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GUEST COLUMN: The importance of Hispanic Heritage Month

By: Ronna McDaniel
October 15, 2017 Updated: October 15, 2017 at 4:05 am
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As Americans around the country celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, the Republican Party understands the importance of engaging with our Hispanic neighbors, not just this month, but every month. That's why we continue to engage with communities to learn best-practices through our program called the NRepublican Leadership Initiative, where we train our volunteers to be the next leaders in their communities.

Colorado has some of our best and brightest young Hispanic leaders and as I travel the country, I heard the story of one of our Republican Leadership Initiative fellows.

Mario is a young Mexican-American who is proud of the conservative values that his family instilled in him, including the need to study and work hard to receive a quality education. By staying grounded and listening to the lessons that his family taught him, he became a first-generation college graduate.

Mario is living the American dream and is the epitome of what all Americans can accomplish when they make their dreams a reality with determination and hard work. Mario is exactly the type of person that President Ronald Reagan envisioned when implementing Hispanic Heritage Month back in 1988.

President Reagan intended for this month to be a time to celebrate and honor the vast achievements of Hispanics and recognize their positive influence on our country. Hispanics are vibrant members of our communities and their culture and traditions are part of the very fabric that make our country so exceptional in its diversity.

Like Reagan, President Trump understands that conservative values of the Hispanic community are closely aligned with the principles of the Republican Party.

Latinos are often religious and family-oriented while also believing that success requires hard work and relentless devotion to one's goals. Like all Americans, Hispanics want to be able to give their families a better life and provide their children with everything they need: a loving home, a warm meal, and the necessary tools to become civically engaged and contributing members of society.

Hispanics are entrepreneurs - they are trailblazers who are driving our country forward and stimulating economic growth. According to a study done by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2012, Hispanics own over 12 percent of small businesses in the country. Whether it's the local restaurant down the street from your house or the real estate firm in your city, Hispanic and Latino businesses are everywhere. Their contributions will only continue to grow, as researchers now estimate that Latinos will fuel nearly a quarter of all U.S. GDP growth by the year 2020.

In 2013, Hispanic households paid almost $124 billion in federal taxes and nearly $67 billion in state and local taxes. President Trump recognizes their enormous economic impact, and his newly proposed tax cuts will help small businesses everywhere - including Hispanic-owned small businesses - receive the relief that they rightfully deserve. As the Latino population is the fastest growing in the United States - and the largest ethnic group in our country - President Trump is working to ensure that these hardworking families are fairly represented in his new tax proposal.

At the Republican Party, we know that Hispanics are not single-issue voters. They care about a diverse set of issues: from education and school choice to national security and our borders, Hispanics have the same concerns as all Americans. Thankfully, we now have a president who understands that if you listen to voters and organize events around issues that are important to them - and not just around voter demographics - we can bring change to in our country and truly make America great again.

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In January, Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel became the second woman elected as chair of the Republican National Committee. Before that, she served as the chair of the Michigan Republican Party. McDaniel began her career in politics as a grass-roots activist, serving as a precinct delegate, a district committee executive member, a state party committeewoman in Michigan, an RNC committeewoman and as a national delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention representing Michigan's 11th District.

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