be impartial because he is a Mexican-American, to telling four women of color who are members of Congress to ‘go back’ to the ‘infested places from which they came,’ the inflammatory and racially targeted language the President has used during his time in the White House has resonated with the worst of the American spirit. 
 
“Now is the time for our nation to come together in a show of unity and put a stop to the hate and vitriol that we are witnessing in our political system.  We call on President Trump to acknowledge the role he has played in fanning the flames of hostility in the nation’s current state of political affairs by apologizing to the Latino community and the others he has disparaged with racist, hateful rhetoric.

“NALEO members reject white supremacy, oppose dangerous rhetoric, and denounce racist violence in all its forms.  In the wake of this attack, our organizations stand ready to ensure that the nation’s Latino elected officials have the tools and resources they need to serve their communities in times of pain and sorrow.

“In keeping with that goal, NALEO Educational Fund will host a National Policy Institute on Emergency Response and Management on September 13-14, 2019, in Long Beach, California, where we will help Latino policymakers prepare for acts of mass violence and other forms of catastrophe that they may be forced to grapple with during their time in office.  This convening is one of a series of gatherings we have held over the past several years on this topic and was already scheduled; its saliency has become all the more apparent.”

Individuals who would like to support NALEO Educational Fund’s work to increase the effectiveness of Latino policymakers in the wake of national tragedies like the El Paso shooting and mobilize the Latino community to participate in civic life can donate here.

Donations to the families and victims of the El Paso attacks can also be made here and here.

CONTACT:
Kevin Perez-Allen, kperezallen@naleo.org
(213) 765-9414, (714) 499-4481 (cell)

Marcus Silva, msilva@naleo.org
(213) 765-9427, (510) 456-5444 (cell)

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About NALEO 
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials is the non-partisan leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,700 Latino elected and appointed officials.

About NALEO Educational Fund
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.